Protecting your home and valuables is important, especially in these austere times. The Mail Online reports that crime figures have shown a three per cent increase in the number of burglaries across the UK since 2008. Given this worrying trend, there is a real need for people to ensure their home, its contents and all their key valuables are fully insured.

Indeed, now may be the perfect time to examine the fine print of your current Lloyds TSB home insurance policy and to understand clearly what levels of cover you have. If you have items of considerable value in your home, you may be surprised to discover that unless you specifically declare them on the insurance, they may not be covered by your policy as it stands.

Most home insurance policies have two distinct parts to them. The first is buildings insurance, which covers the bricks and mortar of your home; including the cost of rebuilding your property from scratch should a catastrophic incident occur. The second aspect of your home insurance is your contents insurance. This is the cover you have for most of the possessions you have within the home, usually up to an agreed limit, though some policies now offer unlimited cover.

If that is the case, then are your valuables not included within this cover automatically? This is where you need to check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully, particularly if you have items in your home worth several thousand pounds. Some insurers may ask that all valuable items over a certain amount are clearly and individually stated on the policy, together with an approximation of their current value. If you do this, this means that they are then covered (though some insurers may ask you to pay an additional premium if you have many items over a set value, or have individual items worth a great deal of money).

To ascertain whether a policy suits your needs, you need to check out the specific valuables insurance that come as part of the home insurance package.

Many companies have a total valuables limit per claim. This can range from a few thousand pounds, up to around £30,000 per item in some policies. Some providers will even include this standard for stated valuables at no extra cost.

It’s therefore vital to accurately assess the value of both the general contents of your home and any individual valuables that you possess in order to find the right insurance package to suit your needs. It is then important to ensure that all these individual valuable items are accurately reflected on your policy and the correct value stated to cover them, to enable you to afford a replacement should the worst happen.

It’s also a good idea to consider the excess you’re asked to pay in the event of a claim. Many companies like to offer lower costs for insurance by asking their policyholders to pay a much larger excess when a claim is made. This can leave a policyholder in a bind, especially if they have to make a claim. They may struggle to raise the additional money needed to pay the high excess required to facilitate settlement of the claim.

By taking the cost of your contents, the individual cost of valuables, the amount of excess you are being asked to pay per claim and the level of cover afforded by your policy, you can be sure that your valuables will be fully covered to reflect their true value.

John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of AXA Insurance UK plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. A full copy of the policy wording and the insurance complaints procedure are available on request.

This is a featured article from John Lewis insurance.

By Jasmina