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High-value home insurance

If you’ve got a particularly valuable home or possessions it might not be possible to take out a standard home insurance policy, but you can still get cover from specialist providers.

gocompare author
Updated 24 August 2021  | 2 min read

What’s high-value home insurance?

High value home insurance is specialist cover that you might need if you own a particularly expensive property or valuable items.

Standard home insurance policies might not adequately cover your home, because they usually have a limit on the amount of cover they can provide.

Key points

  • Lots of standard home insurance policies have a limit on the buildings value, the contents value or both. If your home's worth more, you might need a specialist high value policy
  • Check the rebuild value on your policy - even if your home's market value is very high, the rebuild value is likely to be lower so a standard policy could suffice
  • If you just have one or two high-value items to insure, you might be able to add them to your contents insurance by itemising them on your policy

High-value buildings insurance

Buildings insurance covers the cost of structural repairs to your home.

So if the roof of your house is damaged by a storm or if your home suffers subsidence, buildings insurance will pay for the cost of repairs.

Some policies include cover for garages and outside walls, too.

The amount you insure your home for with buildings insurance should reflect what it would cost to rebuild it from scratch, not what it’s actually worth now, at market value.

Most buildings insurance policies cover you for rebuild costs of up to £500,000. Some will cover up to £1 million.

If you live in a modern three-bedroomed home, this may be more than enough.

But if your home is much larger or would be particularly costly to rebuild, you may need to look for a higher level of cover.

The same might be true if you live in a period home, a high-end luxury home or in a house that’s a non-standard construction type that would require specialist rebuilding work.

High-value contents insurance

Contents insurance is there to cover the cost of replacing the belongings and valuables in your home should they become damaged or are stolen.

It’s designed to include cover for everything from your carpets and cutlery to your tech, furniture and appliances as well as more personal items like jewellery and artwork.

Most policies cover home contents up to the value of about £50,000 as standard.

They also usually impose limits on how much they will pay out for a single item. Caps can vary between £1,000 and £2,500 depending on the policy.

When you have a large number of high-end items in your home like rare antiques, fine art and expensive pieces of jewellery, you'll be at risk of being underinsured on a standard policy.

But a high-value home insurance policy can cover contents worth a lot more than the standard £50,00 could be for you.

Do I need specialist insurance for high-value items?

If you have just a couple of items worth more than the single-item limit on a standard contents policy, you can name these to your insurer and add them onto your policy at an extra cost. That might be a more cost effective option for a single treasured antique, or an expensive laptop or camera.

But when you have a lot of high-value items, you may be better off switching to a high-value home insurance policy. Or you could look at taking out a separate gadget or jewellery policy.

High-value home insurance policies will cover contents up to a much greater value than a standard policy and will also have higher limits on what they’ll pay out for a single item.

In some cases, you’ll only have to let them know separately about items that cost more than, say £25,000.

How to value your home contents

It’s really a case of going room to room and totting up how much everything in your home is worth.

A good rule of thumb is to include in your calculation any and all items that you could take away with you if you were moving.

This will include pricing the curtains, carpets and rugs and even light fittings.

Our contents insurance calculator can help ensure you don’t leave out anything and keeps a tally of the costs of your possessions.

Don’t forget to include the contents of your attic and outbuildings, too.

And if you have valuable items like jewellery or artwork, you should get an up-to-date valuation.

If you overestimate the cost of your contents you could be paying for cover you don’t need.

But underestimating could leave you out of pocket if the worst happens.

How to value your building

Buildings insurance covers you for the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up.

There are a few ways to find out the rebuild value of your home.

If you’ve recently bought it, you can find its rebuild costs on your mortgage valuation or the deeds to your home.

If not, try the residential rebuilding cost calculator from the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) and Association of British Insurers (ABI) to work out what your home would cost to rebuild. The figure includes the cost of demolishing and clearing away the property and rebuilding it to its existing design and spec.

If you live in a flat, a listed building, a house that’s not made from standard materials or a home that has special architectural features, you may need the advice of a chartered surveyor. Go to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors website to find a surveyor in your area.

Some high-value insurance companies will send out surveyors that they work with to value your property, too.

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