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Do You Have Adequate Home Insurance?

Wondering if home insurance is worth the hassle? It’s not like you’ve got the Crown Jewels hidden away after all. A laptop. Large screen TV. Nice phone. Some nice clobber. Few bits of furniture you’re particularly fond of. Maybe a decent watch. Or a beautiful engagement ring you’ve waited a lifetime for.

Not a massive amount of stuff you’re thinking. But, ask yourself this: what if the worst thing happened and you lost all of them in a fire? Could you replace them? Probably not. Took you years to get after all. Would you miss them? Definitely.

So, it’s important to have home insurance and make sure you have the correct level of cover. And to get it as cheaply as possible of course.

Here’s a few do’s and don’ts.

  •      DO know the difference between building and contents insurance. Building insurance covers the structure of your property and any fixtures and fittings. Imagine what would fall out of your house if you turned it upside down and shook it – that’s what’s covered by contents insurance.
  •      DON’T cut corners. If you scrimp on home insurance, it’ll end up costing you if anything does go wrong.
  •      DO make sure you know the true value of the contents of your home. Most people underestimate. The average contents of a three-bed home are said to be around the £55,000 mark.
  •      DON’T hazard a guess – make a detailed inventory of everything you own of any significant value.
  •      DO walk round each room and look at everything objectively – carpets, curtains, cookware, clothes, the contents of cupboards – the whole caboodle.
  •      DON’T throw high-end items such as jewellery, designer handbags and shoes, cameras, tech equipment etc into the mix. These may need to be added to your cover as ‘specific/special items’. If in doubt, ask your insurance company.
  •      DO include the contents of any out-buildings such as a shed or bike-store. It’s amazing what valuable stuff people keep in their garages – mowers, tools, electrical items, home-gym equipment.
  •      DON’T take it for granted that everything you include on your home insurance is protected when you’re out and about. Ask, and if necessary take out additional cover.
  •      DO check your insurance policy every year. The temptation is to avoid the fuss and just let it renew. But, chances are you’ve upgraded or bought more possessions in the interim.
  •      DON’T forget to read the terms and conditions. Boring – but essential. Better to be safe than sorry.
  •      DO your homework and keep the cost of home insurance as low as possible.
  •      DON’T pay monthly. If you can afford to take the hit it’s cheaper to stump up the cost in one lump sum.
  •      DO check if there are discounts available if you buy online.
  •      DON’T rule out getting your building insurance and contents insurance from the same company. It can work out cheaper to have a joint policy.
  •      DO mention any security features your property has – burglar alarm, window locks, CCTV, or sensor lighting. It helps keeps costs down as you’re considered less of a risk.
  •      DON’T forget there’ll be an excess to pay if you do need to make a claim. If, for example, you claim for £400 and your excess is set at £250, you’ll only receive £150, and the likelihood is your policy will increase on renewal.
  •      DO consider a ‘new for old’ policy to make sure you can replace any items with like-for-like.

Finally, double check all the details on your insurance documents when you receive them and keep them somewhere safe along with the contact details for your insurance company. Hopefully, you’ll never need them…