Auctions, antiques fairs, Bargain Hunt and the Antiques Roadshow are all proof of how much we love antiques; but antiques at a bargain price. Throughout history people have wanted reminders of bygone eras, beautiful craftsmanship, style and a tangible way to invest money. At first, because of the costs involved, the purchase of antiques was limited to the Aristocracy. Now however, everyone can get in on the action.
More people now hunt around in their attics, great Aunty Eileen’s cellar and Granddad Simpson’s shed, hoping to find something of personal significance but usually more importantly, great value.
You may have glimpsed a scene of an elderly couple being told their vase is worth £10,000 on the Antiques Roadshow – this kind of shock revelation has certain implications when it comes to insurance.
Most home contents insurance policies will cover you for most of your ‘antiques’ depending, of course, on their value. Kwik Fit Insurance for example has a maximum £100,000 worth of cover for contents insurance and items that are worth over £1,500 need to be named individually on the policy*.
This is pretty common practice and it is absolutely imperative you keep up to date with the value of any ‘valuables’. Most of the time your insurance will pay out current market value on your goods, so as long as you have proof of purchase, making a claim for a broken microwave or a damaged home entertainment system is pretty straight forward.
However, if you have a particularly special piece of furniture such as an antique dressing table for example, you will need to know the current worth of the item and this needs to be ascertained by a reputable antiques dealer. Furthermore, unlike common household goods, antiques increase in value as they get older, so the cash worth of the dresser or whatever the item may be, needs to be checked regularly.
Unless your home is more like a museum than a standard three-bed semi, antiques insurance is an unnecessary expense and normal home contents insurance should be quite adequate. However, as these antiques can’t be replaced on a new for old basis, seeing as they are already ‘old’, you have to take extra special care of protecting them yourself if, in the event of an accident, you want any more than just cash for what they are worth.
*Visit the Kwik Fit Insurance site for more information on their contents insurance
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