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While you can get a watch that tells time at the drugstore, an exceptional timepiece costs enough that you should consider protecting it. Whether you have a $3,000 Hamilton or a $30,000 Rolex, a watch insurance policy can provide you with peace of mind. Unlike homeowners insurance policies, many standalone watch insurance policies provide coverage for mysterious disappearance—meaning that if you lose your watch, your insurer would pay for a replacement. Plus, homeowners and renters policies often have a $1,500 limit for jewelry and watches, which may not be enough to cover your investment.
To help you narrow down the options, we evaluated 13 of the largest providers of watch insurance nationwide, considering factors such as premium costs for a specific watch value, coverage options, and customer satisfaction as measured by three years of data from the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners). The right insurance policy for you will depend on your watch collection and your coverage needs, but start by comparing our top picks.
Best Watch Insurance of 2023
- Best for a Wide Network of Jewelers: Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group
- Fewest Complaints: BriteCo
- Best Online Application Experience: GemShield
- Best for Cheapest Coverage: WAX Insurance
Best for a Wide Network of Jewelers : Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group
Quick and easy online quote
Appraisals not required in most cases
Choose your own jeweler for repair or replacement
Covered while traveling internationally
Coverage adjusts according to inflation
Higher premiums than some other providers
Jewelers Mutual makes watch insurance easy. The company doesn’t require your personal info for a quote—just fill out three fields to get an instant quote online. You can also apply online without an appraisal and start a claim online.
Jewelers Mutual premiums were about average in our comparison across 13 companies. But the company does offer discounts for storing your jewelry securely or having a home security system. Plus, you’re covered worldwide, and exclusions are typical, including things like war, deterioration, and intentional damage or loss. Unlike some other companies, Jewelers Mutual also excludes damage from critters.
If you need your jewelry repaired or replaced, you can choose which jeweler you want to work with. And Jewelers Mutual appears to have no issues with customer satisfaction. The company has excellent reviews on Trustpilot and far fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC over the last three years given its size. Jewelers Mutual also has over a century of industry experience and holds an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, so you can count on the company to pay claims.
Fewest Complaints : BriteCo
All policies have a $0 deductible
No complaints with the NAIC the last two years
Coverage up to 125% of appraised value
Coverage adjusts annually based on inflation and gemstone/metal value
Online quotes require personally identifying information
BriteCo watch insurance policies are backed by Glencar Insurance Company, which has not received any complaints with the NAIC over the last two years, indicating excellent customer satisfaction. The company also has glowing customer reviews on Facebook and Google and an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best, indicating superior claims paying reliability. You can get a quote online with your email address, but it will be a range. You must provide even more personal information to get a final price. But you can complete your application entirely online and file claims online as well.
Pricing at BriteCo is relatively affordable—the company offers the second lowest premiums for watches of the companies we reviewed. What’s more, you’ll be covered for up to 125% of the appraised value of your watch, and the company annually adjusts your coverage amount based on changes in metal and gemstone pricing as well as inflation.
BriteCo offers worldwide, robust coverage that only excludes deterioration, wear and tear, mechanical breakdown, voluntary parting, and prior damage. BriteCo policies even include some coverage for preventive maintenance, and you can add an additional insured at no charge.
Best Online Application Experience : GemShield
Quick quote without personally identifying information
Apply online in 10 minutes or less with electronic approval
Far fewer complaints with the NAIC than expected
Appraisals required for watches worth $5,000 or more
Relatively low coverage limits
GemShield makes it easy to get a quote. You’ll only need to fill out three fields, and no personal information is required. Though you’ll need an appraisal for watches worth $5,000 or more, a receipt will suffice for lower-value pieces. And you’ll get fast electronic approval so your coverage can start right away. However, bear in mind that GemShield generally limits single items to $35,000, though the company sometimes makes exceptions subject to underwriting review. That might not be enough to cover your Rolex.
GemShield offers worldwide, comprehensive coverage with only the most common exclusions. And like our other best watch insurance companies, mysterious disappearance is covered. Notably, the company is our top pick for Best Jewelry Insurance Companies, overall.
GemShield offers coverage through StarNet Insurance, which received far fewer complaints over the last three years than were expected (based on its market share). StarNet also holds an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best, which indicates a superior claims paying ability. GemShield watch insurance was priced around the average of the companies we reviewed.
Best for Cheapest Coverage : WAX Insurance
Lowest premiums for watches of any provider we reviewed
Pays up to 150% replacement for a covered loss
Appraisals only required for watches over $100,000
Policies pay cash at agreed value
No instant quote through their website
Must download mobile app to apply online
WAX Insurance offers the cheapest coverage of any provider we reviewed and is especially well-suited to people with high-value pieces and large collections. You can get unlimited coverage. Plus, adding new watches to your collection is a breeze with the WAX app. Just snap a picture, enter some details, get an instant quote, and purchase your additional coverage. In some states, you can even take out a loan against your collection.
WAX will also cover up to 150% of the appraised value of your watch, providing excellent inflation protection. The company covers loss, damage, and theft coverage worldwide with no deductible. What’s more, customer reviews of WAX are excellent. And WAX policies are underwritten by Chubb, a 140-year-old insurer with an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best and fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC relative to the company’s size.
But be prepared to provide your personal information to get a quote and to wait for it via email. Plus, you’ll need to download the app to apply online.
Jewelers Mutual will meet most people’s needs with a wide network of jewelers, an easy quote and quick application process. GemShield is another option for a streamlined quote and application process. But if you’re looking for the best rates, especially if you have an expensive watch or large collection, and don’t mind handing over your personal info from the start, consider WAX. Looking for the best customer service experience? BriteCo is a good option with zero complaints and affordable coverage. As with all your insurance needs, compare quotes between multiple insurers before buying.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Watch Insurance Cover?
Most watch insurance companies cover theft, mysterious disappearance, and damage from events like earthquakes, fire, and flood. A good watch insurance policy will cover you when you travel worldwide as well. When purchasing watch insurance, it’s important to understand what’s covered and what to do in the event of a loss. How will you prove your watch was lost? Will you be able to repair it or purchase a replacement at the jeweler of your choice? Does the policy offer coverage above the appraised value in case of a value increase? Every insurance company works a little differently.
How Much Does Watch Insurance Cost?
Watch insurance typically costs between 1% and 2% of your watch’s appraised value. But your exact premium will depend on your location, the value of your watch, and the deductible you choose. For example, a $5,000 watch would cost $70 per year to insure in San Diego, California, with a $0 deductible if you went with the cheapest company on our list of the best watch insurance companies. At the other end of the spectrum, a $50,000 watch might cost $1,350 per year to insure in Brooklyn, New York, with a $0 deductible.
Does Insurance Cover a Lost Watch?
Homeowners insurance policies do not cover lost watches. While they’ll pay for theft, the limits are usually capped around $1,500. Standalone jewelry insurance or watch insurance policies, however, tend to cover mysterious disappearance. It’s not a guarantee, so you should ask the company before purchasing a policy, but all of the insurers in this best watch insurance guide will cover a watch that you accidentally lost.
What Is the Difference Between Watch Insurance and a Watch Warranty?
While expensive watches tend to include a manufacturer’s warranty, these are intended to cover mechanical breakdown and sometimes wear and tear. A watch insurance policy, on the other hand, protects you in the event of theft, loss, or damage from unforeseen circumstances. Since each covers a different set of risks, it’s a good idea to have both.
When Is It Worth Insuring a Watch?
If you don’t purchase insurance for your watch, you’ll be financially responsible for repairing or replacing the watch yourself if it gets damaged, lost, or stolen. If you have the funds or would rather not replace the item anyway, you can forgo insurance coverage. If you wouldn’t be able to afford to replace your watch and it would upset you if it went missing, insurance is probably a wise choice.
Some homeowners policies also offer jewelry endorsements or allow you to schedule valuable items as part of the policy, but make sure you understand what’s covered if you choose to go that route. It likely won’t be as robust as a standalone policy and will be subject to your deductible.
We evaluated a wide range of factors to determine the best watch insurance providers of 2023, including:
- Customer complaints based on three years of NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) complaint index data
- The online quote and application process, including whether personally identifying information is required and how many fields you must fill out to get a quote
- Quotes for a $5,000 watch from 13 of the largest national insurance companies
- Whether monthly payments and discounts were available
- Membership requirements
- Online claims availability
- Whether appraisals were required
We also compared coverages and exclusions and ensured our selections were backed by companies with strong financial ratings and profiles.
NAIC. “Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.”
AM Best. "AM Best’s Credit Ratings, September 2022," Page 7.
NAIC. “Glencar Insurance Company.”
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Hannover Rück SE and Its Main Subsidiaries."
NAIC. “StarNet Insurance Company.”
AM Best. "Chubb U.S. Group of Insurance Companies."
NAIC. "Chubb Natl Ins Co."