Contents insurance

Compare quotes and get cover for your household contents

What’s contents insurance?

Contents insurance is a type of home insurance. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing your possessions if they’re damaged, lost or stolen.

You can buy it as an individual policy or as a combined buildings and contents insurance policy.

It’s not compulsory to take out home contents insurance. But it’s a good idea, as without insurance, you’ll have to pay for the cost of repairs or replacement yourself.

How does it work?

In the event of a claim, your insurer will settle the amount of cover you receive on a 'new-for-old' or 'wear and tear' basis.

New-for-old insurance will pay out for the cost of replacing an item as if it were new.

 For example, if someone stole or damaged your TV beyond repair, your insurer would pay to replace it with a model of the same retail value.

Indemnity policies insure your possessions for their value after depreciation. They’re sometimes known as 'wear and tear' policies and tend to be cheaper than new-for-old cover.

For example, if someone stole your two-year old laptop, your contents insurance would only cover you for the value of the item after two-years of use.

What does contents insurance cover?

Home contents insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing items that aren’t fixed down.

This includes items like:

  • Furniture: sofas, chairs, beds, and wardrobes
  • Electricals: TVs, games consoles, DVD players and laptops
  • Home appliances: washing machines, dishwashers and fridge freezers
  • Soft furnishings: curtains, rugs, cushions, and throws
  • Clothing and jewellery
  • Art, ornaments and antiques

Exclusions and extras

Cover usually doesn’t include the following as standard:

  • Accidental damage, including damage by pets
  • General wear and tear or mechanical breakdown
  • Damages caused by poor workmanship
  • Possessions lost or damaged away from home
  • Legal expenses
  • Home emergency cover

You might be able to buy these features as optional extras if you need them.

Average cost of home insurance by cover type

How much to insure your contents for

The amount of contents cover you need will depend on the amount of belongings you have and the type of policy you buy.

There are three main types of contents insurance:

Bedroom rated

A bedroom rated policy bases the amount of cover you get on the number of bedrooms in your home.

Most bedroom-rated policies offer around £40,000 as standard, but you can increase it if you need more.

Sum insured

With a sum insured policy, your insurer will ask for the value of the contents you want to insure.

Make sure you value all the possessions in your home, so you can replace everything if it’s lost in a fire for example.

To get an accurate value, use our contents calculator and take a walk around your house, noting the value of items such as fridges, TVs, sofas, and clothes.

Unlimited sum insured

An unlimited sum insurance policy covers all your home's contents without a limit.

This means you don’t have to worry about calculating the value of your possessions and leaving yourself under-insured.

Insuring high-value items

Contents insurance policies usually have a single article limit for each item. This limit is the most you'll be able to claim for any one item, even if it’s worth more than the limit.

Most content policies will set the single article limit to £1,500, though this varies by insurer.

If you have items worth more than £1,500, like gadgets, bikes, or jewellery, you’ll need to add these to your policy separately by contacting your insurer.

Keep hold of receipts or valuation certificates for these items, as proof-of-purchase and ownership.

The average value of possessions insured on contents insurance policies purchased was £34,289 in December 2019[1]

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[1]The average value of possessions insured on home contents insurance policies purchased via GoCompare between 1-31 December 2019 was £34,289.

Frequently asked questions

  • How much does contents insurance cost?

    In December 2019, our customers paid £79 a year on average for annual contents insurance.[2]

    The actual cost of your contents policy will depend on things such as:

    • The value of your possessions
    • The security of your home
    • The amount of voluntary excess you are willing to pay
  • I’m a landlord, do I need contents insurance?

    You won’t need contents insurance if you’re a landlord. Your tenants are responsible for insuring their own property.

  • Can I cancel my contents insurance policy?

    Most contents insurance policies have a 14-day cooling off period, so you can cancel your policy for free.  

    If you try to cancel outside this period there may be a cancellation fee from your provider.

  • Can you get contents insurance for a month?

    Home contents insurance will cover you for a twelve month period. 

    You can buy temporary property insurance to cover your possessions while you're away if your home is empty for a short period of time.

  • Can you get a no-claims bonus on contents insurance?

    Yes - you can get a discount on your buildings and contents insurance if you haven’t claimed. 

    Check your policy to see whether making a claim on one would affect your premium for the other.

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90% of customers were quoted a monthly contents instalment amount of £18.40 or less[3]

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Page last reviewed: 22 January 2020
Next review due: 22 April 2020

[1]The average value of possessions insured on home contents insurance policies purchased via GoCompare between 1-31 December 2019 was £34,289. 

[2] *From 1 December-31 December 2019 the average price paid out of all annual combined buildings and contents home insurance policies purchased through GoCompare was £178.22. The average price of a buildings only home insurance policy was £124.01, and a contents only policy was £79.48 

[3]90% of customers were quoted a monthly buildings instalment amount of £18.40 or less with (01 Oct 2019 to 31 Dec 2019) 

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