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Contents insurance

Compare contents cover from £66*

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1Correct as of November, 2023

* Based on Confused.com data. July - September 2023.

What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance covers the belongings inside your home. It covers your things against theft, loss and damage from fire, flood and storms.

There are 2 types of contents insurance:

  • New-for-old: Some insurers replace the damaged item with a new one, while others offer a cash settlement.
  • Indemnity/as-new: Indemnity policies only pay out what the items are worth at the time you claim, taking into account any wear and tear that reduces their value. These policies are usually less expensive.

You can buy contents insurance separately or with buildings insurance to form a combined home insurance policy.

How much contents insurance do I need?

The amount of contents insurance you need depends on the value of your possessions. To work out the value of your belongings, walk through each room and create a list of everything you would take if you were to move. This should include items like curtains and carpets, which will give you a rough estimate of their cost. 

Don’t forget anything in the loft, basement, garage and shed, and remember high-value items over £1,000 need to be listed separately.

Since the average home contains £52,000* worth of contents, it's important you work out exactly how much cover you need instead of guessing. You don’t want to end up under-insured, but there’s no point paying for cover you don’t need either.

For a more detailed walkthrough, try our contents calculator

 *Based on Confused.com data July - September 2023.

How much does contents insurance cost?

Average cost by amount of cover*.







*Confused.com data July - September 2023.

The average cost of contents insurance is £66*. But remember that this is just an average, and the amount you pay is based on a range of factors, including:

  • The amount of cover you need
  • Where you live
  • Any security devices your home has
  • The amount of excess you agree to pay
  • Whether you pay annually or monthly

*Confused.com data July - September 2023

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Compare cheap home insurance quotes

What do I need to get a quote?

You need the following details to get a quote for contents insurance:

  • Your property's build date - you can find the date on your mortgage valuation or HomeBuyer Report. If you're still unsure you can enter an approximate year.
  • The year you bought your house. If you're renting, use the date you moved in.
  • Lock types on your external doors. See our guide to lock types if you’re unsure.
  • Details and costs of any claims from the last 5 years. This information should be in your renewal documents or your insurer can tell you.
  • The total value of your possessions. The average amount of contents is £52,0002.
  • Details of any bicycles, laptops and other high-value items worth over £1,000. This could be engagement rings, antiques, musical instruments or expensive computer equipment.

2Based on Confused.com data July - September 2023.

How do I get cheaper contents insurance?

If you're looking for ways to lower your contents insurance quote, you can:

  • Choose to pay a voluntary excess. A £250 voluntary excess can reduce your price by 22%3, compared with a policy with no excess. But keep in mind that you pay this amount towards any home insurance claim that you make.
  • Only get the cover you need. Add-ons come at an extra cost so think carefully before selecting any optional extras.
  • Pay for your contents insurance annually. A monthly direct debit can be up to 19%3 more expensive because of interest charges. If you can, paying for the policy in one go should help lower your costs.

With the cost of living rising, keeping costs as low as you can without compromising on cover is important. For more ways to save, read our guide on how to reduce the cost of your home insurance.

3Confused.com data July - September 2023.

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance is designed to cover everything you might take with you if you moved house, including:

  • Electrical goods like smartphones, TVs, laptops and gaming consoles
  • Furniture such as dining tables, beds, sofas and wardrobes
  • Money, the amount covered will be stated in your policy details
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Soft furnishings, cushions, linen, and curtains

Expensive items that cost more than £1,000 are generally not covered as standard by contents insurance. These are usually classed as high-risk items, as they’re higher value and often easy to steal.

You should list these individually when you get a contents insurance quote to be sure they're covered. Some insurers will request an official valuation for things like jewellery and art, and you can provide proof of valuation after you buy your policy.

This includes:

  • Valuable collections, for example coins, stamps or medals
  • Expensive jewellery like engagement rings
  • Antiques and art
  • Gadgets and electronic equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Designer clothing or handbags
  • Items in your garden or shed, such as a barbeque

You also need to list separately any bicycles and laptops worth over £150.

Some insurers also include shed insurance, which should cover the contents of your garden and outbuildings (other than items over £1,000). The amount of cover you get varies between insurers, so if you have a lot of gear stored outside it’s important to check how much cover is included.

What’s not covered by contents insurance?

Contents insurance doesn't cover the building itself. The structure of your home and any permanent fixtures are covered with a buildings insurance policy.

Other things that aren’t covered by most contents insurance policies include: 

  • Wear and tear, such as faded curtains or worn fabric on a chair or sofa
  • Theft where there's no signs of forced entry – for example, if you left a door unlocked or a window open
  • Claims where poor maintenance was responsible for an incident
  • High-value items over £1,000 in value if they aren’t listed individually on the policy
  • White goods like washing machines breaking down, although they’re usually covered against theft

You should also tell your insurer if a lodger starts living with you, so you don’t risk invalidating your policy.

This list isn’t exhaustive, so check your policy details for all home insurance exclusions.

What our home insurance expert says

"Contents insurance isn’t required by law, so it might be tempting to skip it to save money while the cost of living is so high. But since the average home contains £52,0002 of contents, could you afford to replace everything if you suffered a loss from a theft or fire? Consider this and estimate the value of your personal belongings as accurately as possible to make sure you get the cover you need."

What optional extras are available?

You can add certain optional extras to your policy for an additional fee to increase your cover:

  • Home emergency cover covers unexpected incidents, such as burst pipes or your boiler breaking down. To fully protect your boiler, you may need a standalone boiler insurance policy.
  • Legal expenses cover or family protection cover covers costs and expenses in the event of certain legal disputes. Some policies include this as standard but it's best to check. Think about whether you need the additional cover before you buy it.
  • Personal possessions cover protects your possessions against loss and theft while you're away from home. This can include things you carry with you every day, such as jewellery, watches, handbags, laptops and mobile phones.
  • Accidental damage insurance covers damage caused by accidents, such as spilling something on your sofa, smashing a television or dropping an antique vase.

When you get a quote we'll show you details of the policies available to you, including whether these extras are included or if they cost extra.

Why use Confused.com?

  • We’re 100% independent and not owned by an insurance company. We’ll always show you our best prices that are available at the time, no matter who they’re from.
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  • We're FCA regulated, just like the 64 home insurance companies we work with. This means that we have to follow strict guidelines in order to operate. So when you use our site, you know you’re in safe hands.
  • Our experts and consumer champions are dedicated to helping our customers find the best deal for their needs and budget.
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Page last reviewed: 16/11/2023

Reviewed by: Matthew Harwood

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