Make sure your Christmas is covered
Around 70,000 homes are at risk of being burgled over the festive season, according to Home Office statistics.
Make sure your home and presents are protected under your contents insurance.
1. Adequate cover
Many people assume their home contents insurance will automatically cover any new valuables, but it’s important to check with your provider or you could be left underinsured. If necessary, you could increase the value of the items your policy covers, but be aware that insurers will usually set a limit on single items so you may need to insure valuables separately.
2. Keep a record
All insurers require you to keep an accurate list of stolen items, so you will have to supply your provider with proof-of-purchase receipts. If you don’t have the original receipts, photos of the items, valuations prior to the loss, or credit or debit card statements will do.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
Don’t advertise your wares. Avoid placing your tree and gifts by a window if you don’t want to attract unwanted attention. You should also dispose of any packaging and receipts carefully.
4. Security is key
Make sure you have adequate security measures in place to protect your home from intruders. Home insurers will always require you to keep windows and doors locked, especially if you are out. If you go on holiday, make sure the property is not left unoccupied for more than 30 days. If your house is broken into, make sure you contact the police as soon as possible.
5. Prepare for the new year
Once the festive season is over, you may want to make a New Year’s resolution to reassess your contents insurance, taking into account the presents you’ve been given and purchases you’ve made in the January sales. You can find the top home and contents insurance policies on Moneywise.co.uk/compare-and-buy.
Issued by a bank as part of a current account and, in a nutshell, serves as electronic cash. Unlike a credit or charge card, where you get an interest-free period before you have to settle the bill, the funds spent on a debit card are withdrawn immediately from your current account. Unless you’ve arranged an overdraft, if you don’t have the cash in the account, you can’t spend it.
Does exactly what it says on the tin: covers the contents of your home for theft and damage and also may insure certain possessions (jewellery, cycles) outside of the home. Things to watch for include the excess and also the maximum payout on individual items. Another grey area is kitchen fittings, as some contents policies say these are not contents but part of the fabric of the property and covered by buildings insurance and some buildings policies don’t cover them because they regard them as contents.