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House/Flat Contents Insurance - do you have it?

(57 Posts)
Earlybird Sun 30-Jan-05 20:36:00

Must confess that I do not have insurance cover for the contents of my flat because I have no idea how to value/insure what I've got, have no idea which company to use, and have not wanted to spend the money. So, have simply been hoping that I'll continue to be lucky, and will never need it. Am I the only one who has been so lax?

For those of you who've got contents insurance, have you ever claimed? Was it straightforward, or were hard lessons learned?

Saw in yesterday's newspaper that insurers usually don't want to settle claims with cash reimbursement, but instead want to provide the claimant with comparable replacement items (tv, computer, etc) from their approved "suppliers". Of course, these suppliers give the insurance companies hugely discounted deals as the companies purchase products in bulk. (one of the most eye-opening parts of the article was the fact that a lost Sony tv isn't necessarily replaced with a Sony tv.....but with something that the insurers consider comparable!) Article went on to say that insurers consider anyone who presses for a cash settlement as a prime candidate for fraud investigation!

Your contents cover anecdotes and advice appreciated! You'll either convince me that its unnecessary/a waste of money, or that I'm silly not to have this cover arranged.

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 20:39:45

I used to be a loss adjuster (appointed by insurance companies to handle contents claims) and all of what you said is true. It is stated on your insurance policy that they will always replace first and if you dont want the goods then the cash will be less as it is what it costs the insurers ie with the discount.

I have never made a claim but would never not have insurance having seen people underinsured.

JanH Sun 30-Jan-05 20:46:36

The only claim we ever had on our current insurance (Alliance & Leicester) were for a toaster and a dustbuster damaged by a water leak from upstairs. I was told on the phone to go out and replace them, then when I sent in the receipts they said no, I should have waited for them to provide replacements - as you were told, Earlybird. So I was not fully reimbursed for what I spent, even though I replaced like with like. I couldn't comment on them replacing a Sony with something else though.

(What really pissed me off was that I bought one thing from Argos and used points on the card they had before Nectar - whatever that was??? - towards the cost. It appeared on the receipt as a coupon or something so the insurance company deducted that from what they gave me back. It was only £1 or something but I was mad with myself for doing it!)

munnzieb Sun 30-Jan-05 20:46:38

I have a new for old policy which covers £60K in the house (more than the value of our stuff) it's with more than as we rent our house and it's the only company who offered accidental pet damage.

munnzieb Sun 30-Jan-05 20:47:37

(not had to claim althou I was most distressed that my premium went up even thou i've not claimed) - up by £3 as well! bloomin cheek apparently it's inflation.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Sun 30-Jan-05 20:50:53

I seem to remember reading something about this recently where a man fought an ins co on this and said that he expected the FULL cost repaid, since he had paid his premium in full, without any deductions or discounts. I think he won but I can't remember where I read it. I think it's a nerve, you pay your premium, they insure your Sony tv, they should replace your Sony tv imo. We are insured on a new for old basis with Prudential. I've never claimed on it though.

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 20:52:09

Dont forget if say your house burnt down you'd only be entitled to the value of your stuff not the amount you're insured for.
Most policies are new for old and if you read it you'll probably see the wording about replacing like for like ie the same spec.

Earlybird Sun 30-Jan-05 21:19:54

hercules - just so I understand......even though munzieb has 60K worth of contents insurance (and is paying for that amount), she'd not get that amount back from the insurers if her house burned down? Is that because the value of her contents have "depreciated" since she bought them? Have I got that right?

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:22:18

No,insurance is to replace what you had, it is not compensation. If it cost £5000 to replace your stuff then that is the limit of replacement regardless of how much you were insured for (unless you're underinsured).
It is meant to put you back as you were before, no better or worse.

misdee Sun 30-Jan-05 21:24:49

i am insured for contents. i am trying to find specialist cover for collectables and records (some are worth £50+ for one vinyl).

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:26:01

Yes, your stuff depreciates but on new to old you get new replacement value for the same spec. A common complaint from people was that they bought a top of the range tv a year ago for say £2000. They then expect a top of the range tv as replacement but that would give them more spec than they had as technology increases all the time. The tv they are entitled to ie the same spec will no longer be top of the range and will cost a lot less.

lunavix Sun 30-Jan-05 21:27:30

I use liverpool victoria they are DAMN cheap and so so good.

The first year was about £100 for our flats contents (although that year we got a discount through knowing someone who worked there) this year we renewed it as normal - and they have charged us £10 for the years insurance. £10!!!

Being honest people we phoned to ask if that was right - and they said uhrrrr yes!

essbee Sun 30-Jan-05 21:28:11

Message withdrawn

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:28:58

Make sure you take photos and get valuation, keep receipts etc. Iirc many insurers have it written into their policy that you must provide evidence ie the onus is on you to prove what you had and the value. In reality they only insist if there is a problem or it is a bit suss.
Valuations are a must though.

Potty1 Sun 30-Jan-05 21:29:22

Please get some insurance earlybird - dh is a firefighter and only yesterday they had a flat ruined by smoke damage from an electrical fire (washing machine). The couple have no insurance

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:30:04

I pay £19 a month for contents.

Earlybird Sun 30-Jan-05 21:32:36

What kind of things would need valuations - artwork, jewelry, silver, etc? Who can do a valuation that would be accepted by an insurer?

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:33:24

Most shops will. ~They are very used to it.

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:34:23

Check your policy for cover and individual item cover to see if adequate. Seen lots of people come unstuck.

essbee Sun 30-Jan-05 21:34:27

Message withdrawn

munnzieb Sun 30-Jan-05 21:35:05

I was on the understanding that with my new for old policy if the tv for example (which we have insureed thru someone else as well) broke we could claim on the contents and they would replace it either with thesame spec of a newer model if that one had gone out of circulation as it were, is that wrong?

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:37:15

Yes, they basically put your old model into the computer and it brings up current suitable replacements which are almost always cheaper. If you are lucky and they cant get a suitable match they will normally upgrade at no cost to you as it's not your fault.

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:38:17

You can only claim on one insurance if it's stolen etc no matter how many policies you have.

munnzieb Sun 30-Jan-05 21:39:14

I thought so, we would go with which eva had the lowest excess I think.

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 21:40:29

You would still need to notify the other. They are meant to split the claim ie pay half to the other insurer, but only bother for larger claims.

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