Hike in value of home contents can leave newlyweds underinsured

New research* reveals that over half (53%) of professional couples in the UK risk losing valuable wedding gifts and possessions by failing to tell their insurer about new belongings once they have tied the knot.

The study, by specialist insurer Hiscox, looked at professional couples who got married in the last five years or are planning a wedding in the next year. It reveals the average increase in value to a newlywed couple’s home contents is nearly £12,000** following their wedding.

The art of gifting

However, the generosity of wedding guests can result in gifts far exceeding this amount. One in ten (10%) couples receive gifts alone totalling £10,000 or more, with one lucky couple polled claiming they had received gifts worth as much as £200,000. In addition, nearly a quarter (23%) of gifts are designer goods and one in seven (14%) couples say that family heirlooms, fine art and antiques were the most valuable gifts they received.

Protecting new assets

Despite this wealth of new assets, over one third (38%) of couples do not know if wedding gifts and expenses such as wedding dresses are covered under their contents policy at the time of marriage. Over half (53%) of couples who have got married in the last five years have not reviewed their contents cover and informed their insurer of any uplift in contents.

Putting their homes at further risk are one in five (21%) couples who widely told their local community when they were going away on honeymoon, therefore highlighting the fact they were leaving their house empty. Despite this, only one in ten (12%) claim they were worried about their home getting broken into while away.

Austyn Tusler, household insurance expert at Hiscox, said: “One of the last things on your mind when you are thinking about table plans and dress fittings, is whether your new gifts or rings will be covered for loss or damage. But the accumulated value of these items can be huge, so it’s worth having a quick look at your contents policy to see if your insurer includes immediate cover for new items.”

“At Hiscox, we automatically give our customers a 25% increase in the amount insured for up to 60 days after they receive new items for the home***. This means newlyweds can celebrate the big day, relax on honeymoon and, when they get back to their routine, take a little time to send their thank-you letters whilst re-examining the value of their contents.”

Diamonds should be forever

The study reveals that over a quarter (28%) of couples have not considered insurance for their engagement and wedding rings, and over one in twenty (7%) don’t know if their rings are covered. Nearly one in ten (9%) couples say they have not got round to insuring them, despite 10% spending over £5,000 on them. Just under one in six (16%) have no idea how much their rings are worth.

Austyn Tusler adds:

“Don’t take your wedding and engagement rings for granted. Include them when you tot up your contents to make sure you have enough cover. Think about when you are outside of the home too as, unlike Hiscox, not all insurers cover items outside of the home as standard****.”

If you would like to discuss your high value home insurance further, please contact Paul Macbeth ACII (Managing Director) on 0118 9165481 or paul.macbeth@macbeths.co.uk
Macbeth are Chartered Insurance Brokers based in Reading with a premier client division dedicated to providing advice and insurance solutions to wealthy individuals. Our area’s of expertise include high value homesfine art and antiques, valuables, second homes and overseas homes and high value cars.

* Research carried out by Opinion Matters between 12/08/2009 and 19/08/2009

Sample: 500 ABC1 adults who have been married in the last 5 years / intend to get married in the next year

** Taking into account the total value of the average couple’s wedding gift list, jewellery and wedding outfits, the average increase in value to a couple’s home contents is £11,957

*** Hiscox allows an increase in the amount insured for contents of up to 25% to cover any items clients acquire during the period of insurance. We ask clients to inform us about new possessions within 60 days of acquisition

**** Hiscox insures contents up to the sum insured against physical loss, or physical damage which happens during the period of insurance. This cover applies while contents are at the address shown in the schedule and while temporarily removed anywhere else in the World (for up to 60 consecutive days with Hiscox 505 home and contents insurance and an unlimited number of days for Hiscox 606 high value home insurance)

Author: Tony Gibbs | September 14th, 2009

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Tony Gibbs
Get in touch:   Reading: 0118 916 5480   London: 020 7036 8767   info@macbeths.co.uk