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The Dos and Donts of Antique Valuations

Highworth insurance specialists look at the do's and don'ts of antique valuations[intro]Getting antiques valued can be something of a minefield. If you think you’ve found a priceless artefact and are chasing the Antiques Road Show experience, there are plenty of companies online happy to help. Similarly there is no shortage of businesses specialising in house clearance who offer a ‘valuation’ service as a sideline. This is all well and good, but what if you’re simply a collector or someone who happens to like nice things and you require a genuine valuation for insurance purposes? Below are a few Dos and Donts of antique valuations to keep in mind for just such a situation. [/intro]


  • Choose a reputable valuer. A good place to start is a trusted auctioneer. Although there is no single accepted qualification, you can look for membership and accreditations from the following: FRICS (Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) or ASFAAV (Associate of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers).
  • Make your valuer aware of the purpose of the valuation; is it for insurance purposes, possible sale, probate, succession, divorce or family division?
  • Expect to pay a percentage fee or an hourly rate plus VAT and reasonable expenses. Discuss this with your valuer beforehand.
  • Keep your valuation safe once you have it, particularly for insurance purposes should the worst happen. It’s also a good idea to keep a digital copy and email it to a machine not on the same premises as your antiques, in case of fire.
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  • Expect one valuer to be able to cover everything. Be aware that items such as jewellery and fine art may require specialist valuations.
  • Just accept someone’s word for it. A true valuation should include a detailed description, measurements, replacement values and most importantly, digital images.
  • Forget the finer details. These are especially pertinent for insurance purposes in the event of theft or loss. Make of note of any distinctive marks, details of restoration or damage.
  • Forget to act on the valuation and ensure that you have the correct level of antiques insurance cover. Pay particular attention to limitations for single articles. Many standard contents policies only cover pieces worth up to £1,000. If you have a significant collection of antiques, art and valuables it may be worth looking into a higher value home policy. Highworth Insurance can provide hassle-free cover online for pieces worth up to £15,000 without the need to specify individual items.