The average person may easily own a few thousands of pounds' worth of clothing almost without realising it – and the figure could be even higher still for those who love to shop. Rather worryingly, many people have no idea about the value of their wardrobe, and seriously under-value the real cost of replacing everything stored within it, including shoes, suits, coats, accessories and handbags.
Others do not know how much their home contents are insured for, leaving them at risk of being uninsured. At the same time, some people simply don't have a home insurance policy in place that covers the contents of their wardrobe.
But all of this could easily prove to be a massive false economy. If a fire, flood or some other unexpected event should happen, leaving your clothes, shoes and bags ruined, this will leave you in a very vulnerable position, with no way to replace your belongings other than your savings.
Calculating the cost of your clothes collection
When it comes to clothes insurance and insuring your shoe collection, it's important to give an accurate figure to your home insurer. This will mean your home insurance policy offers the right level of cover for all of your prized possessions.
The average wardrobe is likely to contain a few thousand pounds' worth of clothing and footwear, and most home insurance policies will offer cover within contents cover. But there will be a limit on the cover offered, so you must check this to see if you need additional protection.
Pay particular attention to expensive designer goods, such as shoes and handbags, as it's easy to overlook the value of items such as these
It's also worth noting that, while most insurers cover clothes under home contents policies, unlike most other items in your home this might not be on a new-for-old basis. This means that, if your clothes were damaged by a burst water pipe, for example, there would probably be a deduction for wear and tear – significantly reducing the value of any claim.
By contrast, as bags are usually classed as “contents” rather than “clothing”, they will usually be replaced on a new-for-old basis.
When arranging cover for your clothes and shoes, it is vital to spend a little time going through all the items in your wardrobe when calculating the sum you need to insure, and this includes accessories and handbags as well. By systematically working through all of your outfits and footwear and totting up the value, this will insure the level of contents cover offered by your policy provides the cover you need to keep your belongings well protected.
When adding up how much the contents of your wardrobe is worth, you need to pay particular attention to expensive designer goods, such as shoes and handbags, as it's easy to overlook the value of items such as these.
Certain items, such as designer goods or vintage pieces may have a price tag of several thousand pounds, and may need to be insured separately. The key here is to declare any high-value items, such as a costly fur or leather coat to your home insurer, as the cover limit for an individual item may stand at around £1,500. This means that any expensive items over this limit will need to be listed individually on your policy.
Alternatively, you may want to consider taking out a high net worth insurance policy from a specialist stand-alone insurer for certain high-value pieces such as these. Shopping around and comparing quotes will help you to find the best quote for your needs.
Making a claim
We all live in hope that the unimaginable won't happen, but there is a risk of your clothes and shoes getting damaged by a fire or a flood or some other unexpected event. If this is the case, you will need to make a claim.
As with any valuable item in your home, it is worth hanging onto any receipts you make have. And take photographs of your possessions so you have evidence of what you owned to show the insurer following a loss. This will ease and accelerate the claims process.
You might also want to think about making a list of all the items in your wardrobe, as this could help speed the claims process along – helping you to replace any clothes and shoes you've lost with a minimum of stress and hassle.