Setting Sail – Boat Insurance

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the jobs that need doing before the season starts, so we thought it might be useful to list eight de-wintering tasks that can easily get forgotten about.

  • Give your topsides some attention. After giving your boat a thorough wash down to get rid of any mould and algae that’s built up over the winter you should remember to apply a protective wax to your topsides. If your topsides are painted or a dark coloured GRP, it’s worth investing in a wax which contains UV protection. This will help to slow down colour fade.
  • Check your anodes have enough life to last until the next haul out.
  • Ensure your batteries are charged.
  • Service your lifejackets. Don’t risk them failing to inflate when you need them most.
  • Check your flares are in date.
  • Winches – these should be serviced annually. There are plenty of YouTube videos to show you how to do it yourself, or get your local service agent to carry it out for you.
  • Purify your water system & tanks
  • Check your seacocks

If you have any questions about boat insurance please contact your Account Executive or Account Handler or alternatively reach us a [email protected] | 0131 553 2293

Precious Advice for Private Clients

We are always talking to our clients about the importance of regular valuations for their jewellery and watches.  We don’t want any of them to be in position where a valuable watch is lost and yet to replace it is going to cost thousands more than it was insured for. Many of the panel of insurers that Bruce Stevenson use offer what is called ‘extended replacement’. This means that if you have had a professional valuation carried out in the last three years the insurer will pay the full cost of replacing or repairing any damage even if it is more that the amount insured.

To get a view from a jewellery expert, we talked to Clare Blatherwick, who is one of the most experienced professionals in Scotland:

Q: When we think about jewellery we often think of diamonds, precious stones and pearls, but other types of jewellery can also be very valuable and perhaps more difficult to authenticate and value. Can you give some examples?

A: It’s easy to just think of valuable jewellery as containing big or important stones and that is frequently the case but there are instances of other types of jewels being less obviously valuable but of cultural and financial importance. Some good examples of this would be work by British designers from the 60s and 70s, such as Andrew Grima, whose collectibility factor has increased dramatically in the last few years. Jewels that can be considered works of art in their own right and pieces created with strong design as their driving force are seeing a real upsurge in desirability and value. One example would be the work of designer Suzanne Belperron who never signed her pieces, stating instead that ‘my signature is my style’. Her jewels command enormous premiums amongst those who appreciate her work. But her pieces can be missed by those unaware of her aesthetic or importance in the marketplace because there is no physical signature on her work.

Q: What should one look out for if one inherits a collection of jewellery –  how might you know you have a ‘sleeper’ amongst the collection?

A: That is a very tricky question. Ultimately it’s not easy for the person who has inherited a collection to know what they have and that underlines the importance of having an expert examine the collection on behalf of the owner. In fact, it’s not just people who have inherited their collection who may not realise what they have and it’s worth. The fact that the jewellery market is so dynamic can mean  pieces bought by an individual may have increased significantly without them realising. It is always an enjoyable part of the job to be able to advise a client that something in their collection is either much more valuable than they thought, or has a history and significance to it that they were previously unaware of.

Q: How can one recognise how old an item of jewellery is, as diamonds often look timeless?

A: I’m afraid that isn’t something that can be distilled into a quick sentence or two. I have been working in jewellery for over twenty years and am constantly still learning. I invest in continuing my education to ensure I am up to date with developments around synthetic and imitation gemstones, as well as new types of treatments. Not only are there constant advances being made by people who want to trick us with stones that have been treated or enhanced in some way in order that they appear better than they actually are. It’s important to be constantly looking at what’s appearing in the market and for common themes that might indicate a batch of fakes, of let’s say, Art Deco jewels or jewels purporting to be by a particular maker, has appeared from a particular part of the world. It’s interesting you say diamonds that look timeless and of course I understand what you mean but actually the type of cut of a diamond can reveal a great deal about the age of the diamond and often the age of the piece it is set into. The clever fakers know this too though and can have diamonds cut to look older than they are. It’s really down to experience and exposure to a lot of jewellery to determine what is right and what isn’t

Q:In layman’s terms what are the current value trends for items of jewellery?

A: Generally the market is very strong at the upper end where people are looking for alternatives to cash sitting in the bank. Natural pearls have seen a big increase in value over the last few years and although that market seems to have stabilised, values are still very strong. Coloured gemstones are big news at the moment with natural, unheated sapphires and rubies in particular commanding significant prices. Ultimately it’s a supply and demand situation. Certain gemstones such as spinel and Paraiba tourmalines can fetch prices more commonly associated with ‘precious’ rather than ‘semi precious’ gemstones and amber is also seeing a big increase in value due to interest from Far Eastern buyers. Jewels are starting to be appreciated as works of art, so as I mentioned before, jewellery by designers with a unique aesthetic are also experiencing significant uplift in value.

Q: If I own a collection of jewellery, should I get it revalued?

A: Your broker and insurer can advise as to how often they expect you to have your collection valued but I think it is safe to say that in the current dynamic market it would be unwise to rely on index linking to ensure you are properly covered. The jewellery market is fast paced and seeing some real spikes in areas, so if your pieces haven’t been looked at in the last 3/5 years then it’s definitely time for them to be revalued. And of course, there will be some instances where values have dropped so it makes sense to be confident you are not overinsured and paying a premium that is unnecessary.

Q: How much does it cost to get my collection valued and can you visit me to do it?

 A: I am delighted to visit clients at their home, office or bank to value their pieces. Whilst I’m based near Edinburgh, I see clients all over the country. Having to carry jewellery around is nerve-wracking for most people and this way that anxiety can be removed from the process. I charge an hourly rate rather than making a charge based on the value of the pieces. This is the fairest approach in my view and I’m always happy to chat through how many and what type of pieces a client has in order to give a good indication of the likely cost.

Clare’s contact details are below should you like to speak to Clare about your jewellery or indeed follow her on social media:

+44 (0) 7967 380191

[email protected]

Gap Insurance – Are you covered?

September is one of the busiest months of the year for the UK motor industry with the launch of the new registration plate

Jackson Lee* has advised that in September 2016, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 469,696 new cars were registered.  Similar numbers are expected this year with around 80% of new cars being purchased on finance.

What is GAP insurance and why do I need it??

If your vehicle is stolen or written off due to an accident it is likely that your motor insurer will only pay the current market value for your vehicle.  This amount could be less than what you originally paid for your vehicle or even less than what you still owe on finance.  With 70% of consumers leasing and financing vehicles this is a financial risk many consumers face.  Universal GAP insurance is designed to protect you against this financial shortfall.

My motor insurance policy offers a new replacement vehicle whilst in its first year of registration. You may not be eligible for a new replacement vehicle if:

  • Your vehicle is pre-registered, i.e. new to you but has already been registered to the dealer to reduce VAT
  • Your vehicle has exceeded a certain mileage
  • You are not the owner/registered keeper of the vehicle. Consider lease agreements.
  • If current production is no longer available. Often insurers will then revert to the market value which will be significantly lower than their obligation under replacement vehicle cover.

Why should I buy GAP cover from a broker?

  • You are charged 12% insurance premium tax (IPT) opposed to 20% through a motor dealer
  • No need to cancel your GAP policy if you change your vehicle and you can change your vehicle as many times as you wish
  • In the event of a claim, Jackson Lee will assist you with verifying the value of your motor insurers claim settlement
  • No more paying for cover you don’t use. The product is annually renewable should you choose, eradicating the need to pay a lump sum upfront for a 3 year policy and runs in line with your current motor insurance
  • You are covered no matter how and when the vehicle is purchased. Motor dealers will only sell GAP at the point of sale and customers generally cannot return several months later to purchase GAP.
  • You are covered for the £250 excess in the event of a fault claim
  • Competitive pricing across all car makes, models and derivatives – available for new or used vehicles.
  • Just 3 policy exclusions and only 2 ½ pages of policy wording

You can now purchase GAP insurance for your vehicles from us at Bruce Stevenson.  Please contact your account handler or call us on 0131 553 2293 | email [email protected].

Underwritten by Jackson Lee Underwriting who have been accredited as the BIBA Approved Scheme provider for GAP since 2012.


Insuring your Home Renovations

Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers are experts at insuring your home and building works. As one of the largest independent insurance brokers in Scotland, we have a specialist knowledge in providing insurance solutions to homeowners who are undertaking high value renovation or extension works. We highlight to our clients why it is important that they should remain in control of the insurance arrangements for their home and the contract works and not rely on a contractor’s insurance to provide adequate cover.

Home insurers are often unable to accept the risk of insuring the home if it is undergoing works in excess of £50,000. The risk has materially changed and is now effectively a building site. This could leave your home uninsured if for example a fire breaks out unrelated to the building works. We work with homeowners, architects and project managers to deliver tailor made policies from flexible and specialist insurers. The product takes into account specific features of the existing structure of the home, its contents and the contract works. These include requirements set out by JCT contracts where applicable, under one ‘all risks’ policy.

Our clients’ homes are often their most valuable asset with rebuild values in excess of £1m and they have many things to think about when planning works. Insurance isn’t always at the top of the list. Our ability to advise how to effectively protect the existing structure and insure the contract works under one policy ensures no gaps in cover or grey areas. This allows a cleaner, simpler claims process should

it occur. Whether the property is listed, a home of heritage status, a country or townhouse, we work with specialist insurers flexible enough to offer competitive and comprehensive cover.

Complex risks

Heritage and period properties can present the most challenging circumstances, often with high rebuild values. We have placed insurance for private homes in Scotland with rebuild figures in excess of £20m which are having millions of pounds spent on renovation.

New products on the market 

Today, many homeowners buy a home that they then wish to extensively re-modernise, added to which many homeowners would rather ‘improve’ than ‘move’. We have access to insurers who unlike most, are able to continue to insure a client’s buildings, contents and liabilities within their home policy and combine with this the building works on an all risks basis up to a contract value of £5m and beyond if required.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Richards – 07464 545648 or [email protected]