According to the Association of British Insurers’ latest guide on buildings and contents insurance, research shows that one in five households could be underinsured. Whilst we don’t have any similar report in Ireland, anecdotal evidence would suggest that there is a similar trend here. Underinsurance can cause serious problems if you have to make an insurance claim, as parties under insure are at risk of being penalised in the amount they can recover.
Make sure your home is not under-insured:
Count the cost of a rebuild – for buildings, this means the full cost of rebuilding the home, including fixtures and fittings, any outbuildings and external structures like walls and fences, plus an amount for any extra charges that could be involved in rebuilding such as demolition costs, architects’ and surveyors’ fees and meeting the requirements of local authorities. The Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland has a useful guide to house rebuilding costs.
It’s easy to underestimate the value of household contents and possessions. The sum insured should reflect the full cost of replacing all the belongings within the home at current prices.
Check that all personal effects are covered
This means replacing new items covered. It is worth noting that gold has risen 500% in 10 years while silver has risen an astonishing 900% in the same period, so it is important that up-to-date valuations are retained for all the items covered.
It’s usually a good idea to review your buildings and contents insurance coverage at least once a year.