Contents Insurance Renewal Tips
Read before you renew with your current insurer
Points to consider before renewing with your current contents insurance provider
Every year, most people renew their home contents insurance with their current insurer, not realising that they could probably benefit from a superior level of home insurance cover at little, if any, extra cost if they compared contents insurance quotes and shopped around.
Whilst home and contents insurance is often seen by the customer as ‘all the same’ and therefore not varying in quality from one insurer to another, this is by no means the case. It is well worth you thinking about some key points and considering whether you’ve chosen the best insurer for your cover needs. Here are some of the main issues for you to consider.
1. Claiming Service : Insurance is a strange product. You pay the insurer up-front in the hope that when something goes wrong in the future they will compensate you for your losses under the terms of the policy. A claims service which is fast, efficient and takes the stress out of any claim situation is very important.
The major problem here is knowing who manages and pays claims in this manner and who the culprits are that give Insurance companies claims handling services a bad press.
Fortunately you can be assured that only companies with excellent records for paying home insurance claims in a fair and efficient manner are recommended on this website.
2. Limits to cover : Most insurance policies will cover you for a specified list of events (fire, explosion, theft, storm flood etc), but very few give full accidental loss and damage cover as standard. This may well be available as an additional bolt on to the opolicy for a price, so it is well worth checking the cover limits before you buy home insurance.
3. Where are you covered? : Insurance policies usually clearly define where your possessions are covered, known as the geographical limits of cover. Many restrict cover to ‘in the home’ only, others have restrictive cover once items are taken outside the home and only a few provide comprehensive cover anywhere in the world. The top of the range cover is usually referred to as ‘world-wide all-risks’. This may well be covered under an optional section of the policy, called personal possessions away from the home, as the term all risks is not widely used anymore.
4. Security : All home insurance policies nowadays will insist on a minimum standard of window and door locks. Depending on your sums insured and where you live, you may also be asked to fit an alarm. The key thing to watch out for is that most insurers insist that your security is fully put into operation every time you leave the house or go to bed at night. Others are more relaxed and whilst asking for security, will be more flexible in the way you use your security. Always read the policy wording as you could find thast you are not covered if you have an alarm fitted and it was not on at the time of a break in for example.
5. Valuable items : If you have a decent level of jewellery, watches, fine art, antiques or collections then you are probably going to be asked to specify individual items over a certain amount (£1,000 – £1500) and occasionally to provide recent valuations upfront. A few insurers take a more lenient view and will insure these items under your home insurance policy without this hassle.
6. Theft : Check your policy to see the level of cover given for theft outside of your home. Some insurers will only pay a claim if ‘forcible and violent entry to or exit from a building’ is involved. Others will provide wider cover for any theft and will include cover up to a certain limit for goods and possessions left in gardens and sheds, or possessions such as clothes that you may take with you worldwide.
7. Individual cover limits: Always check your policy for limits imposed on the cover. For example, theft of money, garden equipment, liability, losses from outbuildings and pedal cycles etc . These limits not only vary widely between insurers, but some may not provide any cover at all undervsome policies.
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