Valentine’s Day might be full of romance and excitement for many people, but, if you’re not careful, it also has the potential to leave you both emotionally and financially broken.
Insurance companies report there’s nearly always a surge of claims for lost or stolen gifts of expensive jewellery, as well as damage caused by fires due to toppling candles and water from overflowing baths, after the 14th of February.
Wrong cover means 14th of February could spell trouble
And without the right home insurance cover, you may find that you won’t be able to claim compensation.
Even if you can claim, you might lose any no claims bonus you’ve built up, pushing up your premiums, as well as being seen as more of a ‘risk’ by insurers, again, possibly putting up the cost of your cover.
Claims for jewellery show how easy it is to lose
Recent claim information from the insurer Hiscox shows just how easy it is to lose valuable jewellery.
In one instance a husband accidentally threw away his wife’s necklace worth £10,000. She’d left it in an old plain envelope on a kitchen worktop after bringing back from the menders.
In another, a claimant’s solitaire diamond stone fell out of its setting in her engagement ring while on holiday in France.
Here are a number of ways you need to be careful, both on the day itself and in relation to the insurance cover you have:
Put out candles, oil burners and incense sticks
A flame from a candle, or oil burner, gives out a lovely glow, and the scent from incense sticks heightens a sensual atmosphere, but they’re also a major cause of fires.
As lighting candles is so popular on Valentine’s Day, make sure you blow out any that you’ve lit before you leave the room they’re in, and the same goes for oil burners. With incense sticks it’s a good idea to put them under the tap to extinguish any remaining glow.
Open fires and gas or electric fires
Another common reason for fires in homes is a fire being left lit without any kind of guard in front of them. As lighting a lovely, romantic fire is very popular on Valentine’s Day, it’s something to be wary of.
While a fireguard should be used any time you leave a room in which a fire’s lit, if you leave for longer periods, such as going to bed for example, you should make sure the fire is completely out as well.
Even with gas and electric fires, it’s a good idea to turn them off before leaving a room for a longer period of time, just in case.
Overflowing baths and accidental damage
Another popular thing for couples to do on the big day is to fill a bath, place candles around it (see above!) and have a good, long, sexy soak. However, it’s very common for those same couples to get distracted (we won’t say why!), and forget that they’ve left the taps running and the bath plug in.
An overflowing bath can cause a huge amount of damage in a very short space of time; from ruining carpets and the electrics, to bringing down ceilings and warping doors and floorboards.
And if you don’t have what’s known as ‘accidental damage’ cover as (and with many home insurance policies it doesn’t come as standard), you might not be able to claim for any damage caused as the insurer will simply say it was your own daft fault (which it would be!).
Expensive rings and jewellery gifts
Getting engaged on Valentine’s Day is extremely popular, as is the giving of other valuable items of jewellery. But if you receive an expensive ring, for example, it might exceed the single-item claim limit on your home cover.
With most standard policies, any item worth over around £1,000 might have to at least be ‘specified’ on a home cover policy. Indeed, it might be so valuable that you need to pay extra for it on your cover, or have it insured completely separately.
Keep proof of ownership for valuable items
It’s especially important with valuable possessions to keep some sort of proof of ownership. This could be the original receipt for an item, or photographs or written valuations from recognised valuers (or better still, all three).
For obvious reasons, you want to ensure any claim you need to make for something valuable proceeds as smoothly as possible and keeping proof of ownership helps ensure it will.
Away from home personal possessions
And it’s not just in and around the home you need to worry about expensive jewellery and other valuable items you own. If you wear your lovely new sparkly ring out and about, and then have it stolen or it falls off your finger and you lose it, you won’t be able to claim if you don’t have what’s known as ‘away from home’ cover.
Most policies only allow you to claim for lost or stolen items in and around the home, such as in the garden, and don’t allow for claims involving situations that occur away from your insured property.
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