Valuation for insurance - frequently asked questions

Valuations for Insurance: frequently asked questions

We get asked the question ‘do you do valuations?’ all the time. It’s a simple question – or is it? In truth there are many considerations that, over 75 years (!), we’ve worked out need to be taken account of to provide you a reliable and professional valuations service.

It’s important to us to make sure you get the right information, and that it’s not rushed – rushing can bring on less good advice. Over-valuing items leads to higher premiums for you, under-valuing leads to a potential financial exposure in the unfortunate event of a loss. So our process here at Jacobs for valuing jewellery and watches is ‘tried and tested’.

Our valuations page carries a lot of this information, and indeed dates of Appraisal days, so head over there once you’ve finished this.


So, do you do valuations?

Yes – both to decide if we want to offer to buy items second hand or, in this case, for official purposes like insurance or probate. This page relates to valuations that require formal, researched, and in-depth paperwork only – typically insurance or probate. If you want to know more about us offering to buy your items, click here

Please also note there's a very specific protocol for valuations for divorce - please read this article for more.  

What is an insurance value?

An insurance value is typically the highest value you give an item. Read more here about difference in values. 


Do I need it to be done?

This is determined by your insurance company, not us. Typically insurance has two key figures in your contents policy.

Gross sums insured for jewellery – this is if you added the value of all your jewellery up, what the total cover they provide you is. If you go over it, you should disclose this and potentially buy more cover.

Single item limit  (S.I.L.) – the maximum an item can be before you are required to disclose it to the insurers, possibly incurring an additional premium.

You can read more in this article. 


How do I know if an item is over the Single Item Limit (S.I.L.), of if my items need valuing?

As a preliminary step we will go through your items and knowing your S.I.L. will allow us to break the items into 

1 – well below the S.I.L. no need to value (though you can still ask us to do it). These items can be returned to you and we recommend you photograph and document these items for your records, ideally with a ruler for scale and weights.

2- we’re not sure or close to S.I.L. – we would ask the valuer to tell us and advise you during our appraisal day process

3 – definitely over the S.I.L. and needs doing – self explanatory!


How much does an insurance valuation cost?

It’s £100 for the 1st item, £75 for each item after.

For more than 2 items, we also work on an hourly rate, £200 inc VAT, and we can cover around 4 to 6 items per hour depending on what they are and complexity. There are reduced rates for recently bought items from us, and revaluing. Click here to read these.


How does it work?

There are three parts to valuing, and this also explains why it takes a little time.


A few days before Appraisal day

Checking over items for condition, suggesting repairs,  requesting more info if required, light cleaning if needed, preparing



Appraisal day

Inspecting items, measuring, photographing, documenting



A few days after appraisal day

Researching current values and drafting the report



After this we cross check your items with the report, then contacting you let you know all’s ready.


How long does it take?

 Anticipate the items being with us for 2 weeks to perform all the above, assuming you get the item to us a week before appraisal day. We gather up all valuations into one appraisal day a month where we carry out all the Inspecting in one go. Our schedule is here.


What info do I need to bring along?

Whilst we know many items don't have paperwork or old valuations, we ask for those that do be supplied with them. So package up old receipts, valuation reports, boxes, warranties and anything associated with the items. The aim of a valuation is to be as precise as possible so having provenance and supporting documents is really helpful. Original boxes and papers also sometimes add value to items as well, especially watches. 


What do I get?

A formal written report emailed to you containing all information required for you. Paper copies can be provided for an additional charge. You can see one here.


Do you do while you wait?

Given the above work required, we do not carry out same day valuations.


How often do I need to revalue?

This isn’t something we can answer, your insurers will tell you what they require. We suggest you keep an eye on current affairs and if you notice significant and sustained changes in inflation, exchange rates, gold/ precious metal prices you consider revaluing.


What do I need to do in advance?

Tell us you’re coming in and how many items you have. Book an appointment (here)  to drop off. Fill in our Take On form at home, (here).


What do I need to bring?

All boxes, receipts, certificates and supporting documents. We need these in order to build up a complete picture of the item and evidence the end value. The more paperwork we have the more complete the report. For branded items, notably watches, boxes, papers and so on will enhance the value. We do need to see these first hand.

If, after the report is prepared, you present documentation that materially affects our work, our report is null and void, and a new report at further cost would be incurred.


Is it done on-site? 

In almost all circumstances yes, it’s all done on site. On rare occasions an item may need to go offsite for either repair or gemstone checking/ certification. We will always let you know before hand, and make you aware of any costs incurred as well as explain why we need to do it.


What if I have a query?

Just ask – from time to time clients do ask us questions about how we reached a value, and we’re happy to help.


What’s the standard?

 Our valuations are performed, in our minds, at the very highest standard the UK has – those of the Institute of Registered Valuers, part of the National Association of Jewellers. Read more here.


I’d like a value but may think about selling…

Generally, we’d say it’s a bit of a waste of time paying to value something for insurance if you’re planning to sell it. But it can be necessary (see above ‘Do I need to question’) or you may want to know anyway. This article, click here, tells you about how values differ between insurance and selling


Do you sell or recommend insurance? 

Click here to read about jewellery and watch insurance.


What do I do next?

Head over to valuations page to read more info, dates and fees.

Book appointment to drop off.

Complete the take on form.

Do Contact us if you have any questions.

If you'd like to know more, or would like us to help you with an enquiry, do make contact.

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Article by Adam J

Adam J

Adam's been working at Jacobs since 2003, has a professional jewellers diploma and looks after the business as whole.

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