Quarterly Home Index data from Quotezone.co.uk showed the average value of home contents in the UK is an eye-watering £43,040 – yet 38% of households do not take out accidental contents damage. South East England was the highest region for contents value with an average of £46,023 while Northern Ireland was the lowest at £37,520. Customer estimations show a huge range, with the lowest individual sum insured for £5,000 and the highest being £100,000.
Undervaluing contents can be an issue, if people guesstimate the total value instead of working the figures out as accurately as possible – they might not be able to fully replace the damaged or stolen items in question should they need to make a claim.
The data from Quotezone.co.uk – which is based on a sample of over 20,000 standard home insurance policies – also showed almost 40% of homeowners don’t take out accidental damage cover for contents. Scotland on the other hand, leads the way with the highest percentage, 68%, of people who do protect their contents with accidental damage cover – followed by North East England at 66%. London was surprisingly the lowest in the UK with under half taking out the additional protection at 49%.
According to a report by the Association of British Insurers, £8.1 million a day was paid out by British insurers for domestic property claims – including building and contents policies.
Contents cover is designed to insure everything people would take with them if they were moving to a new house. The value should be calculated by totalling up the large and expensive items such as TVs and electrical equipment, beds and sofas, kitchen appliances, gardening equipment and outdoor furniture – online estimators are available to help total up correctly.
Responding to the new data, Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk, one of the UK’s largest home insurance comparison sites comments: “The Christmas season normally sees a spike in burglaries and winter weather also puts our homes at risk of flooding and frozen pipes. It is crucial that customers correctly total up the sum of their contents and take out the cover that suits them best – failure to do so may mean they won’t have enough compensation to replace the items in their home should they be stolen or damaged.
“Some added security measures might be worth the investment such as CCTV cameras, a burglar alarm or motion sensor lighting. If people don’t have additional budget right now there are still things that can be done to increase security such as putting lights on a timer, joining the local neighbourhood watch scheme and checking caller ID.
“It’s also worth clearing out drains, sweeping chimneys, fitting additional smoke alarms and making sure pipes have adequate insulation – all of which can help minimise the risk of damage. Some of these measures may even help bring the cost of home insurance down, so it’s an investment worth exploring.”
The Home Insurance Index saw very little change this quarter with the highest average home insurance premium price still in London at £176, up just £3. North East England was still the cheapest at £125, up £14 – the average overall UK figure went up by just £12 to £144.
Quotezone.co.uk has over 50 home insurance providers, helping over 3 million users find a competitive price and the policy that suits them best.