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Valuing Antiques: How to Value Items for Insurance

Dec 26, 2019

If you are the owner of antiques, then regardless of their worth they are most likely to hold significant personal value. So, it is important to insure them properly to not only protect them but to also give you peace of mind.

Insuring antiques can bring with it challenges given the uniqueness of some of the items as well as the high value that some antiques can hold.

Here we look at the importance of valuing antiques and how you can go about valuing antiques for insurance purposes.

Why is it important to value your antiques for insurance purposes?

It is vital to gain a correct valuation for any antiques you own to ensure that you are correctly insured.

Many standard contents insurance policies will set a sum insured limit. And within this they are likely to also state a single item limit. This single item limit sets out the maximum amount that a policy will pay out for a single item in your home. For example, on some policies this may be £2,000. So, if you have possessions which exceed this limit and if anything were to happen to these items, you could find yourself in a position of being underinsured.

Equally, some policies may require you to individually list items which exceed a certain value – so you would need to have a good idea of the value of your antiques to be able to fulfil this requirement.

Having an accurate valuation of your antiques will also allow you to decide if a standard policy will be sufficient for your needs or if you need to consider a specialist insurance policy such as a high net worth policy which may have wider coverage and provide higher sums insured limits.

Valuing Furniture

There can be significant variations in the value of antique furniture depending on a number of factors such as condition, if repairs have been made etc.

Therefore, whilst an internet search or book search is likely to give you an idea of potential value of your item it is probably best to get the opinion an expert when it comes to valuing antique furniture for your insurance. This could be a dealer, an auction house etc.

Make sure a valuer is aware of the purpose of a valuation as this may affect the value that they provide. Getting the correct valuation will be important to ensuring that you get the right level insurance for your antique furniture.

Vintage and Antique Clothing Valuations

Clothing can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to insurance, but it should be factored into your overall valuation for your insurance policy. A rare vintage item of clothing can be worth a high amount of money for example.

Factors such as Manufacturers design marks, how common the item is and whether the item is genuine (not a copy when it comes to designer items) can all affect value.

Many specialist clothing and textiles auctioneers offer valuations so may be a good place to start to get an idea of how much your items are worth. Again, ensure that you use a reputable source and lookout for valid accreditations.

Or even if you have lower value pieces you still need to account for these when calculating your insurance needs. Anthony Jones have created a home contents insurance calculator to help you look at all of your possessions and get an idea of the amount of insurance you may need.

Collectors Pieces

This will very much depend on the type of item that you own.

For specialist collectors’ items you will likely want to go to a specialist dealer or resource to gain a valuation. They will have the best knowledge and experience of your item to give the best valuation.

Read our recent blogs on valuing jewellery for insurance purposes or our blog on watches as collectors’ items for more detail on these types of items.

We’ve also  written recently about valuing stamp collections for insurance which may be worth a read if you have a collection.

Also remember, whilst the individual items in a collection may not be worth significant sums, the value of a collection of items itself can add up and represent significant value so this is something to keep in mind when it comes to insurance.

Classic Cars and Vehicles

If you are looking to insure a classic car you need to be aware of different valuations which can be placed on them. Some policies insure for current market value (which may be less than the value it holds as a classic car) whilst some policies insure for true value as a classic car – this is known as agreed value.

Obtaining an agreed value for your vehicle will involve going through a process with your insurer to come to an  agreed value that your insurer will pay out if you suffer a total loss. It may mean you need to provide pictures, receipts for any work done on your vehicle and having a valuation carried out by an independent expert but it should provide reassurance that you will have insured your vehicle for its true value.

You will most likely need to consider a specialist policy for a classic car as many mainstream insurers do not offer classic car insurance due to the differences and complexities surrounding these types of vehicles.

How and When to Value Your Antiques

If you do own any antiques, then it is vital to get them valued correctly. Likewise, the value of antiques can change over periods of time – up or down. So, it is important to get them revalued at regular intervals. Take pictures of your antique possessions to prove ownership, show condition and potentially help get an item returned if it is unfortunately stolen. From an insurance perspective you may also want to look at security if you do own valuable antiques. This may include storing items such as jewellery and watches in a safe, having a home alarm system installed or considering installing CCTV to increase the security of your home.

At Anthony Jones we specialise in helping people protect the items which are valuable to them. Whether that is through a standard home insurance policy or a high net worth insurance policy. We take care in arranging the best cover of your needs as well as providing risk management advice to help you ensure that your possession stay out of harm’s way. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions.

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You can call us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Outside of office hours you can either email us or leave an answerphone message and we promise to get back to you the next working day.

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020 8290 4560

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