Do You Own the Crown Jewels — And Are They Covered by Your Insurance?

Without wanting to pry into the Queen’s insurance arrangements, it’s likely that she’s been well advised. Even if your possessions aren’t quite so valuable, though, you may have a few high-value items that would be extremely expensive to replace. If you were to lose them to fire, flooding or theft, can you be sure your insurance policy would cover them?

A high-value item is a single item valued at more than the allowed level specified by your insurance policy. This could be jewellery (even if it’s not used in coronations) or it could be anything from books, art or other collections to electronic equipment or even clothing.

If an item is valued above the allowed value, it must be specifically itemised in your policy at the correct value, otherwise the insurer’s loss adjuster may refuse your insurance claim. The problem is knowing what that value is, especially if the item was originally a gift.

This makes it vital to get any high-value item properly valued. Otherwise, you could end up like one claimant we encountered who lost out on an entire £91,000 claim because they were under-insured and hadn’t specified several high-value items.

How to Ensure You’re Covered

Unfortunately, there’s no single set of criteria for determining whether an item qualifies as high value and what steps you need to take. Each insurer uses their own rules, and that’s what the loss adjuster will base their decision on. It’s up to you to check this before you need to make an insurance claim, but the basic steps that are usually needed are:

  1. Identify the high-value amount per item set by the insurer.
  2. Disclose and itemise each relevant piece in the policy.
  3. Photograph each item and keep all the photos in a safe place.
  4. Keep the original invoices if you’ve bought the item yourself.
  5. Have valuations done every few years for each item by a reputable dealer who knows what they’re doing.

There could be other conditions specified, though. You may be required to have a secure safe, for instance, or a specific level of burglar alarm, or you may even need to keep the item in a safe deposit. You must meet all these needs and update the insurer about any change of value — and then Allied Claims can make sure you get the correct amount if you do need to make a claim.