Last month, our friends at HODINKEE announced the opening of HODINKEE Insurance, a newly forged insurance agency that offers luxury watch insurance underwritten by Chubb. Now the question that has been asked since the program was launched is this: What does a watch media authority, who also happens to be a leading online retailer, know about insurance?
HODINKEE knows watches. Founded in 2008, by Benjamin Clymer, HODINKEE has since grown from strength to strength, from a blog driven by one man’s passion with a niche following, into a global brand and authority in watch journalism and watch e-commerce.
In the wake of HODINKEE’s success, various other outlets were encouraged to establish their own efforts and add to the collective voice of watch journalism on the internet. Today, there is more information about horology available online than has ever been published on print media, since time immemorial. Every watch enthusiast, novice and experienced, with due research, has the possibility to make equally robust purchase decisions, as a result.
Buyers across price brackets are, therefore, making more confident purchases, more frequently. For the sheer volume of watches being bought, brands have had to drastically update their post-sale care services, warranty policies and durations, and the watch-journalism community has published more about best practices in caring for your mechanical watch, increasing the knowledge and awareness of collectors. But even with all the precautions you can take on your own, life still happens. Truth be told, very few have taken necessary steps to protect themselves against life’s perils.
Almost everything else in life that occupies the price category of luxury wristwatches — cars and property, for instance — have countless options of insurance products. In fact, no one makes the commitment to finance a car or property without pairing it with a sound insurance plan. Ask a watch buyer how they’ve taken measures to insure their horological investments and chances are the answer will be that they’ve never given it a thought.
For the people who have genuinely attempted to get insurance for their luxury wristwatches, they may have had difficulty procuring the appropriate coverage. The average insurance agent/provider often does not have a ready product that they can offer for valuable collectibles like watches. Above that, take into consideration how the collecting market affects the valuation of watches on a day-to-day basis, therein, unless you’ve approached an insurer who is themselves familiar with watch collecting, the whole process — appraisal, documentation, agreeing on quotations, premiums, etc. — can become complicated to a point that many individuals may simply walk away.
This is where the watch collecting community will find HODINKEE Insurance to be a godsend. “How to keep your collection safe is an important part of watch collecting. However, the process of obtaining insurance on the collection can often be time consuming for a single watch, let alone for an entire collection,” says Eneuri Acosta, HODINKEE Chief Operating Officer. “Our goal was to create a product that is easy to use. We thought about every barrier to create a platform that instills trust and enables individuals to insure their timepieces in a way that is quick, convenient, and secure.”
HODINKEE Insurance is quick and easy to use, whether on your mobile device or on your desktop. To get started, quickly set up an account (or sign into your HODINKEE Community profile), answer a few short questions, and feed the system with information and a photo of each watch you’d like insured. Depending on the amount of the premium, you are then allowed to make your due payment in either a single transaction or split into two.
Your watch insurance plan is from then on available for you to access at any time online. You can even make modifications to the list of watches you are insuring along the way and the system will adjust your premium and coverage accordingly. HODINKEE Insurance also offers “inflation protection” coverage as part of the policy. As such, your watches will be covered for “up to 150% of their insured value up to the policy limit, if the watches appreciate in value.” In addition, the coverage applies on a global basis, so you have the peace of mind knowing that you are covered no matter where you find yourself in the world.
When it comes to the question of making a claim, as long as necessary documents and information are provided to support the claim and no fraud is detected or exclusion applies, the payout is made just as easily to you. Chubb is available to respond to claims 24/7, and, once approved, can issue payment within 48 hours.
The hope here is that more collectors will take advantage of the ease of use of HODINKEE Insurance to protect their watch collections, in a time when the collecting community is rapidly growing. HODINKEE Insurance is available to anyone with a U.S. residential address, in all 50 states.