Surging demand for gold means business is booming at the companies that store and protect the world’s bullion. But record prices come with a catch: All those piles of yellow bars are suddenly much trickier to insure.
For centuries, gold has been an irresistible target of heists both real and fictional. And though theft on a major scale is rare, it can be hugely expensive. When armed burglars made off with about 3 tons of gold from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport in 1983, Lloyd’s of London paid out for the lost metal, which at today’s prices would be worth more than $180 million.