Keep track of the true value of your contents

You've spent a lot of time, effort and money filling your home with the items that bring you happiness and those that make you, you.  But do you know the true value of each and every item?

Simply guessing how much you should cover your contents for when you apply for insurance usually leaves you wide of the mark and could see you underinsured by as much as 20%.

Pay attention to the details

Gold is a great example of an item that goes through price fluctuation.  In the last 5 years, the price has risen from just over £500 per gram in 2009 to somewhere in the region of £750 today.  Changing on a regular basis, this price can have a big impact on the value of the gold jewellery you might have collected or inherited, and the value you've insured it for.

But it's not just gold and other precious metals.  Keeping an eye on the rise and fall in value of your special and individual items will ensure that you notice whether you're under insured or over insured.  Take time to get expensive individual goods like antiques, paintings and jewellery professionally valued and listed seperately on your insurance.  Particularly with artwork and collectibles, the value can increase annually, so it's worth reassessing if needs be and speaking to your NFU adviser about a policy where the sum insured rises each year.

Where to go for valuations

A quick search online should give you a clear view of the numbers you need to know when it comes to the value of any precious metals you own.  But you'll only be able to gauge the true worth of your art collection, antiques, jewellery, or collectibles and memorabilia by seeking out the advice of the experts.

Auction houses such as Bonhams, Christie's and Sotherby's can provide formal valuations for your items based on retail placement or open market values, however extensive your collection is.  If you have a library of books, then ABE Books has a great list of appraisers who can give you more clarity on the worth of your rare and limited-edition books.  And in terms of jewellery, take a look at the Institute of Registered Valuers to find the expert who can help with any new appraisals for your insurance.

Generally speaking, do your research when it comes to the contents and any high-value items in your home.  The more information you have, the better placed you'll be to cover it in your insurance policy for what it's truly worth.