It's that time of year when my home inurance company try and rip me off at renewal time.

I have used several companies over the years with pros and cons in each. I am tempted to use Directline, as colleagues have labelled them as Forces Friendly.

Anyone out there who can reccommend an all singing, no quibbles or small print, insurance company for home contents/kit who are attuned to our unique way of life and don't charge the earth?

P.S. Please don't just point me at the NAAFI or Abacus
When you’re in the Forces, it can be difficult to get insurers to understand your circumstances, and you may find that aspects of your lifestyle are not covered. You need to make sure that your money is getting you the cover you need…

There are very few companies that are solely dedicated to Forces personnel when it comes to insurance, but these are the companies that will consider the military lifestyle in their policies. The NAAFI Financial Kit and Contents Insurance policy includes cover for:

*Protection against theft, loss and damage to your kit and personal belongings worldwide
*Cover against loss or damage to the contents of your home
*Personal liability cover
*Transit and March Out cover
*Storage cover
*Up to £500 cover for loss or theft of money and credit cards
*Freezer food up to £500
*No-quibble new for old replacement

The policy also includes automatic membership of the award-winning ‘Clubline’, a dedicated claims phone line open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Additionally, if you have the NAAFI Financial Kit and Contents Insurance, you are entitled to 10% off our Motor Insurance Policy.

If you would like any more information,]visit our website[/url].
Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the team on 00800 76 76 77 77 free from the UK and Germany, or on +44 1603 205 209 from the rest of the world.
Snarley - this may help....

If you have ever doubted the benefits of shopping around for contents insurance then a new survey from researchers Consumer Intelligence may change your mind. It reveals that the average difference in premiums between the cheapest and most expensive providers a staggering 345%, or £443 a year.

'Spending just 45 minutes shopping around for your home insurance can save you hundreds of pounds a year in lower premiums,' says Consumer Intelligence managing director Ian Hughes. 'The average premium for home insurance in January was £348.85 but the five most competitive insurers were £122 cheaper at £227.03'.

So how did the big insurance names rank in this study? Find out below.

Home Insurance Premiums - January 2004
Average premium in January 2004 = £348.85
Average premium for five most competitive providers in January 2004 = £227.03Average premium for five most expensive providers in January 2004 = £430.13
Amount of money people could save by shopping around = £2.06 billion

Below are the ten most competitive home insurance companies for January by repayment method:

Ranking ... Pay annually / Pay monthly
1 Budget / Budget
2 Esure / Esure
3 AXA / Norwich Union Direct
4 Norwich Union Direct / AXA
5 Egg / RAC
6 Direct Line / Direct Line
7 Admiral / Admiral
8 RAC / Egg
9 Tesco / Tesco
10 Argos / CIS
Data from Consumer Intelligence, 02/2004

The study also highlights the benefits of paying for buildings and contents insurance via a single annual payment, as this is typically around 5% cheaper than paying on a monthly basis.

'Home insurance premiums can vary widely,' agrees Richard Mason of insuresupermarket. 'Shopping around is extremely important for getting a good deal, but it is also vital to look at the detail in your policy and identify exactly what cover you really need - for example, do you need to be covered for extras such as accidental damage? Also consider whether you are prepared to pay a higher excess to keep premiums low.'
As part of its campaign to encourage people to shop around, Which has also created an online home insurance comparison site,

Cover up

The contents of homes has increased by 42% in the last 10 years. Home contents in the UK are now worth an average £42,000, according to More Th>n. Most of this value is made up of high technology gadgets, but there is an estimated £3,500 of clothing in the average adult's wardrobe, plus more than £400-worth of shoes. As a result, householders who opt for the minimum level of contents insurance may find themselves under-insured by as much as £27,000, as some insurers start minimum cover at as little as £15,000.

But cheapest is not always best. 'While it may be tempting to choose a lower level of cover to keep premiums down, this could prove a false economy in the event of a claim,' warns Steve Kingshott of More Th>n. 'For example, if someone has £42,000-worth of contents but only insures them for £21,000, they have only bought 50% of the cover they need and are unlikely to receive a full settlement for a claim. This could apply even if the value of the claim is lower than their £21,000 policy limit,' he adds.

Popular belief suggests that an accurate home contents valuation can be calculated by multiplying the average value of each room by the number of rooms in the house and then adding on the value of special items like antiques or jewellery. But a recent study by Hiscox reveals that this could leave an average home underinsured by as much as 40%.

Guy Knight of Hiscox has expert advice: "It is very easy to overlook the hidden assets within your home. The clue to calculating the true value of your home contents lies in your lifestyle and tastes - in essence, the way you choose to spend your cash, and the value of furniture, clothing, electrical equipment and food you are accumulating. We recommend that anyone who wants to know the true value of their possessions should calculate, room by room, how much it would cost to replace everything if they were buying it new today."
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