Burglary warning for jewellery owners as price of gold reaches all-time high
- Credit: Lycetts
An insurance expert is warning homeowners who have expensive jewellery that they could lose thousands if they fall victim to burglars - as the pandemic pushes up the price of gold.
The warning from East-Anglia based insurance broker Lycetts, comes after crime figures revealed jewellery was the second most targeted item in burglaries recorded year, stolen in almost one-third of incidents.
Of the quarter of a million residential burglaries recorded by police in the UK this year, more than 22,000 took place in East Anglia, with 2,119 happening in Norfolk.
George Greenock, from Lycetts, fears homeowners may face significant shortfalls in the event of claims, due to them underestimating their jewellery valuations.
The sharp rise in the price of gold – which topped £1,527 an ounce for the first time during the pandemic – means that many homeowners may be unaware of the true value of their collections.
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Mr Greenock said: "The price of gold has been steadily rising in recent years and its value spiked significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, with an all-time price high being reached in the summer.
“Prices of other precious metals, including silver, have also risen sharply since the start of this year.
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“Homeowners may be blissfully unaware that the value of their jewellery has increased over recent months – but they could suffer significant financial loss, or even a rejected claim, if these items are stolen."
According to the latest detailed burglary stats, the average cost of stolen items in a burglary was £2,856.
Mr Greenock said that there are a number of ways to be more accurate when accounting for home contents, including jewellery.
He said: "The golden rule is that an item’s value for insurance purposes is how much it would cost to buy new, not what it cost when you bought it.
"Home cover places a limit on the maximum you can claim on any single item, so check that the policy has a sufficient single item claim limits to cover more valuable items."
In response to the warning, a spokesperson from Norfolk police said: "We would always encourage homeowners to get into a routine of checking their home security to make it harder for criminals to commit crime.
"Burglary is an intrusive crime which can be traumatic and cause great inconvenience to victims.
"It is often an opportunistic crime so taking simple measures can help prevent offences. This includes checking doors and windows are secure before heading out or going to bed."