Do I have enough contents insurance?

Do I have enough contents insurance?

Do I have enough contents insurance?

When you buy contents insurance, you want to feel confident your policy will do the job. Here’s how to get the right amount of home insurance, giving you the cover you need at a price you can afford.

Chris King From the Home team
minute read

How much contents insurance do I need?

It’s really important to get contents insurance that suits your situation, otherwise you might end up paying too much or not having cover when you need it. Underestimating the value of your contents is a risk – the insurance provider may not pay a claim in full if your contents are underinsured, so you need to get it right.

It takes a little thought – but it’s easy to do, step by step.

How much contents insurance do I need?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • have I estimated the value of my contents accurately?
  • are all my individual valuables covered?
  • do I have new-for-old cover?
  • do I have the right add-ons?

We’ll look at these one at a time.

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Have I estimated the value of my contents accurately?

To make sure you have the right amount of cover, you’ll need to estimate how much your possessions are worth. That means a total value of all your possessions, not just the more valuable items.

The best way to estimate the value of your home contents is to move from room to room in your house, listing everything you’d consider a possession. When getting a quote with us we will help you estimate the value of your contents with our contents calculator tool. For example think about:

  • furniture
  • electronics
  • carpets
  • kitchenware
  • tech gadgets
  • clothes and shoes
  • jewellery
  • garden furniture

You don’t need to include any fixtures and fittings – the walls, windows and roof, fitted wardrobes, built in appliances, the kitchen and bathroom suites – as these are covered under a buildings insurance policy. But remember to include curtains and carpets, as these are typically covered by your contents insurance. Check they are going to be included on the policy you are considering taking out.

Once you’ve made your list, calculate the value of each item you’ve listed and add up the total. Try to be as accurate as possible.

Get more detail in our guide: How to estimate the value of your home contents.

Are all my valuables covered by my contents insurance?

Do you have any especially valuable items? With most contents insurance, you need to specify (list separately) any items worth more than a specific amount, known as the single article limit. This is often set at £1,500, but could be lower or higher depending on the provider.

If you specify these items when you buy your policy they’ll be insured up to their full value. You may need a receipt or a valuation certificate for them to make a claim – check with your insurance provider.

You’ll also need to think about ‘valuables’ in your home that are worth less than the single article limit. The definitions of valuables for contents insurance typically includes small, high-risk items that are easy to steal – phones, laptops, gadgets, jewellery and so on. Check your policy for the exact definition. You don’t need to specify the items individually, just give a total value. See our guide to high risk items for contents insurance.

Are all my valuables covered by my contents insurance?

Is my cover new-for-old?

Most insurance providers now offer new-for-old policies, which means items that are lost or damaged will be replaced based on their current market value. Even if the exact item isn’t available anymore, you’ll get enough payout to buy a brand-new item of the same quality.

When you compare home insurance quotes, check whether each policy is new-for-old to make sure you’re comparing like with like.


Do I need add-ons for my contents insurance?

Add-ons are types of contents insurance cover that usually aren’t included in a policy, but are optional for an extra cost. The most common are:

Accidental damage: There are often two levels of accidental damage available. The basic level of accidental damage usually covers damage to audio-visual equipment, such as your TV, games console or PC. If you opt for full accidental damage cover, you’ll also be protected for accidents to other contents, such as spilling wine on your sofa. 

Personal possessions outside the home: This covers your personal belongings if you lose them or they’re stolen while you’re out and about. Typically, it’ll cover your phone, watch, laptop, wallet or purse, jewellery and camera. 

It’s sensible to think carefully before you decide on add-ons one way or the other. Contents insurance policies vary between home insurance providers, so check the level of cover offered by yours before you consider adding extra cover.

Do I need add-ons for my contents insurance?

What’s not covered by contents insurance?

Usually these things aren’t covered by contents insurance:

  • general wear and tear and maintenance
  • faulty workmanship
  • mechanical or electrical breakdown
  • damage caused by pets

Compare contents insurance

Shopping around for home insurance needn’t be a headache. At Compare the Market, we compare contents insurance policies from a range of providers to help you find the right policy for you at a price that suits your pocket. 

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