Because none of us can see into the future, buying an insurance policy is always something of a gamble. Do you go for the cheapest policy, and risk not being covered? Or do you pay more?

Whatever you decide, it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying. Today, we’ll take a look at some things that are often overlooked when selecting a home insurance policy.

Valuable items

Most policies will specify a maximum level of cover for individual luxury items such as jewellery or a musical instrument. But you should also be careful if you have valuable matching sets of items because a lot of their value often lies in their being a complete set.

For instance, a matching pair of antique vases may be worth £1000 together, but only £150 each. If one of them is damaged, some policies will pay out £850 for the full value lost; others will pay only £150 for the single item.

Accidental damage

Different insurers have different interpretations of “accidental”. This particularly applies to any DIY work you do. Spilling black coffee on a light carpet will normally be considered an accident, but splashing paint on an uncovered carpet while you’re decorating might not.


This is one of the commonest problems of all. Many people don’t know this, but if – say – you insure your home contents for £50,000 when they’re actually worth £100,000, many insurers will not pay the full value of any claim you make. In this example, they’ll argue that you’ve only insured half of the value, so they’ll only pay half of the claim even if it’s for a lot less than £50,000. Some will refuse the claim altogether.

Nobody will expect you to know the value of your possessions to the last penny. But it is important to have a realistic idea of the full value of your home contents – it may be more than you think.

If you’d like some impartial advice on these points, or anything else relating to insurance cover, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re not sure, send us an email today – don’t wait till it’s too late!