If you’ve accumulated a lot of belongings over the years, it can be easy to underestimate the true value of your contents. This could leave you underinsured when you take out a home insurance policy, meaning you won’t get the full value of your contents when you need to make a claim.
Calculating your home contents value for insurance
Insurers typically look at the current replacement cost for your items, which could differ from the price you originally paid. For that reason, you should not only look at your receipts but also research what you would need to pay to replace your contents today.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of the most expensive items you’ll likely have in your home:
The cost of furniture probably makes up the biggest percentage of a home’s insured items. With the price of a sofa ranging from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand, it’s easy for the costs to add up as you furnish each room of your house.
When was the last time you had your jewellery valued? You could underestimate the value of your collection when it’s built up over the years, so it’s worth speaking to a professional to get an accurate picture for your insurance.
A jewellery valuer will be able to provide you with a formal document that you can show to your insurer, confirming the value of each piece in your collection.
3. Laptops and other electrical items
Whether you have an avid gamer in the family, or you love getting your hands on the latest gadgets, the cost of electronics doesn’t run cheap.
Note down any laptops, tablets, phones, computers and game consoles that you want to cover. And don’t forget smart technology, specialist sound systems and sophisticated lighting.
4. Sports equipment
If you have a home gym, bikes, golf clubs or even skiing equipment up in the attic, these can all count towards your contents insurance.
It’s important to note that most contents insurance policies don’t cover wear and tear, something that’s hard to avoid with sports equipment.
Taking proper care of your equipment will help to retain its value, meaning your insurer will be more likely to pay out the full amount for a claim in the event of loss, theft or damage.
5. Garden tools, equipment and outdoor furniture
Lawnmowers, tools and other garden related items are often expensive and easy targets for thieves. You may also want to consider any hot tubs or barbecues when calculating your total contents.
Be sure to include any personal collections like artwork, coins, stamps or collectable toys. It’s worth checking any appreciation on these items to get a true picture of what it would cost to replace everything.
7. Musical instruments
We all know how costly musical instruments and any accompanying kit can be. If you have a guitar, amp, tuner, cases, spare strings and other accessories, you could have thousands of pounds worth of equipment to be covered.
8. Kitchen gadgets and tableware
As well as kitchen gadgets, don’t forget the smaller items like crockery, cutlery and kitchen utensils. These are often overlooked but can easily bump up the overall value of your contents, especially if you have collectors sets or luxury crockery.
9. Carpets, curtains and soft furnishings
Carpets, curtains, blinds and soft furnishings can vary quite a lot in price and shouldn’t be forgotten when looking at contents insurance. This is especially important for bespoke items made for your home, or high end or antique furniture.
The average household spends £25 a week on clothing and footwear, equating to £1,308 a year. This may not seem like a lot, but when you total that up over the years, this can make up a large percentage of overall insured items.
If you don’t know the value of every item of clothing, apply an average price for each type of clothing and times it by the amount of that item you have. For example, if you’ve paid around £20 for a t-shirt and you have fifteen t-shirts, you’ll have an approximate value of £300 just for those items.
For higher value items, like designer clothes, handbags and shoes, you should look up the replacement value online. Some designer items even increase in value over time, which is why it pays to do your research.
How much contents cover do you need?
Once you have a good idea of the value of your home and contents, you’ll be in a good place to start shopping for insurance policies.
Standard home insurance offers a range of cover suitable for most homes. However, if you’ve built up a collection of valuable contents, you might need a more comprehensive policy.
At Wesleyan Financial Services, we provide advice and search the market to recommend the most suitable cover for your home. For example, standard home insurance policies cover properties up to £1,000,000 and contents up to £100,000. Whereas high-value home insurance is designed for properties with rebuilding costs of more than £500,000 and contents over £75,000.
Wesleyan Financial Services is a broker; therefore insurance products are provided by a number of insurers.
Limits, exclusions and charges do apply. Full terms and conditions of the policy and cover, including the policy benefits and exclusions, will be contained in the Policy Wording and Policy Summary. Risk must be acceptable to underwriters at normal term.