ASK THE EXPERTS
ANSWER: If prized possessions and valuables are not valued on a regular basis (e.g. every 3-4 years), homeowners risk significant losses in the event of a claim.
World events and fluctuating markets mean it’s easy to lose track of the current value of your art, antiques, couture jewellery, family heirlooms or fine wine – and underinsuring such high-net-worth items can lead to the loss of thousands of pounds in the event of a claim, whether for fire, theft or flood.
Many may not know the true value of their treasured belongings, especially if they are inherited or received as a gift. Furthermore, there can also be a lack of awareness about the factors that can cause appreciation over time. The death of an artist, for example, may result in his or her works soaring in value.
Homeowners should also be mindful that on general household policies it can sometimes be the case that exclusions apply to highly desirable, valuable or fragile items if they are not specified in their own right. This can render them uninsured.
Some items may consequently need separate, specialist cover, so it is imperative their value is regularly reviewed and your insurance provider notified of changes.
The responsibility for calculating the value of home contents lies solely with the homeowner. Online valuation tools may not always be accurate, so it is recommended to seek advice on values from reputable experts. To assist with this, for Lycetts clients, a discount on appraisal fees with Lyon & Turnbull is now available.
It should also be remembered that, for insurance purposes, it is how much an item would cost to replace today, not what it cost when you bought it, that matters.
It is important to establish your single item claim limit. If unsure, ask for advice or clarification from your provider.
Finally, if in doubt, discuss your insurance requirements with a trusted provider to ensure your policy meets your personal needs.