Watching TV shows like Flog It! And The Antiques Road Show are good indicators that many over 50s have no idea what some of their valuables are worth as presenters surprise them with big ticket prices time and again.
Now, research by insurance firm Saga says many over 50s may tune in to see other people’s antiques and collectibles valued, but often fail to heed the advice to take their own belongings to an expert to be priced up.
The firm reckons as more than two-thirds of over 50s could be under insuring their valuables.
The most common collections are books, art and music.
As some collections were inherited or started many years ago, values have sometimes soared and many over 50s are unwittingly sitting on undisclosed fortunes.
To test the theory, researchers asked 10,000 over 50s their valuations for a number of collectibles, like furniture, jewellery, music and sports memorabilia.
On average, they put the wrong figure on four out of every seven items, and in most cases, the figure was far too low.
The study also revealed the over 50s failed to put the right price on an average one in seven items; many had multiple collections they had put together over the years.
Londoners were the keenest collectors, while those from Yorkshire and the North East are much less likely to have caught the collecting bug.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, said: “While few will have that undiscovered masterpiece, it is wise to have your collections valued regularly so that if the worst happens, then your insurance can help cover the cost of replacing your treasures.”
Insurers generally value collections by item rather than by number – so a collection of rock or sports memorabilia would have individual price tags rather than an overall figure.
Most policies also require items over a certain value to be ‘named’ on the policy. This rule differs between insurers, but generally starts with items valued at £500 or more.
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