Being an old care home we know our house is a bit different to most family homes, but one of the differences we didn’t expect was being classed out-of-the-ordinary when it comes to house insurance. We discovered that a normal house has a maximum of five bedrooms, so our four upstairs and two downstairs bedrooms puts us into the unusual, and I assume more expensive, category.
What is a bedroom?
The funny thing is, we don’t know what defines a bedroom. We have never used the two downstairs rooms as bedrooms and we don’t intend too. But we were told as the estate agent’s details listed them as bedrooms they are bedrooms until it is obvious we’ve changed their use. We haven’t done this yet, unless
dumping storage counts.
Our plan is to combine these rooms to be a study, but they currently contain items that should be in the loft (Christmas decorations, camping equipment, wedding dress). However, we don’t want to use the loft until we’ve done the structural work needed when we remove the lift which is not simple as we need a number of steel beams to support the roof!
My most valuable possessions
We bought our house insurance in a rush so we could exchange contracts and as our options were limited we went with the most helpful company. Fortunately with our policy we didn’t have to spend a lot of time guestimating the value of our contents. I admit we haven’t changed our policy since moving in as we still have six “bedrooms”, but when we change policies in the future at least I know I can remove some of the guess work on the value of our possessions using the Contents Insurance Calculator developed by Legal & General.
However, the thing with contents insurance is it estimates a financial value for items you can replace, and most of my most valuable possessions don’t fit into that category.
Laptop – I’m not actually that keen on my laptop as it is slow and temperamental (the touch pad doesn’t work most of the time), but the contents are valuable as they include photographs, videos, scrapbook layouts and files
Diaries – I’ve written a diary on and off for 25 years, and each notebook contains a part of me; plus I’d love to think they will be of historical importance one day (most of these are currently stored in the boxes next to the pushchair above)
Photographs and videos – We have a a mix of digital files stored on drives and many years of developed pictures stored in one of the downstairs bedrooms either in albums or still in the developer packets
Sail sculpture – we haven’t got a lot of art around the house (yet) so we really appreciate this piece by Peter Boyce-Tomkins that we bought as a wedding anniversary present for each other. My husband recently put up a shelf so we can appreciate it more than its previous position on a windowsill (of course the casts of our children’s feet are pretty important as well)
Mum’s sampler – I remember Mum buying this on holiday in USA in 1989 and then working on it for most other holidays for years and years. It is a nice reminder of my Mum (and what you can achieve with perseverance) every time I walk past it on our landing.
So my most valuable possessions aren’t going to impact the value needed in our contents insurance, but I’m still hoping that we’ll be able to save money by the time our policy is due to be renewed. According to my renovation plan we will have knocked the two downstairs bedrooms together so we become a “normal” family house. However I suspect it maybe a case of just knocking a hole between the two rooms (yes breaking the mural the children painted) and claim they are the same room!
What are your most valuable possessions? Have you had any interesting insurance discoveries?
Discolosure: In collaboration with Legal & General, but all opinions are mine