Calculating how much your possessions are worth is vital to getting the right amount of contents insurance. but it’s still a bit of a headache. here’s how he does it without too much fuss.
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Reading: How much for contents insurance
what is content coverage?
There are 2 main types of home, building and contents insurance. many homeowners buy both, combined in 1 home insurance policy.
Contents insurance covers the loss of personal property in your home, whether as a result of theft or damage from fire or flood. Depending on your policy, items in your garage, garden, and outbuildings like a shed may also be covered.
Your content includes pretty much everything you’d take with you when you move. you can choose to have them protected outside the home and also from accidental damage, although this may have an additional cost.
- Contents insurance is the coverage you should choose, whether you’re renting or owning a home. If you own your home, you’ll also need buildings insurance.
- Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home and various fixtures you wouldn’t remove, such as radiators, patio decks, and toilets. You only need this if you own the property you live in.
- rare books
- furniture including sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and bookcases
- soft furnishings such as cushions, rugs, rugs, curtains and blinds
- tv, tv furniture, game consoles, stereos, speakers, cables and chargers
- books, dvds, videogames, cds
- mirrors, pictures and ornaments
- lamps and other lights
- furniture including the dining table and chairs, and perhaps a side table or display case.
- bookcases and shelves
- rugs, curtains and blinds
- paintings, decorations, photos and frames
- hob, oven as well as your fridge-freezer, washing machine and dishwasher.
- food processors, electric mixers, mixers and sandwich toasters
- pans, cutlery and crockery
- table top appliances including microwave, toaster and kettle
- jewelry and heirlooms
- art hanging on the walls
- bed linen, curtains, blinds and carpeting
- beds, cabinets, dressers and nightstands
- bathroom cabinets
- toiletries (if you use expensive things), perfumes and aftershave lotion
- Christmas trees and decorations
- garden furniture
- garden pots, ornaments, even koi in the pond
- mowers, hedge trimmers and tools
How much content insurance do I need?
Getting the right amount of contents insurance is vital. This means you need to estimate the full cost of all your belongings – if your home was flooded or you lost everything in a fire, you may have a hefty bill to pay without contents insurance.
Underestimate the costs of belongings at your own peril. If you underestimate your contents, your insurer may not pay the entire claim because they haven’t paid enough for your coverage.
Overestimate and you could end up paying too much for your contents insurance.
many policies have an upper limit to cover individual items. this is known as the single item limit.
then if something is worth more than £1,000, for example, it may need to be covered separately at extra cost.
How do I calculate the value of the contents of my house?
To estimate how much your contents are worth, you must include everything in your home that is not part of the structure.
Imagine your house tipped over and everything that fell would be included in the value of your policy. includes things like rugs and curtains.
This may seem like a gargantuan job, but help is at hand.
A useful way to estimate the value of your content is to use a content calculator. then, make a list of all your contents going from room to room.
It also helps to take photos of the rooms, as well as any valuables.
Store these images securely in the cloud, not just on your home computer, as that too is at risk of being stolen or damaged.
This approach could help if the worst happens and you need to prove what you have.
room-by-room breakdown of its content
To break it down, let’s take a look at what might be valuable in your home, room by room:
Remember to check the drawers and the dresser, if you have one. you might miss out on something valuable.
if you have a beverage cabinet, add up the cost of the bottles you have there and make a note of expensive glassware and china.
You can also add up the value of the groceries in your fridge, perhaps save and scan receipts for a typical month’s grocery shopping.
must also cover the value of any frozen food.
Don’t forget the children’s and guest rooms, including toys, exercise equipment, and beds.
lofts and storage rooms or areas
It’s easy to ignore the loft, since it’s not a place where most of us hang out. but it may contain some valuable elements, like:
You can have a vacuum cleaner under the stairs or in a utility room along with a sewing kit, an ironing board and an iron. take note of what you have in these places.
If you’re unsure of the cost of an item in your home, look online at a typical retailer to get a ballpark figure.
Contents insurance also covers gardens, so don’t forget to include items here and in any outbuildings.
these may include:
Landscape coverage levels vary significantly, so check what your contents insurance covers.
for example, some won’t cover expensive decorations if they’re outside the front door.
Similarly, others may insist that you secure your shed or outbuildings with a lock or other security measures. especially if your garden can be accessed from the road, alley, or short cut.
You may need to chain the bikes to a permanent structure for the same reason.
Do I need to upgrade my contents insurance if I buy something new?
If you buy something particularly expensive and it makes a significant difference to the value of your home’s contents, it’s worth mentioning. this is especially important if you exceed the limit for a single item and need separate insurance.
If you have a number of high-value items, you may want to consider specialized high-value item insurance.
what is the difference between buildings insurance and contents insurance?
Building insurance covers the structure of your home and anything that cannot be removed. this covers things like the walls, the rugs, and anything that is posted in your home.
content, on the other hand, is all that can be removed. this includes things like the television, couches, and the bed.
You can buy buildings and contents insurance as a combined policy or as 2 separate policies from different insurers. it’s worth comparing the costs of both before you buy.
why do I need to make accurate estimates of the contents of my home?
If you overestimated the value of your contents, you could end up paying for a more expensive policy than you need.
at the same time, if you underestimate the value of your content, you may end up letting yourself down if you need to make an insurance claim.
That’s why it’s important to make sure the value is as accurate as possible when you buy your contents policy.
Should I get up-to-date appraisals on my jewelry and valuables?
Expensive items like jewelry and valuables need to be updated every few years. Your insurer should be able to advise you on how often to do this, but every 3-4 years is generally recommended.
This is because the price of valuables, and in particular precious metals, can go up and down in value. If you don’t get your items revalued, you may get less money than expected.