High-value home insurance

Front view of british house

You may need specialist high value home insurance (also known as high net worth insurance) if your property is super valuable or you have exceptionally high-value furniture, equipment, ornaments or any other type of expensive personal possessions in your home.

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What is high net worth insurance?

High value house insurance is a type of specialist, premium home and contents insurance that provides a much higher value (level of cover) where the cover limitations of a standard buildings insurance policy are inadequate.

A high net worth home insurance policy should completely cover the rebuild or repair costs of a high-value property (building) and/or the full replacement costs of damaged or stolen high-value contents.

High value buildings insurance

High value building insurance is pretty much just the same as standard buildings insurance except it provides a much higher level of cover.

Standard buildings insurance typically covers what it would cost to completely rebuild your house from the ground up (from scratch) and a standard policy usually covers rebuild costs up to approximately £500,000, up to £750,000 or, more rarely, a maximum of £1m.

So if your home is a bit pricey and would cost more than £750,000 to £1m or more to rebuild, then specialist high value home buildings insurance may be a great, reassuring alternative for you.

Note: If you have a mortgage, your mortgage lender will require the total rebuild cost of your home to be sufficiently insured and at the time of your purchase, your lender would have provided a surveyor’s mortgage valuation report detailing the property’s rebuild cost (also known as the sum insured).

If it’s sometime (a decade or two or more) since you purchased your property, you perhaps shouldn’t rely on the mortgage lender’s valuation report for the rebuild sum insured and should instead have a reassessment to determine your property’s current rebuild cost.

You might like: A complete guide to building surveys

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How do I calculate the rebuild cost of my home?

You can use a free rebuild calculator tool provided by The Building Cost Information Service of RICS which is accessible via the Association of British Insurers’ website.

Alternatively and for a potentially more accurate rebuild cost, you may wish to consider instructing a professional surveyor to find out your property’s current rebuild value.

All buildings insurance policies cover structural damage to your home such as subsidence or repair works to a damaged roof. Some buildings policies will also include cover for outbuildings like garages and garden walls, but not all policies do so check the terms of your policy.

High value home contents insurance

High value contents home insurance will ensure you’re adequately covered against theft or damage to any high-value home contents that are extremely luxurious items such as rare paintings, exquisite jewellery or unusual antiques.

Just like a standard contents policy, a high worth insurance policy will of course include cover for all regular run-of-the-mill home contents like carpets, furniture, electrical entertainment systems and household appliances.

However, a standard home contents policy will usually have a price cap on what you can claim for a single item, typically around £1,000 to £2,500. Whereas a high value contents insurance policy will provide more extensive cover for expensive items of a much higher value - typically a high value item limit can be between £10,000 and £25,000 per item.

To ensure sufficient cover, all home insurance high value items should be individually listed on your policy. Again, if a high value policy still doesn’t provide adequate cover for an exceptionally valuable piece, you may need to take out a separate, standalone policy such as jewellery insurance.

You might be interested to read: Do you need personal possessions insurance when away from home?

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How do I calculate the value of high worth home contents?

High-value items you may wish to consider individually listing on your policy can include:

  • Rare collectables (books, medals, stamps or coins)
  • Antiques
  • Digital or electrical equipment
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Works of art
  • Musical instruments
  • Real furs
  • Fine wines or whiskeys

To decide on the overall cover value for your contents, you should methodically work your way through each room in your home making a note of anything with significant value (i.e. that you think could be worth more than, say, £3,000). You can then conduct online searches to roughly gauge how much these items might be worth and then arrange for a professional valuation of any exceptionally valuable items.

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and obtained relevant valuations, you should contact your insurer and ask for the individual high worth items to be listed on your policy as ‘single value items’.

Make sure you keep receipts and valuations for any expensive items safely stored in more than one place (preferably digitally and physically) as your insurer will require sight of these should you ever make a claim.

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