With winter around the corner, we’re all adjusting our wardrobes. Away go the T shirts, shorts and out come boots, scarves and jumpers. These clothes all help protect us against the elements but can work against us at times when it comes to losing some of the other things we wear.
At Sutton Winson, we see all types of claims but some of the ones that can be most distressing are when a precious and sentimentally-valued item of jewellery goes missing. This can be due to a moment’s inattention – such as the time a client threw the wrong bag away whilst preparing to move and lost her jewellery box in the process – but can also be due to seemingly simple activities.
Trying clothes on, taking scarves and jackets off or removing gloves can all dislodge bracelets, rings and earrings without it being immediately apparent. In the cold, fingers can shrink, making rings loose and combined with feeling slightly numb can mean a lost item isn’t obvious immediately.
Preventing this type of loss isn’t easy but avoiding long earrings or taking them out before removing outdoor clothing, and checking everything is in place afterwards can help. In addition, taking gloves off with care, whether when gardening, washing up or being out and about is a good precaution with rings and bracelets. If you notice something has gone missing, it’s always best to immediately retrace your steps as closely as possible and check near to where you last saw the item too, as outside in windy weather, things can be moved quite quickly.
Losing jewellery can be upsetting but losing a hearing aid really affects quality of life for the person concerned and we always look to settle these claims as quickly as possible.
Like earrings, hearing aids can easily become caught on clothing around the neck, so it’s important to check they are still in place when removing scarfs and jackets. Because these are specialist items, getting replacements isn’t always immediate but our average settlement time for lost hearing aids over the last 6 months is 22 days, with the shortest timescale being 11 days from when the claim was notified to settlement for the replaced item.
Many people don’t realise that losing items isn’t automatically covered by a home contents policy. To ensure that you have cover for loss as well as theft, fire etc, we would recommend adding ‘Unspecified or Specified personal possessions cover’.
Unspecified cover varies in amount but you should look to select a sum that covers everything you’re likely to carry around with you (including on holiday) and wear. It is ideal for the general day to day articles but, for higher value items like hearing aids and jewellery, it’s important to specify them so they are covered for the full cost of replacement.
This also means regularly checking their value is up to date and when you consider the price of diamonds has increased over 120% in the last ten years, the fact that 40% of valuations are out of date means a lot of people could be losing out. Paying a few pounds extra to make sure you are fully covered could save you being out of pocket if something does happen.