Make sure your contents insurance covers your precious items

Many people have at least one precious item at home but not everyone checks regularly to make sure their home and contents insurance covers it. Even if you rent your home, you likely still own some valuable items that require protection against theft or damage. It’s worth doing regular checks of your possessions – and even getting some valued – so you can make sure your insurance would replace them if they were stolen.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr

While most items we buy depreciate over time – such as cars and bicycles (except in quite rare cases) – there are some things that can actually go up in value over time. And so it’s really important to make sure that, every so often, you get these items valued, check them against your existing insurance.

What kind of items go up in value? Gadgets, electronics, cars and other consumer items will almost always decrease in value over time. But it’s not unusual for a person to have, for example, family antiques that have been passed down through the generations. Not every piece of art or ornament that is over a certain age will be valuable, but some items can become more valuable over time. This can also be down to fashion and what people are collecting at any one time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what the antiques market is doing.

Other items that might increase in value over time include watches and, potentially, jewellery. Certain luxury watches can become significantly more valuable each year – but again, this is often down to fashion and what’s popular at the time. It might even be the case that they go up one year and down the next. But it’s still important to have a rough idea of what an item is worth and get home insurance quotes when your policy is due for renewal to make sure you’re covered and getting the best deal.

Bear in mind that insurers will often want some evidence of the current value of an item, especially if you think the value has gone up. Some kind of written report from a valuer may be enough, but getting this might not be cheap. So it’s worth checking with your insurer to see what evidence will be acceptable. It may also be worth looking online to see if any items similar to yours are for sale, and for how much, before going to the expense of a valuation.

And remember that it’s not just the stuff you own that is valuable. Your house may well be the most valuable thing you own. In fact, your mortgage lender may even insist on proof of adequate coverage. If you own a condo unit, your strata might require you to have enough insurance to cover the deductibles in the case of an at-fault claim on common property. So when looking into protecting your contents, it’s also important to look for home insurance quotes and to ensure that your coverage meets your family’s needs.

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