Don’t under-insure expensive gifts

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It’s the time of year when many homes begin to fill up with expensive gifts as well as food and wine in preparation for the festive season.gift-present

Many people spend hundreds, or even thousands, on family and friends at Christmas. However, there’s a danger that under the terms of your home insurance the increased value of your possessions will exceed your claim limits.

In simple terms, if all the Christmas items you’ve bought with your hard-earned cash were stolen or destroyed through fire, or some other accident, you wouldn’t get back their full value.

Check you’re within your limits

So if you do intend to spend a lot on gifts, either in total or on one item in particular, such as an expensive piece of jewellery, it’s a good idea to review your cover levels.

Standard policies set maximum limits on the sums you can claim, whether for individual items or in total. On cheaper policies, this can be quite low, such as £500 for a single item and £3,000 in total.

Do you need to increase your cover at Christmas?

As there’s a chance the presents you buy and store in your home before the big day will exceed the limits on your policy as it stand, you may want to think about increasing your level of cover for a short period of time.

Some policies, rather usefully, include clauses which mean your claim limits automatically increase over the Christmas period, often by around 10% and usually from the 1st of December until early January, but many don’t.

Contact your insurer, or insurance broker, to discuss your cover levels and how much you intend to spend. They will be able to work out if you do indeed need to increase your limits and by how much.

Individual item claim limits

Whether you need to increase your total claim limit or not, you may need to look at the maximum you can claim on any one item.

For many policies, this will be in the region of £1,500 to £2,000. So if you buy a gift worth more than your limit, you need to tell your insurer and they may adjust your cover accordingly.

But even if no one gift exceeds the single item claim limit on your policy, you may still need to specify certain more valuable items to your insurer.

These may include items such as jewellery, tech gadgets, watches, art, antiques, fur and medals, as such items can be considerably easier to break or lose, and are more attractive to thieves. If you don’t tell your insurer, you risk invalidating any claim you might have to make for them.

The insurer needs to know so they can assess you as a risk, and note whether they are happy with things as they stand, or if they need to re-assess your premiums in light of the new information.

Policy Expert

Our dedicated customer service team is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.