Valentine’s Day – Are your Contents under-insured?

Valentine’s Day – Are your Contents under-insured?


It’s estimated that in 2018, the British public spent £650m on Valentine’s gifts. Jewellery and clothing being two of the top purchases made.

But with some households spending hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds on gifts, it’s a time of year that could see households under-insured with their new and significant purchases.

Underinsurance occurs when the figures to cover the damage is more than your sum insured. This generally comes to light in the event of a claim.

Different insurers have different ways of dealing with under-insurance. For example, it could lead to policyholder’s having their claims settlement reduced, or them having to pay an additional premium. In extreme circumstances, it could lead to a claim being completely rejected.


How to avoid the risk of under-insurance

Don’t under-estimate the value of your possessions.

It’s important to remember that not only should high value items be considered, but also the cost of replacing staple items in the home.

With most everyday items, you can find a price online. A good way of ensuring nothing has been missed, is to go from room to room and list everything. However, for the more bespoke and high-value items, it is worth getting a professional valuation done. Some insurers may require you do to this too. Not doing so may leave you vulnerable to significant under-insurance.

Add expensive new purchases to your policy

The Valentine’s period sees the purchase of expensive jewellery increase, and with it the potential to be under-insured. It’s important that these newly acquired items get added to policies as soon as possible.

If these aren’t listed on a policy, should any sort of loss occur, these may not be accounted for if a claim arises. There is no need to list every single purchase, just those of higher value. This is because the insurer may need to increase contents sum insured to reflect the increased value of household possessions.

Get regular valuations

For high values items it’s necessary to get regular professional valuations. Even you haven’t made any major purchases, the values of such items is always changing.

In particular, high value items like jewellery are vulnerable to price fluctuations and under-insurance. Gold and silver value fluctuations, for example, can change the value of jewellery, potentially leaving you over or under-insured.

Also consider that jewellery can often be purchased abroad, where prices can be significantly cheaper than the equivalent in the UK. Therefore making it much more expensive to replace in the UK.

Check your policy details

It’s important that you understand your policy.

Inner policy limits are significant. Many policies will specify a limit for valuables and each insurer may use a different definition for ‘valuables’. Understanding these definitions will help you to make decisions on suitable sums insured.

For some items you may be required to provide evidence of ownership or value in the event of a claim. Many insurers will require evidence in the form of a professional valuation for any item valued over, for example, £5,000.

There can be many reasons for households becoming under-insured, however regular reviews and accurate valuations will go a long way towards minimising the risk.


We are Experienced Insurance Brokers, based in Essex, and can help ensure you have the right level of cover.

If you would like us to talk you through Property Insurance please get in touch with us. We can offer a no-obligation quote too. You can contact us:

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