Last updated: 11/08/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Knowing your home is protected should the worst happen is the simplest way to give yourself peace of mind. With a good home insurance policy in place, you can avoid forking out huge sums of money should your property be compromised. Home insurance is a policy of two halves, one being buildings cover and the other providing cover for your possessions, known as contents insurance, these policies can be purchased separately however many individuals choose to combine them for ease and simplicity.

Interestingly, taking out contents insurance often raises the same questions, such as: How much contents insurance do I need? And, How much should you insure your home contents for? Thankfully, the answers to these questions are pretty straightforward.

In This Guide:

Is Contents Insurance Necessary and How Much Do I Need?

When your home is full of your vital day-to-day possessions, items you’ve worked hard to obtain and items of sentimental value, taking steps to get them covered with a contents insurance policy is a must. But, knowing where to start, which items to cover and how to calculate how much contents insurance you need can feel like an overwhelming task. Firstly, knowing which items you want to be covered can help you determine how much cover is right for you.

Items to Cover With Contents Insurance

Essentially, contents insurance is coverage for all the items in your home that aren't part of its structure. Knowing that you have this in place means that if you need to make a claim, you can get your life back on track again as quickly as possible. When choosing what items to cover, a simple way to begin your list is to consider which items you’d take with you if you were moving house, such as the following: 

  • Furniture: Including beds, sofas, dining furniture, chairs, TV stands, coffee tables etc
  • Electricals: TVs, home appliances, laptops, music systems, games consoles etc
  • Personal Items: Clothes and handbags
  • High-Value Items: Jewellery, watches, artwork, ornaments, books and antiques
  • Outdoor Items: Tools, gardening equipment, garden furniture, toys etc

How Much Should You Insure Your Home Contents For?

In order to ensure you take out the right amount of contents cover, it's important that you accurately estimate the value of your possessions, as too little coverage could be disastrous for your finances when you make a claim, while too much coverage could result in overpaying on your premiums. It’s important that you never underestimate the value of your possessions but it's not always easy to find the right balance. You can go about this estimate process in two ways. 

The Bedroom Rated Policy: This is where cover is based on how many bedrooms your property has, and the amount of cover is usually a figure between £40,000-£50,000. 

The Sum Insured Policy: If you don’t believe that the bedroom-rated approach is right for you or you don’t think the cover is enough for your possessions, then calculating their value yourself can give you a more accurate premium.

The Unlimited Sum Policy: Some insurers offer a policy that comes with no limits. A surefire way to ensure everything you own is covered, however, this will be reflected in your premiums.

Calculating How Much Should You Insure Your Home Contents For

If you choose to calculate the value of your possessions yourself, in order to keep your premiums as accurate as possible, then your next steps should be to consider the value of each item in your home individually - there could be hundreds. And then make an extensive list of items that are considered high-value. Such as engagement and wedding rings, family heirlooms, antiques etc. 

Individual items like these will exceed what’s known as a “single item limit” which is the limit that some insurers will pay out for specific items, this ranges per provider usually from £1,000 to £3,000. If you have items which will exceed this, such as certain electricals or jewellery etc, then you should let your insurer know, as you may have to pay additional costs to cover these within your policy.

Top Tip: If you want to ensure that your gadgets such as laptops, GPS devices, cameras and mobile phones are still covered when you’re out and about with them, then take a look at gadget insurance for additional peace of mind.

How Much is Contents Insurance?

Ultimately, the cost of contents insurance will vary from household to household, simply because every property will have different items of varying value. When you enquire about a policy you’ll be asked which items you wish to cover and these will be protected in the event of theft, damage or loss. However, it's not just the value of your items that determine the price of your premiums - the type of content insurance you take out and any additional cover choices will also impact the cost. 

Content Insurance Types

The answer to how much is contents insurance also depends on which type of policy you purchase. When inquiring about a policy, you’ll be asked which cover is best suited to you and your circumstances:

  • Indemnity Cover: Indemnity cover means that in the event of a claim, you’ll only get the current value of your possessions. So, if the 50-inch TV you originally paid £800 for was damaged, you may only get £200 for it several years later due to regular wear and tear 
  • New For Old Cover: New for Old cover is the more common type of policy, which means in the event of a claim, you’ll be paid whatever it costs to replace the items in question

Additional Cover Options

The cost of contents insurance is also determined by whether or not you require any additional cover options. These policies go further than your standard contents insurance policy, which is great for peace of mind but in turn, will also increase your premiums.

How to Keep Your Premiums Down

We’re all eager to save money and while avoiding taking out contents insurance seems like a good way to keep cash in your pocket, in the event of damage, loss or theft of your most beloved possessions, you’ll wish you’d taken out that policy. You can keep the costs of your premiums down by following some simple tips, giving you peace of mind and cash left in your wallet. 

  • Increase the security of your home to reduce the risk of theft
  • Install smoke detectors and burglar alarms
  • Use a safe to store your high-value items
  • Increase your excess
  • Regularly compare providers

Take Out Contents Insurance Today

It’s easy to think that you don’t need contents insurance, but the peace of mind and financial safety net it provides make it a must-have. If you’re looking to take out a policy, compare providers or switch, reach out to Money Expert today to see how much you could save.