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Has Your Home Insurance Got It Covered?

Apr 27, 2008
If your house burned tomorrow, could you replace everything in it? Before you answer, take a walk upstairs and start adding up what all your possessions would cost to replace; the gadgets, computer, furniture etc. If you're running an average household with a teenager or two you'll probably tot up about 2,000 in one room alone - and that's not including clothing, which can easily cost up to 100 for just one jacket.

The fact is that most of us are seriously underinsured, especially when it comes to contents cover. While your contents cover might replace your furniture, chances are that you'll be doing without some of the expensive little toys and trinkets that you've accumulated. A couple of recent industry surveys make a few disturbing points.

A survey undertaken by Hiscox found that the average UK homeowner is underinsured by about fifty percent, most of it in contents cover. While most homeowners have taken steps to ensure their buildings can be replaced at current costs, very few have done the same when it comes to their contents. That's rather shortsighted, since you're far more likely to have to claim for your possessions than on the building itself.

Our kids, says a representative of Lloyd's, are literally sleeping on a gold mine, but they're not the only ones. A Hiscox spokesman points out that homeowners in their fifties and sixties are making their homes comfortable, acquiring the finer things that they've worked for all their years. The problem is that often, they have no idea that a piece of artwork they picked up ten years ago might now be worth considerably more than they paid for it.

So what do you do to ensure that your home and its contents are adequately protected against loss? Here's some advice from those in the business.

Review Regularly.

Take a walk through your house and write down everything you own. Then check current prices and values of all the things you'd want to replace in the event of theft, fire or other loss. You should re-evaluate at least once a year, preferably before it's time to renew your contents policy.

Review Your Contents Cover.

Once you know what your belongings are worth, look over your current policy to see if the terms and value matches the current value of your belongings. Many insurance policies limit the amount you can recover for any single item, and many fall far short when it comes to covering expensive items like HD televisions and home entertainment systems, high end computers - even mobile phones and game systems. You may have to take out additional cover for your hi-tech items, collections and artworks.

Consult an Insurance Broker.

In some cases, you may save money by buying cover for specific items like mobile telephones and game systems. Although you should always compare this with the cost of buying extended cover with your existing insurer too. In addition, a broker may know of specific insurance policies that offer unlimited contents cover. The premiums may be slightly higher than for standard policies, but if you've got a lot to protect, it could prove to be good value.
About the Author
Visit http://www.uk-insurance-index.co.uk/home-insurance-companies-1.html which has a directory of leading home insurance comparison sites including Confused.com and Gocompare which can compare hundreds of policies in minutes to save you time and money.
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