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How to calculate your home contents value

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Ever wondered how much cover you need? Here's how to value the possession in your home.

TV in a living room

When you take out home contents insurance, you will be asked how much cover you want.

The figure you choose should represent the total value of the possessions in your home. This excludes the fabric of your property, such as walls, windows and your roof, which are covered under a buildings policy.

As a rule of thumb, anything you would take with you if you moved house should be covered by the contents policy, including items such as curtains and carpets. 

Remember, contents cover is not just to protect against burglary. Imagine your home was destroyed by fire: you would need to replace practically everything you owned – and that is why it is vital to get an accurate level of cover.

Take a look at our guide to calculating the cost of your possessions around the home or use our handy contents calculator to work out the value of your possessions.

Living room

Living room

Work out the value of your furniture, such as sofas, armchairs, bookcases (and books) and TV stands, plus any soft furnishings as well as carpet and curtains or blinds.

You’ll need to add electronic items such as a TV, DVD player, computer games consoles and hi-fi – plus, of course any computer games, CDs or DVDs. Don’t forget any pictures and ornaments, as well as lamps.

Dining room

Furniture here includes dining table and chairs, and perhaps a sideboard or display cabinet. Add the cost of crockery and cutlery, and again include carpet and curtains/blinds.

Kitchen

The big-ticket items here will include your oven / cooker, as well as fridge, washing machine and dishwasher.

Add any non-fitted units as well as blinds, and the cost of your kitchenware – pots and pans and so on. And don’t forget other appliances such as kettles, toasters and microwaves.

You should also cover the value of any frozen food.

Bedrooms

This is where valuables such as jewellery or other heirlooms are likely to be kept.

Many policies have an upper limit for covering individual items – so if something is worth more than £1,500, for example, it may need to be covered separately at additional cost.

Include any IT equipment, such as computers, printers and so on, as well as any other electronic items like games consoles, TVs or iPods.

Add the value of bedroom furniture such as beds, wardrobes, chests of drawers, as well as soft furnishings and bed linen, and, of course, clothes.

Bathroom

Calculate the cost of bathroom cabinets, and toiletries if they are particularly valuable.

Outside the home

Garden furniture can be expensive, and that needs to be covered too.

Check your policy insures you for items outside the home. Also take into account gardening equipment such as lawn mowers or hedge trimmers, plus any bikes you keep outside or in a garage.

Are you undervaluing your contents?

Should you cover your clothes? Furniture? Carpets? Or what about kitchenware?

Confused.com reporter Lois Avery undervalued her contents by £15,000. Watch this video and find out the best way to ensure you’re protecting all your possessions from risks such as theft, fire and flood damage.

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