What is "Jewellers Block?"

What is "Jewellers Block?"


Jewellers Block was originally developed at Lloyd's of London in the late 1880's by a diamond merchant's clerk named Thomas March. Mr. March, who was concerned at the inability of his employer to obtain insurance against theft, was friendly with one of the leading Lloyd's Underwriters of the day and between them they devised the first Jewellers Block policy. Soon after an insurance brokerage bearing Mr. March's name was established and flourishes to this day as one of the leading Jewellers Block specialist brokers in Great Britain.

What does "Block" Mean?

No one remembers how the name came about, but probably it is from the term "en bloc".

What Coverage is Provided?

The Jewellers Block Policy is an "all risk" coverage, which means that the insurer must specify what is not covered. If a risk is not in the list of exclusions, it is covered. Typical risks that are covered are Burglary, Robbery, Shoplifting, Grab and Run, Trick Loss, Substitution and Accidental Damage, in addition to the usual risks such as Fire.

What Risks are Not Covered.

The most important exclusions are Employee Dishonesty, Damage to Goods Being Worked Upon and Mysterious Loss or Unexplained Loss. Most other exclusions can be bought back if required or they are "common sense" exclusions.

What Extensions are Available?

Coverage is based on stock at your premises but may be extended to follow your stock almost wherever it goes, including:

  • Jobbers And Outworkers
  • Memo Of Consignment To Other Jewelers
  • Bank Or Safety Deposit Boxes
  • Commission Sales Representatives
  • Travel By Principals Or Employees
  • Shipments
  • Trade Shows And Exhibitions
  • Personal Residences
  • While Being Worn


What are the Requirements?

  1. Must be working from business premises
  2. A burglary resistant safe according to the value of stock:
  3. Burglar alarm connected by a direct line to the alarm company's monitoring station and certified by Underwriters Laboratories as Extent 2 Premises Protection with Level A3 Line Security or better. The system must include at least one hold up button and a door contact on the safe. These are the minimum requirements and insurers may have further requirements. If you are located in an area where ULC certification is not available, a specification schedule from your alarm company may be acceptable.
  4. Closed Circuit Television with a monitor is mandatory by most insurers except where values are low. Digital recorders have become the norm for most jewellers but are not mandatory in every case.
  5. Security outside business hours is important and usually not more than 10% of jewellery and watches may be left out of safe outside business hours.
  6. Physical inventory must be taken at least once a year and records maintained of all sales and purchases. A perpetual inventory is the best system to operate, this can be based on a computer or books or a card system.



The above gives you a general view of what the Jewellers Block Policy has to offer and how it operates. When considering which quotation to accept, you should check your policy carefully and compare how different insurers handle the conditions and warranties. The experience of your insurance broker in the field is also critical. Brokers must be prepared to explain conditions to you and knowledgeable enough to deal with disputed claim situations. A good test is to ask your broker what "memo" means; if they do not know - go elsewhere.