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Insurance Value vs. Market Value: Everything You Need to Know Before Selling to Us

Many of our clients rely on insurance valuations to determine the value of their items. However, it’s essential to recognise that these valuations may not always accurately reflect the selling price in the market. Without knowing the value of your items, you may be disappointed at the selling price when the time comes to sell your possessions. 

When you come to us for a valuation, we will determine what your item is truly worth. We can provide you with a fair market value, otherwise known as a market valuation. In this guide, we’ll help you understand the key differences between insurance valuations and market valuations. We’ll also explain why it’s important to consider these when selling valuable items.

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What is an Insurance Valuation?

An insurance valuation serves as an estimate of the monetary value required to replace an item in the event of loss, damage, or theft. It helps to ensure that you receive fair compensation from your provider so that you can replace the item with a new version. This assessment considers various factors, including the item’s original purchase price, the quality of materials used, and the craftsmanship involved in its creation.

By determining the replacement cost through an insurance valuation, you can secure adequate coverage to protect your valuable possessions against unforeseen circumstances.

We’ve provided the typical formula for determining the stand-alone insurance value of jewellery here as an example of how it might be calculated:

Value of jewellery x 1.5% (base rate) x 1.12 (IPT at 12%) + 25 = estimate cost for 12 months cover.

What is a Market Valuation?

A market valuation represents the price at which a buyer and seller would voluntarily agree to exchange an item within an unrestricted market environment. Unlike insurance valuations, which focus on replacement costs, market valuations consider factors such as supply and demand dynamics, prevailing market trends, the item’s condition, and its overall desirability.

The primary objective of a market valuation is to establish the actual selling price of an item under prevailing market conditions. This valuation method provides a realistic assessment of an item’s worth based on its marketability, ensuring that sellers receive fair compensation reflective of current market dynamics.

The best and most effective way to determine the market value of an item is to get it valued by an expert. They will use their judgement and experience to provide an estimate. When selling jewellery, for instance, they may look at factors such as:

  • Metals used (if it’s gold, silver, platinum, etc.)
  • Precious or semiprecious stones used (diamonds, rubies, etc.)
  • Age
  • Condition (if it’s broken, scratched, or otherwise damaged)
  • Design or style (some designs are more popular than others with collectors)
  • Brand names (prestigious names tend to fetch higher prices)

Insurance Valuation and Market Valuation: The Key Differences

The key differences between insurance valuation and market valuation can be summarised succinctly in three parts:


Insurance valuations aim to determine the replacement value of an item for insurance coverage. Market valuations, meanwhile, focus on establishing the actual selling price of an item in the current market conditions – regardless of insurance.

Factors Considered

Insurance values are primarily determined by the cost of replacing the item with a similar or identical one. Market valuations, however, take into account factors affecting the item’s saleability and demand, such as market trends, condition, and desirability.


Insurance valuations may not reflect real-time market conditions and can be based on historical data. This differs from market valuations, which are only based on current market dynamics and reflect the prevailing demand and supply at the time of valuation. This fluctuates, meaning something which may be worth a significant amount at one time may be less at another.

Why Market Valuations Matter When Selling Items

There are several important reasons why market valuation matters when you’re looking to sell items:

Realistic Expectations

Understanding the market value of your items allows you to set realistic expectations for the selling price. It helps you avoid disappointment by providing a clear understanding of what buyers are willing to pay in the current market.

Pricing Strategy

Market valuations serve as a crucial guide for developing effective pricing strategies. By aligning your asking price with the current market value, you can ensure that your items are competitively priced and appeal to potential buyers. This strategic approach enhances the likelihood of a successful sale.

Maximising Returns

Accurate market valuations enable you to maximise returns on your items. By pricing them appropriately based on current market trends and demand, you can optimise the selling price and achieve the best possible outcome. This proactive approach helps you capitalise on market opportunities and secure favourable returns on your investments.

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How Burlingtons Ltd. Can Help

Burlingtons Ltd’s service is designed to help you achieve the fairest possible price for any high-value item sold. We do this by offering:

Professional Market Valuations

Our expert specialises in providing professional market valuations tailored to your specific items. By analysing current market trends and demand, we offer accurate assessments of your items’ true value in the marketplace.

Transparent Guidance

We believe in transparency and honesty throughout the valuation process. Our experienced specialist provides clear and straightforward guidance, helping you understand the factors that influence your items’ market value. We ensure that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about selling your valuable items.

A Full Selling Price

Whatever amount we quote to you, will be the amount that is transferred into your bank account when you agree to the sale. There are no hidden costs or fees in our service, unlike those you may find when working at auction. This leaves you with one hundred per cent of the market value of the sold item.

Contact Us to Sell Items for Fair Market Prices

Don’t let misconceptions about valuation methods impact your selling journey. By working with us, you’ll receive accurate market valuations and expert guidance every step of the way. As a result, you’ll always get the chance to sell your items for what they are truly worth. 

Ensuring you spend as little as possible in the meantime, all valuations are also conducted for free, in the security of your own home – no matter where you are in the UK. To find out more or to get started, contact us about your item and book a valuation easily today. We’ll be glad to explain further and help you turn your assets into their monetary equivalent.

June 6, 2024

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