Insuring specific items, such as engagement rings or family heirlooms, is an automatic process for most people. But how do you know your valuables are insured correctly? As the sentimental value increases, their financial value might be on the up too! Not having an up-to-date valuation of your precious items means that you could be paying the wrong insurance value, leaving you with inadequate cover.
Mark Linehan, Private Clients Account Executive at Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers, says “We encourage our clients to have their jewellery professionally valued every three to five years. This ensures that their sentimental and treasured items are insured for the correct amount. This therefore avoids any financial loss if the worst happened and they needed to make a claim.”
The importance of a professional valuation
With a valuation you’ll receive a far more detailed description of the item than what might have been available on a purchase receipt. All valuations should be undertaken by a reputable and qualified valuer. Not only will their expertise provide a high standard of service, but the accuracy of their valuation will provide insurers with the information required. Then, if you did have to make a claim, the process would be much quicker as the insurers will have all the details they need. The report from the valuer will include information about the quality of the piece, the metal, jewel size, colour and clarity, as well as a current replacement cost.
Getting a replacement cost is vital because, as Mark explains, “When settling claims, some insurers do so on a replacement basis (sometimes called ‘new for old’), so it’s important to ensure your items are covered correctly. For example, an engagement ring may have cost £1,000 twenty years ago, but the same quality diamond and metal might be worth double or treble that today. If you hadn’t got a recent valuation for that ring, you wouldn’t be able to replace it like-for-like.”
Diamonds, gems and designers
Diamond pricing has seen big changes over the past ten years and it’s very likely that items may now be undervalued. This is particularly common in pieces with larger carat weights or any sapphires. The blue sapphire continues to be the best-selling coloured gemstone, and the value of finer grades, such as Burmese and Ceylon, are dramatically increasing.
Items from luxury jewellers such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co and Boodles, increase in value each year, and your insurance replacement figure can become out-of-date just as quickly. It’s also worth considering pieces which have been discontinued and finding out how this affects their value.
A discussion with an insurance broker who has expertise in high-value items will ensure your belongings are insured for a second-hand equivalent piece, or a brand new piece of equal quality from the current collection.
Contact our private clients and high net worth team today for advice on insuring your jewellery and other valuable items in your home, such as art, antiques and collectables.