How to appoint the right valuer to value your estates and belongings


If you own a property that is worth a lot of money, it goes without saying that you’ll want to protect it. If you also own fine art, or jewellery that you know is of particularly high value, you’ll want insurance that covers those possessions, too. However, even though high-value estates and belongings are crying out for the right insurance cover, homeowners often struggle to find the high net worth home insurance they need.
You don’t have to be a billionaire or have a Van Gogh painting hanging on your wall to need high net worth home insurance. The value of property can rise significantly over time so a home bought 20 years ago may require high net worth home insurance today.
Is it time you checked your insurance and appointed someone who can accurately value your estates and belongings? Read on to find out more…

What is considered high value property or items?

Checking your home’s current value with online calculators will give you a ballpark figure of its worth, but that does not give you an accurate valuation. Nor does it take into account the contents of your home.
If you own expensive jewellery, fine art, or collectibles that are worth more than £100,000, you may find a standard home insurance policy does not give you sufficient cover. If you get your estate and belongings valued and find they are worth more than you thought, you’ll need to look into high net worth home insurance.

Why appoint a valuer?

A common trap many homeowners fall into is they use the purchase price, rather than the rebuild price, when looking to insure their estate.
For example, if you have insured your high value mansion for 60% of its rebuild value, then the insurer is only obliged to pay 60% of the value of the claim. That 60% stands for small claims, such as a damaged internal wall, as well as much larger claims, for example, where a significant portion of the building has been destroyed.
When it comes to insuring possessions, even if a home insurance policy pays out on contents up to £150,000, the small print may stipulate that the insurer will only pay up to £2,000 on a single item. Any items worth more than that – antique watches or rings, for example – and the insurer will only pay £2,000 in all.
By appointing an experienced valuer, you can be certain that your estate and its contents are not under-valued and you do not find yourself out of pocket should you need to make a claim.

How to choose a reliable valuer for your property

When selecting someone to value your property and its contents, you want a valuer you can trust. This is true however much your home and possessions are worth – but when you know you own a number of high-value items, you’ll want to be absolutely certain you are appointing the right person.
Here are some tips to help you choose a reliable valuer for your estate.
·        Do your homework: Do some research into the company profile. For example, how many valuers they employ, how experienced they are, their quality assurance processes, and the valuation systems they use.
·        Ask around: Carry out reference checks with different insurers.
·        Check the valuers’ insurance: Make sure the valuation firm has adequate professional indemnity insurance and that there are no restrictive conditions that could void the policy.
·        Look into their credentials: Make sure the valuer is fully qualified and registered, and is a member of an industry body.
·        Request a preview: Ask to see a sample property valuation report to make sure it meets your requirements and gives sufficient information. Things to note include whether the report is easy to read, clearly highlights any issues, and complies with industry standards.
·        Look beyond fees: Never appoint a valuer based on cost alone. When you’re dealing with high-value estates and their contents, quality and reliability must always take priority.
·        Do a background check on the company directors: Carry out some checks to make sure the company directors are not former directors of liquidated property valuation firms.
·        Stay in touch: Maintain regular contact with the valuers so you can provide them with feedback and they can keep you up to date with market conditions.

How does a valuer value a property and its contents?

There are certain things a valuer will look for during the valuation process of an estate – and they are not that dissimilar to the things you would have looked for when buying it.
The valuer will assess both the land and the property. Factors considered on the land include topography, location, size, and its potential for development. The assessment of the property will include an internal and external inspection during which the valuer will take into consideration the size of the building, condition, fittings, age, fixtures, layout and design.

Other factors include ease of vehicle access, garages and outbuildings.
When it comes to valuing possessions, you can choose whether or not you want a home visit. If you have a lot of high value items and/or they are difficult to transport, paying an expert to come to your home and value those items makes perfect sense.

It also opens up the possibility of you having your very own ‘Antiques Roadshow’ moment, in which the valuer spots an item of interest which then turns out to be worth a lot more than you’d first imagined.
If you only have a few high-value items you want valued, you may not need to arrange a home visit. Increasingly, valuers are able to offer valuations by email and more often than not are able to provide a valuation based on a photograph.

Valuing and insuring your estate and belongings

If you own a high-value estate, with contents worth more than £100,000, you may find you struggle to find the high net worth home insurance cover for your home that it deserves.
At Insurance Choice, we offer a specialist service for our high net worth business and private clients, providing bespoke insurance solutions tailored to your own personal risk exposure.
By choosing Insurance Choice to arrange your high net worth home insurance, you will benefit from a dedicated portfolio manager, a specialist team, personal appointments and an efficient claims process.
Get in touch with the team today to find out more.