Thursday 14 October 2004 8.44pm
I used to use Co-op Insurance as they were recommended to me by a friend who had been burgled three times. She chose them because after she'd been burgled, they gave her the cheapest quote. They were cheap, but when we were burgled, we found out that they would not pay out for anything that we could not prove beyond doubt we had owned - we had to produce receipts and boxes and credit card statements, etc, to proved what we owned. Of course, we couldn't prove we'd owned a fair amount of what had been burgled (CDs, etc - who keeps receipts for those?) so we didn't receive the full amount of our claim. Which, at the time, I thought was fair enough, and just cursed myself for not keeping better records (and for not bumping up my claim in the first place!)
However, I now know from other friends who have been burgled that the way we were treated by CIS was quite unusual, and that generally, you don't have to prove beyond doubt what you owned before they'll pay up (it does help, though, to keep a record of major purchases, and have photos of your belongings.).
So, the moral of the story it that it doesn't always pay to go for the cheapest quote, as they have to recoup their money somehow and do so by paying out as little as they can when you are burgled. I now have contents insurance through my bank. It is slightly more expensive than CIS or Endsleigh, but I figure that if I were to be burgled, they would treat my claim more fairly as it would be in their best interest not to rip me off.
(Of course, the other moral is to keep a nice file full of photos of everything you own, with receipts attached. But I haven't got round to doing that yet....)