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Contents Insurance – Your Questions Answered

How does the “sum-insured” method of deciding the level of cover differ from the “bedroom-rated” method?

Levels of cover may be selected in different ways. With sum-insured cover, you need to calculate the cost to replace your possessions and your premium is worked out by the insurer based on this information. Bedroom-rated cover is simpler as it is based on how many bedrooms your house has. We recommend that you obtain quotes using each method of valuation before deciding which is right for you.
 
Should you buy from a broker or sign up direct?

Comparison internet sites are a good place to obtain the most competitive rates as you can see the rates being offered by both brokers and insurers. Using a broker may sound the best option, but you must make sure they search the entire marketplace, as they have a reputation for just searching the rates of a small group of insurers. This will limit your potential savings.

How does the insurer define a bedroom?

Originally your house would have been designed to have a certain number of bedrooms. Even though a room may now be used as a study, it is the original number of bedrooms that the insurer is looking for. They may also want to know whether you have converted any other room into a bedroom.
 
How do you value older items such as out-of-print books?

The general rule is to insure your possessions for whatever price it would take to replace them today. Try to be accurate, as falling into the trap of being over or under insured can lead to problems if you have to make a claim in the future. If the item is valuable it is worth getting an expert valuation from an auction house, antiques dealer or bookshop. You can obtain further advice from your insurer or the Association of British Insurers.

Do you have sufficient accidental damage cover?

Some accidental damage cover is included in standard contents policies and would normally include such things as stereo equipment. However furnishings and goods may not be covered. You will be able to extend your cover to include this kind of item for around 20 – 100 pounds extra. Less active households may decide that it is not worth paying the additional premium.
 
Do you have sufficient personal possessions cover?

You may also wish to consider extending your cover for personal possessions. This insurance, also known as all risks cover, protects you from loss of possessions when you are away from home. A digital camera or a handbag, are typical examples. The insurer may place restrictions on which possessions are covered, so it is advisable to obtain a list of insured items from the Company.
 
What is “indemnity” and “new-for-old” cover?

If your possessions are destroyed or stolen, your insurer will either pay to replace them with new items, or reimburse you for the full cost of repairing them. However, indemnity policies, deduct a sum to cover wear, tear and depreciation. Although the premium maybe cheaper for an indemnity policy, we do not recommend them, as you would probably be badly out of pocket if you made a large claim.
 
I have my own lockable room in a shared flat, but I cannot find anyone who will cover my possessions. What shall I do?

We are not surprised that you are having problems finding an insurer as there is a much greater risk attached to this kind of cover. However there are companies who do specialize in cover of this nature. Your friendly insurance broker will search for a suitable policy or you may wish to consider taking out a joint policy with the other occupants of the property.
 
Will I be charged extra for paying in installments?

Most do charge extra. It just depends who you are insured with, so shop around.
 
My property is at risk from flooding. Can I get insurance?

Insurers have an agreement with the Government that they will continue cover for their present customers, who live in an area at high risk from flooding, as long as sufficient money is allocated by the Government to improve and maintain flood defenses.

Visit Brokers Online to find out more about Home Insurance Cover, Life Insurance Cover and much much more. Brokers Online also provides its clients access to a specialist forum when they can ask questions about their financial problems.

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