How much home contents insurance do I need?
Are you sure you're insured?
When choosing home insurance, more often than not we go for the quickest or cheapest option, perhaps not totally confident but hoping for the best. Whilst this approach might seem like the most convenient at renewal, there’s a risk of rushing and not considering the quality of cover on offer or the actual value of our possessions, assuming an ‘off-the-shelf’ product will provide adequate protection.
In reality, insurance is far from a one-size fits all scenario.
Estimating the value of our homes and contents isn’t something we do regularly and it can be easy to forget or dismiss things. But inaccurately calculating the rebuild cost or the total value of your contents could leave you open to the risk of being underinsured.
To be ‘underinsured’ means that the amount you’re covered for is less than the cost of rebuilding, replacing, or repairing. For example, if you had a fire at home and the value of your contents is stated at £70,000, but the actual cost to replace your contents is £150,000, then you’re underinsured, and the reality is your policy won’t pay more than £70,000, leaving you to pick up the shortfall.
It’s particularly important that those who live in larger, higher value homes or have expensive items – perhaps jewellery, fine art or collections – are mindful that standard insurance may not fully protect them or include features such as agreed values and access to specialist repair/replacement services.
So how can you avoid underinsurance?
Go through each room accounting for anything you would need to replace in event of a claim – include things like soft furnishings, curtains and furniture, as well as the high-value items like technology.
- Estimate the cost if you had to buy new, rather than the price you paid
- Consider whether the value has changed for any antiques or art collections
- Don’t forget items in storage, in a safe or at the bank
- Check your policy for any set limits for valuables and single items such as jewellery
- Review your cover regularly and if you’re unsure, talk things through with a professional.
Regularly review your policy
The best way to make sure you don’t fall foul of underinsurance is to review your cover regularly, either when it’s due for renewal, or following a big purchase. Insurance may not be the first thing on your mind after receiving a special birthday or Christmas gift, but it’s worth checking.
It’s always best to talk to an expert when valuing your home and contents. Buying cheap insurance online may be quick and convenient but it could end up costing you much more than you expect if you ever come to need it. We have a nationwide network of local agency offices to ensure you receive a personal service that understands your specific needs.
We offer two home insurance products and apply meticulous attention to detail when discussing your needs, so if you do ever need to make a claim, we've got you covered.