It is easy to become complacent with regards to the contents in your home when it comes to insurance. You may see a headline figure of £60,000 contents cover included with the policy you aim to buy for example. And therefore, assume that all of your contents will be automatically covered under this.
Are all items covered by contents insurance?
If you undervalue your items, not everything will be covered. The value of the contents in your home can easily add up. Especially if you have a number of high value items – technology such as laptops, collections of jewellery or watches, antiques or other valuable items.
Equally, many contents insurance policies will set limits for the amount that they will insure single items for. So, whilst you may have a high sum of contents insurance overall, your policy may limit what it will pay out for a single item – this may be as low as couple of thousand of pounds but will vary by policy.
So, it is vital to understand not only the value of your items, but also the cover provided by the policy you are looking to purchase.
How do I know how much my contents are worth?
It is important that you have a good idea of what the contents in your home are worth, and it’s especially important that you know:
- If you have items which are over the single item limit set by your policy
- If you have contents which a standard insurance policy won’t cover
- If, most importantly, your policy offers sufficient cover for your needs
The best way to do this is to itemise your contents. This might feel like a huge task, but follow our top tips to make it all much more manageable.
How should you go about itemising items for home contents insurance?
Here are our top tips for itemising the contents in your home:
Go room by room – the most methodical way to get a good idea of how much the contents in your home are worth is to go through each room in your house, looking at all of your contents and identifying value. And in particular any valuable or high value items. This then feeds into our next point….
Make use of a home contents calculator – home contents calculators, such as that offered by Anthony Jones, aim to help you calculate the values of items within your home. Our home contents calculator steps through each room and provides prompts to help you understand the items which you should be including in your calculation.
Split out items – if you have a collection of items then make sure you look at the value of each of the items which make up your collection as well as the total value of your collection. You must be sure that the highest value item in your collection falls within your single item limit for example.
Keep records – for high value items it is advisable to get regular valuations carried out to ensure you have the most up to date information to feed into your insurance needs. Make sure you keep receipts for items purchased within the last three years. Read our recent blog on how to value jewellery and other personal possessions for insurance.
Inform your insurer – As well as ensuring that the overall limit on your contents insurance policy will cover the value of the contents in your home, you must also inform your insurer about high value items which you store in your home.
If these items are over the single item limit set by your policy this will be vital. If an item exceeds your single item limit then further discussion will be needed with your insurer to understand if they will be able to cover the items, whether you will need to pay extra premium, or if you need to consider a more specialist policy with higher sums insured limits such as a high net worth insurance policy.
What happens if you do not itemise your contents?
The worst case if you do not know the value of your home contents items is that you do not have enough cover to replace all of your items.
If you have items which exceed the single item limit set by your policy, and you have not discussed this with your insurer and itemised them separately on your policy you may not be covered. Your insurer could refuse to pay out for these items. Or they may not pay out the full value of what your item is worth, keeping instead to the sum insured limits.
Equally, this may also be the case if you have items in your home which your policy does not cover. Some standard contents policies simply won’t cover high value items such as artwork or classic cars.
This is why it is vital to itemise the high value items in your home and have a full understanding of what you own and the value of these contents.
If you have a large number of high value items, collections or specialist items in your home, you may be best placed to work with an insurance broker, such as Anthony Jones, to get the right insurance for your needs, This may be a high net worth insurance policy which will typically insure a greater variety of items with higher sum insured levels. Chat to Anthony Jones today if you have any questions about getting adequate insurance for the contents in your home.