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DIY home move could put a dent in your finances

28 November 2013

As the housing market shows signs of recovery, Gocompare.com warns home buyers thinking of moving themselves to check their home insurance.

Most policies will only cover your possessions during a removal if they are packed and transported by professionals.

The price comparison website compared over 300 home contents insurance policies and found that while most (80%) provide cover for belongings during house removals as standard, and 10% offer it as an optional extra, this typically only applies if they are undertaken by a professional furniture remover. In addition, breakables such as glassware and china are generally only insured if they have been professionally packed.

The comparison revealed that:

  • One in ten policies only cover contents during house moves as an option with accidental damage cover
  • 10% of policies don’t provide any cover for home removals
  • Valuables including money, jewellery, watches, deeds and other documents are usually excluded from cover for home moves
  • Cover for contents held in storage during a house move is restricted, with some provider’s specifying a certain number of days to no cover at all.

Mark Greening, head of home insurance at Gocompare.com, commented: “Without question, buying a new home is a costly business. Home removal is an area people look to make savings by either opting for a complete DIY move, or arranging transportation through a professional firm but undertaking the packing themselves. But it’s not uncommon for heavy pieces of furniture or fragile items to be damaged during a move, so DIY options could turn out costly if your belongings aren’t insured.

“Whatever approach you decide on, you will need to contact your home contents insurer to let them know of your plans. They will be able to let you know what cover, if any, is provided for your possessions while they are being moved and point out any limits or restrictions.

“To maintain your contents insurance at your new home, your insurer will also need to know your new address. Contents premiums are based on the postcode and type of property you live in, as well as the value of your belongings, so your insurer will want to recalculate your premium. Also, if you are buying new furniture, electrical goods or other items for your new home which would push up the value of your contents, you should reconsider your sum insured.”

Mark Greening concluded, “Changing address might also be a good time to shop around and change insurer – while your current insurer may have offered the best deal on your previous property, they might not be so competitive for your new home. However, before committing to switch, you should check your existing insurer’s charges for cancelling your policy.”

Gocompare.com is the only comparison site to provide additional policy information and product star ratings for home insurance from independent financial research company Defaqto; allowing customers to compare up to 30 key features for each policy.

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Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 314 contents insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial research company Defaqto (9 October 2013).