- In order to be fully insured, your jewellery items may need to be listed separately on your Contents Insurance Policy – valuations are usually needed to do this.
- At claim time the valuations provide proof you had the item or items, and proof of their value. Without them you may end up with an unfair settlement, and no way of proving it.
- The valuation reports will increase your chances of successful recovery by the Police.
To assist me with this, I spoke to expert insurance broker Mike Nightingale from Flint Insurance. This is what he told me.
"As an insurance broker looking after wealthy individuals and high profile figures, we are well placed to comment on the value of accurate and current jewellery valuations. As a rule, we advise our clients to refresh valuations every three years, particularly for larger pieces. The importance of a valuation cannot be overstated when settling an insurance claim following loss, damage or theft. We were recently able to settle a claim on behalf of a client within a matter of hours on the basis we could provide a recent current description and valuation to support the loss."
It was only a few years ago that the exchange rate from US dollars to Sterling was much greater than it is now. In fact if you have a valuation certificate that was last updated in 2009, you can be sure your jewellery is worth around 40% more today than it was then. Part of this is due to inflation but a large part of this is due to the exchange rate.
Another reason the insurance companies insisting on you having your valuations updated, is so that the jeweller can also check the setting whilst he is apprising the jewellery.
In the sad event of a claim on your policy being required the Insurance Company will want some proof of ownership, and proof of the value of the item. Once the claim is accepted, the current value or values will be re-calculated from the item description in your valuation. This is why the description is the most important part of your jewellery valuation.
It is a popular misconception by policy holders that the Insurance Company will payout what ever value is stated on the valuation. When you send your valuation copies in to your broker or insurance company, it represents the amount you want your jewellery covered for, and forms the basis for the premium calculation. By accepting the valuation the insurance company is not promising to pay the valued amount. This is because they are insuring the item, not the valuation. Claims are settled on the value of the item at the time of loss. All of which is why the accuracy and detail of the description in the valuation is so important.