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Valuing your valuables

6 common home insurance miscalculations

Forgotten items - carpets and curtains

Carpeting a 100m2 house - £1900

Design lovers tip

Keep receipts for furnishings, art and accessories and add to running room totals each year.


Adding an extra bathroom could typically increase the value of the your home by around 5% - around £15,000 on the average home.

Grand designers tip

Don't forget to account for recent building additions within the rebuild cost of your building insurance.

Family situation

58% of children in the UK now have their own tablet by the age of 10. By age 12, 80% of children have their own phone. These items could be worth in excess of £1,000.

Tip for parents

The value of your children's possessions will grow as they do. Don't forget their toys and electricals.

Falling values

Global art sales fell by 22% in 2016 compared to 2015, with the value of auction house sales falling by 18.8%.

Collectors tip

Have antiques, heirlooms and jewellery valued every two years. Check your insurance cover is still reflective of the item’s value.

Rising values

Consumer prices are expected to rise by 3% through 2017, including clothing, electricals, and homeware products.

Entertainment lovers

Check single limit items are still enough should you need to repair or replace items such as TVs, tools or expensive clothing.

Hidden value

A man's wardrobe contents could be worth over £3,000.

A kitchen's kit could be worth over £3,000

Food lovers tip

Some of your most valuable content is in your drawers and cupboards. Don't forget to include it.

What does it mean to be underinsured?

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to give your insurer an accurate estimate of the value of your buildings and contents every year. If your estimate is too low and the value of your goods rises beyond your agreed limits or you acquire valuable items and you don’t inform your insurer you could find yourself underinsured.

For example, if your contents are worth £80,000 but you only value them at £40,000 you are 50% underinsured. In the event of a claim for £30,000 your insurer could reduce your claim by 50% so you would only receive £15,000.

Most people find this surprising because the amount claimed is under the total sum insured, but being underinsured means you haven’t paid the right premium for the amount of cover you need.

As you can see, having the right amount of insurance is almost as important as having insurance.

Here are some useful tips to help you keep your home insurance up to date. So if you ever have to make a claim you won’t find yourself with a surprising shortfall and you can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Making sure you’re up to date

  • Firstly check the sum insured, all single items and inner limits. Are they up to date with what you need?
  • Add up the value of your contents room by room. Don’t forget attics, basements and garages.
  • Remember to add the cost to replace the item now, not what you paid for it a few years ago.
  • Do any new items or heirlooms need specifying separately?
  • Think about items you would like to cover when you’re out and about. Are they covered under your existing travel or mobile cover or do you need extra cover?
  • Don’t forget that if you’re an existing customer you can update your policy at any point throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait.
  • Forgotten items: Carpet costs based on 100m2 at £19 per m2.

    Renovations: The Telegraph, May 2016, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/online-estate-agent/home-improvements-that-add-value/

    Family situation: The Guardian, March 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/04/go-school-two-half-hours-sleep-british-children-arent-sleeping
    Apple product prices as at 08/03/2017, iPhone 7 £699.00. iPad Air 2 £379.00. https://www.apple.com/uk/

    Falling values: Artlyst, February 2017, https://www.artlyst.com/news/global-art-sales-fall-22-as-market-reacts-to-trump-and-brexit/

    Rising values: The Guardian, January 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/17/uk-inflation-hits-two-year-high

    Hidden value:
    Wardrobe costs based on the following items available from johnlewis.com, prices correct as at 07/03/2017.
    Jaegar Diamond Regular Fit Suit Jacket, Charcoal, £275.00; Jaegar Diamond Regular Fit Suit Trousers, Charcoal, £124.00; Ted Baker Biza Wool-Blend Peacoat, Charcoal, £299.00; Tommy Hilfiger Mercer Straight Jeans, Mid Blue, £85.00; Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Chinos, Meadow Moss, £70.00; Barbour International Drag Waterproof Jacket, Navy, £189.00; Polo Ralph Lauren Jogging Bottoms, Spring Heather, £109.00; Levi’s The Sherpa Denim Trucker Jacket, Lucky Town, £110.00; Jaegar Brushed Cotton Slim Fit Blazer, Olive, £149.00; Ted Baker Serny Slim Fit Chinos, Dark Blue, £89.00; Dune Richmonds Square Toe Suede Derby Shoes, Navy, £100.00; Ted Baker Camroon 4 Chelsea Boots, Black, £150.00; Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Trainers, Grey, £45.00; BOSS Ellot Leather Belt, £45.00; Calvin Klein Circle Micro Dot Silk Tie, £35.00; Sandqvist Jordan Waxed Holdall, £205.00; Fred Perry Loopback Hoodie, Navy, £90.00; Kin by John Lewis Mercer Knitted Tie, Claret, £19.50; Polo Ralph Lauran Leather Commuter Bag, Cognac, £455.00; Gant Cotton Crew Neck T-Shirt, White, £35.00; Ted Baker, Marlin Textured Crew Neck Jumper, Bright Blue, £95.00; John Lewis Laundered Cotton Oxford Shirt, £35.00; Reiss Dayton V-Neck T-Shirt, £30.00; John Lewis Cotton Cashmere V-Neck Jumper, £35.00; Gant Regular Fit Plain Oxford Shirt, £80.00; Thomas Pink Regent Jersey Boxer Briefs, Pack of 3, £35.00; Paul Smith Stripe Dot Socks, One Size, Pack of 3, £40.00.
    TOTAL = £3028.50


    Kitchen costs based on the following items available from johnlewis.com, prices correct as at 07/03/2017.
    John Lewis Vino Red Wine Glasses, Set of 4, £20; John Lewis Connoisseur Hiballs, Set of 4, £28.00; John Lewis Fine Tablecloth, L280xW160cm, £65.00; Royal Doulton Pastels Tableware Set, 16 Piece, £120.00; Robert Welch Radford Children’s Cutlery Set, 4, £24.00; Robert Welch Malvern Cutlery Set, 24 Piece, £90.00; Royal Doulton Pastels Serving Bowl, £30.00; John Lewis Puritan Pasta Serving Bowl, Large, £25.00; John Lewis Croft Collection Marble Rolling Pin, £20.00; John Lewis Multi-Purpose Tongs, £10.00; John Lewis Knife Sharpener, £18.00; Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Deep Casserole, 20cm, £126.00; Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Casserole, 24cm, £149.00; John Lewis Classic Lidded Casserole, 24cm, 5L, £65.00; John Lewis Classic Lidded Saucepan, 20cm, 2.8L, £52.00; John Lewis Classic Stockpot, 6.5L, 24cm, £75.00; Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 35cm Roaster, £127.95; John Lewis Classic Lidded Saucepot, 12cm, 0.7L, £32.00; John Lewis Classic Lidded Saucepan with Helper Handle, 22cm, 3.7L, £57.00; John Lewis Thermacore 5-Ply Non-Stick Frying Pan, Dia.28cm, £75.00; John Lewis Classic Chef’s Pan and Lid, 26cm, £75.00; John Lewis Classic Steamer Set, 3 Piece, £85.00; John Lewis Classic Nonstick Frying Pan, 28cm, £52.00;p John Lewis ‘The Pan’ Milk Pan, Dia. 14cm, £18.00; Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 30cm Stir-Fry Pan, £134.95; John Lewis Footed Colander, 25cm, £18.00; Circulon Ultimum Non Stick 9” Square Cake Tin, £15.00; John Lewis Professional Loose Base Flan Tin, 23cm, £14.00; John Lewis Classic Springform Cake Tin, Dia.20cm, £9.00; John Lewis Floral Cake Tins, Set of 3, £20.00; Circulon Ultimum Non Stick 12 Cup Muffin Tin, £20.00; John Lewis Cupola Bone China 36cm Platter, White, £30.00; Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Lasagne Dish, Small, £35.00; Bosch TWK7105GB Stainless Steel kettle, Anthracite, £54.95; Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Nutri Juicer Plus, Silver, £170.00; Magimix Le Blender, Black, £160.00; Kenwood kMix Hand Mixer HM790BK, Black, £69.99; KitchenAid 125 Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer, Almond Cream, £499.95; John Lewis Retro Mechanical Kitchen Scale, 5kg, £25.00; George Foreman 22160 Grill and Melt Advanced, £71.99; Nespresso CitiZ Coffee Machine by Magimix, Black, £149.99; Kitchen Aid Artisan 2-Slice Toaster, Candy Apple, £169.95.
    TOTAL = £3,115.72

Find out more about Home Insurance

Contents Calculator

The Association of British Insurers offers a useful checklist here to help you add up the value of your contents in each room.

Find out moreabout how to check the value of your contents

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