A simples guide

Do I have the right amount of home contents cover?

Home contents insurance provides cover in case you suffer a fire, robbery, or suffer storm damage. While you don’t have to take out contents insurance, it’s a really good idea to do so.

When you get a policy, you’ll be asked the maximum level of cover you want. Essentially, this is the total value of your possessions. It’s really easy to underestimate the value of everything in your home. Doing so could leave you horribly exposed if the worst was to happen and you lost everything.

What counts as contents?

Pretty much everything that you’d take with you if you were to move house is a good way of looking at it. It covers everything except the building itself, so carpets, not floors, curtains not windows.

Don’t stop indoors though. If you’ve a garden, shed, or garage, all the items in these need to be included too.

If you have your movie and music collection stored digitally, this could add up to quite a sum. Don’t think such media is included with say your laptop. It isn’t. If you do have a good deal of this sort of material, you may want to ensure that your policy covers digital downloads too.

Don’t think contents just equal your valuables, it does quite literally mean everything around you.

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So how should you calculate it?

There are online calculators on the internet that claim to help you calculate the cost of your contents. Essentially they act as a memory jogger to remind you of the items that you might own.

Alternatively, grab a piece of paper and a pencil, leave your PC and set off on a tour of your own house, estimating as you go.

In your lounge you’ll usually have the obvious like the sofa and chairs, bookcases and the books themselves. TV, DVD player, games consoles perhaps. Don’t forget the carpets and curtains, as well as looking around on the shelves for ornaments and so on.

The dining room furniture, any crockery you keep there. Remember again the carpets and curtains as well as any light shades and table lamps.

On to the kitchen. Here you need to include the large freestanding white goods such as fridges, freezers and dishwashers. Don’t forget the oven and hob if they are also free standing. (built-in items are covered by your buildings policy). Check on your surfaces for small electrical appliances and have a look through the cupboards.

Have a look around any other downstairs rooms and do a similar job there before venturing upstairs.

Carry out the same exercise through your bedrooms. Remember to add up all the other items as well as the obvious things like beds and furnishings. Open your wardrobes and make an assessment of your clothes and shoes. If you’ve valuable jewellery, keep a separate list as you’ll probably have to disclose valuables separately.

Upstairs don’t forget to check the bathroom (the built-in bathroom suite and furniture is covered by your buildings insurance but any freestanding furniture needs to be included) and attic if you have one.

We’re not done yet. It’s important to head outside and inside any outbuildings. Bicycles are usually listed separately so make note of those. Remember tool boxes can contain a lot of tools, not to mention more expensive items like lawnmowers and other power tools.

Quite a list isn’t it?!

If you’ve done the job properly you might be quite surprised by just how much your list adds up to. You wouldn’t be alone; many people underestimate the value of their contents.

It’s a lot, won’t my insurance be expensive?

Well the value of your possessions certainly goes into the equation to calculate your premiums, but so do many other factors such as where you live for instance.

The best way to save money on your home contents insurance is to shop around. The insurance market is very competitive and by using our home insurance comparison service you’ll be comparing quotes from some of the leading insurance providers in the market.

Now you know your contents value, the process is even easier. Give us a few details and we’ll do the hard work. All you need to do then is choose the best policy for you.

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