Are you sitting on a goldmine of inherited possessions?

It’s understood that Brits could have thousands of pounds worth of valuable items in their homes without realising their true worth, according to new research from Zurich.

More than half of the population have inherited things such as antiques and jewellery from family and friends. However, only 40% of these people have had the items professionally valued. This could mean that millions of us have thousands of pounds worth of valuable items in our homes that we’re unaware of.

The research shows that it is those aged between 45 and 54 who are most likely to have these items in their homes. Baby boomers – those aged 55 and upwards – are most likely to have heirlooms among their possessions.

The most commonly inherited items are:

  • Jewellery
  • Antiques (vases, furniture, silverware)
  • Art/paintings
  • War medals
  • Coins/bank notes
  • Old toys
  • Designer/vintage clothing
  • Weapons (knives/swords)
  • Sport memorabilia
  • Shoes


Statistics from the Association of British Insurers (ABI)* show that some 6 million households have no insurance in place to cover their contents. In line with this, the research carried out by Zurich uncovered that 15% of people who have inherited valuables do not have any type of home insurance – and a further 10% only have buildings cover – leaving their possessions uninsured.

At a glance

  • Over half (53%) of Brits have inherited valuable items from friends and family
  • Yet, just 40% of people have had these heirlooms professionally valued
  • Jewellery, antiques and art are the most commonly inherited items

Phil Ost, home insurance expert, Zurich, comments:

It’s all too easy to think the value of your home contents isn’t worth the bother, but it’s important to check that your sums add up. Inherited art, jewellery, and war medals can be incredibly valuable, as can paintings or even old toys. Just think of Antiques Roadshow – getting a professional involved can unearth some unexpected treasures.

Most home or contents insurance policies include single item limit cover which means that higher value items, like antiques, need to be declared individually to be covered by a policy. While many of these possessions also have a sentimental value, having adequate insurance in place can go some way to protecting these items should they go missing or be damaged.

To find out if you are adequately insured, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We can help you assess your home insurance needs and make sure you have the right cover in place.


*ABI – Cost of home contents insurance falls to a record low, yet one in four UK households are uninsured –

Zurich research – all figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2037 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th – 6th November 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


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    Entries close 31 March 2021.


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