Calculate the value of your contents before comparing home insurance quotes by using our contents calculator.
To make sure all your possessions are protected with the right level of cover, you should estimate the value of your belongings.
Try our handy tool to find out how much cover you’ll need.
In insurance terms, contents are possessions you keep in your home that you would take with you if you moved.
This includes your living room, bedroom and dining room furniture and soft furnishings (rugs, curtains and bedding). As well as your clothes, books, gadgets and electrical equipment like your TV and any home office equipment.
Contents also includes your jewellery, ornaments and artwork, kitchen appliances like your washing machine and fridge freezer (and in some instances the food in it), plus all your pots, pans and crockery.
Many contents policies also insure items stored in your garden or outbuildings, for example your barbecue, tools and lawnmower.
The permanent fixtures and fittings in your home (bathroom suite and fitted kitchen units) are generally covered by buildings insurance rather than contents insurance.
The average value of household possessions on combined home insurance policies bought through us is £48,989.
Many standard insurance policies will offer you around £40,000 cover for your contents, which for some people is enough. But if you think you’ll need more, or less, change it. Your policy price could fall or increase as a result.
To work out the value of your contents, you should:
Put simply, you should include all the possessions in your home when calculating how much cover you need.
As a rule of thumb, these would be all the things that you’d take with you if you moved. (So, only exclude things like a fitted kitchen or bathroom suite).
It’s important you calculate how much your stuff is worth, so you can opt for the right amount of cover.
This is called the sum insured and it’s the maximum amount that your insurer will pay out in the event of a claim. So, if you lost all your possessions in a fire, your sum insured should be enough to cover the cost of replacing all the items you’ve lost.
If you undervalue your home contents and your sum insured is less than it would cost to replace your possessions, then you’ll have a shortfall.
But if you overvalue your home contents you’ll pay more than you need to.
Most contents insurance policies will have a set limit on how much they’ll pay out to replace damaged or stolen cash in the home. So even if you keep more money in the house, it won’t be covered. Be sure to check your policy for the limit.
Yes, it’s important to re-evaluate your sum insured regularly. Especially after occasions like birthdays and Christmas, or if you’ve bought anything expensive like new computers or televisions, art or jewellery.
If you don’t do this, you could be underinsured.
New for old policies are designed to replace your old possessions with brand new equivalents.
So, let’s say for example that a TV you bought four years ago gets damaged beyond repair or stolen. With a new for old policy, your insurer will pay out a sum that’s enough to buy a brand-new television of similar spec.
Indemnity policies, on the other hand, only pay out a sum that’s equivalent to the item’s current value. It will consider the item’s age, any wear and tear and depreciation. So, if you bought a TV four years ago for £600, it could only be worth £200 now and you’d only receive this amount to replace it. This might mean buying a second-hand equivalent model or paying the difference to get a new model.
Most contents policies have a single value limit which is the maximum they’ll pay out for any single items (usually around £1,500). So, if you have something worth more, you’d still only be able to claim £1,500 for it if it gets stolen or damaged.
To get valuable items insured for their full amounts, you’ll need to tell your provider about them so they can be listed individually on the policy and usually your premium will increase.
Insurers usually accept professional valuations and certificates for things like antiques and heirlooms when you make a claim. So it’s important to get regular, expert valuations and take photos of the items to keep with the valuation certificates. Having this type of proof to hand can help a claim go through smoothly and ensure that you get the maximum reimbursement for lost, stolen or damaged valuable items.
Check if your policy offers cover for loss or damage to digital downloads. If it does, it can pay out for things like films, music and ebooks you’ve bought and stored on your home entertainment equipment or mobile phone. Cover is usually limited up to a certain amount though.
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