Owners undervalue the contents of their homes

When it comes to insuring their home contents home owners undervalue their possessions by a shocking 150%, says Legal & General.

L&G research shows that on average consumers estimate the value of the contents of a living room, kitchen, master bedroom, another main bedroom and garden at just over £14,300.

But L&G estimates that the average true value of the contents of a typical three-bedroom family home is more than £38,000, showing that Brits are undervaluing their possessions by about 150%.

The research also reveals that outside London the two regions with the highest recorded levels of burglary, Yorkshire and the North-West, are also the regions where people are most likely to undervalue the contents of their homes. 

Andy Dawson, operations director at L&G’s general insurance business, says: “Brits seem to be seriously underestimating the value of their home contents. Going by these survey findings it would appear that the insurance in place to cover loss of property from a home, for example as a result of a burglary, could be more than £20,000 below the level it should be.”

He adds that since every home is different these figures should only be taken as a guide but a significant gap in insurance cover could mean that many people are disappointed if they ever need to claim.

He says: “I would suggest that consumers take these research findings as a prompt to review their home contents and check the insurance cover they have in place.

“It’s surprising when you look around a home how much the value of the items in each room can add up to – and that’s not including high risk items such as jewellery and artworks. “

Andrew Montlake, partner at Cob-alt Capital, says he is not surprised that most people in this country undervalue their possessions.

He adds: “Do any of us know exactly how much everything in our home is worth – and being British, do we want to crow about it?

“But it would be good to obtain more guidelines from insurance companies about evaluating the true value of house contents.”

He adds: “As a brokerage offering this cover we are rigorous in our questioning of clients’ needs to ensure undervaluation does not take place. All brokers should do this.”