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News: Our bedrooms are most undervalued

At a time when house prices in the UK are rising at their fastest rate for four years, Britons are displaying a surprising lack of understanding of the actual value of the contents they have in their home.

A survey of more than 5,000 people from around the UK revealed the average estimated value of the contents of a living room, kitchen, master bedroom, another main bedroom and the garden to be just over £14,300.

However, Legal & General has estimated the average value of the home contents for a three bedroom family home to be over £38,000, so Britons could be substantially under-valuing their possessions, by possibly over 150%.

People seem to ignore bedrooms the most with some bedrooms being undervalued by as much as 260% lower than actual value.  By contrast, living rooms are only rated at 95% under value.

Legal & General’s research has worryingly revealed that, outside London, the two regions with the highest recorded levels of burglary, Yorkshire and the North West, were also the regions where people were most likely to undervalue their home contents. 

Out of ten regions in England and Wales covered by the Legal & General research, Yorkshire and the North West ranked seventh and eighth when it came to putting a realistic value on their home contents.

The regional estimated value of home contents compared with the rates of burglaries from the latest British Crime Survey are as follows:

Region

Rank

Number of burglaries (000s)

Rank

Estimated value of home contents

North West

1st

103

8th

£13,638

London

2nd

102

5th

£14,592

Yorkshire

3rd

87

7th

£13,739

South East

4th

81

1st

£15,411

West Midlands

5th

70

=3rd

£14,775

East Midlands

6th

67

=3rd

£14,775

South West

7th

54

10th

£13,305

East Anglia

8th

53

2nd

£15,384

North East

9th

33

9th

£13,351

Wales

10th

29

6th

£14,393

Andy Dawson, operations director at Legal & General’s general insurance business commented: “Britons seem to be seriously under-estimating the value of their home contents.  From the survey findings it would appear that insurance to cover loss of property from the home, for example as a result of a burglary, could be over £20,000 below the level it should be.”

“Obviously every home is different and our figures should only be taken as a guide, but this significant gap in insurance cover could mean people are extremely disappointed if they ever do need to claim. We would suggest that everyone take the research findings as a prompt to review their home contents and check the insurance cover they have in place. It’s surprising when you go around a home how much the value of the items in each room can soon add up – and that’s not including high risk items such as jewellery and art.”

Average estimated value of home contents

Room

Estimated value

Legal & General value

% difference in value

Living Room

£5,384

£10,550

95% lower

Kitchen

£3,419

£6,515

90% lower

Master bedroom

£2,855

£9,900

240% lower

Main bedroom

£1,267

£4,650

260% lower

Garden

£1,435

£2,900

100% lower

Total

£14,360

£34,515

140% lower

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