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contents insurance

What’s contents insurance?

Home insurance is made of contents insurance, buildings insurance, or both. Contents insurance protects your possessions. It'll pay out to replace your household items if they're stolen, or damaged by an event like a fire or a flood.

Contents insurance is different to buildings insurance, which only protects the structure of your home. Buildings insurance doesn't cover the contents inside.

You can buy contents insurance as an individual policy, or with buildings insurance as a combined policy.

What does contents insurance cover?

The items you’d take with you when you move to a new house are usually covered by contents insurance. Any single item worth more than £1,000 probably won’t be covered unless you list it separately on your policy.

Cover may vary, but many contents insurance policies include cover for:

Furniture

Items such as sofas, beds, cabinets, tables and chairs. It’ll also cover any soft furnishings, lamps, art and ornaments too.

Gadgets and electricals

TVs and laptops are some of the most expensive items we own, so it’s important to get them covered.

Kitchen appliances

Kitchen appliances like washing machines and fridge freezers are covered for damage, theft or loss. They won’t be covered for mechanical breakdown or wear and tear, though.

Clothing and jewellery

If your clothes or jewellery are lost in an event like a fire or flood, or they’re stolen, contents insurance will cover the cost of replacing them. Again, wear and tear isn’t covered.

Items in gardens and outbuildings

Many insurers cover items stored in a garden, shed or garage if they’re within the boundary of your property. You’ll still need to make sure they’re stored safely, for example by padlocking your shed.

Alternative accommodation

Covers the cost of temporary accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable.

Business equipment

Covers home office equipment like computers and printers. Business stock isn’t usually covered.

Cash and credit cards

Cash kept in your home will often be covered for theft or damage up to limit, usually of around £500. Some policies also cover fraudulent use of your credit cards if they’re stolen from your home.

Freezer contents

If your fridge or freezer breaks down, the costs of replacing the contents inside are covered.

Digital information

Limited cover for the replacement of digital information following loss or damage to laptops or phones.

How to get contents insurance quotes

When you’re looking for quotes with us, we’ll ask for details about your home and your possessions including:

  1. The value of your contents

    Estimate the total value of the items in your home. Remember to include the contents in your attic, garden, garage, shed and freezer.

  2. High-value items

    Details about any individual items worth around £1,000 or more that you want to cover. The value of items needing individual cover varies from one insurer to another and can be quite a lot lower for things like laptops or bicycles.

  3. Additional cover

    Whether you want cover for accidental damage and away from home cover for items like mobiles, bicycles and laptops.

  4. Previous claims

    Details of any home insurance claims made in the last five years

  5. Property details

    The type of property you live in, what it’s made of and the types of locks and alarms installed.

  6. Personal details

    Your name, address, who you live and when you’re usually home.

Average cost of home insurance by cover type

How much is contents insurance?

How much your contents insurance costs will depend on your circumstances, but 25% of our customers paid as little as £50.[3]

But we found that the average price people people paid for contents-only cover is £79.60 a year.*

Insurers calculate your home insurance premium based on many risk factors that determine how likely you are to claim.

How much you'll actually pay will depend on your own circumstances. Things like the value of your items, previous claims and your location all affect the price of your contents insurance.


*The average price paid for home insurance annually through GoCompare in March 2021 by type. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £179.97. For buildings insurance only, it was £124.12 For contents insurance only, it was £79.60.

How to get cheaper quotes for contents insurance

There are always things you can do to keep your premiums down:

  1. Pay annually rather than monthly

    Monthly payment plans have added interest which raises the price of your policy.

  2. Avoid auto renewing

    Those who renew with their current insurer, almost always pay more for their insurance than those who switch.[3]

  3. Only pay for what you need

    Use a contents calculator to figure out how much you need to insure your stuff for.

  4. Improve your home security

    Burglar alarms, the right locks and safes can all help.

  5. Watch out for admin charges

    Renewal, adjustment and cancellation fees can all drive up the overall cost your insurance.

Covid-19 and contents insurance: Don’t get complacent with your cover

“With people staying at home to stop the spread of coronavirus, some might think they don’t need insurance against theft because their home isn’t left unoccupied, nor are they out and about with their possessions.”

“While the risk of theft may be reduced, more time spent at home increases other risks such as accidental damage to property. So, it’s important to take time to consider how you would afford to replace your belongings or repair damage to your property if you were faced with a household disaster.”

Lee Griffin – Founder and CEO of GoCompare

Why compare quotes with us?

According to the ABI,[2] one in four UK households don’t have contents insurance. But with 25% of our customers paying £50 or less a year,[3] it can be really affordable to look after your possessions.

Insurers on our panel

68 UK insurers on our panel, helping you find affordable contents cover[4]

Meet our insurers
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[1]51% of customers who provided their contents only insurance renewal price saved up to £25.27 with GoCompare (1 Dec 2020 to 28 Feb 2021).

[2]Sector Views 2020. Financial Conduct Authority.

[3]25% of customers were quoted annual contents only insurance premiums of £49.50 or less with GoCompare (1 Dec 2020 to 28 Feb 2021)

[4]As of June 2021, there are 68 active home insurers on the panel at GoCompare

[5]Cost of home contents insurance falls to a record low in February 2019, yet one in four UK households are uninsured. ABI.org.uk.

[6]According to the Office of National Statistics Physical wealth: wealth in Great Britain mean total household physical wealth is £50,700 and household contents in the main residence account for 74% of household physical wealth = £37,518.

[6]Last checked 18 May 2021

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021

Next review due: 15 December 2021

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