Insurers need to tighten their procedures when valuing high net worth (HNW) customers' valuables, said new Cunningham Lindsey HNW valuations manager Paul Britton.

He joined the loss adjuster this week from auction house Bonhams to head up its HNW and fine art specialist team, working closely with Paul Hodgson, the firm's Lloyd's division director.

"The key area for insurers that are redefining their HNW business is more

accurate valuations.

"These should be updated with the insured every three to five years, but many are accepted in good faith on information supplied by the client.

"This has led to many claims that have uncertainties surrounding the value of the object insured," he said.

Britton plans to introduce a laptop and PC-based valuation enquiry template for field adjusters. It will be an in-house product to log as much accurate data on the insured items as possible.

"It will have information on the age and size of the object, materials used. More importantly, it will log any distinguishing marks or features which would help the authorities identify the item if stolen."

This would also help to eliminate fraudulent claims, he said.

The system could be used by the Art Loss Register and regional police divisions which specialise in recovering stolen valuables.

"We will be working closely with these agencies," he said.