Contents insurance

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"Quick and easy to see different prices on home and contents insurance, very pleased with how easy it was to sort it all."
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We compare 65 insurance companies to save you money on your home insurance.

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.

How to get a contents insurance quote Before you start comparing contents insurance quotes, having the following details to hand can help speed things up:

Your property's build date

Blue house icon with calendar 

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

The year you bought your house

Pound sign 

If you're renting you'll need the date you moved in.

Lock types 

Lock icon 

Our guide helps explain different lock types, we also provide useful lock pictures to help you out.

Previous claims

Pound sign on paper 

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.

Value of personal belongings

Sofa with pound sign 

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

High value items

Mobile phone with tick 

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 but it doesn't cover the building. Basically, anything you might take with you if you moved house. Some providers also include cover for the contents of your garden shed.

It you want buildings cover too, opting for a combined policy like buildings and contents insurance can often work out cheaper than taking out two separate policies.

High value contents insurance is an additional extra you can add to your contents insurance when you get a quote. It's a good optionIf 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 to get cheaper contents insurance for your home Our data shows the average cost of a contents insurance policy is £61.21*. Here are a few tips that could help you cut costs and get cheaper contents 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.

*Feb 2021 data - top average premium excluding quotes with claims or accidental damage

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

What do our customers think?

“Easy to use and a good price. Saved me £100.” 5/5
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What our home insurance expert says:

"Try to be as accurate as possible when you estimate the value of your personal belongings. If you have family heirlooms or expensive jewellery, you’ll want to make sure they’re insured.
You can add high value item cover for items worth more than £1,000 each when you get a contents insurance quote. You can’t replace the sentimental value of some things, but you can replace the financial loss."
Home insurance expert, Jessica Willock's signature
- Jessica Willock, Home Insurance Product Manager
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Contents calculator

Getting home contents insurance? Our calculator makes it easy for you to estimate the value of your possessions.
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