Turbines Tree

Castle and contents: insuring your home

‘For a man’s house is his castle,’ wrote Sir Edward Coke in 1628 – and just as a moat protects a castle, contents insurance protects the treasures that make bricks and mortar a home.

The cost of replacing the contents of even a modest home runs to thousands. So, should the worst happen, not having contents insurance in place could cost you dear.

If you haven’t got contents insurance for your home or are just moving to your first home of your own, what do you need to consider before deciding on the right policy?

Well, in a nutshell, it depends on how much you’ve got and what you think it’s worth. For instance, if you’ve just finished university and are living in a studio apartment, you might just have several items of furniture, one or two consumer durables – such as a TV or laptop – and a wardrobe full of clothes. In that case, a simple contents policy offering a relatively small amount of cover in return for very affordable monthly or annual payments might be suitable.

But if you’re well into your career, living somewhere bigger and have an expensive hobby that requires a lot of snazzy equipment, such as windsurfing or mountain biking, the cost of replacing your contents will shoot up. So you will need to explore what a contents policy offers by way of cover for individual items – and to think about any conditions in relation to storage and cover away from home.

There are also certain times of life when it might make sense to update your contents policy. If you’ve just got engaged, then adding your ring to your insurance in case of loss or theft is a must. But if you’ve splashed out on a really valuable piece of jewellery, some policies won’t insure it as part of your standard contents insurance. So find out what your options are. Similarly, exclusions apply if you’re starting a business. If you have to keep your stock at home until you find yourself business premises, not all contents policies will cover it as standard. So always make sure to check the terms and conditions.

But insuring your treasures doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are a few simple ways to keep the cost down. For instance, if you are a homeowner you can often get a deal by taking out your contents and building insurance with the same insurer. Another good tip to keep premiums down is to pay annually rather than paying for the convenience of spreading the cost across 12 monthly payments.

It’s also worth thinking about the excess. While home insurance comes with a compulsory excess – the amount you have to pay out for making any claim – you can also choose to pay a voluntary excess. Typically the bigger the amount you are prepared to pay should you have to make a claim, the more you can expect to save on your policy. Of course, always be careful to set a voluntary excess at an affordable level.

Protecting your valuables not only makes good financial sense, when it comes to dealing with life’s difficult times it can help make things a little easier. And don’t forget to keep your insurance up to date. Review your policy insurance every time you acquire a new treasured possession, when your circumstances change and when the policy is due for renewal.

This article has been written for information and interest purposes only and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only. Links to third party websites are not an endorsement by us of products and services on such websites. You have entered a website owned and operated by and will be subject to their website’s terms and conditions.

Issued by Barclays Bank PLC. Registered in England. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Registered No 1026167. Registered Office: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.co.uk

Written by Laura Staples on behalf of Barclay’s Bank

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