A new survey undertaken by Legal & General, the leading investment company, has revealed that people in Britain are “seriously underestimating the value of their home contents". The survey, taken in October 2006, discloses that the average home owner estimates his or her household possessions to be worth around £14,300 in value - but the real estimate is, in fact, in excess of £38,000.
Legal & General's survey did a breakdown of a typical household's value, which showed that the contents of a living room tend to be the most valuable, at £10,500 on average. The statistics also showed that Britons in the south-east and East Anglia were more likely than those in other parts of the country to value their home possessions accurately; however, home-owners in Yorkshire and the north-west of England were statistically judged to be the worst at guessing the value of their household possessions.
The Operations Director at Legal & General's general insurance business, Andy Dawson, said:
"From the survey findings it would appear that insurance to cover loss of property for the home could be over £20,000 below the level it should be. We would suggest that everyone take the research findings as a prompt to review their home contents and check the insurance cover they have in place. "
These findings come hot on the heels of Legal & General's Safety Uncovered Index in September 2006, which showed that, from a poll of 5,000 people, only a minority claimed to be afraid of home burglary - despite the fact that Britain is officially the most burgled country in Europe. In fact, a quarter of those polled stated that yob culture was their main safety concern.
According to a survey taken earlier this year by Abbey, almost 8.5 million households do not possess home contents insurance, or are uninsured. The survey found that 3 million British households do not possess home insurance, while a further 3.4 million are uncertain as to whether their policy insures the entire value of their household items. Lloyd Wilson, head of protection marketing at Abbey, advised:
"Home insurance documents might not make for the most interesting reading but people really do need to check they have sufficient cover in place as being underinsured can cost people lots of money. "
Many British banks and building societies now offer competitive home insurance policies; make sure you purchase home insurance for the right value of your household contents, and you'll certainly rest easier at night.
Andrew Regan began his career in Advertising, Film and Television and worked for 20 years at the HTV Studios.