Statistics show that homeowners are spending an ever-increasing amount on art, antiques and other valuables, creating wonderful collections that act as both investments and heirlooms to pass on through the family. But a recent survey also discovered that many collectors in the UK are vastly underinsuring their precious collections – in fact, four in five of those who owned valuable art or antiques had simply included these special items in their regular contents insurance, rather than taking out valuable item coverage.
If you’re in possession of any valuable antiques or collections, and you assume they’re covered by your standard home insurance, you could be left seriously out of pocket in the event of loss, theft or damage. Here’s what you need to know about insurance coverage for art, antiques and priceless collections:
What constitutes a ‘valuable’ item?
The definition of a valuable item will vary between insurers, so it’s always best to follow up with your provider. The list of items considered valuable by insurers will generally include jewellery, works of art, collections (medals, stamps, coins) and any items made from precious metals. The definition often stretches to items like high-end cameras and photography equipment, expensive watches, furs, sculptures, antique items (including furniture), personal items (designer handbags, for example) and family heirlooms.
What does my home and contents insurance cover?
Again, this will likely vary between providers, but your home and contents insurance will offer insurance up to a certain amount. For example, if your policy covered your contents up to £50,000, and all of your possessions were destroyed (in a house fire or other disaster, for example), you’d be able to claim £50,000 in order to replace those possessions. It’s important to remember that most insurance policies will come with a single item limit – typically up to £2,500. This means you’d be unable to claim for one single item worth more than that amount, leaving you unable to replace your more valuable items.
The benefits of valuable item coverage
By investing in a specific insurance policy which covers your most valuable items, you can ensure you’re protected far beyond any single item limit in a regular policy. In order to find the right policy, you’ll need to have a professional valuation carried out by an independent expert. Once they’ve decided what your valuable items are worth, you can look for a policy which would protect each of them.
Things to remember:
- Have your most valuable items re-evaluated every few years to ensure they’re of the same value. Some items – especially pieces of art – will likely increase in value over time, so you’ll need to ensure your policy still covers it.
- If you’re a collector, be sure to read the wording of your policy very carefully. There will be clauses about what constitutes a ‘set’ of items, and how many items in a collection you may be able to claim for.
- Check that your policy covers items which could be taken outside of the home – jewellery and expensive technology (laptops, smartphones), for example.
For more information about home and contents insurance, including valuable item coverage, speak to the team at Morpheus Insurance Solutions today.