Research in 2011 showed that one in five households in the UK were underinsured (Source: Association of British Insurers)
And many do not realise the value of the contents of their home.
So how can you protect your house and make sure you don’t underestimate how much your home and contents are worth?
If the total amount covered by your home insurance policy is less than the current replacement value of the contents of your home then you’re underinsured.
The amount you’re insured for should reflect the total cost of replacing all your contents at current prices, not the amount you paid for them.
Keeping a record of purchases
If you don’t have a record of an item, you could struggle to make a claim for it. You should make an accurate inventory of all your belongings and their current value in case you need to make a claim.
The best way to record your home contents is to keep all receipts, proof of purchase and valuation documents, as well as taking clear photographs of valuable items.
Top tips to organise your receipts
Have a proper filing system for your receipts.
Categorise your receipts, ie Home, Car, Clothing.
Store receipts for electrical goods with the warranty and keep them until six months after the warranty expires.
Clothing receipts should be kept for at least a month as most shops offer customers 28 days to return an unworn item. At John Lewis we are proud to offer a 35-day returns policy.
For very expensive items, take photos and store them on your computer, so you have extra proof of purchase.
Keep electronic receipts in a separate file in your email inbox. As a back-up, you can always download copies to a file on your desktop.
There are phone apps available which calculate the total value of your belongings and store data and photographs for each item recorded. The most important thing is to keep valuations up to date.
People often forget to insure:
Kitchen goods (oven, washing machine, fridge or expensive cooking gadgets)
Carpets, rugs or wooden floors
Items in the loft, garden or garage.
Don’t forget to update your policy if you inherit a valuable item or treasured heirloom.
Tips to avoid being underinsured:
Check single item limits as these might be lower than you need. Contents Insurance from John Lewis Finance has a single item limit of £3,000 for valuables (Premier cover).
Review the value of your contents each year. Remember that the sum insured for contents must reflect replacement costs at today's prices, not the amount you paid for them. Check online to keep your valuations up to date.
December is a good time of year to check that you’re fully covered by your home insurance policy, and that you’re fully aware of any exclusions.
Check that your contents cover is high enough to cover the value of any new expensive gifts. Some home insurance companies offer extra seasonal cover for your contents, at no extra cost. So check if you can temporarily increase your level of cover over the Christmas period.
Once the festive season is over, it’s important to update your insurer on any valuable gifts you’ve received that you want covered by your policy.
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility acceptance criteria apply.
Finding out your home has been burgled is a shock, especially if you've lost treasured possessions.
John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (Registered Company Number 233462). Calls may be recorded and monitored.
John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).
John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Services Register No. 416011) of Covea Insurance plc. John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance is underwritten by Covea Insurance plc. Registered in England and Wales No. 613259. Registered office Norman Place, Reading, RG1 8DA. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202277).