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Make sure you're covered

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The first pleasant surprise about contents insurance is that it’s usually less expensive than you might think.

The second is that you can get cover for much more than just TVs and the family china.

People often overlook camping gear, wedding presents, Christmas gifts, clocks, mirrors and food and drink. And they often don’t include the latest additions to the home – such as equipment for a new hobby, or children’s toys.

We’ve included some cost guidelines for the average family home in the UK to give you an idea of what we’re talking about, and a list of simple rules to follow to make sure you get the most from your cover. After all, no one lives in an average home.

Errors and omissions: the items people often overlook

  • The most expensive collective items to replace are curtains and carpets - both of which are home items that could get severely damaged in a fire or flooding incident. The average household will pay £7500 to replace these items throughout their home without home insurance
  • Clothing and shoes, on the other hand, will cost around £3700 to replace. Surprisingly, this number is higher than that for electrical entertainment items - like TVs, games consoles and DVD players - which are valued at £3300
  • Wedding gifts - customers need to consider expensive gifts above £1000 that may need to be specified and will not be covered by the automatic cover
  • If you haven’t declared the full value of your contents on your home contents policy, you need to ensure you have adequate cover as soon as possible. If you have £45,000 of contents, but only £30,000 of cover, you would not receive the full replacement cost of your contents in the event of a claim
  • As your lifestyle changes – you earn more money, buy your own house or get married, the actual value of your contents can rise in to tens of thousands of pounds rapidly
  • If you start a family, the items you buy for your child can considerably add to the value of your assets – one study even estimates the average toy box at around £700!
  • Amongst items which are often overlooked are sport and exercise equipment, musical instruments, luggage, camping equipment, vacuum cleaners, flooring, carpets and rugs, mirrors and clocks, clothes, bed linen, tablecloths and towels, food and drink, such as wine

Extra cover required: the items that people value the most

  • High-value items such as diamond rings and antiques will need separate cover. Check with your insurer about anything worth over £1,000. It's best to get items professionally valued if you're unsure, and get them re-valued regularly - every couple of years or so - to make sure the value is up to date.
  • Items that people tend to say they value the most include:-
    • Jewellery
    • Watches
    • Wedding dresses
    • TVs
    • Laptops
    • PVRs and DVD recorders
    • Games consoles
    • Musical instruments – pianos, brass and woodwind instruments
    • Bikes
    • Mobile phones and iPods
    • Sat Navs