1 in 3 don’t know what their home insurance covers

Saga Home Insurance is advising consumers to check the cover included on their home insurance policies. According to research undertaken by the insure…

Saga Home Insurance is advising consumers to check the cover included on their home insurance policies. According to research undertaken by the insurer, the average cost of a home contents claim rises by almost £400 in the winter months. Also, claims for the escape of water, often caused by freezing pipes, increases by 45 per cent in this period. 

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates the average contents value in a three-bedroom home as £55,000. Saga's research shows however that many people don't actually understand their home insurance policies, and as a result may find that their belongings are not fully insured.

Many people don't accurately calculate the value of the items in their home when taking out an insurance policy. 36 per cent of respondents admitted that they don't thoroughly calculate this, which could lead to undervaluation and a loss of funds in the event of a claim.

17 per cent admitted to not taking out any contents insurance policy at all. Of those that did have a policy, 32 per cent were unaware of their total level of cover, meaning they can't be sure that their policy is fully insuring their belongings.

All insurance policies have a single item limit that signifies the highest amount you can claim for any one item. 39% of people don’t know what their limit is, meaning that many high value items might not be covered. Possible items that might be over the limit include jewellery, watches, artwork, antiques and designer handbags.

People aged 50 and over could be particularly at risk of being underinsured as they are more likely to have accumulated valuable items throughout their lifetime, but not changed their level of insurance cover. 

Sue Green, head of home insurance at Saga, says: "Our research has highlighted that there is a real lack of understanding about home insurance. People could be underinsured for years and only realise when it’s too late. The key is to look at the contents cover you have in place and to assess whether it meets your needs and your situation. Doing so is a simple and effective way of making sure you can claim for any damaged or lost items that your policy covers, giving you peace of mind."

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