Denmead, Hampshire (PRWEB UK) 19 June 2014
Many UK homeowners and tenants do not know how to calculate the real value of their belongings or simply leave the total the same as the previous year by default. Often the policy holder will make a quick guess based on the price of their latest smartphone, but ignore the value of new clothes or furniture bought since the last quote. Similarly they could fail to make allowances for the appreciation in the value of gold jewellery, or take into account the cost of a lawnmower, barbecue set or garden tools. Without knowing the real value of contents in the home, a policy holder runs the risk of overpaying, or more likely, under-insuring. Over estimating contents value increases the premium payable but gives the policy holder no advantage at all, as insurers always require receipts or photographic evidence for proof of ownership and value.
Avoiding under insurance
Homeowners spend increasing amounts of their income on making a house a home, which naturally accumulates over the years. Whether big ticket purchases such as home electronics and furniture or smaller items such as clothing and kitchen appliances, it all starts to add up, making things more costly to replace in the event of under insurance, where contents value has been underestimated.
Under estimating the value of home contents can have expensive consequences, even in the event of a small loss, as standard practise would be for the insurer to reduce the value of any claim in proportion to the overall shortfall in cover. For example, if a single item such as a tablet computer worth £500 was stolen, but the policyholder had underestimated the total value of their home contents by 20%, the amount paid on the policy (before any excess) would be £400 as each claim would be reduced by 20%. Insurers apply this deduction, known as the ‘average clause’, to protect from not being paid the appropriate premium for the full risk of loss, so they are then justified in not paying full recompense in return.
Specialist home insurance broker Computerquote Insurance provides its customers with two safeguards to avoid the pitfalls of under insurance. Unlike many internet only providers, Computerquote offers advice to customers on the right policy for their needs, with fully trained staff available to discuss customers’ requirements by phone six days a week. In addition, the new online home contents calculator helps customers understand the true value of replacing their home contents. Customers input the new cost of replacing possessions in each room and area of their home and the calculator instantly generates the true value of their belongings, which can be used to get an accurate home insurance quote and gives peace of mind that the customer will be fully covered.
Possessions at risk
Homes in the UK are exposed to risk and vulnerable throughout the year. Summer is a prime time for opportunist and professional thieves to take advantage of people on holiday, and the warm weather leads to more open windows and garden items left out in the open. Theft also peaks in winter when expensive gifts are abundant. Home contents insurance is also relevant in the event of extreme weather such as flooding, causing damage to household items.
Home contents values vary by location
The average value of home contents reaches over £50,000 in some postcode areas, almost double the average annual salary in the UK of £26,500. This reflects the high value of home contents in relation to earnings and an increasing tendency to accumulate belongings at home, even if they are not seen as assets to be protected.
Figures from insurance broker Computerquote show that the average contents value varies significantly depending on the location of the home, with a difference of almost £20,000 between Harrow (the highest value) and the Outer Hebrides (the lowest). Research from the specialist home insurance provider, based near Portsmouth, reveals that the average home contents value in the local PO postcode is over £52,000, putting it amongst the most affluent areas of the UK by contents value.
How to calculate the real value of contents in the home
The new Home Contents Calculator at Computerquoteinsurance.com allows home owners or tenants to easily tally up the value of the individual possessions in the household.
The shareable calculator shows the contents value for each room and total for the entire house. A pie chart breakdown allows users to see which part of the house has the highest replacement value.
Household items should be entered with the cost to buy new, as all Computerquote Insurance policies offer new for old cover and the option of accidental damage cover. When the contents figure has been calculated, one click takes the user to the Computerquoteinsurance.com quote form, to compare the best quotes from a panel of major insurers.
Richard Lovegrove, Managing Director of Computerquote Insurance, says of the calculator:
“We are delighted to launch this handy online tool to give our customers clarity on the real replacement value of their possessions. Aside from the obvious domestic appliances and jewellery, you may have soft furnishings, ornaments or even food in the freezer to take into account. They will all have to be replaced in the event of a loss and the calculator gives our customers a useful visual and monetary representation of their home contents value.”
Computerquote Insurance’s Retail Manager Justin Ward advises those with individual belongings worth more than £1,000 to specify them separately when completing a quote:
“Where valuables such as a watch, bicycle or laptop are worth over £1,000 new, these items should be named individually on the policy to give them specific protection from theft or damage and guarantee the replacement value. Simply increasing the overall contents value will not help in these circumstances, as most insurers need to know individual item details over the £1,000 limit”.
Computerquote Insurance staff can offer advice on the right home insurance policy for a customer’s needs. Call 0800 389 9949 or visit https://www.computerquoteinsurance.com/home/quote.
Notes for Editors
Computerquote Insurance is a Hampshire based personal lines insurance broker serving more than 30,000 home, motor and pet insurance customers by phone and online at http://www.computerquoteinsurance.com
Computerquote Insurance is part of Stride Limited, an independent property insurance broker established on the South Coast since 1973, employing over 55 staff with a total Gross Written Premium (GWP) of £20 Million annually.
For more information on Computerquote Insurance contact:
Jonathan Walker, Marketing Director, Stride Limited
Tel: 023 9224 8731
Mob: 079 7035 4202