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House Content Insurance: Am I Covered?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 26 January 2017 15:17


From engagement rings and pearl necklaces to, Rolexes, heirlooms and gifts – most of today’s home owners have an item of value that would cost a significant amount of money to replace.


Whether it’s worth $100 or $100,000, it’s imperative that the correct level of contents insurance is in place to protect that special piece of pearl jewellery or inherited watch.


The last thing you want is to be left short changed if you ever need to make an insurance claim.


So, do you need jewellery insurance?


Although it is certainly possible to take out specialist insurance, watches, precious pearl bracelets and other valuable pieces are more often than not already covered by existing home insurance policies.


Contents insurance should cover theft or loss of personal items from your home.


It’s worth noting that there is normally a maximum amount that the insurer will pay out for any one item.  For example, if your policy specifies that the limit is $2000, it will not be possible to claim more than this for an item worth more.


Every insurance policy is different so you need to understand what your policy covers to ensure you have adequate cover in place.


When shopping around for content insurance you will need to know the total value of items in your house, so it goes without saying that you need to calculate and understand the value accurately.  You do not want to underestimate your content if you need to make a claim.


Getting a Valuation


When creating the insurance policy it’s unlikely you’ll need to prove the value of any pieces or jewellery, but in the event that you need to make a claim you may be asked to provide a receipt or a valuation.  This is especially true of high value items.  If you have high value antiques it’s best to seek a valuation certificate from a trusted source.  You may even want to get annual valuations conducted on expensive pieces as the prices of gold or pearl jewellery pieces can fluctuate as the market changes.  It goes without saying that it’s probably a good idea to hold onto receipts of any new purchases.


Many specialist jewellers as well as high street jewellers offer valuation services, it’s worth shopping around to the find the best deal as some places may need to send the items away for inspection.


If you purchase a big ticket item or receive a birthday, wedding or anniversary gift, one of the top priorities should be checking your content insurance to see if you’re covered and requesting an update if needed.


How to tell if you’re properly insured?


If you’re lucky enough to own an item that exceeds the maximum single item limit on your policy, inform your insurer as soon as you can and have the item listed separately on your policy with adequate cover.  This will likely incur an extra charge or change the monthly payments on your policy, but it’s worth doing.  While you’re at it, have a think about any pieces of jewellery that you may have purchases or inherited since you last renewed your insurance, you might find you have more than you realised. 


It’s worth considering and enquiring if your policy also covers items away from home or for accidental damage, you don’t want to end up not being covered for a pearl ring slipping of your finger and down the drain. 


Your insurer may expect you to take extra care with very valuable items, such as investing in a quality safe, so make sure you understand what is expected of you.


Things to remember


If you make a claim, insurers may offer a replacement, vouchers, repair or cash.


If you overvalue items your premiums will be higher.


You’ll need to pay the excess of any claim you make.


Insurance providers will only cover you for the listed value of your item.  So if your jewellery goes up in value due to changes in the market and you haven’t taken the time to update your policy, you won’t be able to claim for the current value.


Check to make sure the single item cover is adequate for your needs




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Jonathan Holmes

Art and interior design director at Otomo.

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