Evaluating the cost of contents
It is not just the structure of your home you have to insure. In addition, you have to insure its contents against loss or damage due to theft, fire, lightning, storms, flooding, other water leakage, explosions or earthquakes.
The home contents could be more valuable than you consider the case. An average family of four estimates their contents to be worth around £25,000, whereas, the true value is likely to nearer £55,000. It is crucial to get the correct figure in order that your insurance pays out in the event of a claim.
The best way of ensuring that you have adequate cover is to go round your house room by room and list your possessions. including, PCs, ipods, jewellery, furniture, clothes, curtains, carpets as well as the contents of your garden shed. Should you be at all unsure, it could be helpful to consider the items you would take with you should you move house.
Ensure that you read the terms and conditions of the policy as the majority of insurers limit the pay out for a single item. Say the single item limit is £1,500 and a ring costing £2,000 is stolen from your property, you may end up with a shortfall of £500.
Your insurer is likely to request details relating to any valuable items; it is essential to provide all the relevant information. Should you not do so, you may invalidate the policy and the insurer can refuse to pay out when a claim is made.
New for old
Contents insurance is often sorted out on a new for old basis. Say a fire has caused damage to your TV; the policy pays for a new replacement. Certain insurers offer indemnity policies which take into account wear and tear. Therefore, should your TV be 5 years old it is only going to pay for its current value, not the price you paid for it when you bought it new. Indemnity policies are usually cheaper. Nonetheless, most people opt for new for old cover.
You can pay extra premium for additional contents cover which may be worth it in certain cases. Accidental damage is a highly popular add-on as it insures your possessions should there be an accident, like, say you spill red wine on your carpet or break a valuable ornament. You can also insure such as mobile phones, cameras, iPods and laptops on personal possessions insurance when remove them from your home.
Millions of properties are at risk of flooding, hence, you could have trouble trying to arrange home insurance for them. Flood insurance claims are difficult to assess and costly. Therefore, insurers are wary insuring flood prone homes.
The Association of British Insurers has done a deal with the government to make sure that most flood prone homes have guaranteed cover, at least up to June 2013. However, you can expect to pay higher home insurance premiums should you live in a flood area. Moreover, the excess for a flood claim is likely to be high, potentially thousands of pounds.
Check out the Environment Agency website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk to check out whether or not your property is at risk.
There are certain ways of protecting your home from floods; your insurer may insist on you taking specific defensive measures as a condition of your cover. Flood boards can assist keeping out water should there be a shallow or flash flood. It makes good sense to move your boiler, any meters and electrical points to well above the anticipated water level. Another measure is ensuing that that doors are concrete as opposed to wood.
Should you have spotted large cracks in your walls, you may have a subsidence problem. Subsidence namely affects homes in the south of England as they have been built on clay soil. So, during an elongated spell of dry weather, the soil shrinks and the property can begin to sink into the ground.
Properties more vulnerable to subsidence are most likely to cost more to insure. You may also have to pay a high premium should you wish to purchase a house which has had past subsidence.
Contents insurance for tenants
Tenants usually do not have to be concerned about buildings insurance. However, they ought to certainly consider tenants insurance for the contents of their rented home. Certain kinds of rented accommodation are particularly vulnerable to theft, due, say to shared entrances. Therefore, it is important to have sufficient cover in place.
It can prove to be good idea for tenants to extend their policy to include accidental damage, for occasions where they may cause any damage to landlord’s carpets or curtains. Certain insurers are not going to cover your contents should you live in shared accommodation, or should you rent a furnished property.
Contents insurance for students
Students commonly overlook contents cover. When you know you are leaving home to go to university, insurance is usually not your main concern. However, like anyone else, a student can be a victim of crime. Student contents insurance enables you to protect your belongings against fire, flood, burst pipes and vandalism.
Certain students opt to add their contents onto their parent’s policy, which may be simple. However, ensure you compare quotes as it can be more expensive than separate cover.
You are going to need your own contents cover should you live in shared accommodation. It is important to check that the policy covers bicycles and musical instruments and that the cover applies during holidays and term time.