Brits failing to insure their hidden treasures

11th March 2016


Millions of Britons are underestimating the value of their possessions and failing to put antique and vintage items on their insurance.


Research by Direct Line shows two in five own antique and vintage items by 41% have not listed them on their home insurance. Another 44% admit they struggle to estimate the value of their possession and 46% don’t keep receipts for major purchases and just 15% photograph their large ticket items.


The report suggests that many households could be harbouring more valuable items than they realise and one fifth said they have items they suspect of being worth a fortune but have never bothered to have the items valued. While two in five own vintage items, half of people do not know what they are worth.


Another 41% said their vintage items and antiques are not accounted for in their home insurance.


There is a lackadaisical attitude to the value of the contents of their homes by many homeowners and a third have never even thought about the value of their possession.


For eight million people (16%) it may be too little too late to value items as these people only realised they were underinsured after a fire, flood, or theft.


Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line Home Insurance, said: ‘We urge people to regularly value their contents and make sure they are comprehensively insured on a policy that protects the full value of their prized possessions. For many the impact of under-insurance is only realised when it’s too late, but this is preventable.


‘When purchasing expensive items – whether it is a TV or a piece of jewellery – we would always advise people to keep a receipt. Regularly photographing the contents of your home is also an easy way to help keep a visual inventory.’


Another 16% of people have also given away high value items to friends and charity shops, only realising the value when it was too late.


Antiques expert Drew Pritchard said: ‘We are currently seeing a resurgence in traditional English antiques that are usually passed down through the generations. It is important to thoroughly inspect your antique, keeping a close eye on any manufactures marks or imprints as this could make all the difference. When speaking with your insurer, you must enclose every little bit of detail to make sure your piece is correctly valued and you do not run the risk of being underinsured.’






The top 10 vintage and antique items owned by Britons are:


1. Jewellery

2. Vinyl

3. Ornament

4. Picture

5. Vintage toys

6. First edition books

7. Sports memorabilia

8. Vase

9. Pop memborabilia

10. Table


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