Being the victim of a burglary can be a very stressful time in a persons life. As a jeweller (Voltaire Diamonds), I am constantly asked for advice on insuring Jewellery and other valuables stored at home. I hope this blog offers some practical advice that will help you avoid the many pitfalls associated with home contents insurance.
As we all know insurance companies like all other companies are in the business of making profits for their shareholders. In the event of a loss or theft of your valuables, the insurance company will employ the services of a Loss Adjuster. The sole purpose of the loss adjuster is to reduce as much as possible the amount the insurance company has to pay out in the event of an insurance claim.
CSO statistics for last year showed a rise in the number of burgalries to 27,000 in Ireland. Secure your own Peace of Mind with MerrionVaults from only £150 per year.
Independent Insurance Valuations
In recent times there has been an increase in fraudulent claims due mainly to the harsher economic environment we are currently experiencing. As a result of these fraudulent claims, most insurance companies now replace the item that has been lost or stolen and do not write a cheque for the insured value of the item. It is therefore imperative that you have an accurate up to date description of all valuables that are specified on your insurance policy. I recommend that you have your valuables assessed every two years by a registered valuer and provide these to the insurance company. The valuer will provide you with a comprehensive report which includes an accurate description and images of the item. Therefore, in the event of a loss, the insurance company has to replace the item exactly as described in the independent valuation report. Bear in mind that an accurate up to date valuation also protects you in the event the item has increased in value over the years. Eg Gold prices have risen substantially in last 10 years. You do not want to be underinsured! The only time an Insurance company will generally offer a cash settlement is when the item is underinsured.
Terms and Conditions of Insurance Policies – The Small Print!
Check the small print on your insurance policies. Does the policy cover the valuables when outside the home? Does the policy cover the items when at home but not being worn or in a home safe? Does the policy cover cash stored at home? If you travel abroad, are the items insured? These are all questions you need to ask your insurance provider.
I recently heard of a case where a house was burgled during the day. The victim was upstairs at the time and had left her engagement ring on the kitchen table. The ring was stolen and the insurance company refused to compensate the victim. Why? Because her insurance policy only covered the engagement ring when it was being worn or in a home safe. My advice is to consider an All Risks Policy that covers you against such an eventuality.
Reducing your Insurance Premiums
We now have several clients in our sister-company Merrion Vaults who have reduced their home contents insurance premiums by storing their valuables in one of our Safe Deposit Boxes. For example, if you have several pieces of jewellery and do not wear them all at once, consider storing the items you do not wear with us. By informing your Insurance company of this, the likelihood is they will reduce your premium.
In many cases, storing your valuables with Belfast Vaults will result in your home contents premium reducing by more than the cost of the Safe Deposit Box. Result is a net saving and Peace of Mind.
If you are interested in a Safe Deposit Box with Belfast Vaults please contact us on 0151 349 0429