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You may need to provide proof of purchase for your valuables when you make a home insurance claim. Here’s everything you need to know
However, home insurance companies are wary of false or exaggerated claims. So to make a contents insurance claim, you’ll often need to provide proof of purchase – or at least proof of ownership – of your valuables.
Yes, you may have to provide proof of purchase to make a home contents insurance claim.
Some contents insurance providers state in their policy wording that you can only make a claim for an item if you can provide the receipt. And you’ll always have to provide a list of your damaged belongings, even if you don’t have proof of ownership for every item.
That said, you can usually claim without the original receipt, as long as you have some other proof of ownership, such as a bank statement recording the purchase. If your insurer insists on seeing a receipt, try asking the retailer you bought the item from if it can give you another copy.
There are ways to prove ownership of an item without providing the original receipt. These include:
If you received a valuable item, such as a necklace, as a gift, you probably won’t have the receipt for it. Ways you could try to prove ownership include:
A valuation certificate is another way to prove ownership of a gift or inherited item. So if you have family heirlooms or valuable jewellery or art, get them valued regularly to avoid missing out on any increase in value. And get the valuation done by a member of a reputable organisation such as the Institute of Registered Valuers.
If you don’t have proof of ownership for an item, you may still receive a payout, but it will be based on the average cost to replace the item in question.
Being able to provide proof of purchase, or proof of ownership, can therefore make a big difference to the amount of money you receive if you have to make a claim – especially if your item was worth more than the average amount.
If your insurer rejects your claim because you don’t have proof of purchase, you can take your dispute to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which can order it to pay the claim if it decides in your favour. However, it won’t take on your case unless you have exhausted the insurer’s complaints procedure first.
Home insurance policies are designed to return you to the same situation you were in prior to the incident that prompted your claim. But it’s up to insurers how they do this.
While some companies offer a cash settlement to cover the cost of replacing or repairing the belongings in question, others arrange for the repairs to be done or provide you with a replacement.
The terms vary from one policy to another, but if you have lots of valuables, you may be better off with high-value contents insurance.
Keeping hold of the receipts – or digital copies – for expensive purchases is probably the best way to ensure you will be able to claim for them if necessary. For valuable heirlooms and gifts of an artistic nature, meanwhile, regular valuations are a sensible precaution.
Other practical steps you can take include:
Comparing home insurance with MoneySuperMarket is a quick and easy way to find affordable cover for your home. Just tell us a bit about yourself, your property and its occupants, and the cover you need – and we’ll search the market for a list of quotes tailored to your needs.
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