New year, new hobby – make sure you’re covered

The new year is great for ushering in fresh beginnings – like trying out some new hobbies. We’ve all been there and found something we’re desperate to try out – whether it’s photography, or a sport; and chances are you go overboard on all the fancy equipment you might need to get started. But all this extra stuff comes at a cost and if something were to happen to your costly paraphernalia could you afford to start again or will it just be another new-fangled new year hobby down the pan?

What’s the point of home insurance?

Your home insurance isn’t a legal must-have (although many mortgage providers will insist you have buildings cover at least) but it is highly recommended. It’s not there to tempt fate, but it is there to cover you for things that life decides to throw at you – whether that’s from fire, flood or storm damage to compensating you for theft, damage or possibly even loss.

What your individual home insurance policy covers will depend on your agreement. Typically, your home contents contract will cover anything that isn’t bolted down such as your TV, furniture, clothes and jewellery. Policies will also vary on the type of damage covered as standard– for example some might cover a basic form of accidental damage to audio visual electrical equipment or sanitary ware for buildings, but others may require you to take out separate accidental damage if you want cover against spillages on your carpets for example.

Costly equipment

Even little hobbies can start out costly and if you do buy equipment for your new pastime, then you should think about how this affects the value of your home contents. For example, if you decide to become the next David Bailey and invest in a new camera, flash, tripod and lenses, the cost can sky rocket and leave you seriously out of pocket if stolen or damaged. Similarly, new sports can be pricey, especially winter ones such as skiing or snowboarding where you might choose to buy your own boots, board or skis; even suitable clothing can be expensive. It might also be worth covering your equipment outside the home with personal possession insurance, but it’s worth noting that it’s unlikely to cover any damage caused while it’s being used.

Many home contents policies come with a single item limit typically around £1,500. So, if you’ve invested in expensive equipment then you might have to insure those items individually if they’re more than your policy’s limit.

Even modest hobbies such as painting or gardening come with a price tag. Specialist paintbrushes, canvas, paints and gardening equipment can all add up and the last thing you want is for something to happen to your tools and not be able to replace them.

Storage

If your new hobby is something noisy – like playing the drums, you and your equipment might find yourself banished to the shed. If this is the case, then make sure your home cover extends to include any outbuildings and their contents – in most cases it will, but it’s worth being absolutely sure. Also check your individual item limit for outbuildings, as sometimes this is limited to only £500.

However, you might need to ensure that you invest in some security for your shed – otherwise you could risk your claim not being paid. We’re not talking about making it Fort Knox, but sensible precautions like having a door that locks and keeping the windows closed; you should also avoid leaving expensive items on obvious display.

If you love it, insure it

Hobbies are always worth pursuing, and who knows, it might turn into something you could make money from. But don’t let circumstances curb your new-found enthusiasm; so, before you head off into the sunset to take a photograph or decide to paint it; make sure your kit’s covered in your policy. Alternatively, use our home contents comparison service to find the right deal on your home insurance for you, and get your hobby covered today.

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