In our previous blog, we discussed the benefits of having your building contents surveyed professionally to determine its insurance value and to provide proof of ownership. In this blog, we will explain the survey and valuation procedure.
How do we define 'contents'?
Can an oven or air conditioner be considered 'content'?
The answer can be found in the following test: In your mind, turn your house upside down; everything that falls out is regarded as contents or moveable assets. Therefore, anything fastened to the floors, walls or ceilings - such as a built-in oven or air conditioning unit – is not covered by contents insurance but by the buildings policy.
Photographs are necessary
When taking stock of movable assets, we methodically work our way through each room, documenting and photographing each and every item. Photographing the contents is a necessity as it serves as proof of ownership in the event of a claim. Moreover, also minimises the time spent on the client's premises and serves as a vital reference for our research on the replacement values.
We respect our clients' privacy
We will never open any cupboards, drawers or boxes. An average percentage is applied in valuing items such as clothing, bed linen, crockery and cutlery. For this reason, we normally request that any high-value items get pointed out to us if it is stored out of sight.
The client will be required to present us with a valuation certificate for all jewellery, paintings, artwork, antiques, collections and other valuables. The appraisal of such assets should only be done by a specialist in the relevant field.
Items of high value must be physically inspected and assessed; no one appraiser can claim to be an expert in all fields alike. Jewellery always must be handled exclusively by the client.
Also, we will request the client to provide an estimated value for all the curtains in the house.
Safekeeping of documents
Once the survey is completed, all photographs and documents will be kept in an electronic safe and will not be made available to any third parties without the client's written consent.
In valuing the contents, most asset management specialists will consult annual guide books to estimate the value of an item or similar item. To achieve a higher degree of accuracy, we (Mirfin) research the open market for the replacement cost of each exact item or its successor. In the case of unique items where we are unable to source a price, we will agree with the insured on a suitable value.
The duration of the actual survey depends on the scope of assets to be recorded but usually takes about 2 - 3 hours for an average household. The subsequent survey report will be completed within 10 - 15 working days from the survey date.
Get a quote for a contents valuation here
(You will find ‘Contents Valuation’ under ‘Insurance Valuation’).
Another Mirfin blog you may enjoy reading: Market value and replacement cost - not the same thing!