Collectors urged to get the correct level of home contents insurance

Two wedding rings and a freedom ring

A MoneySupermarket home contents insurance expert is stressing the need to find out the exact worth of any valuables before getting annual cover after research revealed that the average British household currently insures over £3,500 of gold items among other treasured belongings.

Findings by the Monitor, which delivers analysis and insight into home insurance, show that Brits are collecting all sorts of antiques and rare objects as long-term investments at a time of economic uncertainty for some many people.

Nearly three million home insurance quotes were examined between June 2010 and May 2011 and as well as insuring 10 per cent more gold than last year, average households are also getting cover for coin and medal collections worth over £4,400 each, stamp collections worth £6,138, art or paintings worth £4,209, furs worth £2,819 and almost £3,500 of antiques. An average of £3,619 is also being spent on ‘curios’ and these are rare and interesting items.

Julie Fisher is the head of home insurance at MoneySupermarket and is urging collectors of all paraphernalia to correctly value their belongings or risk being left without adequate insurance.

She said: “The era of ‘Rule Britannia’ is alive and well but whether people have inherited valuable heirlooms, or have scoured shops and markets to unearth valuable retro treasures, it’s crucial to understand how underestimating the overall value of home contents could leave you underinsured and severely out of pocket.”

Fisher continued: “This ‘hoarding’ is an interesting phenomenon seemingly borne out of our current difficult economic times.

“Perhaps many are shunning more traditional savings routes, buying gold and antiques rather stashing their money in the bank. It seems we are all looking at our possessions and scrutinising their proper value, keeping and insuring things that we may have thrown away or sold.

“Also, with the price of gold hitting close to a staggering high of $1,900 an ounce, it’s interesting that many homes in Britain are holding onto their gold, rather than selling it for cash as many have done in the past.”

Laptops (42 per cent) proved to be the most frequently insured individual items by homeowners in spring 2011, followed by bicycles (22 per cent) and jewellery (19 per cent).

The Monitor is also reporting that the average annual buildings and contents insurance premium now currently stands at £152.44 following a decrease in price of 0.4 per cent from June 2010 to May 2011.

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photo credit: Gray Marchiori-Simpson

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