Ed Foster, Insurance Executive, explains the importance of keeping up with your home contents insurance at this time of year.
Were you lucky enough to get an Xbox Series X or a Playstation 5 for Christmas? Or maybe you were given some diamond earrings or a designer watch? If you have been given high value gifts, or perhaps have inherited some antique heirloom pieces from a relative, then you should think carefully about the insurance implications for possessions.
While most of your belongings will be covered by your home contents insurance, many insurers impose a single item limit, meaning that you if you own an individual item worth more than the ‘single item sum’ specified in the policy, you may not be able to claim for the full value of that item. So, for example, if your policy has a ‘single item sum’ limit of £5000 and you need to make a claim for a stolen Rolex watch worth £8000, the policy will only repay £5000, leaving you out of pocket by £3000.
For this reason, it is important that you obtain up to date valuations to make sure your jewellery and other items are fully protected in the event of a claim. Most standard policies have low single item limits, so it’s vital that you have an insurance policy that suits your needs. At Scrutton Bland we pride ourselves in working with high value insurers who offer bespoke cover for insurance for valuable items like jewellery and antiques.
In order to make sure a claim is dealt with and settled promptly it is important to consider the following.
- Proof of ownership. Keep all receipts and evidence to show you are the legal owner, and take photographs showing the condition of the item when it was new, or when you inherited it;
- Evidence of each item’s current value. This should be done by a UK jeweller or independent valuer with a full description of the item(s), signed and dated by them and needs to be less than 3 years old. The valuation should show the replacement value of the item at the time of the valuation.
- How the item is stored. Ideally, jewellery and other high value possessions should be kept in a safe or strong box, or in a bank vault. Safe manufacturers should be AIS (Association of Insurance Surveyors) approved and be rated according to European Norm (EN) rating, and the safe should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you are considering specialist insurance, whether it is for jewellery, watches, fine art, antiques or items such designer handbags, it is worth talking to a broker that specialises in covering such items as they will have experience in the high net worth market and in the event of a claim you have the peace of mind knowing that your claim will be settled satisfactorily.
At Scrutton Bland our Private Client Insurance department offers a bespoke service to cover your insurance needs. Furthermore we can work with our tax advisers and independent financial experts to help manage and protect your wealth, assets and investment portfolio.