How to Value Your Home Contents

household-insuranceInsuring your household possessions and valuables is vital in this day and age, particularly if you have certain items of value such as original artworks, antiques or expensive jewellery. However, it is crucial that you evaluate the contents of your home and your possessions correctly. If you fall short and underestimate your contents – you risk an insurance shortfall – overestimate the value of your possessions and you end up paying excessive premiums. Taking that extra time upfront to evaluate the contents of your home and your valuable possessions correctly and honestly reduces the chance that you may come a cropper in the long run!

Make an Inventory

While most people pale at the thought of having to itemise and value every item in their homes, most insurance companies will provide you with an itemised list of household contents according to each room i.e. Living room, bedroom etc. These lists make it easier to go through each room systematically and assign a value to each of your items. If your insurance company doesn’t supply you with such a list, make one of your own; there are many available on the web or alternatively go through each room in your home, listing the items that need to be valued.

If you aren’t sure of what to value in terms of items within the house, as macabre as it is, the best way to think about what to value is to take into account what you would have to replace if your house burnt down, and that would be everything, including carpets and curtains.

Market-Related Values

Value your items at market-related prices – get online and check the current prices of items or verify the receipts if you keep them. While the temptation to ‘over-value’ items may be prevalent in order to get a larger payout if anything happens, bear in mind, overvaluing your household contents will increase your monthly premiums, so it might not pay off in the end. Also, remember that insurance brokers will know and check the value of items, so it’s best to be honest.

Double Check Valuables Cover

Double check with your insurer what the policy covers in terms of items of high value, such as artworks or jewellery and check whether they are included in the general policy. They might need extra protection.

Finally, once the list is complete and every item has been valued, tally up the total and give your insurer a lump sum of what the entire amount would cost to replace, as well as the individual value and they will work out your monthly premiums from there.

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