Monday, 21 September 2015
How to Estimate the Value of Contents
Should you be unfortunate enough to lose your personal possessions to fire, theft or natural disaster, then your home insurance should be there to help replace or repair them.
A guide to estimating the value of contents
But this is only the case if you made sure that you adequately estimated the value of these items when you first took out your policy. It is important to be accurate when working out how much to insure for, as too little will leave you under insured and too much will increase your premiums unnecessarily.
The first thing you need to do is establish how your insurer will compensate you for lost or damaged items. Some policies will pay out the original value of items listed, but the vast majority of policies (including our HomeProtect policy) will pay the present market price or the cost of like-for-like goods. In either case, it is important to keep any receipts in a safe place to show both the original price paid and the specific item you bought.
Create an inventory
When beginning to document items and compile an inventory of your belongings, you will need a pen and a sufficient amount of paper (allowing approximately two pages of a notebook per room). You should list the entire contents of each room and make a note of the value beside each entry. For items with serial numbers, such as electronics, it is important to make a note of these as well. Electrical goods are favoured by thieves, so cataloguing serial numbers and specific makes and models will allow police to identify them if they are recovered. You can also mark your possessions with your name and address in special UV pens that will further facilitate their safe and expedient return.
Taking photographs of your property will give you additional proof, and should help w i t h any claim you may need to make. You should attempt to take snaps of each wall in every room, as well as close ups of smaller items and draw/boxed content (such as cutlery or jewellery). Do not forget to record items that might not be immediately obvious, such as stored items in garages or lofts (or garage lofts), and clothes in cupboards. When you have completed documenting you should make two copies of your photos, one for your own records and one to forward to your insurer.
Once your lists have been completed, you should go through it carefully and research the value of any items you do not know off the top of your head. Attach any receipts to your lists, alongside the reference to the specific items that they support. If you do not have receipts, it is worth checking prices on line and printing out a copy of the results to support your claim down the line. Once you have all the values, you should total the amounts for each room and then total the room amounts together. It is important to have individual room values as well as an over view, as in cases of partial loss only a few rooms might be affected.
Make copies of your lists and any important documents, then keep them in separate places (preferably at a different location to the property you are insuring). You should scan items such as your driver's licence and credit cards, front and back, and store duplicates electronically on a secure external device. Do not leave copies of important documents stored on internal hard drives or hard drives connected to your computer. If you have access to a safety deposit box, or a sealed fire-proof safe, then you should keep your original documents there. Copies of your contents list should ideally be forwarded to your insurer for maximum effect.
With HomeProtect you can obtain a competitive online quote for your home insurance contents cover, whether your home contents are limited only to personal possessions, or you require protection for your home business equipment as well.