Do you know how much your home contents are worth?
If you are buying your new home with a mortgage, buildings insurance will be an essential condition of securing the mortgage agreement, but in order to ensure all your possessions are fully protected, you will also need to take out home contents insurance. For renters, your landlord will insure the building, but you will still need to protect all your own possessions inside the home.
If you think contents insurance isn’t worth having, maybe because you don’t think you own anything of high enough value, try this test: Imagine your home is a box that can be tipped upside down. Everything that would fall out, including electrical items such as televisions, computer equipment, furniture and home appliances, toys, books, games, clothing, jewellery and shoes are your contents. Could you afford to purchase all that again if your home caught fire or was flooded? For most people the answer would be no, but how do you work out how much it all costs to give an accurate figure to your insurer? If you underestimate how much your home contents are worth you might be disappointed when you come to make a claim. And what if your figure is too high? You could end up paying more than you need to in monthly premiums.
There are some simple steps you can take to help you work it all out and stay covered for the right amount:
- Write an inventory of all the things you own in each room. Don’t forget to include items in sheds, garages and lofts as well as outside in the garden.
- Write down how much each item would cost to replace – if you are not sure use online shopping sites to help you.
- Consider whether any of your items are carried outside the home, such as laptops, jewellery, handbags or designer sunglasses. If there are contents outside the home it may be a good idea to ensure items are fully protected.
- You may also want to consider accidental damage cover too, particularly if you have small children that are prone to spilling on carpets or like crayoning where they shouldn’t.
- Use an online guide to help you go through each room and log the value of your possessions to ensure you are fully covered.
- When purchasing big ticket items such as jewellery or computer equipment, it is a good idea to keep the receipts in case you ever need to make a claim for these. Really expensive purchases may need to be itemised on the policy, so check the terms and conditions or call your insurance provider if you are unsure.
- Photographs of expensive items can also help your insurer if you ever needed to make a claim.
- If you own any expensive family heirlooms, antique jewellery or artwork, these will need to be valued regularly to ensure you have got them covered for the right amount as values can change over time. Have them valued every two years and keep the valuation certificate in case you ever need to claim.
We hope you find this guide useful. For more advice on buying, moving or renting your home, why not call us for a chat? We’d love to hear from you.