Recently in the news there was a story of a retired lady whose neighbour’s house had set on fire.  The fire had spread into her house, an ancient thatched roof cottage, and burnt it to the ground.  The lady in question had cancelled her home insurance to save money and was now left homeless and unable to rebuild her beloved home.

Source: bbc.co.uk

It got me thinking.

In these times of austerity measures we are all looking to reduce our outgoings.  For us this has meant that I’m sewing the stash of patterns and fabric rather than going out and buying whatever takes my fancy.  We’ve cut back on the cable/DVD rental services.  We now have the bare minimum.  To be fair we could have lost the cable entirely but as we don’t go out very often it seemed like a step too far.  We are just being more aware of where we spend our money and what on.

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.  Frugality sometimes reminds you of everything you do have.

But the one thing I would never sacrifice is the home insurance.

You see, I’ve been in the position where I’ve been thankful for home insurance.  Before I met the Husband I lived with a guy in Surrey for about 7 years (man…that was a lucky escape!).  In January 2003 we arrived home from work to find our house flooded.

Not the kind of flooding where a pipe bursts and you need to fix the ceiling and replace a carpet.  Maybe repaint a little.

Source: chertsey.surreyherald.co.uk

Nope.

Full on, river bursts its banks, house under a foot of water, you need a boat to get to your house, and everything on the ground floor is ruined kind of flooding.

And we didn’t even live on the river.  The water had just risen up through the water table as it couldn’t cope with all the excess.

Two cars written off.   Carpets. TV and DVD player. White goods.  Kitchen units.  All furniture. About 500 books.  Every single thing on the ground floor ended up in a skip.

All the ground floor walls had to be stripped back to the brick to half height and replastered and redecorated.

Even my sewing machines were ruined.   Both of them!

The house had to be dried out once the water had receded.  So big drying machines had to be hired.

We lived in a hotel for a week and then lived in a rented house for 6 months.  £1800 a month that cost.

It’s an expensive thing, being flooded. Seriously. We reckoned the total came to over £60,000. And that’s 9 years ago. But the home insurance covered the lot. Every last penny.

Some of our neighbours didn’t have insurance and had to cover everything themselves. It was heart-breaking to see.

So this post is just to say that whilst everyone is tightening their belts at the moment, I’d suggest you think twice before cutting back on your home insurance.

Just sayin’.

PS…we’d been back in the house two weeks when we had the burst pipe type of flooding too.  And yes, the insurance covered it. 

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