Home insurance shortfall highlighted by London Fashion Week Go compare with our comparison table

Home insurance shortfall highlighted by London Fashion Week

23 February 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Britons are at risk of being seriously underinsured for the contents of their wardrobes, whether their tastes are 'more Primark or Prada', according to research from Defaqto.

As designers showcase their latest collections at London Fashion Week, consumers might be looking for the ultimate statement piece to complete their wardrobes, but could find themselves out of pocket if their own collections were destroyed.

So fashionistas should ensure they have adequate home insurance to cover the cost of their clothes, accessories, and shoes, the ratings agency suggests.

Research from LV= home insurance last year estimated the average woman's wardrobe as being worth £7,000 but this is about twice as much as women think the contents of their wardrobes are worth.

Therefore, they are potentially leaving themselves underinsured in the event that their clothes were destroyed along with their other contents in a fire or flood, leaving them without a sufficient insurance pay out to replace their outfits and accessories.

Mike Powell, insurance analyst for Defaqto, urges consumers to check their home insurance policy to ensure they have adequate protection. "Many people end up underinsured as insurance providers frequently apply specific single item limits for valuables kept in the home," he said.

"In fact, 34 per cent of home contents policies available state that they have a valuables single item limit of £1,500 or less for items kept in the home. This means that you need to specify any valuable that is worth more than £1,500 to ensure that full cover is given".

To avoid this becoming a reality, Defaqto recommends that policyholders estimate the value of their contents on a 'new for old' basis – how much it would cost to replace as opposed to how much they the items are worth.

People should also itemise their contents and assign a replacement value to each item, and keep this updated when they purchase something new, in order to calculate the cost of replacing their contents. Receipts, valuations and photographs of valuable items can also help with home insurance claims.

Some items should be valued separately if they are of a certain value, such as jewellery, which might exceed the single item limit for valuables in the home, but this limit can vary so insurance providers should be consulted.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd