House contents insurance is taken out to cover personal possessions in a home. In addition, it will sometimes cover these items when they are taken outside the home as well as those in nearby sheds and the like. Basically, it covers those items that are not part of the home and covered by other insurance.
While house content insurance is not required, it does provide people with peace of mind. People tend to build up a lot of valuables and want to protect their investments. Those who want to save as much money as possible may not want to go with this insurance since the odds of collecting more than they pay in premiums are against them. However, for others, the sense of security it provides at a relatively low cost is worth it.
Remember that home owner insurance just covers the home (what is attached) and not what is kept in it. In addition, since landlords generally and not required to, and do not provide, insurance for personal belongings, renters who would like to have their belongings covered need to take out renters insurance.
Finding house contents insurance
While a local insurance agent can provide this insurance, anyone looking for it also certainly needs to check online for the best deals. As with other types of insurance, having multi-policies with one company can lower costs. Look around since insurance companies can vary greatly in how they assess risk and premiums. Content insurance can be purchased with home owner insurance or as a separate policy.
The costs of house contents insurance
Premiums will vary greatly according to how much is insured. Location can also have a big effect with high-risk areas, such as a crime-ridden neighborhood, costing much more. Ask the company about discounts since they often offer them for such things as being a long-standing, loyal customer or for senior citizens. It is also advisable to have a deductible to lower costs and eliminate the need to make claims for smaller losses.
Those taking out house contents insurance need to do a careful inventory of their possessions to decide on how much they will insure. It is a good idea to go through the house and make an inventory room by room. Taking pictures and videos is also advisable. For more valuable items to include TVs, record the model and serial numbers. It is also necessary to do a periodic update of possessions. If this is not done, valuables that were acquired after the initial inventory will not be covered if they are lost.
What is covered?
Depending on the policy, lost goods will be insured for the replacement value, how much it would cost to replace the lost goods new, or the cash value, the value the goods would have in their used condition. While a cash-value policy will be cheaper, it is not going to pay out enough to replace all the goods if they are lost.
The belongings covered can be of the home owner or close relatives living in the home to include children or parents. Depending on the policy, possessions outside the house, but within a certain range, may also be covered. In some cases, this extends to things lost when taken outside the premises or even on vacation.
There is no covering sentimental value so keep in mind that many possessions will not be worth insuring.
Things to look for with house content insurance
As with any insurance policy, be careful with the fine print and only get the insurance that is needed. While some places are susceptible to certain kinds of disasters, others are not. Choose coverage accordingly. There also may be exceptions for certain types of belongings to watch out for.
Policies will offer monthly or yearly premiums. To save on time and billing expenses, it is usually better to go with annual plans.
A good company will offer 24-hour claims hotlines.
Keep in mind that those who make too many claims may not be able to get their policies renewed when the time comes.