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Home Insurance

Guide to home insurance for high-value items

Ensure your prized possessions are protected with high-value item cover

Protect your high-value belongings

If you keep your prized possessions in your house, you’ll want to protect them with the right home insurance with high-value jewellery and valuables cover. Even if they’re hidden or locked away, there’s no guarantee your most expensive belongings won’t fall into the wrong hands.

Find out how our home insurance options can help safeguard your valuables against theft, loss and damage.

What is a valuable?

When insurers talk about ‘valuables’, they’re generally talking about things like:

  • Works of art
  • Rings, earrings and other jewellery
  • Stamp, coin and medal collections
  • Gold, silver or other precious metals

Most high-cost items that would be pricey to replace are considered valuables. Whether a valuable is purchased or inherited, it’s important to factor its worth into your home insurance.

After all, if you lose a possession of great financial value, the last thing you want to learn is that it wasn’t covered by your policy.

Does home insurance cover valuables as standard?

With Sainsbury’s Bank home contents insurance, your precious items are covered if someone breaks in or forces their way into your home and steals them.

When it comes to items with sentimental value, their worth extends far beyond the purchase price. You may have a wedding ring you wear every day or own pieces that were passed down through your family. Although losing these items can be upsetting, you can mitigate against unexpected replacement costs by investing in high-value home contents insurance.

Check out our policy documents for full details of the valuables covered by our different home insurance options.

What is a single item limit?

Home insurance policies usually have a limit on ‘single valuable items’ (that is, the maximum amount that can be paid out for one item). But it’s important to make sure you’re fully covered for any high-value possessions you own.

So, when you apply for a home insurance quote, you can specify items with values greater than the limit for a 'single valuable article' and increase the amount of cover. Doing this means you won’t have to worry about making up the difference should an expensive item be lost or damaged.

 Our home contents insurance covers you for:

  • Specified and unspecified valuables up to £25,000
  • Single possessions up to £2,000

Specified valuable items are possessions you’ve told the provider you own and want to insure under your home contents insurance. When moving ahead with a new policy or renewing your cover, consider whether you have any items that are worth over £2,000.

If a valuable item gets stored out of sight in a shed or garage, it’s easy to forget about including it in your policy. However, there’s no avoiding the frustration that comes with losing something and realising it wasn’t covered. Whenever you purchase or are gifted a valuable item, we recommend getting a valuation and including it in your home insurance policy immediately. This way, the item is protected as soon as possible and you’ll avoid a ‘kick yourself’ moment if it goes missing.

How can I find out the value of an item?

Your TV and laptop are easy to value, as similar or updated models can be found in-store and online. However, items such as pieces of art or family heirlooms can be harder to assign a monetary value. It’s essential to have belongings like these fully covered by your contents insurance, so you should consider getting a valuation from a specialist.

The National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers (NAVA) can help you find a qualified professional in your area, so you can avoid the guesswork.

It should be noted that some items, like antiques or expensive collectables, could increase in value over time. Consider getting them appraised every couple of years, so you have the latest values to update your policy. 

Remember to check your sum insured each year and tell your provider about any new items you’ve bought. This also goes for any valuables you or a member of your family inherits or is gifted.

With Sainsbury’s Bank, your possessions are covered on a ‘new for old’ basis. If something is lost or damaged as a result of an insured event, we endeavour to replace the item as new. Make sure an item’s value is based on what it would cost to replace it as new, even if you bought it in used condition.

Check out our guide to valuing your contents for tips on finding valuables, jewellery and works of art.

High-value home and contents insurance for special occasions

Hosting a party or special event this year? Nobody wants to worry about the safety of their valuables when it’s time to celebrate. To account for any gifts you receive, as well as items bought for an occasion, we’ll offer an additional £7,500 of contents protection.

You can increase your cover for special events up to six times during the period of your policy, for no additional cost. You’ll receive extra special events cover during:

  • The month of your religious festival
  • 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after the day of your weddings, civil partnerships, religious festivals, birthdays, anniversaries and any other type of celebration
  • 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child within your family

What’s not covered?

We make every effort to ensure your valuables are protected against a range of unexpected occurrences, but there are a few things we don’t cover. This includes loss or damage:

  • Caused by scratching, denting, ageing and general wear and tear
  • While your home is unoccupied for over 60 days
  • Caused by theft from unattended vehicles

You’re also not protected if someone lied to you so they could steal a valuable (also known as theft or loss through deception) - unless they got into your home through deceptive means.

Limits, excesses and exclusions apply, for more information about our home cover, please take a look at our policy documents.

Additional cover outside the home

There are some valuables that routinely make it outside of your home, such as watches or engagement rings. By adding our optional personal possessions cover to your insurance policy, expensive items will receive protection wherever you go, from your commute to trips abroad.

How to keep your valuables safe

It’s worth taking these steps to help safeguard your possessions.

  • Make sure you have up-to-date pictures of any valuable items you own
  • Photograph any identifiable features on the item, such as scuffs or scratches
  • Use an ultraviolet pen to mark items with a unique identifier
  • Lock valuables away in a safe with a unique code, so you can keep tabs on who has access
  • Hide valuables in creative spots that a burglar might not find – but make sure they’ll be memorable to you
  • Consider adding surveillance cameras or alarms, especially if you’re away from home quite often

Looking for more helpful ideas on how to secure valuables in your home? Have a read of our latest guide to home security.

What do you need to make a claim?

If a treasured item is suddenly damaged, we want to make recovering your loss as easy as possible. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can help you. So call our 24-hour claims line immediately about any event that may lead to a claim under your policy, even if you’re not sure to make one. We suggest having your policy number and details of the incident at hand, and if you intend to make a claim, the insurer will:

  • Register the claim
  • Provide you with a unique claims number
  • Explain the full process, including confirming the items included in your cover
  • Organise what happens next, including arranging a repair or replacement

Get home insurance with a high single item limit

Whether their value is financial, sentimental or both, your possessions mean a lot to you and deserve proper protection. From covering one-of-a-kind jewellery to family heirlooms, our insurance options help to ease the burden of losing items that are dear to you.

Got a question?

Take a look at the frequently asked questions on our home insurance.

Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance is arranged and administered by Sainsbury’s Bank and is underwritten by a carefully selected range of insurers. When you get a quote we will tell you who the insurer is before you buy the policy.