Home Contents Insurance: What to Consider
Whether you’re renting or you own your home, it’s a good idea to take out contents insurance to cover the cost of replacing your personal and home possessions if they were damaged, lost or stolen. According to Compare the Market, these are the things to think about when taking out a home contents insurance policy.
What is home insurance?
Home insurance is for protecting your house and your belongings:
Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home and any permanent fixtures inside it. If you are renting, it is normally the landlord’s responsibility to take out this policy.
Contents insurance covers your belongings. Generally, it’s what you take with you when you move home (e.g. furniture and soft furnishings, appliances, kitchenware, electronics, sport and leisure, clothing and accessories, valuables) plus carpets and curtains.
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash
Points to note when taking out a home contents policy
Work out how much cover you need
You need to estimate how much it would cost to replace all your own belongings. Be careful not to underinsure your contents (don’t forget to include any valuable jewellery or watches). But don’t overestimate as you could end up paying for extra cover that you don’t actually need.
Some landlords will have contents insurance on the property you rent – but it will usually protect only their possessions, such as the furniture, carpets and curtains. It won’t provide any cover for your smart phone, laptop or clothes. You should still think about home contents insurance for tenants to protect your own belongings.
High risk items are your valuable possessions that could be easily stolen from your home, for example: jewellery, electrical goods, antiques, collectables and more. Insurance providers want to know about these items as they’re typically more desirable to steal and, if they’re damaged, they can be expensive to replace.
Contents insurance will cover your mobile phone, but normally only when it’s in the home. When you’re using it out and about, it won’t be covered if it’s damaged or stolen. To get that added protection, you should think about getting out of home cover as an extra.*
The following aren’t typically covered by contents insurance:
- Accidental damage*
- General wear and tear, and maintenance
- Lost possessions
- Theft through unforced entry e.g. leaving a door or window unlocked
- Faulty workmanship
- Mechanical or electrical breakdown
- Damage caused by pets
* Most policies offer you optional extras to cover items you take out of the home e.g. jewellery, camera, smart phone etc. and for accidental damage.
Compare several quotes before choosing a policy.
Average costs: Compare the Market found that the average customer could achieve a contents insurance quote of £60.48 per year.
(This is based on Compare the Market data in June 2021 where 50% of people could achieve this quote).
Read the small print! Check the terms & conditions, so you are clear what the policy is offering and what are the limitations if you need to make a claim.
Things to watch:
- There may be an upper limit for cover for a single item, and you might have to pay extra to insure a particularly valuable possession e.g. watch or jewellery
- Most policies carry an excess, which means you would have to pay that amount when you make a claim (usually £50 – £100).
- Most policies offer new for old cover, which means you can claim the full replacement cost of items. But some policies will only offer you the amount that your items are currently worth.
Find out more:
Contents Insurance – Compare the Market
Prepare to Move
When you move home, there’s a whole raft of people to contact & things to arrange. See our checklist so you don’t forget anything important.