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Contents Insurance – Check Your Cover

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Contents Insurance – Check Your Cover

You’ve probably got contents insurance for your belongings but are you aware just how easy it is to fall behind in calculating the value of them?

What do you imagine the average contents of a family home are worth – £25,000 or £30,000? In fact this figure, for a typical home, is estimated to be over £45,000. Apart from your “moveable items” of carpets, furniture, curtains, it’s probable that electrical goods purchased over the last few years explain the sudden rise. It’s not unusual to have three or four mobile phones, a couple of computers, possibly also a laptop. Then there are the TV’s. Apart form the large family wide screen digital HD ready, singing and dancing set, there’s probably a another one in the kitchen and two or three others in the bedrooms, not to mention DVD and video recorders. Probably the children have iPods, gameboys and whatever else is “in” at present. Don’t forget your CD collection – Norwich Union values these at £10 each and DVD’s.

Apart from the risk of damage, all the above items are very appealing to the thief, being easy to h andle and finding a ready market. Don’t forget the garden, the mowers and garden machinery, contents of the shed and garage, garden furniture and even your tubs and hanging baskets. The value of plants can add up too!

Should you need to make a claim, it’s important that you’re not under insured. If the insurance company judges that you don’t have adequate insurance, the claim will not be fully paid. This means that if you have insured your contents for, say, £20,000 and your insurance company considers there would be a value of £30,000 to replace them, then there would be a shortfall of £10,000.

Insurers h andle things in different ways. For example Norwich Union Direct, one of the major insurers, will pay out up to the amount for which you’re covered. It’s left up to you to fund the difference. More Than tells us that their policy on underinsured claims is to reduce them by up to 20%. In fact More

Than are taking action to ensure that clients are more up to date with their cover and so have recently increased the this for all their clients, by 25%.

These increases will apply on the clients’ next renewal dates. No doubt more insurance companies will look at following suit soon.

Whilst you’re thinking of re-assessment, maybe it’s time to check the current figures on your buildings insurance. As well as the house, garage and outbuildings, you may have fixed items such as lighting, hot tubs and permanent garden features. These are covered by your buildings insurance, not your contents. Your insurer will normally work out a quotation based on the number of bedrooms, etc., and your postcode. The insurable figure will be the cost demolition and clearing of the site and re-building your home on the present site, of course.

To help you re-consider the value of your belongings and for additional advice there’s a h andy checklist for home owners on the Association of British Insurers, www.abi.org.uk

There are a large number of insurance companies h andling both contents and building insurance and, as always, it pays to shop around.

A Basic Guide To Home Contents Insurance

Basically, home contents insurance is insurance protection against the replacement cost that you would otherwise have to pay to replace the contents of your home in the event of then being lost, damaged or stolen. As is the case with home buildings insurance, the main factors contributing to grounds under which you can make a claim against your home contents insurance include theft/burglary, damage due to floods, burst water pipes or boilers, etc.

<b>There are, however, two very important factors that you need to keep in mind when insuring the contents of your home:</b>

<li> First, in the case of home contents insurance, it is rarely the case that your mortgage provider is going to insist that you have this type of insurance as part of your mortgage agreement;

<li> Second, regardless of whether you own or rent the property you are currently living in, you should still be looking to insure the contents of your home – as these are your personal possessions.

Two further aspects of home contents insurance also need to be considered carefully when you are checking out the different kinds of policies on offer. In some, but not all, cases you can be insured for your home contents even when the items listed in your home contents insurance policy are not actually physically located on the home ‘property’. So, for example,

<li> First, it is possible to claim when you are transporting items from one place to another and they are stolen.

<li> Second, home contents insurance is insurance against the replacement cost of the item being insured.
It does not, nor is it intended to, insure you against the nostalgic value of the item damaged/lost. So, for example, if you insure a picture your deceased gr andmother gave you, which would cost £20 to replace, it makes little difference that it was your deceased gr andmother who gave it to you and that it cannot, therefore, be replaced.

Although home contents insurance is, in all but a few very rare circumstances, a completely voluntary scheme of insurance to subscribe to, if you are in any doubt as to the value of this insurance scheme, take a quick mental inventory of the contents on your home and their value and then get a few quotes off the internet and you’ll soon be seeing the value of having your home contents properly insured.

Finding the Best Homeowner’s Insurance

Buying homeowners insurance can be confusing. If you are in the market to protect your home and possessions, you may want to do some research before committing to a policy or one specific insurance company. Ask questions and find an agent you trust that works with a company that has a good reputation for keeping their clients happy.

Your home is your castle and your possessions represent not only your past, but your present as well. You have worked hard to be able to live in the fashion you have become accustomed to, so it is in your best interest to make sure things can be replaced if a tragedy or accident occurs. When buying a policy make sure you know what it will cover. Some policies may focus more on the replacement value of a house or specific possession instead of its actual cost. Knowing the difference between these two amounts will affect how much you will want to ensure the property for and how the much the premium for the policy will be. For example, a 2 story, 4 bedroom home may be valued at only $65,000, but to build the exact same home at today’s prices, the replacement value may exceed $100,000. It will be up to you what you decide to insure the property for. If you would replace your home with a smaller one that would cost less to build then insure the property for its actual value. If you want a house similar to what you have now, bit the bullet and insure for the replacement value.

Many homeowner policies cover a variety of things including roof and fire damage, theft and various forms of liability. Liability can be anything from your dog biting the mail man to you cat Skippy tripping the neighbor lady as she walked to the front door to trade the daily dose of gossip. Most insurance policies have liability clauses that cover all types of accidents that occur on your property.

A family’s possessions can also be replaced if an itemized list of valuables is included within the policy. The contents of the home that have considerable value, such jewelry and works of art, should be listed in great detail within the body of the policy.

One of the biggest areas of confusion when purchasing a homeowner’s policy is the phrase “Act of God”. Many policies claim that “acts of God” are not covered. This can include damage to due ice and wind or other natural disasters. In recent years, people have discovered that water damage caused by flooding can sometimes be a gray area when it comes to insurance. Most companies offer a “Flood Insurance” rider that is attached to the policy and covers several types of water damage.

Never buy insurance without reading the fine print. Know what you are signing up for and what a policy will cover. Making sure you have the answers to help you make an informed decision is the best way to cover your assets in this type of situation.

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