it’s probably, not the first thought on peoples minds, but checking home insurance polices at Christmas, to ascertain the level of cover your are being provided with is essential. Most contents policy are still arranged on a fixed sum insured basis, and in the event of a loss, this sum insured is supposed to represent, the total cost of replacing all of your contents. In the event that you are underinsured and you have a claim, the insurers could apply an “average clause”, where by they reduce your claim, in proportion to the amount of under insurance. At this time of year, when people are buying presents, some sums insured can increase quite dramatically and an adjustment needs to be made to the sum insured. The good news, is that most modern home insurance policy wordings, will automatically provide an increase in the sum insured to help protect you. The increases do vary but 10% is about the average. Some other home insurance providers, will simply allow a set increase, such as £1000.00.
However, most insurers will only apply this increase in sum insured during the month of December, so the keen Christmas shopper, who starts early, should make sure that have the correct cover, earlier in the year. Christmas, is a time of celebrating and often celebrating, can lead to spills and breakages in the home. If you have a home contents insurance policy, arranged on a standard perils only basis, you will probably have included without extra charge, accidental damage, to: televisions DVD equipment, video recorders, computers and sound reproducing equipment, these are often broken at Christmas as people rearrange rooms or simply spill liquids on them. If you require cover for any other type of spill or breakage, then you will need to make sure that your policy has been extended to full accidental damage. As with other claims, cover will be subject to an excess.
You may find that other people take a great deal of interest in your Christmas purchases, and at this time of year, there is often an increase in the number of Break ins. Although theft is a peril covered by home insurance, it’s best prevented if possible, it’s upsetting enough at any other time of year but anyone that has been burgled at Christmas, knows it is a far worse experience. If you are going out for an evening, make sure your home is secure and locked, take all your usual precautions such as leaving lights on etc. After Christmas, if you are going to through out packing boxes etc, especially for electric items, don’t advertise the fact you have new items in your home by leaving the boxes, visible outside. A number of thieves, trawl areas, looking out side peoples homes, to obtain an idea of what new items they may have acquired. Make sure that cardboard boxes are cut up and if possible ( or allowable by your local authority), place them inside bin bags.
If you are staying away with relatives, you may like to check that your home insurance policy covers you for your own belongings whilst temporarily removed from your own property. It is usual for an insurer to give you a percentage of your sum insured in this respect (Items listed under your all risks section, should be covered anyway). One more thing to check over the holiday period, is the cover you receive under your policy whilst the property is unoccupied.