Exaggerated claims on home insurance hit honest customers
To paraphrase Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that in tough economic times, insurance fraud increases.
We’re all too familiar with the bogus motor claims, staged accidents and other scams that cost honest motorists dearly in terms of higher premiums.
Motor insurance is compulsory and tougher rules, the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB), police and government working together are really helping reduce the number of deaths, injuries and claims relating to uninsured vehicles.
insurance is discretionary and although mortgage lenders insist on buildings cover, it’s up to householders whether or not they insure their contents.
It’s here that there’s been a marked rise in ‘exaggerated claims’ – up by almost 20 per cent according to one report earlier this year.
More alarming is the fact that the same research suggested a considerable number of people think it’s OK to make dishonest claims, oblivious to the fact that fraud pushes up premiums for everyone.
Another piece of the home insurance puzzle is the millions of people who are under-insured.
Few people really add up the cost of their contents, tending to concentrate on big items like washing machines and sofas while forgetting saucepans and toothbrushes.
Art, antiques, music and books accumulated over years could be more valuable than you think.
Similarly, forgotten jewellery, watches and other inherited treasures are rarely re-valued frequently enough, if at all.
Valuations are invaluable
Understandably, many people baulk at the cost of valuations which vary from a percentage to an hourly rate.
However, aside from under insuring possessions, after death the value of your estate includes everything so if something you thought wasn’t worth much turns out to be very valuable, there’s a recipe for family angst and possible financial implications.