How one jeweller dealt with being rejected by insurance firms

Getting an insurance firm to take you on when you hold valuable stock can be challenging. Here's how one jeweller did it.

Nikolay Piriankov is founder of Taylor & Hart. Here, he discusses insurance for a jewellery business and the measures he put in place to protect his company.

1. When did you start the business, and what were you doing before?

I was a student at the university of Manchester in 2010 when my friend from school in South Africa, David, reached out to let me know he had been running a successful diamond wholesale business out of South Africa and was now looking for a partner to expand into the retail space. At the time I was looking for an engagement ring for my girlfriend, so it was generally good timing to be chatting with him about diamond rings. I was involved in several digital and e-commerce projects and felt like taking this product online would deliver a much better experience to customers around the world, in terms of price, choice and transparency.

2. Talk about when you first looked into insurance for a jewellery business.

Initially, we did not even know we needed some kinds of basic insurance. It was my first business in the UK and I was new to some of the compliance parts of running a business here. It was only once we hired our first employee that we found out we had to have insurance for employers and general liability.

I went online, and going through a few of those insurance aggregators I was declined, every time. It was only a year later that I found out it was because we were trading as a jeweller that we were being declined. At the time we held no stock, so the fact that we were a jeweller did not have any real effect on how much risk an insurer would be exposed to.

3. How did you find the package of insurance?

Eventually, we started thinking, what are other jewellery firms doing, surely they are getting their insurance cover somewhere?

“So we asked around and found out there were a few specialist block insurers who could cover us for all of our needs in one go”

At the time we had also started trading, so we needed cover to protect our stock and offices from theft too. Because, in the end, we were only able to get quoted from one company, it made price comparing quite difficult, and we felt like we had to go ahead with them. However, I did not find the cost to be excessive, given that in one go, were getting all our insurance needs covered.

Their requirements for what level of security we needed to maintain our cover were helpful too, as it got us to go the extra mile in securing our premises.

We only had to file a claim once, and in the end, we did not even have to go through with the claim, as it ended up being resolved internally. However, what was reassuring is that when we did file the claim, we felt confident that we would be covered. As it was my first experiencing going through a claim, I was a bit sceptical about whether they would pay us out.

4. What advice would you give to others on insurance for a jewellery business?

There is a lot of value in working with an insurer who gets your specific industry, as opposed to a generic one. When they share with you, their requirements, don’t seem them as inconvenience hurdles you need to get through to get insured, rather as free advice on how to get your business following best practices that will be helpful in the long term.

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