I’m Ben, and I work on the travel team here at PayingTooMuch.com. I have recently moved into rented accommodation for the first time and have gone through the process of buying home contents insurance.
Talking to the home insurance team here at PayingTooMuch.com, I’ve come up with 5 top tips to help any other newbies out there be fully prepared.
1. Trees and Water
When getting a quote, you’ll be asked the distance of the nearest tree. Before sitting down at your computer, have a walk around your property looking for trees and roughly pace-out the distance they are away from the property.
2. Roof construction
You will probably be asked to give details of your roof. A common question is: “What percentage of your roof is flat?” You’ll get options to choose from, so again, have a look from the outside before starting a quote.
You could also get asked on the materials used for the roof. You’ll get options to choose from, such as slate, tile, thatched etc. Looking up from the ground may offer some clues. Alternatively, contact your landlord/property owner for help.
3. Home security
You’ll definitely get asked about the locks on your doors and windows. The most common locks are shown below. Identify your lock before you start – correct identification is vital.
|Rim automatic deadlatch with key-locking handle||
Key-operated multi-point locking system (top and bottom latches not shown)
|Five-lever Mortice Deadlock|
See our recent blog post on home security here and find out how your alarm and locks can actively lower your insurance premium.
4. High risk goods
Easier to steal and damage, TVs, audio and visual equipment, cameras, computers and other valuables are all considered high-risk goods. You’ll need to specify a value of cover for high risk items. This value will normally not be more than half the total cover. For example; if you have £15,000 worth of computers, TVs, jewellery, speakers and other high risk goods, you’ll need a total cover of at least £30,000 in order to provide cover for these items, even if you don’t have £30,000 of ‘stuff’ in your home.
For these high risk items, it’s always a good idea to insure these outside the home too. You’ll be able to do this easily at some point in the quote journey. We would recommend also adding accidental damage cover. That way your items are fully covered for theft and damage anywhere you take them.
5. Laptops, bikes and expensive items
Laptops, bikes and other expensive items need to be specifically detailed in the policy. The exact requirements to do this will depend from company to company, but expect to have to list any item worth more than £1,500. In addition to this, any bicycle worth more than a certain amount, likely £350, will also need to be specified.
Jewellery over a certain value will also need to be specified. Check your policy schedule after purchasing for any additional conditions. For example, you may receive a condition such as this:
“The insurer will only cover loss or damage to specified items of jewellery with a value in excess of £7500 on condition that they are inspected by a professional jeweller at least annually and all defects rectified.”