Are you safe & secure?
Find out how to keep burglars at bay during the dark winter months
With Christmas only a few weeks away, homes around the country are now starting to fill up with expensive Christmas gifts.
It’s therefore a good idea to check that the contents cover on your home insurance is sufficient so that in the event you were targeted by burglars, you’d be able to recoup your losses.
Below, we take a look at whether your contents cover is up to scratch and why you should buy cover if you don’t already have it.
Imagine you were big enough to pick up your house from its foundations, turn it upside down and shake it. If you have cover, all the items that fall out would be covered by your contents insurance.
Contents insurance protects you against theft, attempted theft, fire, flood, water damage and other potential problems, depending on your policy.
If your contents are damaged by one of these things, your insurer will either pay for the full cost of repair or give you the money to buy the equivalent new item as a replacement.
The price you pay for contents insurance depends on the cumulative value of the contents in your home. There are contents calculators which help you get an accurate estimate of your contents’ value so that you don’t over-pay for cover, or under-insure.
By the time you’ve finished your Christmas shopping and, mince pie in-hand, put your feet up, the value of your home’s contents may have gone up by several hundred pounds - which won’t have been factored in when you took out the policy.
So, do you need to increase your level of cover around this time of year to include the presents sitting temporarily under your tree?
You may be surprised to know that some insurers automatically increase your contents insurance during the season of goodwill.
For example, the AA automatically increases the insured value of your contents by 20% for 30 days either side of the big day to account for the extra valuables in your home.
The extra level of cover and the period of the extended cover will vary from one insurer to the next – and will come with strings attached, so it’s important to read your policy documents carefully. If in doubt, get on the phone to your insurer and ask how Christmas affects your cover.
If you don’t have any contents cover, or your contents cover isn’t sufficient, you could lose out significantly if your home was burgled in the run up to Christmas.
So it’s well worth either taking out a contents insurance policy, if you don’t already have one, or giving your existing insurer a ring to see whether you need any extra cover over the coming weeks.
It’s also a good idea to hang on to any receipts you have for presents you’ve bought but have yet to give as these could be useful in the event you had to make a claim for a loss at your home.
Whatever the time of year, it’s important to choose the right sum insured and make sure you’re sufficiently protected. But you should also be careful not to over-insure as you’ll be paying higher premiums than necessary.
Even if you have contents insurance and your insurer gives you additional cover for all those Christmas presents, you could still find your claim turned down if you fail to make sure your home is secure.
Often, home insurance policy documents will state that you must take ‘reasonable care’ of your property in order for your policy to remain valid.
So, if you went out for a bit of last minute shopping and left a window open before returning home to find you’d been robbed – the insurer could refuse to pay out for the stolen items because you failed to take reasonable care by leaving the window ajar.
It’s important then to make sure you keep your home secure at all times. Here are our top tips for keeping out intruders:
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