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Having someone stay in your home for an extended period not only affects your lifestyle but also your contents insurance. In the same way as having a lodger or tenant, a long-stay guest in the house is an extra risk and your insurer needs to know about this change in circumstance or else any claim you make could be rejected.
And remember that any claims for theft will only be accepted if there is evidence of a break-in, so make sure you fully trust the person you’re allowing to stay in your home for free. Keep your home fully protected at all times by showing your house guest how to lock the windows for example and running through your security set-up. And don’t forget to tell your guest that they will have to sort out insurance for their possessions as your policy won’t cover them.
You might want to think about adding accidental damage to your contents insurance if it’s not already included – but make sure it covers people staying for long periods. After all, you don’t want a bit of red wine on the carpet or a broken ornament to ruin your relationship.
Moving house can be a stressful time, but Churchill Home Insurance can help ease your worries by covering any loss or damage to your belongings while in transit and being carried by professional Contractors (subject to an additional excess of £50).
Unless you fancy a serious workout, the best option when moving house is to hire some professional removal contractors. As well as taking the strain out of moving all those heavy boxes and items of furniture, it will mean your things are less likely to get damaged, and if they do, they will be covered by Churchill Home Insurance.
Make sure you agree clearly with your removal company how much of the packing you want them to do. This can be anything from packing every last item, to just packing the glass and china. Bear in mind that breakable items such as glass, china, mirrors and earthenware will only be insured if they are packed by professional packers.
If you are doing the packing yourself begin as early as possible. Make sure that you use suitable boxes that are strong enough and of the same size, so they can be stacked together easily in the van. Don’t make the boxes so heavy that they can’t be lifted safely. Books are the worst offenders for this, so pack them in smaller boxes.
Moving house is a good opportunity to de-clutter – to get rid of all that old stuff you no longer want. Not only will it reduce your load, but it will also mean you will be able to make a clean, fresh start in your new home.
Many items will be gratefully received by your local charity shop, or you could have a car boot sale or sell some items on eBay.
Oxfam runs a scheme with some removal firms where the removal company supplies you with special OxBox stickers. Unwanted items can then be boxed and easily identified ahead of the move. The removal company will then collect the goods for the charity (usually on moving day) and take them back to their warehouse, where the charity will pick them up. [source: oxfam.org.uk]
For larger household items that you don’t want, such as cookers, fridges or furniture, your local council will usually take them away for free.
When you move home, your chances of being burgled are higher than usual [source: crimereduction.gov.uk]. Burglars know that there are so many other things to think about that security measures can often become lapse.
In order to avoid becoming the victim of a crime when you are moving, think about changing the door locks in your new home, fitting locks to windows, and ideally fitting an alarm. If there is already an alarm, change the access code. If it's connected to a monitoring service, register your details with them. Plan ahead so that you can do all this as you move in.
Also, check that you can trust your estate agent, removers and other tradespeople by making sure they are members of a professional organisation or association. Use people recommended by friends or, at least, those who advertise in magazines or in directories like Yellow Pages. Never deal with people who only list a mobile phone number.
On the day of the move, make sure that your removers secure their van to stop it from being stolen when it is left alone – remember, it will be full of everything you own. Ask the removers to take care that the door used for loading the van is not left unguarded or unlocked when it is not being used, such as when they take a tea break.
If you’re moving house, make sure you have the peace of mind of Churchill Home Insurance by getting a quote now online.