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Contents insurance is one of the two main types of home insurance and covers the cost of replacing your household contents if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. Home contents insurance can be bought separately or as part of a combined home insurance policy that also includes building insurance.
A quick and easy way to find the best contents insurance policy is to shop around and compare quotes – you could also earn up to £28 cashback.
If you’re able to, paying for your contents insurance upfront each year will be cheaper than paying in monthly instalments. If you can’t afford to pay for your insurance in one go, it could be worth considering a zero-interest purchase credit card and spreading the cost interest-free over several months.
Some home insurance providers factor in the security of your home when deciding prices. Simple steps such as installing deadlocks on your external doors and locks on accessible windows, as well as fitting a burglar alarm can help reduce the cost of your premiums.
The excess is the amount you must pay towards the cost of any claim you make. By choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess, the cost of your premiums will be lower, but it’s important to make sure your excess would still be affordable.
If you need to take out buildings insurance as well as contents cover, you may get a discount by combining them both on the same policy.
Contents insurance covers everything you would take with you if you moved home, such as furniture, electrical goods, jewellery, and cash. It also usually includes carpets and can cover belongings in your garage or other outbuildings - though it pays to check your policy to be sure.
Most home insurance policies have limits on how much you can claim for each item, so you may need to list high-value items such as expensive gadgets, artwork or jewellery separately on your policy. Some insurers will also offer specialist high-value contents insurance for your valuables.
Contents insurance won’t typically cover you for the following:
Home contents insurance isn’t a legal requirement but it’s a good idea to have cover in place. Contents insurance can be valuable whether you’re a homeowner or you’re renting and will ensure you won’t be left out of pocket in the event your belongings were damaged, destroyed or stolen.
If you’re a landlord, your tenants will be responsible for insuring their possessions, but you may want to take out a separate landlord contents insurance policy to protect kitchen appliances, any furniture in the home, carpets, curtains, and so on.
To calculate how much your belongings are worth, go around each room in your home and add up the value of all your possessions. Make sure you factor in everything from high-value jewellery and gadgets, to clothes and carpets, to furniture and electrical goods. Keep in mind that your household insurance quote will partially be based on the value of your possessions so it’s important to be as accurate as possible and make sure you’re not underinsured.
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Yes, if you don’t claim on your insurance during the 12-month term of your policy, you will be able to build up a no-claims bonus just as you can with car insurance.