When buying a stand-alone jewellery or watch policy or a high-value home insurance policy, you may notice an endorsement to have the clasps and settings checked at least once every two, three or five years (otherwise known as jewellery maintenance). Because we love jewellery insurance, we want to ensure you understand the expectations of such an endorsement.

This article takes a look at:

  • What is a clasps and settings check? 
  • How often should the clasps and settings be checked? 
  • How much does a clasps and settings check cost? 
  • Can I claim on my insurance policy if I don’t periodically check the clasps and settings?
  • Why does the insurer insist on jewellery and luxury watch maintenance? 

What is a clasps and settings check?

A clasp and settings check for jewellery and luxury watches is a routine examination to ensure the various components of a piece of jewellery, such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, collars and earrings, including luxury watches, are secure and functioning correctly. This check is essential for maintaining the jewellery’s appearance, the security of the gemstones or precious materials, and the safe opening and closing of a watch clasp.

Here’s what a clasp and settings check typically involves

  1. Clasp Inspection: The clasp is the fastening mechanism that allows you to open and close necklaces, bracelets, and particular earrings and watches. During a clasp inspection, a jeweller will examine it to ensure it is in good working condition. They will check for any signs of wear, damage, or weakness in the clasp that could lead to the jewellery or luxury watch falling off unintentionally.
  2. Stone Settings Inspection: The jeweller will examine the settings that hold the stones in place for jewellery pieces with gemstones, such as rings or earrings. This involves checking prongs, bezels, or other types of settings to ensure they are secure and that there are no loose or missing stones. Loose stones can pose a risk of falling out and getting lost.
  3. Tightening or Repairs: If a jeweller identifies an issue during the inspection, the jeweller may tighten loose stones, repair damaged prongs or settings, or replace a malfunctioning clasp. These repairs help maintain the integrity of the jewellery and prevent further damage.
  4. Cleaning and Polishing: Besides the clasp and settings check, many jewellers also offer cleaning and polishing services to restore the jewellery’s shine and lustre, making the jewellery look as good as new.
  5. Maintenance Recommendations: Based on the inspection findings, the jeweller may provide ongoing care and maintenance recommendations, including advice on properly cleaning and storing the jewellery to prevent future damage.

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How often should the clasps and settings be checked?

The value of the item drives the frequency of inspection. Suppose you want to insure a £100,000 + Big Sur Pink Diamond Platinum and Rose Gold Ring from Boodles. In that case, you may require the clasps and settings to be checked more frequently over the £6,900 Rolex Explorer 36.

Regular clasp and setting checks are essential for valuable or sentimental jewellery pieces. Over time, daily wear and tear can take a toll on the components of a piece of jewellery or a luxury watch. Without proper maintenance, issues can arise that jeopardise the jewellery’s appearance and security.

Whether you have an endorsement on your insurance policy or not, it’s a good practice to inspect your jewellery periodically by a reputable jeweller (i.e. the National Association of Jewellers). Suppose you notice any issues with the clasp, settings, or stones between inspections. In that case, seeking professional repairs is advisable to prevent further damage or loss.

How much does a clasps and settings check cost? 

Factoring in the maintenance check cost with your insurance premium, alongside the administration of arranging the checking, would be wise when deciding which insurance policy to purchase. 

Prestige Valuations offers the service for as little as £30. Boodles offers complimentary maintenance and checking should you purchase an item directly from them. Your best bet is to check with your jewellers or authorised watch dealers what their maintenance costs are at the point of purchase.

You could choose between a policy with a clasps and settings check every two years at £200 less than one with a clasps and settings check every five years. 

Can I claim on my insurance policy if I don’t periodically check the clasps and settings?

Any person distributing a stand-alone jewellery, luxury watch or high-value home insurance policy must communicate any endorsements or critical cover limit(s) on your insurance before policy purchase (otherwise known as contract certainty). 

Typically, the endorsement or cover limit will explain the risk of not having regular clasps and settings checks. Suppose a clasps and settings requirement is not included in the endorsement. In that case, you should consult the policy wording and look for the ‘Basis of Settlement’ or ‘Replacement’ wording within the valuables section. 

On a stand-alone insurance policy administered by Stanhope, clasps and settings must be checked once every five years. On a high-value home insurance policy, this varies greatly and is not usually required unless an individual item exceeds £75,000 in value. 

Please review your policy schedule and wording, or call your insurance broker to understand the requirements of the insurance policy you’ve purchased. 

Why does the insurer insist on jewellery and luxury watch maintenance? 

Reputable stand-alone jewellery and luxury watch policies and high-value home policies will cover, in addition to other perils, accidental loss, including loss of stone and unintentional damage in and away from the home as standard. 

Since prevention is always better than cure, regular maintenance significantly reduces the risk of loss of a stone, loss of the entire item, or accidental (unintentional) damage. If you own a rare, antique, inherited, bespoke or unique jewellery item, the importance of a clasp and settings check cannot be understated. Find out what to do when if you lose your jewellery item.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact a Private Client Advisor at Stanhope Insurance.

Written by Matthew Ashton

I started working in the insurance industry in 2004. Four years later, I left to focus on theological studies, working as a youth worker and then as a ministry director in Seattle, USA. When returning to the UK, I had an opportunity to work for the late Andrew Marchington. I joined his firm as a sales advisor when it had around ten staff members. Within three years, I was Head of Ops with a staff team of over 30 people. After a chance encounter in 2019 with Rachel Living and Will Cooper, I co-started Stanhope to build a high-value home, luxury watch, and jewellery broker synonymous with trust. I love being with Donna, my wife, and four kids when not working, cramming in the odd row, or running when I can. I am fortunate to love what I do and consider it a blessing to grow the Stanhope brand.

Matthew Ashton

Date: Wednesday 13th September, 7:07am

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