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Do You Live in a Shared Property ?

Don’t Forget Contents Insurance

Shared PropertySome students may be lucky enough to have their contents insurance premiums paid by their parents. However, young professionals can no longer depend on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, so they are on their own when it comes to insurance – and those who share a rented property find it can be difficult to organise a contents policy .

Most are designed for single occupants or families, so it can be complicated to find a policy to cover different people with varying claims histories. Another consideration is that it can be a condition of your home insurance policy that the total value of all the possessions in your house is less than a certain amount.

But it’s worth doing if you think you have valuable possessions that need insuring; even the average student may have over £1,000 worth of equipment which may include a laptop, an iPod, a bike and a mobile phone. Wage earners are likely to have even more stuff, particularly once they have furnished their own accommodation. When looking for contents insurance quotes, be sure to check the total value of possessions that will be covered – many people are underinsured.

Few people think about their digital possessions, because they don’t take up any physical space – but remember that if your laptop is stolen, your downloaded collection of music and television shows can disappear with it. Check your house insurance to see if they’re covered.

And there are particular difficulties that apply when you share a property. You may be conscientious about locking the house when you go out, but are your flatmates as aware? And do they post information on Facebook which may reveal when the house is going to be empty?

Also note that your landlord should have buildings insurance, which covers the fabric of the building but not its contents. And it’s worth remembering that when you become a house owner yourself, you can look for contents insurance quotes and buildings insurance quotes separately, or choose a policy that covers both.

Most contents insurance policies will cover your electrical goods, personal effects, furniture, clothing, money and valuables, but you must check that your belongings don’t exceed the maximum amount your insurer says it will pay by referring to the policy terms, conditions and exclusions.

This is particularly important for those with gold or silver valuables. The price of metal can fluctuate, making old valuations out of date. In fact, the rising cost of both metals – gold by 50 per cent in the last year alone – has led to an increase in insurance claims because of targeting by thieves, according to the BBC. It adds that a significant proportion of the claimants were underinsured.

Finally, it’s possible to have insurance for individual items such as a mobile phone, a laptop or a collection of camera equipment, but it’s far safer to have a policy that covers all your possessions.

Remember that terms, conditions and exclusions apply to all insurance products so make sure you read the policy document so you know what’s covered and what’s not.

Issued by Barclays

This article has been written for information and interest purposes only. The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author only, and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only.

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking (bank accounts and instant access savings accounts), credit cards, business funding, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, invests and protects money and provides ISAs, home insurance, life insurance, a mortgage calculator, guides on how to buy shares and other services for over 49 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.co.uk.