Home insurance Updated:
We all know how important insurance can be to protect you from financial loss should the worst happen. But what about the emotional loss? It isn't always about the money, but unfortunately, research has found that many people are at risk of losing or damaging their most cherished possessions by failing to have the necessary precautions in place.
Financially valuable items can easily be replaced by suitable home contents insurance, but many sentimental items aren't covered – and those items can still be vulnerable to fire, theft or water damage. The study, from Saga Home Insurance, found that just 38% of respondents have adequately protected their sentimental items from water damage and 47% have done the same against fire damage, meaning a large proportion of people are putting their most precious items at risk.
It's important to store these items carefully to ensure they'll be protected, but don't hide them away to such an extent that you couldn't get to them in an emergency! Fir example, financial and legal documents were cited as key items to save in a fire (27% of respondents said this, rising to 40% for the over-50s), and these could be stored in an easily-accessible fireproof filing cabinet or safe.
Truly sentimental jewellery could also be stored in this kind of environment, and remember that these items could well be covered by insurance, so long as you speak to your insurer. If your pieces are of particularly high value you may need to seek additional cover, or at the very least specify how much they're worth when taking out the policy, and some policies will only cover certain high-value items if they're kept in a safe when not in use.
You may want to periodically check the value of your possessions, too, particularly if you've got heirlooms or antiques in your home – 15% of those surveyed have discovered that they own something of unexpected value, which means proper storage and additional insurance could well be necessary.
"Whilst insurance protects peoples' financially valuable items in the event of damage, we are keen to help our customers protect their sentimental items, too," said Sue Green, head of Home Insurance at Saga. "Even though many of these cannot be insured in an official sense, there are steps people can take to look after them so they can be passed on as heirlooms."
Having the right insurance in place can protect your financial interests, but taking the necessary precautions can also reduce the emotional cost should the worst happen, so make sure to think carefully about everything from proper storage to seeking suitable home insurance to have the peace of mind you need.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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