Nov 22, 2011
With Christmas fast approaching, MoneySupermarket.com advises consumers to check the small print of their home contents policy to ensure gifts and valuables are covered.
The Moneysupermarket.com research reveals that most providers apply an automatic uplift to the amount of home contents cover over the festive season, at no extra cost.
Consumers should be aware however that cover will vary by providers. For example, Direct Line automatically increase the value of contents cover by 5 per cent of the sums insured for several weeks, while Lloyds TSB give up to £3,000 increase one month before and after Christmas according to the price comparison site.
MoneySupermarket’s top tips to keep your home safe from thieves
- Ensure you lock all windows and doors before leaving the house
- Keep all items of value away from windows and out of sight from opportunistic thieves
- Regularly check the state of your locks, and where necessary replace older, weaker ones with new locks. Five-lever mortise locks are recommended for external doors while windows should ideally have two bolt locks
- Don’t leave high value items lying around the house, lock them away safely
- Install a good home security system
- When leaving the house for a lengthy period of time, put a timer on your light switches to give the impression that you are at home.
- If you are away, remember to cancel newspaper and milk deliveries and ask someone you can trust to open and close the curtains and collect mail
- Don’t leave keys in obvious places such as under a doormat. Also beware of ‘hook n crook’ thefts – where keys are left so close to a door that a burglar can simply hook them through a letterbox and open the door
- Install security lighting – illuminate your visitors for their safety as well as your own. Unwelcome visitors are less likely to loiter if they’re ‘in the spotlight’.
Peter Harrison, insurance spokesperson at MoneySupermarket.com said: “Christmas is the time of year for giving and sharing amongst family and friends, but filling your home with expensive gifts could mean your home is underinsured.
“With long dark nights upon us, and festive shoppers gearing up for Christmas, this is a prime opportunity for thieves to target homes. It is therefore important to find out exactly what you are covered for to ensure your gifts and presents are protected, otherwise you could end up being underinsured, impacting on any home insurance claim you make. For example, if you have £45,000 worth of contents in your home but are only insured for £30,000, your insurer might only pay two thirds of a claim, even if it is for less than £30,000. High value single items such as jewellery may need to be listed individually on a policy as insurers often have limits of £1,000 or £2,000 for single expensive items. It is also worth checking whether popular accessories such as mobile phones, iPods and iPads need itemising on a policy for being covered as possessions used away from the home.
“Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration, so don’t risk dampening the festive spirit by being underinsured. It only takes a few minutes to check with your provider whether they apply automatic uplift, and if they don’t, it may be necessary to increase your cover to protect yourself from opportunistic thieves.”