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Single item limit insurance

Single item limit insurance

When insurance providers refer to a ‘single item limit’, what do they mean? And what effect does it have on your insurance? We’ve got everything you need to know about your single item limit.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 3 JANUARY 2020

What is a single item limit?

A single item limit – sometimes called a single article limit – is the maximum you can claim on your contents insurance for any one item that’s damaged or stolen. So, if your single item limit is £2,000 and you have an engagement ring worth more than that, for example, you won’t have adequate cover to replace it to its full value if it’s damaged or stolen.

How much is the single item limit?

The single item limit is typically around £1,500, but could be lower or higher depending on your insurance provider.

What about valuables worth more than my single item limit?

If you have belongings worth more than the single item limit, you’ll need to inform your insurance provider so the items can be listed individually on your policy and insured to their full value. You can do this when you complete a quotation for contents insurance.

If you don’t declare these high-value items, you run the risk of being underinsured should something happen. It’s also worth knowing that most insurance providers will expect to see a recent valuation certificate or receipt as proof of value if you make a claim for an item listed individually on your contents insurance.

What about items I take out and about?

Items that you take with you when you leave the house, such as watches phones and tablets, are considered higher risk.

Personal possessions insurance will cover your personal belongings when you’re out and about. Some contents insurance policies include personal possessions cover as standard, while others won’t. Check your policy documents to see what cover you have. If you’re not covered, you can usually add personal possessions insurance to your existing contents insurance for an additional cost.

How do I value my home contents?

Most of us buy our contents over time, often years. So how do you figure out how much everything’s worth for insurance purposes? Here are a few pointers:

  •  Go into all of your rooms and make a list of everything you own
  • Estimate the value of each item
  • For high-value belongings like jewellery or artwork, seek professional valuations
  • Add up your total.

If you’re still unsure, read our guide on how to value your home contents.

What if I don’t know how much my contents are worth?

If you’ve inherited or been gifted certain possessions – or you bought them a long time ago – it’s worth having them professionally valued. Specialist jewellers and antique dealers can do this for you. Or you can find someone through the Institute of Registered Valuers.

Without knowing how much your things are worth, there’s a risk that you’ll end up paying more than you need for your contents insurance. Or that you’ll be underinsured when you come to make a claim. And if your insurance provider suspects that you’ve deliberately underestimated the value of your contents, they could refuse to pay out or reduce the amount they’re willing to pay.

Is getting my jewellery valued really worth the expense?

The value of silver and gold changes over time, depending on interest rates, currency markets and other economic factors. This means that items of jewellery you bought 20 years ago might be worth a lot more now. Getting them valued will give you the peace of mind that you’ll be fully insured should something happen.

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