What to consider as high risk on your home insurance policy

When it comes to the items in your home, some of your belongings are a lot more attractive than others to thieves.

This puts them, in the eyes of insurers, at a higher risk of being stolen as thieves are all too aware that they can be resold quickly for a decent amount of money. What’s more, if a product is in high demand, they won’t have any difficulty selling it on.

As such, these types of items are formally labelled as high-risk items in home insurance terms. A typical home insurance policy usually asks the policyholder to specify items of high value (and therefore high risk). You should specify these items and state how much these are worth, financially.

Don’t ignore this part of the policy. Did you know your high value items might not be covered by your home insurance if they are damaged or stolen unless they are specified? Most home insurers will put limits on how much they are willing to pay out for a single item and as that price could be as low as £1,000, you should make sure you’re taking steps to ensure these items are properly protected and fully covered.

This guide will explain how to protect your most expensive belongings for all the right reasons.

What are high-risk items on home insurance? 

High-value home items are often considered to cost above £1,000 to replace – depending on insurer - and they tend to fall into a number of categories. 

Just about everyone will have one or more of these items in their home. The higher the value of the items you own, the larger risk your insurance provider will feel you pose. Consequently, your premium may increase. 

Typical high-risk items are:

  • Antiques
  • Jewellery, or anything that is made from gold, silver or other precious metals
  • Paintings and other forms of artwork
  • Watches and clocks
  • Rare books
  • Electric wheelchairs/mobility scooters
  • Sporting equipment 
  • Garden equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Furs and valuable clothing item
  • Software stored on electronic devices
  • Stamp, coin and medal collections
  • Anything that is considered to be rare or a collectable

Make sure you do an inventory of all your high-risk items within your home and make a note of their value. This is because should anything happen to these items you may be asked to provide documented proof of their value and possibly proof of purchase. Their value may not be what you paid for the item, but the importance is how much it would cost to replace it now. If you can, keep hold of receipts so you have evidence of their value at the time of purchase. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the items which could both help if they are recovered following theft and with the claim process.

If you don’t have a receipt for older items or heirloom pieces, you may want to consider getting a professional valuation for such items. Ask for a certificate, confirming the valuation, and keep this is a safe place for reference.

What cover is offered for high-risk items?

Some home insurance policies will include cover for valuable items, such as jewellery. There may be limits as to what/how much is covered, but your insurance provider will be able to give more information on this. You might be asked to pay the excess on any claims you make for high-value items, which will cut down your premium but you will have to pay a fairly large amount towards any claim you make. 

Cover for high-risk items could be offered on a number of different levels. There might also be limits on the amount of cover you are offered on an item, for example £2,000 or £2,500, depending on insurer. So, you should consider the items you own that cost more than this. If an item of yours is worth £1,800 and is damaged or stolen and your cover only stands at £1,500 you’ll need to pay the difference. This is why you should make sure you read your policy documentation to understand what cover a policy provides. 

As it’s your responsibility to inform your insurer of your high-risk items, make sure you:

  • Keep a record of high-risk items with photographs and a description to make your claim easier. 
  • Have updated valuations and store certificates in a safe place. It’s recommended that any jewellery you own is valued every two years by an accredited jeweller.

You should store valuables items such as jewellery and watches in a safe place at home when you’re not wearing them. Never leave valuables where they can be seen by burglars. 

Home insurance offers financial security for your home and possessions. For a quote on your home insurance contact RAC Home Insurance today and get everything you need covered. 

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