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*51% of consumers who obtained a quote for Home Building & Contents Insurance via Money Expert’s home insurance comparison journey via SEOPA in August 2020 were quoted less than £142.15. The price you could achieve is dependent on your individual circumstances. | ** 92% of 11,118 reviews from TrustPilot gave an “Excellent” or “Great” rating, as of December 2020 | *** Correct as of December 2020

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Compare home contents insurance quotes

When buying contents insurance, it’s important to check you have just the right amount of cover, not too much so that you’re paying more than you need, or so little that your insurer won’t pay out if you claim. There are different rules for high value items, and portable items to consider as well.

What is contents insurance, and why is it important?

Contents cover (along with building cover) is an important part of home insurance. If your possessions are damaged, destroyed or stolen, contents insurance covers the cost of replacing them. It can cover anything that you would take with you if you moved to a new house - so basically everything that you want it to, including:

  • Furniture
  • Entertainment e.g. DVDs
  • Kitchenware e.g. pots as well as microwaves and other appliances
  • Electricals e.g. TVs, laptops, etc.
  • Toys, antiques, ornaments.
  • Clothes and jewellery.

If you don’t take out contents insurance, then you could end up forking out a lot of money to replace your valuables, which could end up being unaffordable. You should ask yourself, if you had to replace everything in your house after, say, a fire, would you be able to cover the costs?

So while contents insurance isn’t compulsory, it’s a sensible idea.

How much should I insure my belongings for?

Try not to underestimate how much your possessions are worth. If you don’t insure them to a high enough amount, if you were to make a claim your policy may not pay out enough, or at all.

On the other end of the scale, overestimating their worth will needlessly increase your insurance premium, meaning that over time, you’ll have paid far more money than you needed to.

A ‘sum insured’ policy means you are covered for the contents that you believe you have- so you have to calculate this yourself. If you’ve got a good idea of how much your stuff is worth, then you could total it up yourself. For things like clothing and linen, you should adjust their value according to wear and tear.

Or, you have the option of a ‘bedroom rated’ policy, where your cover is based on the number of bedrooms you have. The insurer would normally offer cover between £40,000 and £50,000 worth of belongings, as standard. If this isn’t enough for you, definitely ask if you can increase your cover in some way.

Certain insurers offer ‘unlimited sum insured’ policy. This covers all belongings with no limit on the amount, so you’d know for sure that all the items you’d like insured are covered.

What types of contents insurance should I look out for?

There are two types of cover available, and both impact on the price of your premium.

‘New for old’ means that you will be paid whatever it costs to replace your items- this is what most policies offer.

But some policies offer ‘indemnity cover’ instead. This means you will only get the current value of your belongings. For example, if your sofa needs replacing and you paid £1500 initially for it, you will only get what your old, worn one was worth, which might be £150.

Home contents insurance additional cover options

Some insurers, for extra money, will over extra cover that isn’t part of a standard contents policy. The most common ones are:

  • Accidental damage insurance: for life’s unexpected mishaps- for example, if you forget your iPhone is in your back pocket and it ends up down the toilet.
  • Legal expenses cover: this covers legal fees if you were to take a tradesman to court, or if someone were injured in your house and sued you.
  • Home emergency cover: this means you would have a helpline for fast assistance if a pipe bursts, a window smashes, or you have a pest infestation.

Covering valuable items under a contents insurance policy

First off, you should check your insurer’s definition of valuables, as this can vary a lot. Next, check the ‘single article limit’: this is the most that the insurer will pay out if you claim. For most contents policies, this is about £1,500, but can be as high as £15,000.

If you have a valuable that’s worth more than the single article limit (for example, an engagement ring), you need to let your insurer know- you’ll probably have to pay a bit more to get it covered. You should go through the process like this:

  1. Let your insurer know what high-value items you have.
  2. Provide them with proof of purchase and the items’ value, if requested.
  3. Make sure the items are all correctly listed on your policy document.

How do I include portable devices (e.g mobile phones) on my home contents insurance policy?

Some contents policies will automatically cover you for things that you take out of the house, like your phone and laptop, but you need to check this.

While your standard cover might include the cost of replacing your phone, you need to check if it will also cover stuff like music downloads or files that you’ve saved. Some policies will include cover for digital information, so it’s always worth a check.

Most policies won’t cover you if your phone or laptop break down, or any money you lose if someone steals your phone and runs up a bill.

Some insurers do offer an ‘all risks’ option. This is normally for a higher premium, which will offer wider cover, and include things like accidental damage.

Related guides

We endeavour to keep our users fully informed when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Please read through our handy guides to find the information you need.

Frequently asked questions

How much does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance can cover (for repair or replacement) any items in your home that you want to be insured. When you take out a policy you will be asked which items you want to be protected in case of damage, theft or loss. You are able to insure any items that are not part of the structure of your house. For example, furniture, tv, clothing and jewellery. Most insurance companies will have limits on the total amount that you can in one policy. Many also have a single article limit which means no one item can be covered for more than a fixed value.

How much should I insure the contents of my house for?

The amount that you insure your contents for will come down to the overall value of the items you want to be covered. If you want to cover all of your possessions which includes high-value gadgets you will pay a much higher monthly cost than if you only insure a handful of low-cost items.

Is home insurance the same as content insurance?

Home insurance comes in two forms – contents insurance and buildings insurance. Contents insurance will cover the items within that house and you will be able to claim should any of them be damaged, lost or stolen. Buildings insurance covers damage to the structure of the property. When taking out a policy it’s always important to check exactly what is included to make sure you have adequate cover.

Who has the cheapest contents insurance?

Each insurer will look at every policy differently and decide on a price based on a variety of different factors. While levels of cover might vary, the overall cost of protecting an item will remain fairly consistent across different organisations. This means that the most important thing is making sure that you get your a policy from a reputable company to ensure you get a payout if you need it.

How much does contents insurance cost?

The overall cost of contents insurance will vary dramatically depending on what items you want to have covered. A company will look at the overall value of these items and will derive a monthly premium based on the cost of having to payout. Making sure your house and contents are as secure as possible will help bring the price of your policy down as the insurer will see it as less of a risk. Certain items might come with stipulations such as needing to be locked up in order to be covered.

Is contents insurance a legal requirement?

Contents insurance is not a legal requirement and is up to each individual to decide whether or not they want it. In some instances, a mortgage provider or landlord may require you to have a certain level of either home or contents insurance as part of the agreement. 

Last reviewed: 1 December 2020

Next review: 1 January 2021