From jewellery to collectibles, many personal assets are of higher value than the scope of cover home and contents insurance can provide. These assets may range from valuable jewellery like engagement rings and watches, musical instruments, cameras and photography equipment, to wine, coin and art collections.

Obtaining insurance for personal valuables involves meeting certain conditions; otherwise, insurers may decline to provide cover. These are based around

  • valuations
  • security arrangements
  • up-to-date inventory

Here are our six tips for smoothing the way to obtaining insurance protection for valuable personal assets.

1. Get authenticated valuations

Apart from proof of ownership, depending on the item insurers require authenticated valuations from reputable sources, ideally specifying the unique aspects of the item. For most assets, it's important to include photos.

As assets change in value over time, valuations should be updated every year at renewal time.

2. Confirm the security arrangements

Insurers will want proof of the storage and security arrangements you have in place for your valuable items.

For example, a wine collection requires a dedicated controlled temperature environment. Jewellery, when not worn, should be kept in a cash-rated safe — and insurers will want detail about the security around that safe as well.

For artworks and other types of collections, insurers expect a back to base alarm system and commercial-standard smoke alarms installed in the premises where they are kept.

3. Be aware of the need for regulatory compliance

Some owners may choose to make their investment in artworks part of a self-managed superannuation fund and if you're insuring bullion this is mandatory: it can't be covered under a personal insurance policy — a separate policy for the super fund is required by law.

4. Don't overlook expensive electronics

While electronic equipment such as televisions, computers, gaming consoles and audio systems is typically covered by home and contents insurance, some policies may impose limits on coverage amounts, require endorsements or the cover may be conditional on the cause of damage or loss.

5. Notify the insurer if and when anything changes

Jewellery may be gifted to another person, other types of valuables may be sold or traded. Some owners may decide to display an artwork at their place of work or lend an item to a gallery or museum — and of course, you may add to your valuables through new purchases or gifts.

Your insurance will only remain valid if you keep the insurer apprised of any additions or subtractions that apply to the policy.

6. Take on insurer advisement

Owners seeking insurance for valuable items should be open minded and receptive to what sort of security the insurer wants. Most of the difficulties around obtaining cover are due to lack of confidence in the security arrangements in place.

Having back to base security monitoring is an ongoing cost but it does have a silver lining — you will likely pay less for your home insurance.

How Gallagher can help

As a full service brokerage our personal insurance specialists can help you with insurance for your family, home and belongings.

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