House Contents Insurance Continued

The best choice of house contents insurance for most people is a standard new-for-old policy, with an all-risks extension for possessions regularly taken out of the house.

What influences cost?

The main influence is where you live. Insurers divide the country into areas of higher and lower risk according to their experience of paying out on claims. Busy urban areas where the chance of theft is greater attract the highest premiums, quiet rural areas the lowest.

Points to note

- If you live in a 'high risk' area where theft is a fairly common occurrence and leave the house unoccupied every day, some insurers will charge you much higher premiums or insist on extra security.

- Some policies include a section giving cover for freezer contents if there is a mechanical breakdown or a power cut. If not, you might be able to add this cover for an extra cost (around £4 to £4 for £400 of cover).

- Taking in a lodger can reduce your theft cover to breaking-andentering only. You might be able to increase the cover by paying extra.

- New-for-old cover is not always precisely what you get. It actually applies only where something is lost or stolen, or totally destroyed, or damaged to an extent that it is utterly beyond repair. If the damage to something is only slight, the insurer mi>- If only one of a set - for example, one of a pair of earrings - is lost, damaged or stolen, you may be paid only for one, even though you need the pair to get any use out of them. Three-piece suites can

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House Contents Insurance

What it covers

You generally get cover for all the movable possessions you and your family normally keep in your home, including furniture, household items, clothing, and so on, and possessions kept in outbuildings, such as garden tools kept in the shed. The risks you're covered against are similar to those which apply to house buildings insurance ).

Types of policy

There are two basic kinds of policy - 'standard' and 'all risks'. Standard policies cover only specified events. All-risks policies cover any accident unless it's specifically excluded.

All-risks... see: House Contents Insurance

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