Wealth checks reveal affluent are underinsured by millions

Millions of UK homeowners could be under-valuing possessions by tens of thousands of pounds, figures out from Norwich Union have revealed.

NU carried out a series of ‘wealth checks’ on their high net-worth customers. An investigation of 100 customers revealed they were underinsured by a total of 8.5m and the average customer underinsured by 85,000.

One wealth check revealed a home owner had undervalued their fine arts and
antiques by a 1.4m.

The wealth checks are offered free to selected customers of NUs Tapestry product. They are carried out by professional independent valuers, Quastel Associates.

Based on the wealth check findings, Norwich Union has compiled a list of top
ten under-insured valuable contents. The top ten under-insured valuable contents are clothing, antiques and Christmas decorations.

A typical high net worth customer would have 125,000 in home contents, half a million pounds-worth of buildings cover plus 50,000 worth of fine art and jewellery. But plenty more people could benefit from this policy as the
current entry level is 75,000 worth of contents or 250,000 buildings
cover.

The wealth checks are offered free to customers when the underwriters
believe theres a strong likelihood of underinsurance or where a valued
customer knows they need professional help to value their contents and their
premium is over 1000.

Nigel Wembridge, NU’s Tapestry underwriting manager says: The wealth checks reveal that the average affluent client is underinsuring their possessions by nearly 70 per cent.

The wealth checks mean that the client can be properly insured for the
correct amount and, in the event of a claim, receive the true value for
their possessions. It also means that Norwich Union is able to price the
policy more expertly knowing exactly what kind of contents they own.

It comes as quite a shock to most people to know that normally fine art and
antiques are priced at least 25% cheaper than general contents and in high
theft areas are often more than 50% cheaper.

John Weallans, chartered arts and antiques surveyor from Quastel Associates,
says: When we walk into a clients house to undertake an insurance wealth check it can sometimes end up like a scene from the Antiques Roadshow. People get quite excited when we reveal the value of some of the finer things they own.’