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Lofty ideas can make your insurance work better

Lofts – that great area that holds so much junk we don't want to part with. Or is it in fact junk? Old stereos, clothes (perhaps a wedding dress?), suitcases, china – all things which are perhaps too good to throw away, but not items that we need every day. Never under-estimate the value of such items, and if you really do not want them, consider selling them or donating them to charity.

According to new research, residents have on average around £2813 of clutter gathering dust in the loft area alone. People's perceived value of their 'junk' is around £559 – but how many people think of the value of the items there when looking at their household contents insurance? Very few! Apart from family heirlooms and stacks of photographs, common items deposited in the loft include electronic goods such as computer equipment, old stereos and televisions as well as clothes, books and suitcases. The Christmas decorations often reside here for most of the year too! Around 27% of people use their loft to store their wedding dress and another 10% store old bikes there, although the effort of getting up there must put many people off this idea!

Some people cannot face clearing out their lofts and simply add to the contents year on year. However, the value of the items stored could raise a tidy sum of money, which in this day and age would be welcomed by most. Whilst we would not wish to part with heirlooms or items of sentimental value, other items can fetch good money when sold at a boot-fair or on e-Bay. Despite being financially strapped, many people however have a resistance to selling items stored in their loft – perhaps giving in to the secret 'hoarder' that lurks in us all!

The research indicates that more than half the people asked do not consider the items they have stored in their loft when they take out home insurance: this means that if there was a leak – or worse still, a fire – they could lose thousands of pounds from their loft alone. Looking outside of the loft area, the research revealed that people estimate that further money generating clutter worth up to £2598 is stored in the following areas:

Spare room – valued at £585
Hall cupboard – valued at £328
Under the stairs – valued at £299
Shed – valued at £500
Garage – valued at £886

It is apparent that many of us have so much clutter in our house that we fail to grasp its value. Items get stored away and then we don't want to part with them, even though all they do is gather dust. Perhaps they represent some sort of comfort blanket for us all. Boot fairs are a good way to dispose of items you really don't want/need – but make sure you don't bring back more than you take!

Any items you do keep will have a value of some kind. So make sure you know their true worth and assess their value and then remember to include them when you next buy your home content insurance. Talking to a professional company will help to clarify and concentrate your thoughts. Westhill Insurance Services has a friendly team of staff who treat you as an individual because we understand that we are all different – and so your insurance needs are as individual as you. As an independent company we will shop around to find the best possible deal to suit your pocket without compromising on cover. It doesn't matter what you have your in your house – it is your space to fill as you will, but when it comes to insurance, remember to include all your items. Whilst insurance cannot replace items of sentimental value, it can help you replace the everyday things you need to live.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 5th October, 2012