Almost half of Londoners do not have home contents insurance, but with ABI’s Premium Tracker suggesting policy prices are falling, we take a look at how you can make sure you’re properly covered.
Here are 5 considerations to make your home insurance work better for you
1. Is ‘Unlimited’ cover right for you?
It might seem like the easiest option when choosing your home insurance, but unlimited buildings and contents cover can leave you exposed. Although it’s hard to calculate the value of your possessions and rebuild costs, it’s worth taking time to do this.
As you will only be able to claim for rebuild costs if something happens to your home, and only be able to claim for the true value of your belongings, unlimited cover might end up being a costly way to protect yourself.
2. Are you covered when you are away from home?
Think about all your valuables that you take away from your house. This could be laptops, bicycles, or wedding rings, for example. Even just a trip to the shops could end with you losing something. To be fully covered for your treasured possessions, it’s good to check you have cover for away from home. Lots of policies do not include this as standard, so read the small print.
3. Do you have items of high value?
One of the reasons that many people are underinsured is down to not accurately calculating the true cost of replacing all the lower value items in the house. However, it is equally important to identify anything of high value, such as painting or expensive jewellery. You should specifically notify your insurer of these valuables so they can be named on your policy. This means that in the event of them being stolen or damaged, you can prove that these items are yours and that their actual value is covered on the policy so you get the pay-out you expect.
4. Have you thought of everything?
It might seem obvious, but considering all eventualities is key to good insurance cover. That might sound like a huge task, and that is where a broker can help you by talking you through optional extras or your specific situation.
‘New for old’ is where items (often white goods, such as refrigerators or televisions) are replaced for the value of a brand new, similar specification version rather than the current value, in the event of a claim. This may come as standard or be an optional extra.
Another consideration is legal expenses cover, which is useful in the event of disputes with neighbours or contractors who work on your house.
You should also think about flooding. If your home is on a flood plain, there has been previous flooding at your home or in the local area, or there is underground water (for example, an underground stream), then you need an insurer who will include this risk, or a specific home flood insurance.
5. Save your time and money – speak to a broker
According to ABI, the cost of contents cover is the lowest it’s been since 2012. It is now an average of £127 – that’s £2.40 per week.
While price comparison sites might seem appealing because you can find low premiums and only share your details once to get multiple quotes, you don’t always find the best insurance for you.
Not all deals are available online and quite often you will find that the optional extras that you need will significantly add to the cost. If you take the lowest premium, you quite possibly are not choosing the best policy for you.
When you talk to a broker, you only have to share your details once to get access to a range of policies. A good broker knows what questions to ask you and can guide you through the decision making process.
Valuing your home and contents can be hard. And so can understanding your policy. Talk to a broker to get the best policy for you.