5 best watch insurance companies: How to protect your luxury timepiece (2024)

Watches are a fashion statement of style and luxury. Some high-end brands like Rolex or Omega can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or more. Because most homeowners’ policies limit the amount of jewelry you are covered for, you may need to get a specialized policy to protect your pricey timepiece. This is where a personal articles policy will come in. It is a luxury watch insurance plan that protects your watch from all perils, including theft, loss, and damage.

Similar to the best jewelry insurance and best engagement ring roundups, we’ve found the companies that specialize in watch insurance and reviewed them to see which provides the best coverage for the cost. Our evaluation looked at several key factors, including the company’s reputation, premium rates, and the item’s value that can be insured (see our full methodology).

Best watch insurance companies of 2024*

  1. Best overall: Jewelers Mutual
  2. Best at processing claims: Hodinkee Insurance
  3. Best for large collections: BriteCo
  4. Best low-cost coverage: GemShield
  5. Best all risk coverage: Lavalier Jewelry Insurance

*The data included in this guide is accurate as of March 1, 2024.

1. Best overall: Jewelers Mutual

Jewelers Mutual

Appraisal required: No
Estimated annual premium for $10,000 men’s watch: $120
AM Best rating: A+ Superior

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Jewelers Mutual has a long-standing history of providing excellent jewelry and watch policies since 1913. It gets a superior financial rating from AM Best and has consistently done so for the past 37 years.

Jewelers Mutual customer service can be reached over the phone Monday thru Thursday between 7 am-7 pm CST, and Fridays between 7 am-6 pm CST. You can also reach them by email.

Our verdict

Jewelers Mutual makes getting a quote and applying for an insurance policy easy. It doesn’t require an appraisal and has no minimum or maximum value for the piece, allowing you to cover anything. Keep in mind that an appraisal or receipt is most likely needed for a claim, so it’s good to have one on hand. Jewelers Mutual offers you multiple deduction options, starting with a zero deductible and going as high as $5,000. Policies are purchased for a year at a time.

We like Jewelers Mutual as the overall pick because of its history of insuring valuable pieces for decades. Not only do they insure watches, but they also insure jewelry, including loose stones. This means you can get all your valuable jewelry insured in one place. Policies cover you for loss, damage, theft, disappearance, and worldwide travel. Essentially, you’re covered for any peril that might arise when it comes to your valuables, helping you rest easy. We also chose Jewelers Mutual as the best overall insurance company for all jewelry (not just luxury watches).

Learn more about the insurer in our full Jewelers Mutual review.

2. Best claims process: Hodinkee Insurance

Hodinkee Insurance

Appraisal required: Yes, but only for watches valued over $100,000
Estimated annual premium for $10,000 men’s watch: Between $95 and $142
AM Best rating: A++ Superior

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Hodinkee is backed by insurance powerhouse Chubb. It has been specializing in luxury watch insurance for 11 years. The firm touts itself as an expert on all things watches, traveling the world to find the most interesting stories to share with its customers.

Hodinkee Insurance customer support is available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our verdict

We like Hokinkee because they understand that claims are a hassle and do what they can to ease the process. They provide 24/7 support, and you can make a claim from anywhere in the world. Because the 140+ year old company Chubb backs them, you can feel good about the coverage. Claims are often processed within 48 hours, at which time you get your settlement.

Hodinkee Insurance policies don’t have a deductible, making it easy to understand the policy and get your coverage. They insure items based on a watch make and model, and you only need an appraisal if the timepiece is valued over $100,000. In the application process, Hodinkee requires a picture of the item and its essential details. This is how they value the piece and establish the insurance.

3. Best for large collections: BriteCo


Appraisal required: Yes
Estimated annual premium for $10,000 men’s watch: Between $132 and $204
AM Best rating: A+ Superior

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BriteCo was established in 2017 by a third-generation jeweler. This gives them an edge in understanding the values of fine watches and jewelry. Their expertise comes from working with other insurance companies prior to establishing BriteCo, helping them see problems associated with the process and developing ways to fix them.

You can contact BriteCo’s customer service by phone from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday CST.

Our verdict

BriteCo will insure watches valued up to $150,000 or collections valued up to $500,000. Their insurance provides for 125% replacement value, accounting for any increases in value from your last appraisal. You will need a certified appraisal valuation in order to obtain the insurance. BriteCo has a zero deductible policy, so you won’t pay out of pocket when you make a claim.

The BriteCo claims process is easy. It starts by filling out a claims form online. The process requests any supporting documentation in the loss that might include a police report. The company will either find a replacement for you as soon as possible or payout if the item can’t be replaced. We also ranked BriteCo as the best jewelry insurance company for high replacement value.

Learn more in our full BriteCo review.

4. Best low-cost coverage: GemShield


Appraisal required: Yes, for any item valued over $5,000
Estimated annual premium for $10,000 men’s watch: $120
AM Best rating: A+ Superior

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GemShield was founded in 1997 as a jewelry replacement program. This means that the insurance company will do everything that it can to replace the lost, damaged, or stolen watch rather than just pay a settlement.

GemShield customer service is available by phone between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday CST.

Our verdict

GemShield has been serving fine jewelry customers for nearly three decades. It takes approximately a minute to get a quote and ten minutes to finalize a policy. GenShield is a low-cost provider with zero deductible options if that’s your preference. You can get a deductible as high as $1,000. It does require an appraisal for pieces and collections valued over $5,000. However, having the appraisal make the claims process more seamless.

The claims process is a three-step process starting with a phone call to file a report. A police or fire report may be required for the claim, depending on the type of loss it is. Once the claim is filed, you call the jeweler where you purchased the jewelry and arrange a time to pick up a repaired or replaced item.

Learn more in our full GemShield review.

5. Best all risk coverage: Lavalier


Appraisal required: Yes, for items valued over $5,000
Estimated annual premium for $10,000 men’s watch: $120
AM Best rating: A+ Superior

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Lavalier Jewelry Insurance is a fine jewelry expert that offers high-end watch coverage in its policies. Each policy is specific to the items insured, giving the jewelry a personalized coverage rather than one-size-fits-all. Lavalier’s goal is to make the entire process simple with the best possible coverage.

Lavalier’s customer service is available by phone between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday CST.

Our verdict

Lavalier Jewelry Insurance provides all risk coverage for any insured item. This means that you have coverage for almost any peril imaginable from anywhere in the world. So, if your Rolex, Omega or Cartier watch goes missing while on vacation in Europe, you can make a call to file a claim. To estimate your policy price, you can get a free quote. Quotes are generally one to two percent of the watch’s value. Discounts may be available if you have a home security system or a safe.

Getting a quote takes about one minute, and coverage can be obtained in under 10 minutes. Lavalier does limit its coverage to $50,000 per piece and $150,000 for a collection. If you have a collection worth more, you’ll need to go elsewhere to get the coverage. Because most items require an appraisal at the start of the process, the claims process is easy. You simply call the company and file a claim, and a representative will walk you through the repair or replacement process.

What to know about watch insurance

Luxury watch insurance is a relatively simple policy to have. The policy covers high-end items on a scheduled list that your typical homeowners or renters policy doesn’t cover. Most policies are all risk policies that cover you for just about any peril, including theft, mysterious disappearance, losing the item, or it somehow getting damaged.

Mike Alexander, Chief Operating Officer at Jewelers Mutual, said, “Keep in mind that if you insure your watch on your homeowners policy and have a claim, it could impact your entire homeowners policy with potential rate increases and even non-renewal of coverages.” He added, “There may also be limits on the types of perils that are covered, meaning the policy may not include worldwide coverage if you lose your watch while traveling or cover all types of damage, including losses as a result of a flood or earthquake.”

Many watch or jewelry policies are replacement policies, meaning the insurance company will replace the item before they issue a payout. They will work with your jewelry to find comparable items and get you a new one. Most insurance carriers do require an appraisal for certain items. While some will require this for any item over $5,000, others have a higher threshold of $100,000.

You’ll need to check with the insurance carrier about their thresholds for value. Some cap coverage up to $50,000 per piece or limit the collection size that you can schedule. It’s important to find a carrier that can fully insure you. Learn more about jewelry insurance by reading our jewelry insurance guide.

How to insurance a watch

When buying luxury watch insurance, you will want to shop around to find the best carrier for your needs. There are some key things to consider when comparing insurance companies:

  • Company reputation: Look for a company with a high AM Best rating or other top financial scores. A company with an A or better is considered financially viable and able to pay its claims.
  • Premiums: Expect to pay anywhere from one to two percent of the watch’s value in premium. There are a lot of reputable companies out there, so there is no need to overpay for insurance.
  • Consider deductibles: A deductible is the amount that you would pay out of pocket in the event of a loss. Policies can have a range of deductibles to choose from, starting at zero and going up to $5,000. Typically, the higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be.
  • Coverage limits: Coverage limits may cap your collection at a certain value. If your collection is worth more than the coverage limit, you will want to seek a policy from another carrier to serve your needs.
  • Appraisals: Not all carriers require an appraisal for all items. To save time and money, it may be attractive to go with a policy that doesn’t require an appraisal. However, keep in mind that your item may be underinsured if you don’t have an appraisal and, thus, not fully covered in the event of a loss.
  • Exclusions: Read the policy details to see what exclusions there are, if any. Some carriers will exclude normal wear and tear, while others don’t.

Frequently asked questions

Which watches need insurance?

Insuring a watch only makes sense if the value is too high to lose in an emergency. If you own a luxury timepiece like a Rolex, Omega, or Cartier, adding protection plan can offer you the peace of mind and comfort to wear it without worrying about the what-if.

Can you insure a luxury watch?

Yes, you can get insurance for a luxury watch like a Rolex, Breitling, Cartier, or Patek. These are often policies separate from a traditional homeowners’ or renters’ policy that covers the scheduled item for its value.

Is it worth getting watch insurance?

If your watch is valued more than what your homeowners or renters policy will cover, then it is wise to get an all risk policy to cover your watch specifically.

How do you get insurance for a watch?

You can get a special policy for your watch by calling your homeowners insurance provider and seeking a quote or going with a specialty watch insurance company. The price of the policy is based on the value of the watch.

Our methodology

The Fortune Recommends editorial team considered the top watch and jewelry insurers for our best of list to help give you the insights you need to make the right decision on watch insurance. When reviewing each carrier, we considered the following data points:

  • Appraisal required: Since not everyone has an appraisal on hand for a policy and getting one does cost money, we considered whether or not the carrier required an appraisal for the watch.
  • Average rates: We ran quotes to get an average rate for a $10,000 men’s watch to compare carriers’ pricing.
  • Company strength: We sought the AM Best ranking for each company, looking for carriers with a rating of an A+ or better. This establishes their financial solvency and ability to pay claims.
  • Maximum value limits: We looked for the maximum value that each company has so that consumers could find a policy that met the needs of their particular watch.

Choosing the right insurance policy can be complicated. That’s why we’ve put together a guide for the best small business insurance companies, as well.

5 best watch insurance companies: How to protect your luxury timepiece (2024)
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