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How much contents insurance do I need?

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When you get a home insurance quote, you'll need to say how much all of your contents are worth. Having an accurate figure is important to make sure you've got enough insurance cover should you need to make a claim.

But working out this figure can seem difficult at first. We're here to help you through it. Here's how you work out how much contents insurance you need. 

To estimate how much your contents are worth, you need to include everything in your house that isn’t part of its structure.

Think about if you suddenly had to move house. Everything that you would take with you should be included in your contents insurance policy.

You can use our contents calculator to help you with this. It takes you room by room and lets you add the value of the most common items in the home.

To give you a rough guide, the average contents amount is £51,589*

Follow these steps to make sure you don't miss anything out, and get an accurate estimate of the value of your home contents:

  1. Go room by room and list your contents
  2. Calculate the value of individual items
  3. Make note of any high value items
  4. Add up the total value of your contents

Write a list of all your contents by going from room to room.

Our calculator breaks down your home contents into these rooms:

  • Living room
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathroom, garage and other
  • Shed and garden

Some of the more common items to consider are:

  • Furniture: Sofas, chairs, bookcases, tables, dressers, beds, wardrobes
  • Soft furnishings: Cushions, carpets, rugs, curtains, sheets, towels
  • Electronics: TV, games consoles, music systems, computers, smart devices
  • Large appliances: Hob, oven, fridge-freezer, washing machine, dishwasher
  • Small appliances: Toaster, kettle, food processor, microwave
  • Small items: Books, movies, video games, CDs, toys
  • Crockery and cutlery, silverware, saucepans and glasses

Here are some often forgotten items that still form part of your contents value:

  • Clothes
  • Christmas tree and decorations
  • Digital media: Downloaded music, video games, photos
  • Garden ornaments, equipment and furniture
  • Food in your fridge, freezer and cupboards

Food in particular is something people often forget. But a disaster like a fire or a flood could make your food inedible. According to our data, the average claim for spoiled freezer food is £314*

How does the number of bedrooms change my contents value?

According to our data, 3 bedroom houses are most common, with 45% of home insurance quotes having 3 bedrooms*.

Here are the average values of contents by number of bedrooms*:

Number of bedrooms Average contents value

Work out how much it would cost to replace the item if you had to buy it again today.

Insurers tend to use a 'new for old' policy for contents. This is where they aim to replace damaged or lost items with a new like-for-like item of the same value.

If you’re unsure of the cost of any item in your house, search online at a typical retailer for a rough figure.

Many policies have an upper limit for covering individual items. This is known as the single item limit.

So if you have high value contents that are worth more than £1,000, for example, you need to list them separately.

High-value items include:

  • Expensive TVs
  • Valuable collections
  • Works of art
  • Jewellery

You should get expensive items such as jewellery valued every few years. Your insurer should be able to advise you on how often to do it, but every 2-3 years is usually advised.

This is because the price of valuables, and in particular precious metals, can go up and down in value. If you don't get your items revalued you may get a smaller amount of money paid out than you're expecting.

Consider cover away from home

When you get a home insurance quote with us, we'll ask you, "Do you want to insure any other possessions when away from home?". This is called personal possessions insurance, and protects your items if they're lost, stolen or damaged when you take them out of the house.

This comes at an extra cost, but worth considering for added protection of your gadgets and valuables.

You can now use the contents calculator to work out your home's total contents value. Add the value of each item on the list and the calculator will give you a rough idea of how much your contents are worth.

Once you know the value of your homes contents, you then know how much cover you need for your contents insurance policy.

The value of your contents is one of the most important factors when working out how much you pay for your contents insurance policy.

If you've over estimated the value of your contents, you could end up paying for a more expensive policy than you need.

And if you under estimate the value of your contents you may end up with less cover if you need to make a home insurance claim.

For example, our data shows that the average contents claim for fire is over £100,000*.

This is why it's important to make sure you properly work out the value when you buy your contents policy.

What our home & lifestyle insurance expert says

"The value of your contents forms what insurers call the 'sum insured'. This is the maximum amount that they'll pay towards a claim. So it's vital that this figure is accurate.

"Let's say you had to replace everything you lost after a fire, for example. Being under-insured means you could be several thousand pounds short when replacing your damaged items."

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*Confused.com data. October 2022 - September 2023. Contents and combined home insurance policies.

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