Is your winter wardrobe insured effectively?

The winter months bring with them some extra layers of clothing like woollen scarves, thermal socks and thick coats and jackets, many of which are expensive to buy these days. For those in corporate professions, tailored clothing can be very costly too. What would happen if you were burgled, or there was a fire or a flood in your home and your entire wardrobe was destroyed?

Do you have the right insurance cover to weather the storm?

While clothing is included in your contents insurance and must be factored in as part of the overall cover, do you really know what it would cost to replace your entire winter wardrobe? You probably have a better idea of what it would cost to replace your flat screen TV.

Go into most stores these days, even those known for cheaper prices, and you can expect to pay a small fortune on garments like winter coats, leather jackets, woollen jerseys and boots. Depending on your taste, your winter outfit could cost the same as a weekend away for two, or even be more expensive than that flat screen TV!

Consider your entire clothing collection

Most people don’t only have one winter coat either; you’re likely to at least have a warm woollen coat and a raincoat. However, many people have more than that, as they often add a new coat or jacket most winters to build up a collection.

As a result, some winter wear may be several years old. Don’t forget that replacing it will cost much more today, and that’s the amount you have to insure it for. With everything going up in price in these tough economic times, the cost of clothing will only continue to rise, particularly as a lot of it is imported. Be aware that even replacing a pair of jeans you bought six months ago, will likely cost much more today.

If everything in your closet was lost, what would it cost you to rebuild your wardrobe? Imagine going to your local shopping mall and having to buy everything from scratch. You need to think about what it would really cost.

Let’s take a professional look, for example. For women, beyond undergarments there would be warm tights, a skirt or trouser suit with a shirt, maybe a vest underneath for extra warmth, a cardigan for that little extra layer and a thick coat to top it off. Add shoes and a pretty necklace with matching earrings – and of course a splash of perfume, from the bottle carried around in a handbag all day. Men will have a similar situation with suit attire, perhaps including an expensive belt or a beloved tie, as well as some accessories like a watch or cufflinks. Shoes are a serious consideration too – from your slippers to your designer leather boots, replacement can really add up.

Some valuable items may need to be specified

While you wouldn’t normally specify that you have lots of scarves and gloves in your wardrobe, or that you have ten tops in the same cut but different colours, and three pairs of boots from Italy, there are some items that can – and should – be specified.

Perhaps you bought a designer accessory on your last trip overseas or inherited something pricey. If you have any particularly expensive items, you should specify them. Also, when it comes to a handbag, just replacing the actual bag won’t nearly cover the contents inside. Make sure any make-up, designer sunglasses, or a brand-new wallet are factored into the overall replacement value as well.

Chat to your adviser if you’re unsure about anything and make any changes as soon as possible. It’s best to proactively prevent the cold shoulder from your insurer and having enough cover is a good place to start.

[Riana Wiese, PSG Insure Meesterplan]

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