Ticked off! Art dealer is denied payout for his lost £190k Rolex… because he failed to mention previous claim for missing diamond
- Art dealer lost his £190k Rolex watch after crashing in the snow while skiing
- Christopher Jones sought payout from insurers but failed to mention old claim
- He then took legal action against Zurich which has been dismissed by a judge
When Christopher Jones lost his watch after crashing in the snow while skiing, he sought a payout from his insurers
Even for an art dealer with a jet-set lifestyle complete with a Victoria’s Secret model girlfriend, a £190,000 Rolex is a hard thing to lose.
So when Christopher Jones lost his watch after crashing in the snow while skiing, he sought a payout from his insurers.
But he won’t get a penny now – because he failed to mention an earlier claim for a missing diamond.
The insurer voided his latest £4,250 policy when it found out about a £15,000 claim the entrepreneur had made three years earlier for a diamond that went missing from an ex-girlfriend’s vintage ring.
Insurer Zurich said it would have never agreed to cover his high-value watches if it had known about the missing diamond.
This led to Mr Jones taking legal action against Zurich, which has now been dismissed by a judge after a three-day High Court hearing this month.
Mr Jones, 31, who has 26,000 followers on Instagram, uses the social media site to showcase his glamorous lifestyle with German model girlfriend Lorena Rae, 26, who is reported to have dated Leonardo DiCaprio.
A director of a Mayfair art gallery, he has been photographed out with David Beckham, and his uncle Nick Jones founded Soho House – the exclusive London club where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had their first date.
Mr Jones, 31, who has 26,000 followers on Instagram, uses the social media site to showcase his glamorous lifestyle with German model girlfriend Lorena Rae, 26, who is reported to have dated Leonardo DiCaprio
Mr Jones lost his 1976 Rolex Daytona Tropical watch at the Rocky Mountains resort in Aspen, Colorado, in March 2019.
The art dealer blamed ‘human error’ for misleading the insurer. The court heard that the policy had been arranged by his uncle and executive assistant, Thomas Trautmann.
When pricing the policy, the insurer asked if any claims had been made in the previous five years. Yet no mention was made of the missing diamond and the £15,000 payout in 2016.
Mr Jones lost his 1976 Rolex Daytona Tropical watch at the Rocky Mountains resort in Aspen, Colorado, in March 2019
Mr Jones had earlier said his uncle was unaware of the lost diamond when taking out the new insurance but was later forced to admit that not only did his uncle know but he had even helped put in the claim for it.
Judge Pelling, in his judgment, raised concerns about the art dealer’s credibility and highlighted a series of inaccuracies in his evidence that, he said, showed ‘at the very least a fairly fundamental lack of recall of critical events’.
Mr Trautmann said that he ‘probably should have’ declared the previous claim. He told the court: ‘My father was very ill, I had other things on my mind. I wasn’t just working for Christopher – I was working for three directors.’
Zurich’s senior underwriter Michael Green told the court he had been reluctant to cover the jewellery in the first place and had increased the cost of the policy by 25 per cent as a result.
He said he would have refused to insure Mr Jones’s watches had they known about the missing diamond claim.
Judge Pelling said: ‘Zurich is entitled to avoid the policy and refuse the claim but must return the premium paid.’
Zurich said: ‘When customers apply for insurance, it’s essential they provide an accurate account of the information we ask for. This enables us to decide if we can provide cover, at what level and the price.’