Home Insurance

Wasn't sure where to post this, but many Naim owners, particularly those with higher end systems, will struggle to find standard contents insurance policies that provide adequate cover.

I was with Hiscox but after a succession of steep price increases switched a few years ago to John Lewis Premier who seemed to provide similar unlimited contents cover at about half the cost.  I made my first claim (a few hundred pounds) last year but have now seen my premium rise by well over 40%.  Anyone got any other recommendations? Have to say that John Lewis dealt with the claim well and Hiscox also dealt with the single claim I made with them very well too.

Original Post

We have used Nationwide for a few years. We tried John Lewis this year for a comparison, but Nationwide gave a better price for better cover. I’m not sure if you need to be a Nationwide member though. They actually use the same underwriters as John Lewis, I suspect it’s the same office. You get unlimited contents, which includes the hifi, with no item limit and no need for a list of items. 

The rule of thumb I always follow is that all insurance companies will rip me off and do not value loyalty. I do not know where you are based but if it is the UK I would recommemd you go to the moneysavingexpert.com website and follow their article on getting the best insurance. You should find a huge amount of companies with new for old and accidental damage cover on named and un-named items which will be perfectly adequate. You will need about half an hour or so to go on the comparison sites but it is well worth it. My cover is less than £8 per month for hi-fi, Breitling watch, bikes, jewellry and guitars. You just need to be brutal about swapping each year to stay competitive.

This subject gets a thread posted once or twice a year,  try a forum search.    My M&S (Aviva) house contents policy covers all items without any financial limit.  I've queried it with the company asking if they classify hifi as a system or as individual components & if indeed they did reimburse damaged/stolen items new for old;  all confirmed.    I have in addition always listed & photo'ed all manner of my more expensive items,  Additionally I have all jewellery valued, photo'd & described professionally & I also have on file photo's of all the house interior as general shots.  

I have found that house/contents insurance has rocketed ove the past 2-3 years. I use M&S, and last year checked around, but the only ones with similar cover but cheaper required a maintained alarm, which I don’t have (I’ve no problem having an alarm - in a previous house I installed one, and more robust than typical (as opposed to specialist) professionally installed domestic alarms, but the cost of having one to similar standard installed and with a contract is, I suspect, rather more than the difference in premiums. (And it was different where Inlived before, most people having alarms, whereas where I am now they are rare enough to advertise that you have something worth stealing.)

It seems many of us renew our insurance at the same time of year, as this subject comes up around now. I've been with John Lewis for the past couple of years and they gave competitive quotes both years. This week they've sent me a renewal at an increase of 30%. I'm going to have to look elsewhere and see what's available.

count.d posted:

It seems many of us renew our insurance at the same time of year, as this subject comes up around now. I've been with John Lewis for the past couple of years and they gave competitive quotes both years. This week they've sent me a renewal at an increase of 30%. I'm going to have to look elsewhere and see what's available.

Too right, I have no idea how they justify these sort of increases, particularly as all they are doing is acting as a broker. They rely on inertia. I have saved hundreds by tarting out my utilities, car, house, holiday and life insurance. The money saved has gone on the nicer things in life, like records!

count.d posted:

It seems many of us renew our insurance at the same time of year, as this subject comes up around now. I've been with John Lewis for the past couple of years and they gave competitive quotes both years. This week they've sent me a renewal at an increase of 30%. I'm going to have to look elsewhere and see what's available.

My increase was over 40%!  I phoned to ask them to justify and was told they now take account of the number of bathrooms!  I have three plus a WC.

I've concluded that this is all a bit of a racket.  I was with LV for quite a while during which they cranked-up the premiums year-on-year.  The breaking point came when I decided to double-check that my Naim system was fully covered. That necessitated a call to LV which was painful. The agent I spoke to was clueless, seemingly unable to understand that, apart from speakers, a system was made of individual parts which could be bought separately. Having put me on hold a few times, I then I hit a brick wall with an insistence that LV could only insure the system if I had a burglar alarm fitted.  My protestations as to why that was impractical in my household at that time fell on deaf ears so I told them I was not renewed. The lady didn't seem the least bit bothered, even though I had been with them for many years.  

From previous threads on this topic I had heard that Hiscox was good so I contacted them. They were. Very understanding about the hi-fi, covered it without insisting on an alarm, and comfortably beat the LV quote.  That was a couple of years or so ago. However at this year's renewal there was a very large increase in premium which Hiscox explained away by saying the government was insisting on the insurance industry contributing to a flood fund or something.  Being time-poor I didn't have a lot of time to shop around but tried two: M&S and John Lewis. Both were even dearer than the Hiscox renewal premium so I grumpily stayed with them, promising myself to spend more time at the next renewal to properly test the market.  

Rather like energy, broadband, mobile, TV contracts, and car insurance, this all seems geared to entice the new customer and screw them if they stay loyal, hoping they won't spend the time shopping around. I suppose some will argue this is capitalism working effectively. I just regard it as unethical because the people who really get penalised are those who are least able to play this game eg the old, infirm, lacking IT skills, or the confidence to challenge and haggle.  Anyway, I should stop ranting. 

 

A slight detour but nonetheless connected anecdote - my car insurance is due for renewal at the end of the month. My insurer sent the reminder through with the usual blarney about increased premiums, etc which is designed to justify the 45% increase in my premium. I did my usual thing with the comparison sites and found an identical product with a smaller excess for pretty much what I paid last year. 

I contacted my insurer asking them to match or beat it. After checking I had the same features they pronounced they couldn't touch it. I then dropped my bombshell. The quote I had online via the comparison site was theirs.

After a few minutes on hold they came back to say they still couldn't do it, so to get this lower price from them I would have to cancel my policy and re-order the same product via the comparison site.

Utter madness!

Jonners posted:

A slight detour but nonetheless connected anecdote - my car insurance is due for renewal at the end of the month. My insurer sent the reminder through with the usual blarney about increased premiums, etc which is designed to justify the 45% increase in my premium. I did my usual thing with the comparison sites and found an identical product with a smaller excess for pretty much what I paid last year. 

I contacted my insurer asking them to match or beat it. After checking I had the same features they pronounced they couldn't touch it. I then dropped my bombshell. The quote I had online via the comparison site was theirs.

After a few minutes on hold they came back to say they still couldn't do it, so to get this lower price from them I would have to cancel my policy and re-order the same product via the comparison site.

Utter madness!

And outrageous.  This is the sort of practice that Trading Standards should be stamping on. That's not the 'result of a competitive market' - it's simply dishonest because the agent had initially misled you. I suspect the agent wasn't lying to you and was working off a computer screen but the company's pricing strategy and system must have been designed to produce this dishonest advice.    

MDS posted:
Jonners posted:

A slight detour but nonetheless connected anecdote - my car insurance is due for renewal at the end of the month. My insurer sent the reminder through with the usual blarney about increased premiums, etc which is designed to justify the 45% increase in my premium. I did my usual thing with the comparison sites and found an identical product with a smaller excess for pretty much what I paid last year. 

I contacted my insurer asking them to match or beat it. After checking I had the same features they pronounced they couldn't touch it. I then dropped my bombshell. The quote I had online via the comparison site was theirs.

After a few minutes on hold they came back to say they still couldn't do it, so to get this lower price from them I would have to cancel my policy and re-order the same product via the comparison site.

Utter madness!

And outrageous.  This is the sort of practice that Trading Standards should be stamping on. That's not the 'result of a competitive market' - it's simply dishonest because the agent had initially misled you. I suspect the agent wasn't lying to you and was working off a computer screen but the company's pricing strategy and system must have been designed to produce this dishonest advice.    

It is deliberate. Ordering from a comparison site classes me as a new customer and new customers always get better pricing than existing ones. 

After being with John lewis for a couple of years, they increased my premium by 30% this year, so I looked elsewhere and found AXA via Swinton Insurance for way under half the amount JL were asking this year. I've looked through the policy and rang them up about having stupid priced hifi and all seems well. I'll no doubt find out if they're any good if my house burns down.

count.d posted:

After being with John lewis for a couple of years, they increased my premium by 30% this year, so I looked elsewhere and found AXA via Swinton Insurance for way under half the amount JL were asking this year. I've looked through the policy and rang them up about having stupid priced hifi and all seems well. I'll no doubt find out if they're any good if my house burns down.

At the end of the day companies like JL only act as brokers, their policies will be underwritten by an AXA or A.N Other insurer so performance is really down to them in the event of a claim. 

Timely this, as our current Contents insurance is being withdrawn in December; “simplifying the product range” apparently!

The  JL one looks promising, seems to be better cover and less than half the price. So probably good for a year. Regrettably they are not throwing in a free Muso as a “welcome gift”; shame on you JL 

 

As mentioned by others, this topic does re-appear regularly.

Each time I try to tell people that ordinary insurance is ok but no-one seems to take this on

I've been insured with "ordinary"  providers all my life and they have all confirmed that HiFi is not classed as "valuables", irrespective of the cost; even CD and LP collections are insured under "home entertainment".

I always get them to confirm this on the phone when I contact them so this is recorded.

Some insurers have required that the individual components over £2k or so are listed but otherwise this does not affect the premium.

This year I found Direct Line the cheapest for me (after being with LV for 3 years).

 

Allan

 

 

Allan 

Each time I try to tell people that ordinary insurance is ok but no-one seems to take this on

 

Allan

 

 

I’ve been telling the same thing for years on this forum. In fact when I was saying it, I didn’t read anywhere others using the common insurers and actually began to doubt myself...... for 1 minute. Everyone followed each other and only talked about Hiscox. Well, as long as it’s there in writing that you’re covered for the correct amount etc, you’ve got little to worry about.

Allan Milne posted:

 

As mentioned by others, this topic does re-appear regularly.

Each time I try to tell people that ordinary insurance is ok but no-one seems to take this on

I've been insured with "ordinary"  providers all my life and they have all confirmed that HiFi is not classed as "valuables", irrespective of the cost; even CD and LP collections are insured under "home entertainment".

I always get them to confirm this on the phone when I contact them so this is recorded.

Some insurers have required that the individual components over £2k or so are listed but otherwise this does not affect the premium.

This year I found Direct Line the cheapest for me (after being with LV for 3 years).

 

Allan

 

 

So what is the definition of ‘ordinary’?  I am not aware that anyone  has mentioned pirchasing ‘hifi insurance’, but (quite rightly)people check that uncommonly high value hifi items, or collections, ar eco ered. More significant is where one lives, the total cover and cover for things like valuables. 

BTW, in case anyone is unaware, if insured for a total of less than the assessed value of your entire posessions, the price per item is reduced - so if you assess your total posessions as 50k, but actually is 100k as assessed by the ins company, you will only get 50% of any individual item in the event of a claim, even if that is the only item lost.  And beware, unless you have painstakingly gone through your entire possessions, e.g. room by room, it is very possible that you will have underestimated, 

Innocent Bystander posted:
Allan Milne posted:

 

As mentioned by others, this topic does re-appear regularly.

Each time I try to tell people that ordinary insurance is ok but no-one seems to take this on

I've been insured with "ordinary"  providers all my life and they have all confirmed that HiFi is not classed as "valuables", irrespective of the cost; even CD and LP collections are insured under "home entertainment".

I always get them to confirm this on the phone when I contact them so this is recorded.

Some insurers have required that the individual components over £2k or so are listed but otherwise this does not affect the premium.

This year I found Direct Line the cheapest for me (after being with LV for 3 years).

 

Allan

 

 

So what is the definition of ‘ordinary’?  I am not aware that anyone  has mentioned pirchasing ‘hifi insurance’, but (quite rightly)people check that uncommonly high value hifi items, or collections, ar eco ered. More significant is where one lives, the total cover and cover for things like valuables. 

BTW, in case anyone is unaware, if insured for a total of less than the assessed value of your entire posessions, the price per item is reduced - so if you assess your total posessions as 50k, but actually is 100k as assessed by the ins company, you will only get 50% of any individual item in the event of a claim, even if that is the only item lost.  And beware, unless you have painstakingly gone through your entire possessions, e.g. room by room, it is very possible that you will have underestimated, 

Exactly, and this is my problem.  We have no children and have a situation where our contents relative to the value of the house is unusually very high which is what makes a policy with unlimited contents insurance so appealing.  The only valuables I have to specify are two watches and my wife’s engagement ring.  The thought of having.to add up the value of all our contents is really unappealing.

Bryce Curdy posted

Exactly, and this is my problem.  We have no children and have a situation where our contents relative to the value of the house is unusually very high which is what makes a policy with unlimited contents insurance so appealing.  The only valuables I have to specify are two watches and my wife’s engagement ring.  The thought of having.to add up the value of all our contents is really unappealing.

If you can find an underwriter offering unlimited contents insurance I imagine you'll pay through the nose and I really don't think it's necessary. In all cases I've seen, when filling out the application forms online with the comparison sites, they will suggest a recommended figure for buildings and contents based on the information provided. If you don't think it's enough, you can enter a manual figure. It doesn't need to be scientific,  just a figure you're confident would cover all your belongings, etc in the event of a total loss. That figure will usually include the cost of rebuild as well. 

You can then specify whether you want new for old, accidental damage, legal costs and emergency cover, all of which will drive up the premium of course.

As an example I got a quote on moneysupermarket for one of my places (a 17th Century stone-built cottage), £250k rebuild, £900k contents, new for old, accidental damage to both, legal and emergency cover, named items (my hi-fi) and a bunch of others with cover away from home (laptops, jewellery, watches, bikes and my guitars and amps). With a £200 voluntary excess the premium was £1600. Dropping the contents cover down to £500,000 reduced the premium to £1100 so it really is worth putting a figure on the value of those contents to avoid paying over the top for insurance you may never need.

Innocent Bystander posted:

So what is the definition of ‘ordinary’?  I am not aware that anyone  has mentioned pirchasing ‘hifi insurance’,

More so in the past, many people on this forum seemed to believe that paying more for insurers such as Hiscox gave them better cover. 

Jonners,  John Lewis were unlimited contents and cheap as chips. Shame they decided to increase my premium by 30% this year.I haven't wasted my time ringing them up the reduce it, instead I wasted my time and gave my money to someone else.

count.d posted:

Jonners,  John Lewis were unlimited contents and cheap as chips. Shame they decided to increase my premium by 30% this year.I haven't wasted my time ringing them up the reduce it, instead I wasted my time and gave my money to someone else.

Yep, that'll be the norm now - insurance companies rely on inertia and the mechanism they have for auto-renewal to ensure a policy holder has to physically contact them to cancel the insurance or risk paying premiums, a cancellation and admin fees. Now the streaming services like NetFlix and NowTV have caught on too and I really think it's wrong how a company can automatically renew a customer's contract when it's come to an end and then charge them for cancellation if they've not responded in the timeframe they dictate.

We pay £36 a month for buildings and unlimited  contents, including accidental damage, home emergency and legal cover, personal possessions outside the home and cover for the youngest at university, with Nationwide. So that’s £432 per year, which I thought was pretty reasonable. 

hungryhalibut posted:

We pay £36 a month for buildings and unlimited  contents, including accidental damage, home emergency and legal cover, personal possessions outside the home and cover for the youngest at university, with Nationwide. So that’s £432 per year, which I thought was pretty reasonable. 

I certainly don't think you're being ripped off hungryhalibut. I use Nationwide too, but for mobile phone and medical which comes as part of the bank account I opened with them at £13 per month for just this purpose. That's all the family covered for a really good price worldwide plus in-credit interest of 5% as an added bonus. Blindin' value IMHO!

Lest anyone think there is a Nationwide account  that costs £13 a month and gives 5% interest, there isn’t. The FlexPlus costs £13 and pays 3% on balances up to £2,500, whereas the FlexDirect is free and pays 5% on balances up to £2,500 for a year, after which the rate drops to 1%. FlexPlus includes the worldwide travel insurance whereas FlexDirect doesn’t. 

Jonners posted:

As an example I got a quote on moneysupermarket for one of my places (a 17th Century stone-built cottage), £250k rebuild, £900k contents, new for old, accidental damage to both, legal and emergency cover, named items (my hi-fi) and a bunch of others with cover away from home (laptops, jewellery, watches, bikes and my guitars and amps). With a £200 voluntary excess the premium was £1600. Dropping the contents cover down to £500,000 reduced the premium to £1100 so it really is worth putting a figure on the value of those contents to avoid paying over the top for insurance you may never need.

But you need to be aware that when they send  round a loss adjuster, who looks around and estimates the value of everything and concludes that it is £900k, you’ll only get 5/9ths of the value of each individual item lost - even if it os a single item, say ND555+2PSs (alright, 3 items). Younhave to decide if it is a risk with which you are comfortable for te sake of whatever the £500 premium in this case - and of course everyone’s appetite for risk os is different.

Innocent Bystander posted:

But you need to be aware that when they send  round a loss adjuster, who looks around and estimates the value of everything and concludes that it is £900k, you’ll only get 5/9ths of the value of each individual item lost - even if it os a single item, say ND555+2PSs (alright, 3 items). Younhave to decide if it is a risk with which you are comfortable for te sake of whatever the £500 premium in this case - and of course everyone’s appetite for risk os is different.

Even "new for old" Innocent Bystander? I'm asking the question hypothetically but would the scenario you've laid out still play out for people with "unlimited" contents and buildings insurance? How could a loss adjuster calculate 5/9ths of the value of something with no ceiling on its value?

Jonners posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

But you need to be aware that when they send  round a loss adjuster, who looks around and estimates the value of everything and concludes that it is £900k, you’ll only get 5/9ths of the value of each individual item lost - even if it os a single item, say ND555+2PSs (alright, 3 items). Younhave to decide if it is a risk with which you are comfortable for te sake of whatever the £500 premium in this case - and of course everyone’s appetite for risk os is different.

Even "new for old" Innocent Bystander? I'm asking the question hypothetically but would the scenario you've laid out still play out for people with "unlimited" contents and buildings insurance? How could a loss adjuster calculate 5/9ths of the value of something with no ceiling on its value?

No problem with unlimited cover - my point was if you chose contents cover of £500, while actually having stuff to the value of £900 (usually new for old, but actually justvin whatever terms tge insurance is)

hungryhalibut posted:

We pay £36 a month for buildings and unlimited  contents, including accidental damage, home emergency and legal cover, personal possessions outside the home and cover for the youngest at university, with Nationwide. So that’s £432 per year, which I thought was pretty reasonable. 

It depends where you live and how that is rated by the insurance industry. My home area used to be rated low crime, but following a spate of burglaries about 3 years ago, unsolved, it is now rated a greater risk than the major UK city in which I lived before moving here, with insurance prices to match despite no other burglaries before or since!

Jonners posted:
Bryce Curdy posted

Exactly, and this is my problem.  We have no children and have a situation where our contents relative to the value of the house is unusually very high which is what makes a policy with unlimited contents insurance so appealing.  The only valuables I have to specify are two watches and my wife’s engagement ring.  The thought of having.to add up the value of all our contents is really unappealing.

If you can find an underwriter offering unlimited contents insurance I imagine you'll pay through the nose and I really don't think it's necessary. In all cases I've seen, when filling out the application forms online with the comparison sites, they will suggest a recommended figure for buildings and contents based on the information provided. If you don't think it's enough, you can enter a manual figure. It doesn't need to be scientific,  just a figure you're confident would cover all your belongings, etc in the event of a total loss. That figure will usually include the cost of rebuild as well. 

 

If you use comparison sites to shop around, pricing on the better deals is not so much related to the level of cover provided, as to how much new business that insurer wishes to bring in. So you can sometimes find competitive deals that offer unlimited contents cover, eliminating the risk of being underinsured, and saving the need to add up the replacement value of every item you possess. 

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