How much are your contents worth?
Making sure you have the correct level of home contents insurance is essential. But putting a financial value on all your worldly goods isn’t an easy task.
Making sure you have the correct level of home contents insurance is essential. But putting a financial value on
all your worldly goods isn’t an easy task.
One way to do it is to list everything you own, make a note of the price of each item and then tot up the value. But that’s a mammoth task. If you are asked to list everything, concentrate first on the most expensive items you own, and essentials such as clothes, beds, TVs, sofas and white goods.
Most insurers now offer fixed-sum insured cover of, for example, between £30,000 and £50,000. It’s a rough estimate that’s largely based on the number of bedrooms and type of property you own, so you do need to check that the cover provided is sufficient for your needs. And equally, it pays to check that you’re not over-insuring your prized possessions and paying over the odds.
If you choose a policy that provides fixed-sum insured cover, any particularly valuable items should generally be listed separately. This includes things like artworks and antiques. You should provide a valuation too.
Generally, an insurer will take your word for the overall value of your home contents and only ask for proof of the value (a receipt or certificate of valuation) for particularly valuable items. It varies from insurer to insurer, but high-value items tend to be those with a value more than 30% higher than the sum-insured total.
When buying home contents insurance, among the other things you might want to consider is cover for your personal belongings when they’re taken out of the home. This sort of cover isn’t automatically included, but can be useful when it comes to replacing items that are lost or stolen when you take them away from home with you.
Typically, this includes items such as cameras, ski equipment and golf clubs. You can also buy cover for bikes as an add-on to your policy. You might also want to insure the contents of your garden. Some insurers sell garden furniture and plant cover, but you will need to ask specifically whether this is available.
And don’t forget to consider accidental damage cover. It’s not cheap, but it could come in handy if you have children or are a fan of DIY. If you have pets and want to cover against accidents, check whether pet cover is included though. Some insurers specifically exclude damage caused by unruly pets.
Please note that articles on MSN Money do not constitute regulated financial advice, which recommends a course of action based upon the specifics of your personal circumstances. The articles are intended to provide general personal financial information. We urge you to consult an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) before making any important decisions about your finances. You can search for an IFA in your local area. Any statement regarding financial services products and tax liability is based on legislation and tax practices as at 6 April 2011, which is, of course, subject to change. The value of any tax benefits or reliefs depends upon the individual circumstances of the investor. When investment performance is mentioned you should remember that past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Where products have an underlying investment content, in many cases the value of the investment can fall as well as rise. For with-profit based investments, there is no guarantee as to the level of bonuses that will be declared, if any. Where mortgages or secured loans are explained do remember that your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it. All mortgages are subject to underwriting, status and are not available to people under the age of 18.
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