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Family photos and gadgets top must-save list

IMAGINE you've got to leave your home in a hurry. Assuming that your loved ones − and that includes your pets, of course − are safe, what would be the first thing that you try to save?

The question was put to 2,300 people − and their answers highlight different priorities for men and women when faced by an unexpected emergency like flooding or fire.

Family photographs top the must-save list for women, according to the study by insurer Ecclesiastical, with one in three of them saying they would retrieve picture albums and digital images before getting out. That's three times more than the 11% of men who say they would make saving family photos their main priority.

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Top priority for men is their stash of important documents (24%) followed by tech items such as laptops and phone (22%). Women, on the other hand, give technology items a much lower priority with just 12% putting laptops, smartphones and tablets (pictured above) top of their must-save list.

Bromford Homes Head of Sales Alan Bradley says: "It's interesting to see what's most precious among their portable belongings for different people. Family photos would, of course, come top of the list for many people of both sexes and these days that often means grabbing the laptop because most of their images are digital rather than prints in a traditional photo album.

"This study highlights the importance of keeping a back-up copy of your digital photos somewhere in the 'cloud' so that they're safe and can be retrieved if the worst does happen. More importantly, it highlights the need for every householder to have adequate insurance cover for the contents of their home.

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"You have to ask yourself one question − what would you do if you lost all the furniture and other belongings in your home? Buying everything again would cost a fortune so contents insurance is vital if you're going to cover yourself for unexpected events like a burglary, water leakage, flooding, a lightning strike or a fire.

"And, in the case of fire, remember the advice from 999 professionals and simply get out. Fire spreads quickly. There is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call first."

If you're a shared ownership buyer, Bromford makes sure that building insurance is in place to cover the cost of repairing any damage to the property itself. But this doesn't include cover for your furniture, clothing and other belongings. That's why you also need contents cover such as the low-rate insurance policy available through the National Housing Federation My Home Contents scheme.

11 September 2014