There was an article in the Mail yesterday about an unfortunate lady whose jewellery had been stolen. Her insurer would not pay out because she didn’t have receipts or photographs of the family heirlooms taken by the burglars.
It seems mean but you have to look at it from the insurer’s point of view. I could quite easily claim to have lost a £3 million tiara studded with rubies. However, it would be a complete lie as these Venetian glass rings worth six euros apiece (if you can see past the wrinkles and liver spots in the photo above) are my more usual look. Sadly, proof of ownership is required.
What the Mail neglected to point out was that it is well worth getting valuations, as well as photographs, for your valuables. This will stop the insurer in its tracks if it tries to quibble on price, if you should be unlucky enough to lose your engagement ring, for example. You might also be surprised at how your items have crept up in worth over the years, although the price you can get for second-hand jewellery is never the same as the valuation.
Valuation, however costs – rather a lot, I thought. I’ve been planning to get a particular necklace valued for about five years but I’ve been put off by the fee. Most high-street jewellers seem to charge 1% of the final valuation plus VAT, with a minimum set at about £50. That seems a lot to me for a quick squizz and a finger in the wind – “yes, about £5,000 I would say”.
I wondered today, for the first time, if there was an internet solution. How stupid am I? Of course there is. I am particularly drawn to Value My Stuff, set up in 2009 by ex-Sotheby’s valuers on a loan from TV’s Dragon’s Den. You email photos and they send back a certificate. All for £15 – it looks good to me. I’m off to take snaps and will report back!