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The importance of being properly insured this Christmas

Fri 11 Dec 2015

December has finally arrived and over the next few weeks we can expect to see last minute shoppers elbowing their way through Queen Street and St David's shopping centre as they purchase their last-minute festive gifts.

Homes up and down the country have already started to fill up with pricey presents and glossy gadgets, and it is not surprising that, during the weeks immediately before and after Christmas, you are likely to have more expensive goodies stored at home than at any other time during the year.

In fact, by the time you have finally finished your shopping, the total value of your home's contents could easily have gone up by a couple of hundred pounds, if not even more, obviously depending on how generous you're feeling! Unfortunately, this is also the ideal time of year for less scrupulous characters intent on swiping your swegway or nabbing your iPad to strike. So with the added value to the contents of your home, it is important to know that any Grinch's attempt steal your goods, your insurance is going to cover those extra purchases. Contents insurance, among other things, will cover you against loss, damage by theft or attempted theft, as well as damage from fire, water leakage, storms or flooding. It is not compulsory to have but without it most of us would struggle to replace the majority of our belongings - and no one wants a present-free Christmas - although some may admittedly wish that their newly acquired Justin Bieber album went missing!

Many people will take out a policy when first moving into a property, but it's easy to forget to update it as the years go by and only realise when it is too late. Christmas is a time when there are a thousand and one things to remember, but one thing not to forget is to check what you are covered for, update your policy if you need to, or take one out if you haven't already. Not all policies are going to be the same but ultimately the aim is to calculate the total amount that will be paid out if anything goes wrong. There are two main options, both with advantages and disadvantages. Some policies will need you to add up the total value of your belongings, while others will calculate the total based on the total number of rooms in your house or flat.

The first option might seem time-consuming but working through your property one room at a time, not forgetting the attic, garage and shed, and making a full list of everything from Apple Macs to rain macs, is really the only way of working out the value accurately. The second option could save you quite a bit of work but it will probably be more expensive, and there is still always a chance that it could also get the final amount wrong. There are plenty of insurance companies out there, all offering different packages and the good news is that some automatically increase the level of cover over Christmas when they know you are likely to have expensive goods in the house (hooray). The degree to which they do this are going to vary so it is worth doing some careful research as being insurance-savvy will mean you find the best deal.

For an extra cost, you can also usually extend a policy to include additional cover for things such as accidental damage, such as gravy spillage (always a peril at this time of year) or to cover personal possessions that you take out of the home � like those Beats headphones you always wanted or that swanky SLR camera, for example. Of course, as always, prevention is better than a cure so your first thought should always be making sure your home is secure in the first place. For peace of mind however, is it a good idea to insure what's inside the property, so that if a burglar does manage to sneak in, you've got it covered and the seasonal spirit isn't spoiled.



Book a valuation straight into our diary or find out how much your property is worth using our instant online valuation tool