Be careful who you ask to value your jewellery — overstated valuations can lead to all sorts of insurance problems. The irony of the FNB safety deposit box heists a year ago is that those who lost precious jewellery — some of it passed down through generations — had handed it over to their bank for safekeeping because they couldn't afford to insure it. When they lost it all, the bank pointed out that the contract they signed advised them to insure the valuables they placed in those boxes, and that the bank was not liable for any losses. But what if the jewellery valuations those clients obtained were overstated, leading to the "unaffordable" premiums, and thus their decision to go the safety-deposit route? Shital Naik of independent jewellery appraisers Central Diamond Administrations, which had dealings with many of the heist victims, says inaccurate valuations are rife. "Our case studies have shown that many jewellers are underqualified to give valuations, and overstate valuations...

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