We've put together a list of the best watch insurance providers to help you choose to right policy for you.
The three best watch insurance providers
The rest of the best
In this guide
- How we created our list of the best watch insurance providers
- What is watch insurance?
- Why do I need watch insurance?
- What to look out for on a watch insurance policy
- What’s the difference between a warranty and insurance?
- What details do I need to provide to get a watch insurance policy?
- How to determine a watch’s market value
- The best watch insurance for luxury brands
- The best insurance for Apple Watches
- The best home contents insurance that covers watches
- Other guides
How we created our list of the best watch insurance providers
To create our list, we considered multiple factors in each policy: this is how we determined the overall value of each watch insurance product.
While you can use comparison sites like Compare the Market and GoCompare to compare prices, it’s less straightforward to compare other features that might help you weigh up which policy is right for you. That’s why we also analysed key policy features, cover limits, and notable exclusions. This gives you a more holistic view of the quality of each policy.
When selecting insurers, we prioritised features we felt were of most interest to customers. Providers had to hit the following criteria:
- User reviews — All insurers had to be rated at least 4 out of 5 on trusted user reviews sites. The ones we looked at were Trustpilot, Reviews.co.uk, and Reviews.io.
- Worldwide cover — Policies had to include worldwide cover for a minimum of 60 consecutive days.
- High individual cover limit — Policies had to offer cover of at least £15,000 per item.
- Cover for all circumstances — Include cover for accidental damage, theft and loss.
Additionally, we gave preference to insurers who could provide the following:
- Low or no excess — We prioritised insurers who promised a £0 excess on claims.
- Full replacements — We looked for insurers who gave like-for-like replacements for damaged watches that can’t be fully repaired.
Insurers who missed the cut
Based on our criteria, there were a handful of insurers that didn’t quite meet all of our requirements. They include:
- Beaverbrooks — Offered a low cover limit of £5,000 per item, as well as a low Trustpilot score of just 3.1 out of 5.
- Home Protect — No dedicated watch cover (watches are included in Home Contents Insurance), and no specified cover for loss.
What is watch insurance?
Watch insurance is a specific type of policy designed to cover accidental damage, theft, or loss of an expensive timepiece. It’s typically designed for luxury watches — particularly brands like Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, and Breitling — but it can also be worth taking out a policy for a high-end smartwatch like an Apple Watch.
Watch insurance is often combined with jewellery insurance; providers often give the same benefits, cover limits and excesses for both. Other times, watch insurance is included in a personal possessions cover policy. This type of insurance can apply to any high-value personal items (e.g. high-end laptops, phones, and musical instruments).
Whether an insurer will offer a dedicated watch insurance policy or includes it as part of a personal possessions cover plan can indicate how tailored your policy will be. Specialist watch insurance policies may include additional extras that can be better for owners of luxury watches.
Why do I need watch insurance?
Many watch brands manufacture what are known as ‘luxury timepieces’. They can be worth thousands of pounds each, which means they would be staggeringly expensive to replace if they were lost or stolen.
Typically, a luxury watch is one worth more than £3,000. Watches below this value are often covered on your home contents insurance (as long as you list them on your policy). Luxury watches with a higher price tag will often be cheaper to insure on a separate policy.
Separate watch insurance policies vs home contents insurance
While you can cover watches on home insurance, the high individual value of watches (like jewellery) means it’s not ideal for more valuable models. Most contents insurance policies simply won’t have individual item limits that are high enough to pay for the replacement of an expensive watch like an Omega or a Rolex.
Some home insurance policies won’t provide cover for your valuables if you take them out of the home. Other insurers do cover it but increase their premiums dramatically, so you pay far more for your overall contents insurance.
Instead, you may be better mitigating the risk by taking out separate cover. The cost of two separate policies might actually be cheaper this way.
What to look out for on a watch insurance policy
- Accidental damage — Probably the most likely reason for making a claim: hitting your watch hard on a surface or dropping it from height when you’re trying to take it off or put it on.
- Loss — Watches are easy to misplace. Cover for loss means that you can get a replacement or a payout if your watch has been lost for a certain amount of time.
- Theft — High-value or flashy watches are priority targets for thieves because they’re easy to resell at a good price second-hand. While the vast majority of insurers cover theft, some will only cover it while you’re in the UK. TH March does not cover theft that happens while you’re abroad; its worldwide cover includes loss only.
- High individual cover limits — Watches are high-value items, so a payout that falls below the full value can leave you thousands of pounds out of pocket. Look for insurers with cover limits that are higher than your watch’s value. Stanhope Insurance covers watches worth up to £1m, while Home Protect offers unlimited cover.
- Insurance for watch collections — Some insurers will offer separate limits for those who want to insure multiple watches. Ripe Insurance insures individual watches for up to £20,000 each but £30,000 for a collection. TH March will arrange a bespoke policy for a watch collection if you call them. When insuring multiple timepieces, check the total cover limit to ensure you will be protected for the full amount — if not, it may work out better for you to get multiple policies, or call an insurer who is willing to tailor your policy.
- Worldwide cover — Good policies will cover you for damage, loss, and theft while you’re abroad. Some policies will only provide cover up to a certain number of days in a row. Asset Sure, Direct Line and Hiscox all limit their worldwide coverage to 60 consecutive days.
- Excess — A lot of watch insurance policies have a £0 excess as standard. This means you won’t have to pay anything towards the cost of repairs or replacements should you make a claim.
What’s the difference between a warranty and insurance?
When you buy your watch new, they’ll often come with a warranty. High-end brands like Breitling and Omega offer warranties of about five years.
However, warranties do not give you the same cover as insurance. There are two key differences:
- Warranties only cover existing defects — Your warranty will only cover existing problems with your watch, so you won’t be able to claim for accidental damage or even wear and tear (e.g. small scratches that build up over time or internal clockwork falling into disrepair). Insurance, on the other hand, usually covers accidental damage, theft, and loss.
- Warranties only apply to new watches — You can’t usually get a warranty for a pre-owned watch, although some specialist jewellers will offer short guarantees of one or two years. However, many insurers will happily cover second-hand timepieces as long as they see a professional valuation.
What details do I need to provide to get a watch insurance policy?
- Personal details — Your name, age, and address.
- The watch’s value — If new, the value of the watch is the price you bought it for. This is why some insurers will ask you for the original purchase receipt. If you buy second-hand, you’ll need to have your watch valued. Ripe Insurance, for example, requires a professional valuation for any watch you want to insure.
- Make and model — Luxury brands like Rolexes are particularly costly for insurers to replace, so they’ll need to tailor premiums to mitigate the risk.
- A description of the watch — This is things like materials, colour, and design of the clock face.
- Serial number — This is normally detailed in the paperwork you’ll get when you purchase your watch.
How to determine a watch’s market value
If you need to value your watch, there are a few options you can take.
The classic option is to have your watch valued by an expert. Typically, they’ll consult with you in person to take a closer look at the timepiece and its paperwork before providing you with their professional estimate in writing.
More recently, you can have your watch appraised online via sites like Chrono24. You enter your watch’s serial number, brand and model (along with its current condition) and Chrono24 compares it with hundreds of thousands of listings to return an estimate for you.
The insurers we examined didn’t specify how your valuation should be calculated, so please be aware that more recent methods like this may not be valid evidence with some high-end insurance providers.
What affects a watch’s value?
- Condition — Watches in poor condition are more likely to break. If the straps are coming loose, for example, you’re at a higher risk of losing your watch. This presents a higher risk to insurers; they’re likely to bump up their premiums to mitigate it.
- Paperwork — It’s trickier to determine a watch’s true value if you don’t have its original box and papers. You might find some insurers are reluctant to fully insure your watch without the proper paperwork.
- Rarity — Limited-edition watches are often very expensive. Some insurers may not cover certain makes and models because of their rarity, while others will offer you a bespoke quote.
- Age — Like classic cars, watches can actually appreciate in value over time. If you’re insuring a watch that’s twenty years old, for example, it could be worth substantially more now than when you bought it. It might be worth having it re-valued before you take out a policy or you could be out of pocket if you have to make a claim.
Can I lower my watch insurance premium with regular servicing?
If you have a manufacturer’s guarantee, it’s worth servicing your watch regularly. Keeping it up to the manufacturers standards means that you can have expensive parts replaced under warranty if they become defective, instead of having to get them on your insurance. This reduces how often you need to make a claim, which — in theory — will keep your premiums down if you renew.
However, it’s worth weighing up the costs. For example, the Watch Service Centre’s price list shows that full servicing of some watches go all the way up to £300 — and there’s no guarantee that it will help keep your premiums down. Your insurance policy will not cover maintenance and servicing, so you’ll be paying out of your own pocket.
The best watch insurance for luxury brands
Rolex is the pride of Switzerland and is arguably the most famous watch brand in the world. However, because they retain their value well even when sold second-hand, they’re a lucrative target for thieves.
Rolex watches usually come with a guarantee when you buy new for five years from the date of purchase, but it doesn’t cover loss, theft, or damage. You also can’t extend the guarantee. That’s why you may want to take out a dedicated watch insurance policy as well.
Asset Sure specifies it can insure Rolexes for accidental damage, loss, and theft. It claims to have developed ‘a policy that is suitable for owners and collectors of Rolex watches’.
Asset Sure provides worldwide cover for all risks with no excess. Insurance can be paid via monthly Direct Debit — handy if your watches are of a particularly high value that would put a sting in annual premiums.
Some Rolexes can climb to hundreds of thousands of pounds in value — you can expect to pay a staggering £200,000 for the Submariner Automatic Chronometer Diamond Silver Dial watch.
Get full coverage with an insurer that provides unlimited cover like Home Protect.
Omega specialises in precision, which is why it has a history with the Royal Air Force, the U.S. Army, and even NASA. In fiction, Omega recently became the timepiece of choice for James Bond. And with models like the Speedmaster Apollo valued at tens of thousands of pounds, there are some major benefits to insuring your Omega.
If you’ve purchased a new watch after July 2018, Omega has extended its international warranty to five years. However, it only covers materials and manufacturing defects existing at the time of your purchase.
If, like 007, you'll be travelling with your Omega watch a lot, it’s worth looking for a policy that provides full worldwide cover. TH March covers watches for loss only when you’re abroad, so frequent fliers might prefer a brand like Ripe Insurance that covers damage and loss too. However, Ripe only provides cover up to £20,000 per timepiece, so it may not be ideal if you keep a rare or vintage Omega in your collection that you plan on wearing.
Breitling’s high-precision watches were originally designed for aviators. Breitling does actually offer its own insurance product covering theft and loss — but only in the US. British customers who go to the insurance page on the Breitling site will not be able to get a quote, possibly because Breitling insurance is provided by an American insurer called the Jewelers Mutual Group.
You can extend your warranty with Breitling, but you won’t get any cover for damage, loss or theft.
TH March does provide specialist cover for Breitling watches, which means they may give you a more accurate quote based on the make and model you provide them with compared with other insurance providers.
Tag Heuer’s partnerships with Formula 1 and Porsche have established it as the go-to name for luxury sports watches.
Typically, Tag Heuer’s watches land somewhere between £1,000 and £2,000, so they may be covered on a good contents insurance policy. However, models like the Carrera Heuer chronograph sneak into the £4,000 to £5,000 range, so it depends on the model you have.
Asset Sure's £20,000 cover limit will be enough for the vast majority of Tag Heuer watches — with a £0 excess to boot.
The best insurance for Apple Watches
While not classed as a ‘luxury watch’, the growing popularity of Apple Watches means their value continues to increase, making them a target for thieves. For Apple Watch owners, it might be worth considering an insurance policy.
AppleCare covers two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months with an excess of around £50 (depending on which model you have) but doesn’t cover loss or theft.
Apple Watches are often covered under gadget cover policies rather than watch insurance. See our guide to the best gadget insurance providers for more information.
Switched On Insurance
If you’ve got your Apple Watch synced with your payment methods, Switched On Insurance might be a good choice for you. On top of cover for theft, accidental damage and loss, you’ll get cover for charges made to your E-wallet for up to £500.
You’ll also get £250 for accessories cover, perfect for those charging cables and custom straps you might want to get.
loveit coverit covers you for accidental damage, theft, and loss. It’s one of the best options for travellers because it covers you for international trips anywhere in the world.
Accidental damage includes liquid damage. While certainly a concern for older models, water damage is becoming less of a problem with Apple’s refinements to its watches’ water resistance. You can also get accessories cover up to £175.
CoverCloud specifically lists Apple Watches in its policy information to say they’re covered. CoverCloud’s insurance is underwritten and backed by AXA, which might be considered a mark of trust.
Cracked screens are included as standard as part of its accidental damage cover. However, CoverCloud will only cover Apple Watches less than a year old, and claims for Apple Watches come with a £100 excess.
The best home contents insurance that covers watches
If your watch isn’t of a high enough value to justify a specialist watch insurance policy, you may want to include it as part of your contents insurance instead. This is a particularly good idea if you have watches that carry sentimental value that you won’t be carrying around with you often, as many home insurance policies only cover items while they’re in the home.
Home Protect covers watches as part of its home insurance policy. However, while it covers damage and theft, there’s no mention of cover for loss.
If your watch is worth more than £1,500, you’ll need to specify it individually in your policy. You can define whether your watch insurance is just for the UK or whether you need cover abroad. Be aware that the latter will bump up the price of your premiums.
One of the biggest advantages of Home Protect is that there’s no cover limit for your watch. In theory, you can insure watches of any value, although quoting a million-pound vintage Patek Philippe might return some eye-watering premiums.
Halifax home contents cover includes £10,000 for high-risk items as standard total, but this can go as high as £50,000 if you opt for the Home Insurance Ultimate policy.
Individual high-risk items are covered for up to £3,000 as standard. You’ll need to list anything over £3,000 on your policy. The maximum value you can insure per item is up to £20,000.
However, it won’t protect you outside the home — for that, you’ll need to add Personal Belongings cover. It also won’t cover theft inside your home if your watch is stolen by a guest.
Lloyds Bank Home Insurance covers high-risk items up to £30,000 total as standard (up to £50,000 on its Premier policy).
You have to list individual items for both Standard and Premier policies if they’re valued at more than £3,000. Listed items can go up to £20,000.