We’ve created this simple guide to break down the jargon and ambiguity of Contents Insurance, helping you find the right policy to suit you.
Where Buildings Insurance protects your physical home (read all about Buildings Insurance here), Contents Insurance protects the things inside your home, like furniture and electrical appliances, from theft, damage, fire or flooding. It’s not compulsory but it’s a good idea to prepare for unexpected circumstances.
When it comes to Contents Insurance, you don’t have to work out the exact value of everything you own, but you should have a ballpark figure. Walk through each room of your house listing things like electrics, furniture and decorations. There are plenty of online calculators to help you work out how much cover you need too.
There are three main Contents Insurance policies that are available on the market. These include:
Sum Insured: This is where you personally calculate the amount of contents cover you need, based on your valuables and belongings.
Unlimited Sum Insured: All your contents are covered under this policy, which is why this tends to be the most premium option.
Bedroom Rated: Insurers will work out the amount of cover you need based on the number of bedrooms your property has. Most policies under this name will provide between £40,000 and £50,000 as a standard. However, it is still important to work out how much your possessions are worth as this policy may not be enough to cover them all.
Contents Insurance protects your belongings, so everything you could take with you if you decided to move house. This includes things like:
Toys and antiques
Clothes and jewellery
Soft furnishings (cushions, curtains, bedding)
A Contents Insurance policy protects these things from theft, damage, fire or flooding. Be sure to check your insurance policy as high value items, such as jewellery or art and even some high-tech electronics, may not be covered.
When it comes to Contents Insurance, you don’t want to underinsure your possessions but equally, you don’t want to over-insure them. Take a look at our blog ‘10 steps to avoid underinsuring your home’ to ensure that you have the right level of protection.
No problem. You can buy Contents Insurance on its own and with £75k cover as standard, we will have you covered. Have valuable items and want them covered outside of the home? You can quickly add this when you get your quote.
While most contents insurance policies are fairly inclusive, there are some instances where you would not be able to claim. For high-value items, you will most likely have to take out a separate insurance policy, so assess your valuables against your policy limit and excess.
You cannot claim on some items if you lose them or have them stolen while you are away from your home, so check what the terms are on your policy for items like mobile phones and jewellery, that you will often have on you while out and about.
It’s important to note which type of cover you have according to your policy. ‘New for old’ cover means that you’ll get paid what it costs to replace the items, and ‘indemnity’ cover means that you will only be paid the current value of your possession. This can be costly if you need to replace any appliances or furniture that have devalued since first purchased.
Don’t auto-renew your policy without shopping around first.
Pay annually – monthly premiums usually cost more.
Buy buildings and contents insurance together, you will usually get a discount, and it will make managing your insurance much easier.
While people living in rented accommodation do not need Buildings Insurance (this is normally taken out by the landlord) it is advisable to take out Contents Insurance to cover their belongings. As outlined above, Contents Insurance not only covers possessions but also furniture.
If you’re in a house share and only want to insure your own possessions, then you will get a different kind of policy. The quote may be lower because you are insuring fewer items, however, as you are living with non family members, you are treated as a greater risk so you will likely have to pay a higher premium on your contents insurance. If you are getting room-only insurance, your room will need to have a lock on it, and any of your items stolen or damaged in communal areas of the building will not be covered.
Students may want to opt for Room-Only Contents Insurance (as detailed above) when at college or university to protect their belongings in the room.