If you have recently inherited paintings or antiques, it is important that you arrange a professional valuation, to ensure that they are fully insured for their current market value. If they are extremely valuable you will also need to consider a specialist high value home insurance policy, as a standard home contents insurance policy is unlikely to provide adequate protection.
It is not uncommon to be under insured for items you have inherited from your family
It is not uncommon for policy holders to be under insured for these types of items, simply because they have no idea of their true value. A friend of mine recently realised that a number of paintings, inherited from her grandmother and proudly displayed in her dining room, were worth a small fortune and were totally under insured.
Several years ago her grandmother had decided to pass along some of her antiques and paintings to her family. My friend was thrilled to be offered three particular paintings that she had always admired and was clearly touched by her grandmothers generosity. She had no idea what they were worth, but knew that the sentimental value made them priceless. She immediately arranged to have them covered by her standard home contents insurance policy, in case anything were to happen to them, such as a fire or if they were stolen. When the insurer asked her what she thought they were worth, she said £250 a painting. Although she knew that they were old, she had not considered that it would be worth having them professionally valued, or insured under a specialist high value home insurance or fine art insurance policy.
It is important that inherited paintings and antiques are professionally valued
One evening at a dinner party, being held at her home, a friend was amazed to see these paintings, by such a well known artist, hanging on her dining room wall. He explained that the artist was very well known, back in the day when her grandmother was young and after he had died, how everyone was now searching for his work.
My friend subsequently researched the artist and was amazed to find what she actually had hanging on her walls! It turned out the paintings were worth substantially more than what she had insured them for and needed to be insured under a more specialist high value home insurance or fine art insurance policy.
Choose a specialist high value home insurance policy or fine art insurance policy
When you inherit something from your family or friends, try to get some background information or history on the item. You should then arrange for a professional valuation, to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of under insurance. If you are lucky enough to have inherited something of immense value, you should ensure that it is fully insured under a specialist high value home insurance or fine art insurance policy.