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Adam Jolley

The weirdest things people insure


Samurai swords, a London Olympic torch and a map of Somerset were among some of the stranger things Brits insure in their homes.

Two samurai swords

If you have certain "high value" items in your home - worth about £1,000 or more - these may need to be listed separately on your home insurance.

This is so these items are fully covered in the event of loss or damage.

Usually this list includes such things as plasma TVs, hi-tech stereos, expensive furniture and costly jewellery.

However, every now and then, insurance companies can be surprised by the things customers consider valuable and important enough to insure.

Here are some of the more unusual items we saw in 2013.

Sporting memorabilia

Still perhaps England’s greatest sporting achievement of the last century, a memento of the 1966 football team winning the World Cup is certainly worth treasuring.

Indeed, who knows when England will next lift the trophy?

So it’s perhaps not surprising that someone looked to insure a 1966 Wembley World Cup seat, signed by Geoff Hurst, for £1,200.

As mementos of sporting occasions go this item takes some beating.

However, one of the people lucky enough to get their hands on a London 2012 Olympic torch tried to insure it for a mighty £150,000.

Music fanatics

Michael Jackson

Many die-hard fans probably feel their music collection is priceless, especially if their favourite record is signed by the artist themselves.

A King of Pop fan listed a signed Michael Jackson Thriller album on their home insurance for £2,500.

Meanwhile, 13 people insured a Celtic Harp at an average of more than £2,700, and 194 people listed bagpipes at an average of £2,100.

Weaponry and other strange things

Various types of weaponry, perhaps worryingly, are a surprisingly regular addition to a home contents insurance policy.

For example, last year someone decided to insure a Japanese Samurai sword for £4,000.

While another added a longbow for the value of £700.

Other unusual items include:

  • A cased fish valued at £2,500;

  • A map of Somerset covered for £4,000;

  • An, erm, item of intimate male jewellery listed for £4,000.

Top tips to ensure your valuables are covered

Gareth Lane, head of home insurance at, has the following top tips to make sure your valuables are properly protected.

1. Add expensive items separately

Most home contents insurance covers you for loss or theft of household contents from within your home subject to a value limit, usually between £750 and £1500. This means anything worth a higher amount would not be insured for the full amount.

If an item exceeds any single-article limit, tell your insurer and arrange to have it listed separately on your policy. This is likely to incur an extra fee but it should guard you against a much greater financial loss should anything untoward happen to your precious item.

2. Make sure moveable items are covered away from home

To guard against losing a watch while you’re out, for example, you may want to ensure you have cover for your personal possessions outside of your home.

3. Get precious items valued regularly

You might not be asked to prove the value of a piece of jewellery when taking out home insurance, but you are very likely to have to when making a claim. 

Make sure that costly items are valued regularly - usually every two years. This will make things much easier in the event of needing to make a claim.

4. Update your cover when you purchase new items

Finally, you should make sure you update your cover levels when you purchase new items.

You can do this any time by contacting your insurance provider and updating your cover levels, making sure you’re always insured for the full value of the contents in your home.


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