Homeowners undervaluing their contents insurance by £100bn

New research by Admiral Home Insurance has revealed that homeowners across the country could be undervaluing their contents insurance by £100bn, despite a third believing their possessions are at risk.

Admiral Home insurance surveyed 1,000 people in the UK, asking them to estimate the value of all contents in their home. The average figure came out at £22,267 which is £20,000 less than the average contents value of £43,629. Across the UK that works out at a total of £104bn worth of contents that could be undervalued.

While two-thirds of respondents (67%) typically update their contents insurance on an annual basis, one in nine (13%) have never updated it and more than a quarter (28%) said they didn’t think it was necessary to increase their insurance level on a regular basis, for example when they buy a high-value item such as jewellery or home technology. Contents are defined as everything from a wardrobe of clothes, to pots and pans, to any gadgets owned. Contents also includes carpets and curtains, which are easy to underestimate

This large disparity between the perceived contents value and actual value becomes even more alarming as a third (33%) of people revealed their contents were at risk in some way, whether from burglary or flooding.

Living Room possessions

Furthermore, over three-quarters (77%) of people surveyed who owned antique or vintage items have never had them valued. This could mean precious possessions are under-covered.

When it came to the types of property least likely to have insurance, more than half (54%) of flat renters said their contents weren’t covered at all, and they were the least likely to update their cover on an annual basis – despite the fact a third of them say their contents were at risk.

Noel Summerfield, Head of Household at Admiral said: “It’s important that homeowners or renters provide a correct estimate for their contents, otherwise they could end up without enough cover should they have to make a claim. The value of most items can be searched on the internet, but antiques or jewellery should be valued by a professional before being added to your policy.

It’s also important to ensure the total value of contents remains up to date, while most home insurance policies increase cover to recognise inflation, people often forget to add new purchased items, such as an engagement ring or a new television.

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