Have you got sufficient cover for your home?

Terraced houses
Homes, yesterday
"Whether you are planning an extension, installing a new kitchen or other major renovation, you should consult your home insurer before you start work" Mark Greening, Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

Nobody wants to give too much thought to their home getting damaged or their valuables being stolen.

But as people who’ve suffered damage or burglary will testify, it’s not nice when it happens.

That’s what home insurance is there for. But if something were to happen to your home, would you have sufficient cover?

Digital media

Black iPod

Vast computer hard drives, iPods and streaming have meant that lots of people are bidding farewell to clunky CD and DVD collections.

But what happens if something happens to the device storing your entertainment library?

Over two billion items of digital media content worth over £1bn have been lost over the past two years as a result of phones, computers and iPods being stolen, lost or damaged, according to Sainsbury's Bank.

Despite so much valuable stuff moving into the digital realm, not all home insurance policies offer cover for this, and may just cover the items which your media is stored on.

Check your home insurance policy to see if digital media is covered, and if it is, if your policy will cover the value of your library.

You might also want to consider backing up your material to an external hard drive or a cloud service for extra security.

Home improvements

Kitchen

The UK has got its fair share of DIY nuts. There’s also a lot of people choosing to extend or upgrade their home as opposed to moving at the moment, because of a relatively stagnant housing market.

This is great, as it adds value to a home’s fixtures and fittings.

But many people fail to update their home insurance policies accordingly after the work is finished, meaning they could miss out in the event of having to make a claim. Even worse, improvements might also invalidate their cover.

“Whether you are planning an extension, installing a new kitchen or other major renovation, you should consult your home insurer before you start work so that you can review your sum insured and make sure your plans don't invalidate your cover," says Mark Greening, home insurance expert at Gocompare.com.

Outdoors

Shed

Research from Gocompare.com earlier this year found that UK households were planning on spending £6.7bn on garden projects over the next 12 months.

But there are home insurance implications here, too.

"While standard buildings and contents insurance policies include a degree of cover for garden items, the amount and level of cover varies considerably. So if you've bought expensive furniture, BBQs, or exotic plants for your garden, you may find that you need to pay an additional premium to add these to your home insurance policy or take out additional garden cover," says Gocompare.com's Mark Greening.

At Christmas

A naff Christmas house

You have our sincere apologies for mentioning the ‘C’ word already.

However, it’s likely you know one or two well-prepared people who are starting their shopping in earnest already.

Christmas usually means presents galore, and that means the amount of valuables in your home can swell sizeably.

Most insurers take this into account, and offer a boost on contents value of about 10% around Christmas time, at no extra cost.

However, not all of them do, so check with your insurer prior to getting on with your shopping this year.