On their own, many cheap home contents insurance policies won’t provide enough cover for very expensive items. If you’re unsure of how much cover you have in place, check with your insurer or look in your policy document.
What steps can you take to make sure there’s protection in place for your valuables?
Single item limits
When you take out contents insurance, you will set a total amount of cover. This is what you believe it would cost to replace the items in your home should they be stolen or destroyed.
So for example if you have £50,000 of cover, that means that if all of your belongings were destroyed, you could get a payout of £50,000.
However, within the small print of many policies will be a ‘single item limit’. This sets out the maximum value that can be claimed towards the cost of a single item. This limit tends to be around £1,500 to £2,500. It means that when you came to make a claim, you could not claim more than the single item limit for any single possession, whether that’s expensive jewellery or some form of technology.
Amend your home insurance
If you have an item that would cost more than the single item limit to replace, then speak to your insurer. You may be able to have it listed separately within your contents insurance policy. Be sure to get it valued beforehand - it needs to be an accurate figure.
Listing expensive items separately may cause the price of your policy to go up.
It’s possible to get a specialist policy to arrange specific cover for a valuable item. If you are arranging cover for jewellery for example, you may be able to arrange cover without a single item limit at all, or at least a much higher limit than you will get with a normal contents policy.
You might also consider taking out personal possessions insurance. This will cover your possessions when you’re out and about. This might be useful if you’re looking to cover a watch or ring you wear every day.
Unfortunately, insurance will only cover the actual cost of replacing items. You might have a piece of jewellery which has particular sentimental value. You will only get the money to replace it, but no additional compensation to make up for the heartache.
You might want to look into buying a safe for this type of item. Make sure at the very least that your home is as secure as possible.
Things that cannot be insured
If you have something extremely rare or valuable, insurers may not be prepared to take the risk of insuring it.
If this is the case, you need to arrange your own security. You could keep the items stored in a safe at home. Or there are also a number of companies who offer safe deposit boxes services. They will keep your items secure – at a cost.