Not sure what your insurer means by 'single item limit'?
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What does a single item limit mean?

Insurance providers often refer to a ‘single item limit’ within contents insurance policies, but what does this mean? Keep reading our useful guide and make sure that your valuables will be covered.

In this guide:

What is a single item limit?

Home contents insurance will cover all of your belongings in the home and will replace them if they are damaged or stolen, and personal possessions insurance will cover belongings that you take outside of the home. However, most of these policies will include a ‘single item limit’ or ‘single article limit’, which means that you may not be able to claim the full value of some of your more expensive possessions.

The single item limit is the maximum amount that you can claim on your home contents insurance for any individual item that’s damaged or stolen. Typically, insurers set the single item limit at around £1500 to £2500, so if you had a watch or a ring worth more than the maximum single item limit, for example, you will only be covered for the cost of that item up to the maximum limit, rather than its full value.

Are your valuables covered?

The first and most important thing to do is check with your home insurance provider what the single item limit on your policy is. Once you have found out what your limit is, you should make a list of any items that are individually worth more than the limit. For example, if you have a jewellery collection worth more than the limit, then you may not need to worry as the insurers will pay out per item – so each individual piece of jewellery would be valued separately – however, if any of the jewellery is individually worth more than the limit then you need to inform your insurer.

Another important thing to check is whether your insurer has set a maximum claim limit for all valuables. This would mean that no matter what the value of any stolen or damaged goods, if it was more than the claim limit the insurer would only pay you their maximum per claim.

It’s therefore very important to have an accurate inventory of every valuable item in your home and to know exactly how much it’s worth. With particularly expensive valuables, it’s often a good idea to provide proof of ownership, as well as evidence of the item’s value. You must then make sure you share this information with your insurer so that you will have the right policy to cover the contents of your home.

How do I value the contents of my home?

When valuing the contents of your house the best thing to do is make an inventory list of every single item you own. With most items, you can make an estimation of their value. However, with your high-value possessions, it may be worth getting a professional valuation as proof of value. Specialist antique dealers and jewellers can do this for you but make sure they are registered. Be sure to add up the total value as well.

To avoid disputed claims over high-value items, it can sometimes be worth taking out a separate insurance policy, or even storing them in a bank vault.