What is contents insurance?
- Covers personal items that are not fixed to your home, but you'll need buildings insurance to cover the property itself
- Renters shouldn't need to worry about buildings insurance - that's down to the landlord
- If you need buildings and contents cover, consider a combined policy
Protecting your prized possessions doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny.
Whether as part of your buildings and contents insurance, or as a standalone policy, home contents insurance can provide vital cover.
What is covered under contents insurance?
Putting it simply, contents insurance covers any valuable possessions that you keep within your property.
So, contents insurance is likely to cover such items as:
- Television and electrical items
- Personal items and valuables
- Kitchen equipment
- Household goods
Basically, if you'd take it with you if you moved to a new home, then it's almost certainly contents insurance rather than buildings insurance.
How much is contents insurance on average?
The average price paid for home insurance with contents-only cover was £79.05 in July 2018, according to some number crunching we did here at GoCompare.
Yet there’s lots of factors that go into calculating your contents insurance premium.
Is it compulsory to have contents insurance?
No. Here’s Ben Wilson, GoCompare’s home insurance expert to explain.
“Unlike like car insurance or buildings insurance if you have a mortgage, you’re under no obligation to have contents insurance.
"However, if you’d be out of pocket if you had to replace some or all the items in your home, then you should consider contents insurance policy.”
What is contents insurance for tenants?
Tenants’ insurance is a type of home contents insurance for people that rent and/or house share.
If it’s just you, your partner, or family in the home then standard contents insurance should be fine. If you’re flat-sharing, then look into tenants’ insurance.
If you own rented property, then you’re going to need landlord insurance rather than tenants’ insurance or home contents insurance.
Do students need contents insurance?
Before you hit that quote button, have a word with your parents and see if you’re covered on their home insurance policy.
On 18 October 2018, GoCompare reviewed 416 home insurance policies listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto and found that 348 included some level of student belongings at university cover as standard.
So, if your mum or dad has one of the 84% of policies that has some form of student cover, then you might not need to sort your own student insurance.
Have a chat with them and check the policy before you head to uni.
Otherwise, explore student insurance.
Are kitchen appliances covered by contents insurance?
Kitchen and electrical items tend to be standard parts of contents insurance.
But if the item is regarded as a ‘fixture and fitting’ it can be part of buildings insurance instead. Check your policy and take note of any single article limits and your excess.
Having a combined buildings and contents policy can simplify instances like this when you’re not sure what cover you might need.
Does contents insurance cover fire damage?
Contents insurance will tend to include cover for fire damaged items as standard.
If your home is damaged by fire then repairs to the structure (walls, roof etc) will be covered by a buildings insurance rather than contents.
Consider a combined policy for full cover.
How to get cheaper contents insurance
If you’re looking to bring down the cost of contents insurance, one of the first steps you should take is to compare contents insurance quotes.
And rather than go around the houses filling in your details repeatedly, why not hit that 'Get Quotes' button and just do it the once?
Here’s a few more things you can do to lower the price of your contents insurance premiums:
- Pay annually rather than monthly
- Avoid auto-renewing with your current provider – always compare
- Need buildings insurance too? Look to combine with contents into one policy
- Only pay for what you need – use a contents calculator to figure out how much you need to insure your stuff for
- Joining the Neighbourhood Watch scheme
- Beef up the security of your home - burglar alarms, correct locks, safes can all help
- Watch out for administration charges