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A DIY home removal could put a dent in your finances

16 July 2014

81% of home contents policies that cover ‘goods in transit’from one property to the next only do so if they have been packed and transported by a professional removal firm.

Gocompare.com Home Insurance is warning home buyers thinking of moving themselves to check their home contents insurance to make sure they don’t end up with a dent in their finances.  Most policies only cover the loss of, or damage to, your possessions during a home move if they are packed and transported by professionals.

The price comparison website compared over 300 home contents insurance policies* and found that most (81%) provide cover for belongings during house removals as standard while 9% offer it as an optional extra with accidental damage cover.  Typically, the cover only applies if the move is undertaken by a professional furniture removal company.  In addition, delicate or breakable items such as glassware and china are usually only insured if they have been professionally packed.  Gocompare.com’s analysis also revealed that one in ten policies don’t provide any cover for home removals.

Ben Wilson, home insurance spokesperson for Gocompare.com, commented: “Moving home is an expensive business and some people look to make savings by either opting for a complete DIY removal or by packing the boxes themselves and arranging transportation through a professional firm.  But during a move it’s not uncommon for heavy items of furniture or fragile objects to be damaged, so a DIY move could prove costly if your belongings aren’t insured.

“Whether you opt to move yourself or employ a professional firm, you’ll need to contact your home contents insurer well in advance of your moving date, to let them know of your plans.  They’ll be able to let you know what cover, if any, is provided for your possessions while they are in transit and highlight any limits or restrictions which may apply.  For example, valuables including money, jewellery, watches, deeds and other documents may be excluded, while cover for items held in storage may be restricted, with some policies specifying a certain number of days while others provide no cover at all.”

Ben Wilson continued: “To move your contents insurance with you to your new property, you’ll also need to provide your insurer with details of your new home.  Premiums are based on the postcode and the type of property you live in, as well as the value of your belongings, so your insurer will want to recalculate your premium accordingly.

“While your current insurer may have offered the best deal on your old property, they might not be so competitive for your new home, so changing your address can also be a good time to shop around and change your home insurer.  However, before committing to switch, you should check your existing insurer’s cancellation charges to make sure that these don’t wipe out your potential saving.

“Also, if you’re buying new furniture, electrical goods or other items for your new home which would push up the value of your home contents, you should review your sum insured to make sure it is sufficient to cover your new purchases.”

Gocompare.com provides additional policy information and product star ratings for home insurance from independent financial researcher Defaqto; allowing customers to compare up to 30 key features for each policy.


Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 315 home contents policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (16 May 2014).