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Last updated: 29 October 2021
Is your home filled with valuable artwork, jewellery, or are you a tech buff with top of the range, expensive televisions and laptops? In both cases, standard home contents insurance policies might not be sufficient for your needs. Most home insurance policies set a limit on how much they’ll pay out in compensation for a single item, with maximums ranging between £1,000 and £2,500, depending on the policy.
So, you have two options for insuring high value items: adding them separately to your home contents insurance policy, for an additional cost, or taking out a separate policy for these items, possibly a collectors’ or gadget insurance policy.
If your home is filled with a lot of high-value items, you may need to find a specialist high net worth insurance policy.
What are high value items?
You might think high value items are exclusively antiques and collectibles, and assume you don’t own any. But with high value items usually defined as anything worth more than £1,000, including electronics and gadgets like laptops, a majority of Britons own at least one. The most common high value items for which people seek insurance quotes are laptop computers, jewellery, bicycles, watches and television sets.
Insuring high value items with a standard contents insurance policy
Most home insurance policies come with single item limits, the maximum amount they’ll pay out for a single item. This typically ranges between £1,000 and £2,500 on standard home contents insurance policies. Many high value items will be worth more than this, meaning you may not be able to claim for their full value in the event of damage or loss.
You can add cover for these items on as extras to your home insurance policy, however. You’ll have to declare them separately on your policy and will pay more on your premiums for the cover.
Some of these items, like jewellery, watches and gadgets, can be covered by personal possession cover, an extra added to a home contents insurance policy that covers these items both at home and when you take them out of the house.
Specialist insurance policies for high value items
Instead of using your home contents insurance policy, you might find it cheaper or more practical to look for specialist cover for your high value items.
For instance, if your high value items are laptops, mobile phones and cameras that you take outside of the property, it makes more sense to cover them with a gadget insurance policy. These policies will cover the electronics you carry between home and work or take to events and on holiday. As these items are commonly stolen, insuring them with a separate policy ensures that any claims you make for them don’t drive up the overall cost of your home insurance.
In some instances, a collectors’ insurance policy might make the most sense. This might be the case if you have a number of high value items, such as artwork or for hobbyist collections like stamps, memorabilia or wine. These specialised insurance policy’s cover the unique risks and costs of owning a collection, including coverage for accidental damage, depreciation, for temporary locations (if your collection is removed from the home and put on exhibition, for instance), and even for emergency evacuation of the collection and legal disputes around the collection, including defective title cover. Specialist policies, including those for fine art, can come with assistance to help you value your collection properly.
Additionally, some contents insurance policies will offer more generous limits (for instance £5,000) on single items or may offer unlimited single-item cover. But be aware you’ll face higher overall premiums on these policies and if you have just a few high value items, especially those at high risk of theft or damage, it may make more economic sense to insure them separately.
High net worth insurance policies
Home contents policies will also have a maximum amount they’ll pay out in total, called the sum insured. If you’re wealthy and your home is full of luxurious and valuable items, ordinary home insurance products won’t be sufficient. You’ll want to look for specialist high net worth home insurance policies, which will come with generous limits or even unlimited coverage for your home and the contents within it, including individual valuables.
These policies can also come with access to legal advice, security safe installers and appraisers and valuers. But in general, high net worth insurance policies only make financial sense if the rebuild value of your home is greater than £1,000,000 and its contents worth more than £200,000.