Looking after the family jewels
Many people with high-value homes have inadequate insurance, writes
Wednesday 07 February 1996
Adam Golder, of RK Harrison Insurance Brokers, says: "Dukes and duchesses aside, 90 per cent of people with high-value homes have probably got inappropriate cover. This is especially likely in the mid-wealthy range of, say, pounds 300,000 to pounds 700,000 worth of valuables. Even those with houses and collections in the millions can make huge savings by being better advised."
Nick Harvey of Gauntlet Heritage, another firm that specialises in stately homes and art collections, says: "The service the specialist brokers provide is nothing more intrinsically complicated than showing people how to cover their own particular risks properly. Although a succession of well-known companies have leapt into the 'high net worth' market, many of them have a flawed understanding of what is involved.
"For example, people may assume that a valuable painting is a higher risk than, say, a television set. But the truth is that most burglaries are for petty items. Statistics will show you that, pound for pound, a television or a video is much more likely to 'walk' than an Old Master. It will come as a surprise to some people that the correct charge rate for fine art inside a London house is only around a third to a half that of general contents. However, you need to find the specialist insurers that offer the rate, or you could waste an awful lot of unnecessary money elsewhere."
To emphasise the point, Mr Harvey quoted the case of a woman in a smart Chelsea flat containing several million pounds worth of assorted works of art. "It was gratifying to be able to reduce her costs by well over 50 per cent," he says. "It is all because the specialists categorise different assets in different ways rather than lumping them all together at a 'standard' rate."
Seeking out specialist insurers direct can be quite time-consuming, but the specialist broker will cut a lot of the red tape by being able to assess exactly what is required on the client's behalf. If word of mouth does not suggest a suitable broker's name, auction houses such as Sotheby's or Christie's can usually provide recommendations. While premium savings are very welcome, promptness of payout after a theft - or other disaster, such as a flood or fire - is important, too.
RK Harrison's Mr Golder says: "On 5 November last year [the highest risk individual day of the year for burglary, by the way] the Earl of Pembroke had a famous painting, Rembrandt's Mother, stolen from Wilton House. I dare say he was none too pleased at that, but because we had set up his cover through the right company and in the right way, he had a very substantial cheque in his hands in seven days."
Although quotations will always need to be on an individual basis, the following gives some guidelines.
The quotation for a house in London SW3 (Chelsea/Knightsbridge) worth pounds 1,000,000, with contents valued at pounds 300,000 - of which pounds 200,000 is antiques, furniture, jewellery and so on - would be pounds 5,677 - including pounds 50 excess - with a well-known composite insurer. The premium quoted by a specialist insurer identified by broker - no excess - would be pounds 2,920.
Gauntlet Heritage can be contacted on 0171-490 4163, and RK Harrison on 0171-423 4400.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Nelson Mandela life story: An unconquerable spirit
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 Video: Students 'punched and dragged to the ground by their hair' as police break up demonstration
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £65000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Market Data SM...
£50000 - £70000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£70000 - £85000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: An award win...
Day In a Page
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden
A top-floor one-bedroom flat in the heart of Pimlico with a terrace providing spectacular views over London, £495,000.