House/ Hifi bespoke contents Insurance

I know there has been this discussion before but I have just had a considerable increase in my combined house and contents insurance. Like many on here it is not a normal insurance, firstly its a grade 2 listed house and secondly the hifi’s and records value is very high, with high Naim equipment etc.
I currently use John Lewis and the last quote was £2750 for the year up from £2250. I approached my previous insurer NFU and Nat west premium and both were £3700.
Does anyone have any recommendations?


When I queried the term ‘valuables’ with my insurer with regard to my vinyl collection I was told ‘they’re only records’.

In the end I just decided to go with a standard Direct Line insurance and take the relatively small risk involved with both my hifi and records. Although I guess my system is relatively modest compared with many on here.

Sorry, this isn’t an answer to your question, but I have this on my “Things to do list…” and have no idea where to start.
My current insurance covers any item upto £3k and I can identify any items with a greater value individually, but each will hike the premium.
Does yours work that way or is yours a specialist insurance product?
I also need to cover several pieces of art in excess of £3k.
Specialist insurance seems like a bit of a minefield :man_shrugging:t2:

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One of the benefits of getting old is that Saga does insurance for you. They have happily covered my 222/300/250, LP12 and ATC SCM40s within the normal cover, which surprised me.


I recently renewed my house insurance, and while it was a lot cheaper than yours, the house is not listed. It is old enough, with stone walls, to have a high rebuild cost, plus some HiFi boxes of high enough value to need to be declared individually.

I believe all house insurance has increased in price a lot recently, but shopping around, I found massive variations in price. Even using different comparison sites gave very different results, sometimes even from the same insurer. So I would suggest that it’s worth shopping around.

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One thing to consider here is that on top of a huge premium you need to think about what that premium would become if you actually made a claim. The thing to do is assess the risk first before shelling out huge sums in insurance as it may actually cost you more in the long run to make a claim than it would to replaced anything stolen. Let’s face it, to steal a full hifi system and vinyl collection, then sell it on, would require a level of planning an organisation beyond most burglars. Don’t you think?


I’m with Aviva for my buildings and contents cover, costing less than £500 at last renewal.

There’s unlimited contents cover, with no single item limit, other than jewellery and valuables.

Some of the “specialist” insurers apply single item upper limits simply as a means of boosting the premium.


My insurance company takes the stance that >2500 cds is not a collection, as in a single entity, but >2500 cheap objects in the same place.

Also, valuable items are any single item over £5000. Premium is <£900. (Nine hundred) a year.

I have same with Nationwide. I once asked if they wanted me to list my hifi separately and they said no it was covered. I’ve never asked again.

I need to be doing my trawl of insurers in two or three weeks’ time, so this thread is timely for me.

Two years ago I switched to Arriva, and was stunned at how much cheaper they were than my previous - I had been with M&S for a few years, but when they got up to £1200 I changed. Arriva for the past has only cost £506 for unlimited contents cover, and buildings up to £6M. (Valuables £50k, items away from home, £40k for items away from home). I don’t know yet what the renewal cost will be this time, but from all accounts a substantial price hike is highly likely.

Clearly the cost depends on many factors including where you live - I am fortunate in living in a relatively low risk area. I was advised that hifi doesn’t count as part of “valuables”, and not need to identify any individual items to them, unlike valuables such as jewellery. The premium was increased from standard by my adding two e-bikes, one an expensive one, to the items covered away from home (far cheaper than specialist bike insurance).

With LPs and CDs, I understand that if they are classified as a “collection” the collectio n would need covering as a valuable. It would seem to be a grey area, but once you get into the 1000s, with all of many artists’ releases, multiple copies of albums to capture different masterings etc it is highly likely they’d see that as a collection not just a pile of records, and if it were me I’d want it in writing from them that I don’t need to declare as a collection. In my case with only about 1000 albums and very few if any complete sets I am not worried, particularly as, although physical CDs are in boxes in the garage, the important part, my library of rips and downloads, has multiple backups and the chances of losing all are minimal.

Maybe, though I’m not sure I’d want to take the chance, especially if I lived in a high risk area. But regardless of that, how about the effect of a fire?


It’s surprising to me that hifi isn’t considered as valuables. I would enquire what the maximum cover value is per item with all the insurers. This is usually something the reps either don’t know or don’t want to tell you unless prompted.

I’ve just had my annual home & contents quote from my broker, also for a Grade II listed property.

Best they could do was £2.9k through Aviva. Up £200 on last year.

All the hi-fi stuff is covered under the normal policy, as Dave mentions above and the only single item we have specific cover for is my wife’s engagement ring.

My insurer last year didn’t require high value items to be listed. I read the small print carefully, and as long as they were inside the house they were covered. Just to be sure, I emailed them to ask for confirmation of this, and kept the reply.

At renewal time I checked again, and the small print was completely different. Now, high value items did need to be listed, despite there being no mention of a change of terms and conditions in the renewal offer.


Same as me Dave, they seem reasonable and as you say it is unlimited.

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If in doubt see a broker , especially iid you have large collections

Also fire!
I had one in my factory 28 years and lost everything but thankfully very well insured. I won’t under insure unless I am prepared to loose it.

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All insurers I’ve used specify a maximum total figure for valuables, and some have a separate maximum figure per item within that. When told about hifi none has ever considered it as part of valuables, but valuables invariably has included “collections”, so the question as to whether any individual insurer would count any individual pile of records as a collection has to be clarified in each specific case.

As for the total insurance cover, if not unlimited, that is for everything. But an important point for anyone unaware, if you under-insure and make a claim, you don’t get a full payout up to the total limit, but only the proportion for which you were insured. E.g. if your total contents cover is £100k, but you actually have £200k worth of contents - adding up every record at new replacement value assuming you have new for old cover, ditto all your clothes, shoes, tools, cameras etc etc - and you make a claim for that £10k diamond ring, when the loss adjuster turns up and tots everything up, coming to £200k including the ring, you’ll only get £5k for it (50% of its value).

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Have you tried Aviva directly, rather than through a broker?

I haven’t had a renewal quote for next year yet, but in January I insured our 4 bed detached house and contents with Hiscox for £1250. The cover is unlimited and I didn’t have to list the hifi.

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