Monday, 2 May 2016

Ten good reasons why I don't have contents insurance.

Hello. While pondering over a few topics for blog posts, I came up with the idea of  delving a little deeper into the whys and wherefores of  how I organize my life. My quirky ways of doing things or not doing things, and the reasons behind my way of thinking might not suit everybody. I tend not to go with the flow, I like to explore and find out what works for me, even if it goes against the grain and people might question my sanity. I might make a one sentence statement which does not give the whole picture, so I am going to do a series of posts called Ten Good Reasons Why.........and fill in the gaps. 
So the first statement is 
Ten good reasons why I don't have house contents insurance.  

1. There is very little stuff of value in my house. I could happily give it all away and start again. Most of it was acquired cheaply second hand or given to me free. The things I have bought from a shop are old and not worth very much. 
2. I have no jewelry, no collectors items worth a lot of money. My electrical gadgets are ancient. 
3. I have enough money in my emergency fund to replace anything broken, damaged, or stolen. 
4. I have no feelings for my stuff, I am not married to my stuff, I am not in love with it. It is just stuff. It doesn't belong to me, I am borrowing it while I am alive, I can't take it with me. 
5. I don't need a lot of stuff. I can manage with the basics. A bed, a chair, something to cook my food on, clothes to wear, bedding to keep warm. 
6. If I had to start again I would be happy to purchase second hand, ask for items I find in a skip, buy at a car boot sale or charity shop, accept donations from friends.  
7. I don't want to pay for contents insurance. The money I have saved over the years by not paying, more than covers the cost if I had to buy something. 
8. Insurance is all about risk, do I want to take the risk by not having it, or do I want parts of my  life to be cushioned against risks, and pay for the cost of it.  Peace of mind doesn't come cheap. I am happy to take the risk and not pay for contents insurance.  
9. I am not a worrier, I will not lose sleep thinking about what if all my stuff is lost.. I take each day as it comes, living for the now, and not worrying about how long my stuff will last, or if it will be stolen, or lost in a fire or broken in an accident. What will be will be. I prefer to live with the thought that it might never happen, rather than, oh dear, what if. 
10. Looking for the right policy can be very time consuming, playing one company off against another, trying to get the best deal. Small print baffles me, big numbers baffle me, the wording of policies baffles me. I don't want to be bothered with it. 

Everyone must assess their own needs for insurance, dependent on how much they value their possessions, the value of their possessions, and what it would cost to replace them. Personality comes into play as well, whether they are risk takers or risk averse. Whether losing their possessions would have a detrimental affect on their quality of life, or whether they are confident to move on and start again.   

No painting today, it's been raining. The Walking Group mileages are rolling in, the page is slowly filling up, and it's looking good. It's great that you are making a real effort. Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up later.
Toodle pip. 

29 comments:

  1. Hey Ilona, my walking total for April is 123 miles. I'm Looking forward to some longer sunnier walks in May, I really wasn't expecting the April ones to be as miserable and cold as they were!

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  2. Hi Ilona, you have made my day! I long to be able to say the same about my stuff. Day by day I give something away, but it seems endless.
    Regards
    Sylvia

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  3. wonderful attitude,, we are required to have content insurance in this apartment building,, its 22 dollars a month,, but I agree with you if you have no need for it why have it.

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  4. I don't feel the same way at all. I love the things I have, many of them inherited from my mother and her family before her, or chosen by myself and my husband. I love my furniture, it isn't just stuff to me, it's part of who we are, what we choose to have in our homes. I was very glad that we were insured (and against accidental damage, too) when I trod walnut husk through our sitting room and ruined a beautiful carpet - we had it replaced on the insurance. I expect you will think this a frightful waste of money. I know you love your home, but I wonder ... if you had paid a lot for some of the things (which, of course, you wouldn't do) might you then considier insuring them? Suppose, if the worst did happen, and you lost everything in a fire or flood, could you really start from scratch, missing nothing at all? When I see flood damaged areas and people in tears because they have lost everything and have no insurance and also no money to replace the items or even put good the damage, I do think they have been a tad cavalier in not having insurance. It would seem I'm alone here, most comments are agreeing with you, but I like the comfort blanket of knowing we could replace things if the worst happened.
    Margaret P

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    1. Hi Margaret. My house is insured so if I had a fire or it was flooded, it would be repaired. Yes, I really could start from scratch when it comes to replacing my belongings. I wouldn't buy as much as I have now. I don't need a four piece suite I could manage with one sofa. We have a big hospice charity shop with very nice furniture in it at reasonable prices. I could get curtains and bedding from a charity shop or car boot sale.

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  5. Here in America, if a homeowner has insurance on the property (required if you have a mortgage and for piece of mind for most people), you are required to insure contents for one-half the value of your home. So if your home is valued at $200,000, contents must be insured for $100,000. At least I think that is how it works.

    Like you, I do not have valuable furniture or appliances or whatever. So I must pay for far higher contents insurance than I need. The one thing I do to reduce the overall cost of my homeowner's insurance is to have a high deductible (but of course not so high that I couldn't afford to pay it if necessary). Insurance of all types is so costly.

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  6. Interesting - I've always just (lazily I suppose) thought I 'must' have contents insurance and so have done all the paperwork year in, year out and paid out at least 30 years of premiums..and how much is my stuff worth? To me? it's of very little value and I wish half of it would just disappear anyway. And I've claimed in 30 years the grand total of zero. Can't wait for the rest of your series!

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  7. Well Ilona , I started again at the age of 46yrs old with just my clothes in a suitcase. No regrets. I have no contents insurance either....same reason as you. I do however have life insurance as I don't want my kids to pay when I kick the bucket, ha ha. I'm 67yrs old now.

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    1. I am catching you up Caz, will be 67 soon. I don't have any life insurance because I don't have any kids. My estate will pay for my funeral, hopefully not any time soon.

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    2. you'll still be kicking for a good time yet (I certainly hope so !) Going up to Spondon to do my Mum's washing tomorrow (twin tub.) She might be partially sighted and have a few other problems but she says "Well ,there's people worse off than me" (90yrs old) soon.Her mind is as sharp as ever and I'm so grateful we can still have a good conversation. She could talk for England, ha ha.

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  8. Three years ago we lost all our jewellery and some silver in a burglary. The thief took my mother's wedding and engagement rings from 1945', my grandad's medals from the First World War along with a multitude of memories. The insurance company valued them at over £11,000 but would only give us £8,500. To us, these items were irreplaceable. If you can save enough money to replace the 'necessities' no amount of insurance will replace the true 'valuables' in your life. It's an interesting way of deciding what is most important.

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  9. I'm a bit hopeless at getting around to things and my house insurance lapsed. When i rang to re-new i was classed as a new customer and the new price was quite a bit less than the renewal price.£50 worth of Co-op too.
    Dave.

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  10. I love your attitude. I am required to have house insurance too. I did get all my valuables stolen once and it was more expensive to replace everything than I thought it would be. I didn't have top of the line stuff. However I do like things that are a bit nicer and might last my lifetime though I am not married to my things. I just don't want to have to replace it at today's prices.

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  11. I didn't have contents insurance for over 15 years because I just couldn't afford it. Every penny was stretched etc also I'm not that attached to stuff. However we do have it now. Having re- married and completely renovated the house and bought new appliances etc new husband thought it appropriate to insure. I think it depends on circumstances I'm still not attached to any of the new stuff but I'm not averse to insuring it.

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  12. The most precious 'things' in my house are my pets everything else can be replaced.Suexx

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  13. We have house insurance but have never had contents insurance and we have been together 13 years. We are not materialistic, buy a lot of our things second hand, especially furniture, and we love the kind of home that gives us. We have thought a lot about stuff in the run up to moving and I have a completely different attitude to things now. I used to say it would good to have two of everything but three was better but that is not a philosophy I adhere to now. I am sure I have mentioned it before but I have read a book called Stuffocation. It is not directly linked to your post but is very interesting in lots of levels.Maybe you could get it from the library. And remember, the best things in life are not things. Loved your post.x

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    1. Thank you Louise, I will look for that book. Sounds interesting.

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  14. Oh im so looking forward to all the next topics , i love my home and its lovely comforts , no insurance here , if i "lost" the lot i would have no regrets it will be what it will be :) x

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  15. I never thought I'd got very much in the way of expensive contents - all my furniture was second hand and picked up at auctions.

    Then I had a devastating fire in my flat. Never have I been so glad of unlimited buildings insurance and my £50k contents cover.

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  16. For all the same reasons as you, Ilona, I don't have contents insurance, and I have no trust in the honesty of insurers who seem to look for any excuse not to pay out. On the other hand, you are obliged to have driver's insurance; how do you tackle that? It's a faff to trawl for the best price, but why pay more than necessary? Just as you enjoy the challenge of buying bargain food supplies, might you not see finding good insurance rates in the same light?
    Really enjoyed your blog and all the replies, thank you. Valerie

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    1. Hello Valerie. When my car insurance comes up for renewal I get a letter from my insurance broker informing me of the cost of the next year's policy. I always ring up and ask them to look for a better deal, and they find me one. I like to talk to a real person. I have been with the company ever since I started driving. I don't want to trawl the internet for the best price, and would rather pay someone to do that for me.

      Money saving is swings and roundabouts. I save money on other things so I can afford to pay for the goods and services that I need and want. I don't pay to have my hair cut so there's a saving. I don't eat out, don't buy new clothes, don't pay for a window cleaner, and as you say, save money on my food shopping. Insurance policies baffle me so I leave it to my broker to find me the right one.

      Glad you like the blog, thank you for your comment.

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    2. I do see that you have better ways of spending your time than looking for cheap car insurance - it's not exactly creative! Having a broker you can trust and talk to in person, is an alternative I hadn't considered, but perhaps, in the future, should do.
      Best wishes, Valerie

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  17. Hi Ilona, I've got a friend who thinks like you regarding non-important possessions. When she leaves her house to go on holiday the only thing she takes with her ( as well as the normal luggage, etc) is the small urn of ashes from her beloved labrador who died aged 14. No amount of insurance could replace that. Some people may find it strange but this is the one thing that she treasures. She doesn't display it - just keeps it safe.
    My mileage for April was 35 miles - a slight increase!!!

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  18. I do think a lot of people are missing the point: you can never replace precious things, I do appreciate that - things you have inherited or which hold dear memories of loved ones. What the insurance does is cushion the blow of the loss, and you have the insurance money to spend on new things without digging into precious savings. And I think I can say that those without contents insurance are those who, generally speaking, are of limited means, so the contents insurance is a luxury. Therefore, it also follows that it in all likeliness they will have little in the way of savings (if any) and therefore if they lost everything they would be paying for it dearly as they'd have to fork out for replacement items as well as having lost their much loved things. To have to buy everything again out of our own pocket would be adding insult to injury, hence I'm a great believer in contents insurance. I seem to stand alone on this.
    Margaret P

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    1. Hello again Margaret. You must do what is right for you. I'm wondering what you mean by, 'as well as having lost their much loved things'. The only much loved things I have are a few bits and bobs that belonged to my mother, and a few things from my childhood. If these were lost no amount of insurance would replace them.

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    2. You are right, no amount of money would replace things, but it would mean you could immediately get things together for your home in the event that everything was lost. I'm now thinking of all those people in Canada who have lost everything in the wildfires. They will all be starting from scratch again, and surely, to have some insurance will cushion the blow of losing everything? We will have to agree to differ on this one, Ilona. But how lovely we can disagree on something and still remain buddies!
      Margaret P

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  19. Hi Ilona, Alex here - I must say what a great post. You have the right kind of mindset - less stuff = less to worry about. Why is everybody so obsessed with accumulating so much material stuff? Happiness gained from material things is temporary (I.e. until we move onto the newer, shinier model) and true happiness comes from friendship, love, laughter and the first cup of tea in the morning. The simple things in life make us happier than any new mobile phone or gadget ever could. Keep up the good work - you are a breath of fresh air in this material world!

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  20. Hi Ilona
    I second Alex, great post, certainly made me question why I just renew my contents insurance each year without second thought. Will have to reassess this! Agree also, that the first cup of tea of the day, does in fact bring great happiness.

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  21. I differ again here in that I do have building and contents insurance. However, both are what other people would call "under-insured" ie not enough to replace exactly what our family has. I'm fine with that - I don't need to replace everything in my house! I would want more than what you've listed but ultimately if we could replace beds for everyone, enough clothes to get by, couches and a table, we'd manage. And on the building, having it means we are covered for the more likely smaller events like a contained kitchen fire or damage from a burglary (as well as the resultant lost contents) but if we did lose everything the amount would probably mean we might not have floor coverings and curtains for a while - again a risk I'm willing to take for the lower premiums. Having this insurance also covers my bicycle which is my primary means of transport. I have claimed for it being stolen before.

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