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Declaring expensive valuables to your insurance provider

When you take out home contents insurance, it’s important to estimate the value of your belongings as accurately as possible. To ensure you have the right amount of cover, you’ll need to declare any expensive valuables to your insurance provider.

When you take out home contents insurance, it’s important to estimate the value of your belongings as accurately as possible. To ensure you have the right amount of cover, you’ll need to declare any expensive valuables to your insurance provider.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
5 JANUARY 2023
4 min read
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Why do I need to declare expensive valuables on my home contents insurance?

If you don’t declare expensive valuables, and just assume they’ll be automatically covered under your home contents insurance, you could lose out financially when it comes to making a claim.

The terms of a contents insurance policy nearly always include a single item limit – the maximum amount it will pay out for any individual item, no matter what its value is.

Typically, the claim limit for a single item is between £1,000 and £2,000. So if you own an expensive piece of jewellery such as an engagement ring that’s worth £5,000, you may find it’s not covered under your policy.

When applying for insurance, it’s vitally important to tell the insurance provider about any items you own where the value might exceed the single item limit.

Which expensive items should I declare?

When you’re getting a quote with Comparethemarket, we’ll ask you to add any items with an individual value above £1,500 in the ‘specific items’ section. These could be:

Most of these are likely to be the first thing a burglar takes if you’re unfortunate enough to experience a break-in, so will be considered high-risk items. They would also be expensive to replace in case of fire, for example.  

Do I need specialist cover for my expensive valuables?

Not usually. Our insurance providers cater for a vast array of high-value items. By declaring expensive valuables when you get a quote you’ll only see insurance providers who are happy to offer you cover for those items.

Remember, policies differ between insurance providers, that’s why it’s important to shop around to see what type of policy will adequately cover your needs.

Do I need to declare an expensive valuable if I already have a home contents insurance policy?

If you buy or receive an expensive item after taking out a policy, let your insurance provider know straight away as it could affect the value of your contents. Ask them if it’s possible to change the single article or high-value limits so the item will be covered. They should also let you know if the cost of your premium will change or remain the same.

What else can I do to protect my high-value items?

Other useful steps you can take to protect your high-value items include:

  • Take photos to increase the chances of an item being found if stolen, or if you want a copy made of the lost item.
  • Keep receipts and valuation certificates to provide evidence of how much your expensive valuables cost. It’s recommended that you get a new valuation certificate every three years.
  • Have your valuable items re-valued on a regular basis, and let your insurance provider know if the value has changed. Over time, the value can go up or down depending on the item. If you forget to inform your insurance provider and the value goes up, you'll only be covered for the declared value.
  • Where possible, store valuables such as jewellery out of sight in a securely locked safe.
  • Take home security measures to help deter burglars.
  • Consider personal possessions cover, which includes damage, theft and accidental loss of your valuables when you take them away from home.
  • Decide whether you’d prefer a policy that will pay cash for your lost valuables, or one where the insurance provider will try to provide a replacement of the lost item. 

How can I compare home insurance?

It’s easy to compare your options right here with Comparethemarket. Give us your details and let us know if you have any specific items you want to add to your quote. We’ll send you a selection of quotes from the UK’s leading insurance providers so you can find a policy that best suits your needs. You'll be able to see the limits for individual items from each provider.

Compare home insurance today and see how much you could save.

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Frequently asked questions

How much cover do I need for my valuables?

To make sure you have the right level of cover, you’ll need to know the current value of any expensive items, the overall total of your valuables and the provider’s maximum claim limit. If needs be, get your items valued by an expert.

Remember to calculate an item’s replacement value, not its second-hand value. Most insurance providers offer new for old cover, so lost or damaged valuables will be repaired or replaced as new.

How much is my jewellery worth?

The precious metals market fluctuates a lot, so it’s a good idea to get your jewellery valued regularly. The Institute of Registered Valuers can help you find a registered valuer in your area. If your pieces are valued above your content policy’s maximum limit, or you have several items of expensive jewellery, then specialist jewellery insurance might be your best option.

Are my valuables covered outside the home?

Most standard contents policies won’t cover items outside the home without adding on cover. If you want to protect a watch or ring you wear as you go about your daily business, perhaps consider paying a bit extra to add personal possessions cover to your policy. That way, your valuables will be covered when you’re out and about as well as at home.

Can I insure something for sentimental value?

Insurance will only cover the monetary cost of replacing items, not their sentimental value. If, for example, jewellery handed down to you by your grandma got stolen, you’d only receive a pay-out to replace it. Sadly, you wouldn’t get anything to make up for the emotional distress of losing a family heirloom.

The best way to keep your most precious items secure is by storing them in a robust safe.

Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

Learn more about Anna

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel

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