As many of us are at home at the moment, and perhaps looking for ways to fill our time, now could be a good opportunity to review what we have stored in our attics and garages to assess whether we’re properly covered in relation to home insurance.
What’s in your attic?
When you last thought about your home contents insurance, did you think to include items that are in your attic? Don’t worry, many of us forget. Yet this is where we sometimes store our most valuable possessions. That old china tea set Auntie Ethel left you? Your travel luggage? If it was old junk…..then you wouldn’t have kept it surely? These items should be insured and you might be surprised by the overall value. Here are four things to consider:
1. Take an hour or so to review the items in your attic and create a mini inventory. Having an inventory will help you remember what you should include in a claim if the worst was to happen.
2. It is also helpful to take photos of any special items.
3. To help with the insurance, split out what you have into categories:
- ‘General Contents’ should include things like old clothes, shoes and toys, luggage and furniture
- Collectibles like books, stamps or coins should be insured as ‘Fine Arts’
- China should be insured as ‘Fragile Items’
4. Think about what’s being stored in your attic. It’s often a dusty place, humid or freezing cold, and items are at risk of damage from water leaks through the roof, or nibbling by pests. If you must store items in your attic, make sure they are adequately boxed.
Garages are not just for cars
Most homeowners struggle to squeeze large modern cars into their garage these days, so more often than not garages are used for storage. It’s important that you add up in value what’s in your garage and make sure your General Contents cover is enough. Here are five things to consider:
1. Garden machinery and equipment should be insured for ‘replacement as new’ cost
2. Insurance policies often have inner limits for bikes and sports equipment. Add these all up and check your cover, as it may need to be increased
3. Review your security – you should have good quality locks and padlocks
4. Store items off the ground
5. Carefully store hazardous items and chemicals. Where possible, these should be kept in a locked cabinet or out of reach of small children
We are often asked by clients if they “can claim for something stolen from their garage when the door was not locked”. Most off-the-shelf standard insurance policies will not cover items stolen from any location where the physical security, like a lock, was not in force at the time. If this is a concern or you have any questions please speak to us, we have access to many insurers who do not impose security conditions and we will be able to help.
Other articles in this series