Covering the timepiece in a general homeowner’s or renter’s policy could make sense, according to Loretta Worters, vice president of media relations at the Insurance Information Institute, an industry nonprofit organization based in New York. “For a watch that is under $2,000, most likely this is the best coverage to have. There is limited coverage for fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism, and there is typically a $500 to $1,000 deductible. You also may not have coverage while traveling, but check the policy.”
But let’s say your watch cost more than $2,000, or you have more than one watch. Consider a personal articles floater, which could be $20 to $25 for each $1,000 of coverage. “While more costly, this option offers broader protection for a valuable watch, and there is no deductible,” Ms. Worters wrote in an email. “Before purchasing a floater, the items covered must be professionally appraised.”
And that would include even a new purchase. “The watch may be a new, never-worn Rolex, for example, but the customer may actually be getting a fake Rolex or a watch with counterfeit parts,” she wrote.
A watch or jewelry store likely would provide a free appraisal of a piece that it sold to you, while an independent appraiser would charge $50 to $150, depending on the location and the appraiser’s experience, Ms. Worters said.
Insurance companies offer their own versions of floaters. Chubb, which identifies itself as the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, offers a floater policy called Valuable Articles Coverage, which, for example, could cost $150 to $400 a year to cover a $10,000 watch.