Sentimental memories, gifts, clothes, collections, but also furniture and electronic equipment, our homes are often very full. So many personal effects that can be reduced to nothing, or seriously damaged, in the event of a disaster.
And if it is not possible to set a price for family photos, your equipment and household appliances are themselves protected under comprehensive home insurance. But at what cost ?
Poor use value
Because a table that has been used for four years is no longer as flawless as it was on the day it was purchased, an obsolescence rate is applied to the new price estimated at the time of the incident, in order to calculate its “value in use”. “. Although some contracts include a scale of wear and tear for all movable property, it is most often an expert appointed by the insurer who will specifically determine the rate of obsolescence of the various degraded equipment. In this context, it will take into account several factors such as the average lifespan of the object, its technical characteristics, any technical progress made since then or its state of maintenance.
In terms of insurance, for example a computer is no longer worth anything after five years of use, while a television will, in general, be compensated up to 50% of its purchase price. As for your clothes and shoes, they lose a third of their value two years after their acquisition. Among the least depreciated goods, it is the crockery and stylish furniture that come out the winners, with 100% of the value compensated even after ten years of possession.
The appeal of replacement cost
While use value rules in most contracts, policyholders can choose more favorable protection, with a higher premium. Two options are then available to them.
Some agreements offer compensation for the “replacement value” of damaged furniture. In this case, the amount offered will correspond to the evaluation of the price of a new property with similar characteristics and performance on the day of the loss, without taking into account, or only partially, the obsolescence.
It is also possible to take out a “new retrofitting” guarantee. In return for replacing damaged objects within six months of their degradation or theft, you then benefit from maximum compensation, without any wear allowance. To get a fair estimate, purchase invoices and photos of the furniture are essential. Digital safes are also used to store this information online.
Beware of precious objects
While a sofa or a washing machine deteriorates over time, the opposite is true for jewelry or masterpieces, whose value continues to increase. You must therefore protect them in a specific way.
In practice, you must declare your precious objects – jewelry, precious stones, works of art, works of renowned artists, rugs and other fine furniture – to your insurer. If the total value is less than 20,000 euros, it may be sufficient to add an option to your comprehensive home contract to benefit from a guarantee based on their purchase invoice and an appraisal. Beyond that, it will be necessary to opt for an independent contract “in declared value” or “approved” and to take appropriate security measures.
And the garden furniture?
The outbuildings adjoining the accommodation, such as verandas and pergolas, are generally protected, at no additional cost, by comprehensive home insurance, provided they have been previously declared to the insurer.
For everything else, you have to opt for an extended warranty, often called a “garden pack”. This insurance covers your garden shed, greenhouse, swimming pool, barbecue, tools, mower, sprinkler system …
Be careful to check the claims covered. Because if fires and storms are covered, some contracts exclude theft and vandalism, or impose special security conditions.