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Make sure you don’t underinsure your valuables

Make sure you don’t underinsure your valuables

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 06/07/2016
First Published: 06/07/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Getting the right kind of insurance is a must at all times, but it becomes particularly important if you've got highly expensive valuables in your possession – but unfortunately, research from Churchill home insurance has found that worryingly few people are suitably covered.

The figures show that 17% of respondents own jewellery that could be considered vintage or antique, yet 41% say that these items aren't accounted for on their home insurance policy. Not only that, but 34% don't know if they have a single item limit on their policy, and 16% don't have any home insurance whatsoever, something that could be particularly concerning for those with high-value pieces.

This could all mean that owners of such items are dramatically underinsured, and Churchill is calling on them to get their items properly valued and included in a policy. After all, you wouldn't want to find out that you weren't covered when it was too late, as was the case for 16% of respondents, who only found out that they were underinsured when they tried to make a claim – and lost out as a result.

It's important to consider all items of jewellery, too, with the research finding that rings are the most common jewellery-related claim (22%), followed by watches (12%) and earrings (10%). As for why they needed to make a claim? Well, the joint-top reason was theft and accidental damage, which accounted for 41% of claims each, while accidental loss was the reason for 18% of jewellery-related claims, which just shows how important it is to take extra care of valuable items.

Bear in mind, too, that many insurers will require particularly expensive items to be individually listed on an insurance policy and kept in a safe when they're not being worn, and you'll also have to regularly update the value of those items and inform your insurer of any changes. Pay particular attention to single item limits and inform your insurer of any items you think may exceed it – otherwise you may be out of pocket should you need to make a claim.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, commented: "We urge people to regularly take the time to have their jewellery valued and make sure they are comprehensively insured on a policy that protects the full value. It is important to consider if you have an item that exceeds the policy limit and follow the procedure necessary to insure that item. For many, the impact of under-insurance is only realised when it's too late, but this is preventable."

What next?

Double-check that your valuables are listed on your home insurance policy, and if not – or if it's time to renew – compare alternatives so you're getting the best deal possible

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.