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Insuring your Valuables and Sentimental Items

Jul 31, 2019

When it comes to Home and Contents policies, they can vary so much depending on the Insurer, level of cover and the price we are willing to pay.

An off the shelf Insurance policy (through a direct Insurer), offers much less than what is available through a Broker/Adviser Insurance wording – and often for the same price.

So what should you consider when it comes to your valuables and sentimental items?

  1. Understanding the value of your precious items, including jewellery, watches, fine arts, musical instruments, cameras, wine, collectables and antiques is extremely important. Policy limits apply and can vary for these sorts of items, so it’s important to understand the value to make sure they are Insured correctly and to understand if you need to list them as a specified item.
    What is a Specified item? Items such as jewellery, are those with a value higher than the limit stated in your policy wording. These items must be specifically listed in your policy for them to be covered at their proper value.
  2. Keep valuations updated. Jewellery values can alter considerably from time to time. Keeping updated Valuations (and making sure your Adviser has a copy) will ensure your precious items are insured for the correct amount. This is important in the event of a loss.
    How much is a Valuation? It depends on what you are getting Valued. A housing Valuation is often required by the banks and will be done by an independent valuer. A Jewellery/Watch valuation will be done by a professional jeweller and will cost somewhere around the $100-$150 mark depending on the complexity of the item. The same goes with Fine Art, and the cost is dependant on the type of Art. It is important to determine the Market Value of fine art by means of a Valuation, so when it comes time to make a claim, there is no uncertainty around its true value – which can also change over time.
  3. Consider what’s important to you when it comes time to make a claim. The method of settlement is different depending on the Insurer. Do you have a preferred jeweller? Often Direct Insurers will use their own Jewellers which may result in your items not being replaced with an equivalent value/quality to what you previously had. Would you prefer a cash settlement? Some insurers don’t offer this to their customers, so is this a deal breaker?
  4. Did you know cover away from your home is not automatic? If an item was lost or damaged away from the home, you may or may not be covered. An accidental damage policy will extend to cover your valuables at and away from the home. However this option is more expensive than a basic level of cover – so if you’re driven by price it’s important to understand that you won’t be insured in this regard.
  5. Have an item that is part of a set/pair/parts? Not all policies will replace all of a set or a pair, meaning one item will be different to the other/s. This is important to consider when evaluating which policy to go for.
  6. Having proof of ownership. By means of photos, receipts, valuations etc. Anything that will prove ownership at the time of a claim and won’t cause any delays in settlement. Also, take note of any serial numbers or special identifiers on specific items. You must also notify the police and get a police report number for any lost or stolen items, as this allows the police to contact you or the Insurer in the event that an item is found.

There are lots to consider when taking out an Insurance policy – it’s not as simple as “who is the cheapest”, or just “ticking the insurance box”. Even throughout the policy period, your circumstances might change, you might purchase something new to be added, you might have the need to make a claim. Having an Austbrokers Comsure Adviser on your side to help you throughout this process is a huge plus, and takes the stress away from having to organise all of this yourself.

If you need advice regarding valuable and precious items on your Home and Contents policy, contact Austbrokers Comsure on  1800 122 194.

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