If you have a large home with a high rebuild cost or contents with a value of more than £100,000, standard insurance may fall short of the cover you need.
A home tends to be the most expensive thing that you own and therefore having it insured correctly is a priority. High value buildings insurance is usually for those homes with 5 bedrooms or more, homes with high end finishings or their own leisure facilities.
Perhaps you just need high value contents insurance with specific items listed. Pieces of art, musical instruments, bags and jewellery can all be worth in the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds individually. Insuring the correct amount is vital as being under insured could result in huge losses should your items be lost, stolen or damaged.
To value your contents you firstly need to understand what falls under contents insurance. A simple way to define contents would be any items that a reasonable person would take with them when they move. This would leave items that are fixed to the home like kitchens, bathrooms, light fixtures and fittings etc to fall under buildings cover.
When valuing your contents its always best to be as accurate as possible, so going room to room and making a list of the items in each room can help. Make a separate list for any items that you know are of a high value as these may need to be listed specifically. Remember that home insurance tends to be on a new for old basis. This means you will need to put the value to replace the item as new at its current worth rather than what you originally paid for it (as it may have increased in value).
To value the cost of your buildings you can refer to your survey you had done when you purchased your home. If you do not have this or its out of date you can use the Building Cost Information Service’s (BCIS) house rebuilding cost calculator. This will give you an estimate value based on the make up of your property.
High value items can be specified or unspecified. Unspecified items are slightly lower in value but higher than standard and therefore do not need to be specified. They will generally be covered for a percentage of your overall contents cover amount, for example 20%. Items that need to be specified are high enough in value to be listed singularly. Most insurers will ask for a brief description of the item and want to know if the item needs to be covered inside the home or in and out of the home. Items that need to be specified within the home could be artwork, musical instruments, rare collections etc. Items that need to be covered inside and outside could be jewellery, watches, handbags, bicycles etc.
When discussing your insurance it is best to inform your insurers of all items that you think may be of high value and if you will leave the house with them. Your insurer will then determine how these will need to be listed on your policy and provide you with an appropriate premium.