Calculate the value of your wardrobe for insurance purposes

Do you know what’s in your wardrobe and how much it would cost to replace it all? Find out how to work out the cost of your clothes and make sure you’re not underinsured.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 1 February 2022  | 3 mins read

Does the value of my wardrobe affect my home insurance premiums?

Whether your wardrobe’s full of designer pieces or high street fashion, you should always factor in the cost of your clothes when choosing home contents insurance.

You’ll need to calculate how much it would cost to replace all your clothes and include this in the value of your contents - known as the sum insured.

Insurers will use this to help calculate your premiums, so the higher your sum insured, the more your premiums are likely to be.

And if you’ve got any particularly expensive items in your wardrobe, you may need to list these separately and pay a bit extra to make sure they’re adequately covered.

Key points

  • Working out how much your clothes are worth can help make sure you’re not underinsured
  • Your home insurance premium will depend on the total value of your contents
  • Always try to keep receipts and take photographs of your clothing to record their cost and condition
  • Any expensive items can be listed separately, or you can take out specialist cover

How do I find out how much my clothes are worth?

Your clothing can be worth far more than you realise, so if you don’t know its value you could find yourself underinsured.

To help you estimate and keep a record of how much your clothes are worth, there are a few simple steps you can take, which include:

  1. Take an inventory

    The best way to start is to make a list of all the clothing you own. Begin by splitting it into categories - for example, suits, dresses, tops, jackets and coats. Then note down how many of each category you have.

  2. Find and keep receipts

    You’ll need to work out how much each item costs, so dig out any receipts, especially for expensive items. It’s a good idea to start keeping and storing your receipts safely online to have as proof, in case you need to make a claim.

  3. Work out the average cost

    For any items you don’t have receipts for, you’ll need to work out an average cost and multiply this by the number of this type of clothing in your wardrobe.

  4. Don’t forget accessories and shoes

    Not only can accessories make an outfit, but they can also wrack up some serious costs. Bags, belts, and shoes should all be included in the value of your wardrobe, particularly if they’re designer.

  5. Do your research on vintage items

    Whether it’s timeless couture or more retro vintage wear, you’ll need to work out what they’d cost to replace. Do this by researching online, looking at how much your items can fetch on auction and vintage sites.

  6. Take photographs

    Open your wardrobe and take photographs, pulling out any key items to snap separately and store these online. They’ll be a useful record of what you own and what condition the clothes are in, which might help with an insurance claim.

Can I insure my wardrobe?

Yes, some contents insurance policies will include cover for clothing. There’ll usually be limits on the amount of cover and how much you can claim for individual items (known as the single-item limit).

With a new for old policy, any payout you receive for your clothes will reflect the cost of what you’d need to pay for the items to buy them as new.

The alternative is an indemnity policy - the premiums will be less, but this will only pay out for the clothes' second-hand value, so you’ll receive much less than you originally paid for them.

If clothes aren’t included in your home insurance policy, you can work out what they’d cost to replace and see if you can pay extra to have this included in your cover.

What if I have high value and designer clothes?

If you have an expensive collection of clothes and accessories, it might be worth listing these separately and paying extra to have them covered.

Home insurance policies will have limits on the total value of contents insured, usually between £50,000 and £100,000, and limits on the amount you can claim for a single item.

Single-item limits are typically between £500 and £1,500, so if you have several expensive wardrobe items worth much more than this, you might need to look at a different policy.

High net worth insurance can provide added protection for designer clothing and accessories. For example, if your home’s contents are worth more than £100,000, a high net worth policy can help to fully reimburse you if they were to get damaged or destroyed.

How much is the average person’s wardrobe worth?

According to research by Marks and Spencer in 2021, the average woman has 110 items in her wardrobe and the average man has 83 pieces of clothing.

And while it’s hard to put an exact figure on a typical person’s wardrobe, if every item cost an average of £10 this could still add up to more than £1000 of clothing for each adult - particularly if there’s an expensive suit or dress hanging in the wardrobe.

What is the price per wear?

This is a way of working out how much an item costs every time you wear it.

Cancer Research UK found that almost a third of our clothes go unworn each year, which means we’re not always getting good value out of what we buy.[1]

Working out the price per wear can help you shop more sustainably and spend more wisely.

For example, if you pay more for a high-quality piece of clothing - but keep it for longer and get more wear out of it because it’s made to last - you could find yourself paying less in the long run than buying several cheaper fast-fashion items.

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[1] The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,056 general respondents aged 16+ in the UK between 23.08.2019 – 27.08.2019.