Contents insurance

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What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance protects your household belongings against theft, loss and damage. Although it’s not compulsory it’s a good idea to protect your belongings as it can cost thousands to replace them if they end up lost or damaged. Most policies usually fall into one of two types - ‘new-for-old’ and ‘as new’.

New-for-old does exactly what it says on the tin. Some providers will replace the damaged item for a new one, while others will offer a cash settlement. ‘As new’ policies, also known as indemnity policies, are cheaper, but they only pay out on the items’ depreciated value, as wear and tear is taken into account.

What details do I need to get a quote?

Comparing contents insurance is quick and easy, but having the following at hand will help speed things up:

  • The year your house was built - this question is usually pre-filled based on your address.

  • The year you bought your house, or if you’re renting, when you moved in.

  • Knowing which locks and alarms are fitted - we provide useful lock pictures to help you out.

  • Details and cost of any claims you've made in the last five years - this should be in your renewal documents. Alternatively contact your current insurer.

  • The total cost of your personal belongings - our contents calculator can help you work this out.

  • Details of any high value items worth over £1,000 you wish to insure - for example engagement rings, antiques or expensive computer equipment.

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance typically covers items like your electrical goods, furniture, jewellery, money and clothes. Basically, anything you might take with you if you moved house. Some providers also include cover for the contents of your garden shed.

High value contents insurance

If you own a valuable item such as a family heirloom, expensive gadget or precious jewellery you may need to list them separately as single, high-value items. Some insurers also offer a more specialist high value contents insurance policy for items of significant worth.

Some providers may have a set limit on how much they pay out for a high-value item. So be sure to check this when taking out your policy, to ensure you get the cover you need.

home contents

How can I reduce the cost of contents insurance? Our data shows the average cost of a contents insurance policy is £72*. Here are a few tips which can help you cut the cost of home insurance:

1. Compare prices 
Shopping around is the easiest way to save money, especially at renewal time. Compare like for like policies and make sure you get the best deal. 

2. Increase your voluntary excess
Paying a higher voluntary excess could help reduce your premium, however this can mean a higher cost if you end up making a claim.

3. Build your no-claims bonus
Insurers often offer a discount if you’ve not previously made a claim. The more years you go without claiming, the bigger the discount.

*Confused.com data for contents insurance in May 2018.

4. Extra security 
Make sure you have the correct locks installed on doors and windows, this can minimise the risk of break-ins and help reduce your premiums.

5. Pay annually 
Many insurers will charge interest or an admin fee if you opt to pay monthly. Choosing to pay annually will help reduce your premiums. 

6. Install a burglar alarm
Insurers will want to know if you already have an alarm fitted, and may offer a discount if you do. 


Do I need contents insurance?

Although contents insurance isn’t compulsory, without it you run the risk of being left out of pocket should your home be burgled or damaged by fire or flooding. The Association of British Insurers estimates that the average home contains £35,000 worth of contents so it's important that you get the right level of cover.

Remember to take every room in your home into consideration. You may also want to think about:

  • Home emergency cover
  • Home emergency cover could give you protection against a number of unexpected incidents, such as burst pipes or your boiler breaking down.

  • Legal cover
  • Legal cover or family protection cover is designed to cover costs and expenses in the event of legal disputes. Some insurers may include this as standard but it's always worth checking. It's important to work out if you need additional cover - but be careful not to waste money by doubling up on insurance.

  • Away-from-home cover
  • When comparing home contents policies, you'll be given the option to cover your possessions away from home. This means you could be covered against loss and theft for the things you carry with you every day, such as jewellery, watches, handbags, laptops and mobile phones.

  • Accidental damage
  • Accidental damage cover could help for one-off events, such as spilling something on your sofa, smashing a television or dropping an antique vase. 

Get the right cover for you

Some providers calculate the value of your contents based on how many rooms are in your home. However, this can increase your policy if the total sum is overestimated – and also cause issues if you need to make a claim and the total is underestimated. Take the time to accurately calculate the total cost of your contents

Most insurance providers increase their level of cover during the Christmas period to protect any extra contents you may have in the home. The increase in cover at this time isn’t automatically applied by every insurer so if it’s something you care about, it’s best to check your policy to make sure you have the cover you need. 

Top tips: Take your time, make an inventory of what’s in every room, you may be surprised at how much it all adds up to. Finally, don’t forget to check what’s kept out of sight too, such as items in your attic, basement and garden shed.

Read all our FAQs FAQs

What should I include in my contents cover?
As a rule of thumb, anything you’d take with you if you moved house should be included on your contents policy – including items like curtains and carpets. It’s worth taking the time to go around your house from room to room and put a reasonable value on everything. It’s easy to underestimate the value of your contents, but it’s important to make sure you’re not underinsured.

Does home insurance apply to me if I rent?
As the owner, your landlord will usually be responsible for the general maintenance of the building, so it’s down to them to ensure their property is protected with buildings insurance.
But you’re responsible for any contents inside that you own. If anything were to happen to your possessions, you would be liable for the cost of replacing them if you didn't have contents insurance.

Read all our FAQs

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"I have been registered with Confused.com, for many years and always rely on their price comparison information when renewing my insurance policies. Can't beat them on their offers and speedy service" 5/5
Patricia Fox, March 2018.

"I went on to site for contents insurance and checked out suggestions and chose one. Highly delighted with new insurer and would use your site again and/or recommend it." 4/5
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After buying home insurance or car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 4750 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 09/05/18). Read our reviews