High-value contents are just that – possessions with hefty price tags. Unfortunately, many people don’t read their home insurance policy documents, leading to oversights regarding the cover they have. In worst-case scenarios, your high-value contents won’t be insured, so it’s essential to read your policy from cover to cover.
In this article, we’ll focus on high-value contents, and explain how you can ensure you’re fully covered to gain complete peace of mind.
What are high-value contents?
You don’t need to own a portrait by Picasso or a grand piano to have a house full of high-value contents. The following items, many of which you’ll use every day, are classed as high-value items:
- Laptops, tablets, and smartphones
- Art and collectables.
Data collected by MoneySupermarket in 2019 reveals the most commonly insured items on home contents insurance policies:
- Laptops, tablets, and notebooks – £900
- Jewellery – £2,700
- Bicycles – £850
- Watches – £3,000
- Works of art – £3,000.
As a general rule of thumb, high-value contents are any of your belongings that would cost more than £1000, or items that exceed your insurance provider’s maximum pay-out. In most homes, these fall into two categories: technology and valuables. The former includes TVs, smartphones, high-spec audio systems, cameras, and more, while the latter comprises antiques, paintings, jewellery, ceramics, ornaments, etc.
Does contents insurance cover high-value items?
Most contents insurance policies limit the maximum they’ll pay-out on a single item, with figures varying (sometimes significantly) between providers. Therefore, if you want to cover possessions with a substantial price tag, you’ll need to add them to your home contents insurance – which involves further costs. Another option is to take out specialist cover on very high-value items.
Do I need specialist high-value home insurance?
If your standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover all your high-value contents, you may find a specialist insurer is the best option for complete cover and peace of mind. There are specialist insurers for all types of items, including art, jewellery, collections (e.g., vinyl records), and specialist equipment. However, if specialist insurance doesn’t appeal, there are other practical security steps you can take, such as installing:
- A robust home security system
- Burglar alarms, and
- A home safe.
The above security equipment may also reduce your insurance premiums as your insurer will consider your home relatively secure. Whichever option you choose, we recommend taking precautions with your valuables by doing the following:
- Keep all receipts and valuations of your items away from your home or stored in a secure safe.
- Have your possessions valued regularly.
- Take photos of your possessions as proof of ownership.
How do I avoid being underinsured for high-value contents?
It’s essential to give your insurer an estimate for your contents’ total value, which will ensure that you can claim a sufficient amount to cover the replacements’ costs.
How to calculate the total value of your contents
The best way to value your contents is to go from room to room listing your possessions before calculating how much it’d cost to replace them all. You don’t need an exact figure, but your estimate should be as accurate as possible – this handy contents insurance calculator will help you. You should also note everything you own worth more than £1000 and highlight these items to your insurer.
Tips for insuring high-value contents
Protect your items by inventorying your possessions and providing a value estimate to your insurer. If you have antiques, jewellery, or fine art, make sure they’re insured for their full replacement costs, and have them professionally appraised if necessary.
Update your insurer with any high-value items you buy or receive. For example, if you were to receive an expensive watch for your birthday, contact your insurer immediately to add it to your policy.
Assets such as artwork frequently fluctuate in value, so have them regularly appraised to ensure they’re covered for their full market value.
Photographic evidence of your contents will help the police to trace them if they’re lost or stolen.