The gift that keeps on giving: 82% of home insurance policies offer additional cover during the festive period
As the UK prepares itself for Christmas, Go.Compare home insurance is urging anyone with contents cover to thoroughly check the fine print on their policy and ensure that it is fit for purpose.
The comparison site has reviewed 335 home insurance contents policies* and found that 82% offer an increase in the amount it will pay out for contents cover for the days and weeks around Christmas. This is to cover extra gifts bought before and those presents that you have in the house afterwards.
Some insurance companies offer a percentage increase in the value - or the sum insured - of cover it provides, where others will specify the actual amount it increases the cover by, but it is available on most home contents policies as standard.
Ceri McMillan, home insurance spokesperson for Go.Compare, has said: “It’s important to re-evaluate your sum insured regularly, especially after occasions such as birthdays and Christmas, just so that you can opt for the right amount of cover.
“The ‘sum insured’ is the maximum amount that your insurer will pay out in the event of a claim. So, if you lost all your possessions in a fire, your sum insured should be enough to cover the cost of replacing all the items you’ve lost. It’s an important number because if you undervalue your home contents and your sum insured is less than it would cost to replace your possessions, then you’ll have to make up the shortfall if something should happen. Also, if you overvalue your home contents, you’ll be paying more than you need to in your premiums.”
“While it’s good to know that the majority of contents policies offer additional cover over the festive period, it’s a good idea to review your policy outside of this grace period. For example, if you have had an expensive piece of jewellery or a new bit of tech in your stocking, you may need to make sure that this is specified on your policy.”
Go.Compare has developed a home insurance contents calculator which can help to work out the value of your contents. As well as a “sum insured” amount, home contents insurance policies will also have a limit for any high-risk items and valuables covered under each policy which can be a percentage, for example 30% of the total contents value, or a fixed amount. Valuables are defined in your policy as particular ‘high risk’ items, such as jewellery, art or antiques.
Policies will also often have a “single-article limit”, which is the maximum amount they will pay out for any individual item if you need to make a claim. This limit will vary across insurance companies but if any of your items exceed this limit, then you should list them separately on your policy so that they’ll be covered to their full value.
In the case of jewellery, any expensive pieces will need to be valued before it’s insured, so you know exactly how much cover you need. If an item has been purchased as new, you should look to insure it for its full replacement value, but if the item second-hand, you should insure it for the amount to replace the item with one of a similar age and value.
If you're unsure of your item's value, a local jeweller should be able to give you an up-to-date valuation. There might be a charge for an insurance valuation, but it’s money well spent to get the right cover.
As well as the Go.Compare calculator, the comparison site has compiled a number of tips to help you work out the value of your contents, including:
- Walking around your property and making a list of your possessions. This includes carpets, curtains, garden furniture, plus any possessions you keep in the attic, shed, garage or outbuildings.
- If you can, try and estimate how much each possession would cost to replace as new. If you’re not sure, have a look online to find out what similar items are worth.
- For expensive items, like jewellery or gadgets, get an up-to-date valuation.
- Add up the total cost of all your possessions combined to work out the amount of cover you need.
More information on contents insurance and single item limits can be found here:
Notes to editors
For further information please contact:
Notes to editors
*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 335 home contents insurance policies, 276 offer extra cover for Christmas. Checked on 7th December 2023
Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.
Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).