Consumer rights: Bling cover dilemma for broke graduate
What to look for when insuring jewellery on a home-contents policy / Another reader stung by unfair bank charges / Advantages of buying over the internet
Sunday 22 November 2009
I have just moved into a flat with a friend. We're graduates and haven't got jobs yet. I've got quite a lot of jewellery and my mother wants me to have it insured but I'm not sure how much to insure it for and I can't afford to spend much on a policy.
Your jewellery can be insured under your contents policy. You can get stand-alone jewellery policies but those are usually needed only if something is particularly expensive. Think carefully about what you want the insurance to do. Are you insuring your jewellery in case someone breaks into your flat and steals it? Do you wear it often and would you need your insurance to cover you outside your flat? Do you have pieces that are very valuable? Would you want to be able to replace anything that goes missing with new items? If it has more sentimental value than monetary value, replacing it with new items won't really help you to get over its loss.
Most insurers ask you to tell them if you have items that are worth more than a certain amount – usually about £1,500 to £2,000. If you don't know how much individual pieces are worth, it would be a good idea to take it all to a jeweller to get it valued. Take photos of it too in case you need them for the insurer or to make a claim. If you're going to be travelling, either have the jewellery insured for anywhere in the world or leave it at home.
Contents insurance covers all the contents of your flat, so you need to be sure that you don't underestimate how much your property is worth. If you've been furnishing the place with second-hand stuff from charity shops, the bill isn't likely to be too big. But if you've also got antiques from your grandmother or nice rugs from generous parents you need to add those into the valuation too. Recently, price comparison website Confused.com found that the average family of four estimated that their valuables were worth £25,000 when in fact they were worth £55,000.
How much your insurance costs also depends on where you live. Some areas will be seen to be riskier than others as far as the insurance company is concerned; more at risk of flood, more likely to be broken into. You can do several things to keep the bill down such as fitting better locks, an alarm, or window locks, and keeping your jewellery in a locked safe. All of these cost money.
If you want to keep your insurance bill down until you get a job, take your jewellery home to your parents and ask them to make sure it's covered under their contents policy – for all risks, anywhere in the world – and borrow a few different pieces each time you go home.
I've just had a letter from my bank telling me that because I was £17.50 overdrawn for one day last month they're taking two separate charges – one for £35 and one for £28 – out of my account to cover their costs. I've never been overdrawn in my life and it was because I bought something for £25 from a shop on my debit card and the amount was taken out of my account straight away. Is there anything I can do? It seems ridiculous to end up paying £88 for something that should have cost £25.
You've gone overdrawn without agreeing an overdraft facility with your bank. The charges for unauthorised overdrafts have been high and there have been thousands of bank customers demanding refunds over the past couple of years. There is a Supreme Court decision to come on Wednesday on whether these charges come under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations. If the banks lose this case, then the Office of Fair Trading will be free to decide whether or not bank charges, such as yours, are justified. In the meantime, some banks have cut or dropped their charges while others are carrying on business as usual.
It could be a long time before this is sorted out. I would advise you to talk to your bank, point out that you've never been overdrawn before, that you were actually only overdrawn for a matter of a few hours and ask them to refund or reduce the charges. Think about changing your bank in protest and set up an arrangement where, if you're in danger of being briefly overdrawn, you either have an authorised overdraft on which any charges are lower or the bank automatically moves money from a savings account into your current account. It used to be three days before anything you'd spend on a debit card got taken from your account. Now, in some cases, it's virtually instantaneous, so beware.
I've finally got to grips with the internet and am doing all my Christmas shopping that way this year. Am I right in thinking that if I order something and don't want it when it arrives I can send it back and get my money back?
You have the same rights when you buy over the internet as you do when you buy from shops but with the added protection that you have seven days to change your mind. So everything you buy should be as it was described, fit for the purpose that it claims to be fit for and shouldn't be faulty. And because you are buying over the internet you're covered by the Distance Selling Regulations which cover goods and services bought by internet, phone, digital TV or mail order.
You have the right to clear information about the goods and services before you decide to buy; you should be given that information in writing and you have seven working days in which to cancel the contract. If you're buying a service you can cancel it up to seven working days after the order was made; if you're buying goods you can cancel up to seven working days after the goods have arrived. You have to let the trader know in writing – which could be by email – that you're cancelling your order. And there are things that you can't cancel such as food or flowers or audio or video recordings or computer software once you've opened the packaging, or something you've had made to your own specifications. You should get your money back as soon as possible but certainly within 30 days.
Do you need a financial makeover?
Write to Julian Knight at the Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF email@example.com
Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk
Interest-only mortgages return to give more flexibility to borrowers
Bargain Hunter: Exclusive discount on a SmartGlider - a self-balancing electric scooter
My Tinder date asked for a refund when I declined a second meet up
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
Be warned of the dirty tricks the bailiffs pull
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Refugees welcome: More than 250,000 sign Independent petition calling for Britain to 'take its fair share'
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...
£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
Day In a Page
This five-bedroom home in Sutton Coldfield is arranged over three floors, with a detached garage to the rear and a driveway at the front of the property.
In an elevated position above the bay, this four-bedroom home offers sea and headland views. There is a decked balcony and sun terrace - plus coastal walks on the doorstep.
With four bedrooms, this spacious maisonette in a mid-terrace period-style house in Holland Road is well-maintained and offers high ceilings and period features.
The terraces of this two-bedroom penthouse apartment offer panoramic views that stretch over fifty miles from the cliffs of Beachy Head.
In the heart of the coastal village of Mumbles and moments from the pier, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is set over three floors and retains many original features.
In a sandbanks location, moments from the beach, this three-bedroom apartment has a large open-plan living area and a south-west facing balcony.
This four-bedroom home has an annexe accessed from the side of the house, with potential for improvement and conversion subject to the necessary permissions.
In the heart of the hamlet of Wardley, this five-bedroom period home offers countryside views and a stylish interior, with original features and open fireplaces.
Offering countryside views and landscaped gardens, this three-bedroom Grade II-listed lodge has a spacious conservatory and a large cellar that could serve as a workshop.
Set in approximately 1.5 acres, this four-bedroom home comes with a second, detached property that's currently used as an annexe.
In the hamlet of Newchurch, this former parish church is now a four-bedroom home complete with clock tower and eyrie.
Offering scenic views from a large balcony and sun terrace, this four-bedroom home has a wraparound garden and a heated swimming pool.
Offering views across the Humber and East Yorkshire Wolds from a glass panelled balcony, this four-bedroom barn-style home befits a life of leisure.
This four-bedroom home offers versatile accommodation with annexe potential; features include a hot tub, sauna and Norwegian BBQ hut.
Well-located for schools, colleges and the town centre, this contemporary thatched cottage offers flexible living space with six bedrooms.
Built in 1907, this four-bedroom Edwardian period home has been refurbished by the current owners, retaining many original period features.
Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this five-bedroom home offers living space across three floors.
This lovely country home in Burnham Market is currently run as a popular holiday cottage, with five en suite bedrooms and colourful gardens.
This three-bedroom 17th-century former village bakery is just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
Set on a landscaped plot, this light and airy four-bedroom home comes with a log burner in the lounge, a fitted kitchen and an open-plan ground-floor layout.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Built on a former chapel site, this impressive four-bedroom home boasts balconies, stunning views and contemporary modern living.
This three-bedroom house is situated in a quiet mews and set over three floors. Features include glazed staircases and high ceilings.
A period townhouse set over four floors, this five-bedroom home was built in the 18th Century and retains many original features.
With five bedrooms, this spacious home offers beautiful gardens and modern interiors - set within the popular market town of Bingley.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This first-floor flat comes with two bedrooms, an impressive open-plan reception room and two lovely roof terraces.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Moored at Taggs Island and reached via a pretty garden, this two-bedroom houseboat has a vaulted reception room and skylit garden studio - currently a beauty salon.
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
A contemporary house spread over three storeys, this three-bedroom detached home has large sliding doors that open out to the River Quaggy.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
This former village bakery, dating back to the 17th century, is now a three-bedroom detached home just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
On the picturesque Isle of Man, this four-bedroom character home has a ground-floor shop that's currently run as a newsagents and a flat that would make an ideal holiday let.
In a new collection of flats, this first-floor two-bedroom apartment offers ample entertaining space and a prime view of Furze Green from a private balcony.
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.