Contents insurance

  • Buy contents insurance for up to £63/year [1]
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[1] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £62.56 for their contents home insurance in November 2022.

We compare prices from 41 trusted providers[2], including:

See a full list of our home insurance providers

[2] Correct as of December 2022.

What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance is a type of home insurance that protects the possessions in your property. It could cover the cost of replacing them if they’re stolen, destroyed or damaged. Contents insurance can be bought separately or combined with buildings insurance as part of a home insurance policy.

How much does house contents insurance cost?

a year for 10% of people [3]

a year for 51% of people [1]

The cost of home contents insurance depends on several factors, including: 

  • Where you live
  • If the surrounding area is at risk from flooding or crime
  • The total value of your possessions
  • If you want to insure any high-value items
  • The type of home you live in and whether you rent or own
  • Who you live with
  • How secure your home is
  • Your claims history. 

[3] 10% of our customers were quoted less than £41.87 for their contents home insurance in November 2022.

What’s covered by contents insurance?

Home contents insurance covers your personal belongings. This typically means anything you’d take with you if you moved, including furniture, white goods, gadgets or clothes, as well as belongings kept in the garage. You’ll need to check the details of individual policies to be sure of what’s included.

Here are some examples of the items that contents insurance can cover:

  • Jewellery and watches 
  • Expensive tech – TVs, phones, tablets, laptops 
  • Appliances – fridges, freezers, washing machines 
  • Furniture – like sofas, tables and bookcases
  • Furnishings – like carpets and curtains
  • Artwork, books and collectables
  • Sporting equipment and musical instruments 
  • Cash and important documents
  • Clothing 
  • Items stored in sheds, garages or other outbuildings, such as tools.

What risks does contents insurance cover?

You can expect household contents insurance to cover you for loss, theft or damage caused by:

  • Theft and vandalism
  • Fire and explosions
  • Flooding or burst pipes
  • Storms
  • Subsidence.

What’s not covered by contents insurance? 

Contents insurance doesn’t typically cover:

  • General wear and tear
  • Damage caused by improper or poor maintenance
  • The full cost to replace stolen or damaged items that are worth more than the single item limit
  • Accidental damage – although you may be able to add cover for this as an optional extra
  • Deliberate damage by someone living in your home
  • Lost possessions
  • Theft through unforced entry – for example, if you leave a door or window unlocked
  • Faulty workmanship and bad DIY
  • Mechanical or electrical breakdown
  • Damage caused by pets

Bicycles may not be covered or only covered if secured in particular ways. If you like to cycle, check whether you need separate or extra cover for your bike.. 

What contents insurance add-ons are available? 

When you compare quotes with us, you can choose to include extra cover for an additional cost, such as: 

  • Accidental damage: to cover you for those awful slow-motion moments where the kids knock over the TV or you spill red wine on your new cream sofa.
  • Home emergency cover: can help with emergency repairs for burst pipes, boiler breakdowns and a broken window, for example.
  • Legal expenses: to cover the cost of legal advice and representation if someone makes a claim against you. For example, if someone gets injured in your home or you have a dispute with a neighbour.
  • Personal possessions cover: also known as out-of-home cover, this can protect valuables you regularly take with you while you’re out and about – like your mobile, laptop, watch and handbag.
  • Away from home cover: can help protect your children’s belongings while they’re away at university.

How can I get cheaper contents insurance?

Combine your contents insurance and buildings insurance 

Combining contents and buildings insurance into a joint policy can often get you a discount with your provider. While it’s not guaranteed, it’s always worth checking.

Make your home more secure

If you can improve your home security by adding alarms or getting better locks for your doors and windows, your home is less likely to be burgled. This means insurance providers will see you as less of a risk, which can lead to cheaper insurance.

Offer to pay a higher excess

Like all insurance policies, there’ll be an excess to pay if you need to make a claim. If you pay a higher excess, it could bring down the cost of your insurance. But, remember, you’ll need to be able to afford this if you make a claim.

Pay annually rather than monthly

Paying for your insurance annually is almost always cheaper, as monthly instalments usually include interest.

Accurately calculate the value of your contents

If you overestimate what your possessions are worth, you’ll end up paying more for insurance than you need to. But underestimate and you won’t be adequately covered and could lose out if you make a claim. For advice, read our guide to estimating the value of your home contents accurately.

Earn a no claims discount

If you don’t make a claim for 12 months on your home insurance, you could earn a no claims discount and get a cheaper premium the following year.

Compare quotes

It’s a good idea to shop around to make sure you’re getting the right deal for your home contents cover at the lowest possible price.

We can help with that. Just enter your details and the level of cover you need, and we’ll give you a list of quotes from a range of insurance providers.  

Start comparing today

What do I need to get a quote? 

When you start a contents insurance quote with us, we’ll ask you some questions about you and your property, so we can show you a range of suitable quotes. It will help to have your current home or contents insurance policy documents to hand so you can check any details. To compare quotes, we’ll need to know:

  • Details about your property, including your postcode and when your home was built.
  • Personal details, such as your profession, if you own, rent or have a mortgage on your home, who is living with you and how long you’ve lived there.
  • Home security details, including what type of locks are fitted and whether you have a burglar alarm.
  • The total value of the contents of your home. Read our guide on how to estimate the value of your home contents accurately.
  • Any high-value items individually worth more than £1,500 that you want to cover, as well as any bicycles worth over £350.
  • If you want to insure personal possessions like mobile phones or laptops outside of your home.
  • The type of policy you’re looking for – whether it’s contents only or combined contents and buildings insurance – and how much excess you want to pay.
  • If you’d like to add additional cover to your policy, such as home emergency cover or accidental damage.
  • Your claims history
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Do I need contents insurance?

Contents insurance can help protect your belongings if you’re a: 

  • Homeowner: buildings insurance will protect the bricks and mortar of your home, but you’ll still need contents insurance to cover your possessions. You can often save money by combining the two.
  • Renter: your landlord is responsible for the property but you’ll want to cover your possessions, and any furniture and appliances you take to your rented home with tenants insurance.
  • Landlord: if you rent out a furnished property, you can protect your belongings against damage and theft with landlord contents insurance.
  • Student: if you live in halls of residence or a shared home, you’ll need a students content policy to make sure your belongings are protected.
  • Holiday homeowner: you may need specialist holiday home contents insurance for your second home if it’s left empty for long periods of time or you rent it out.
  • Tenant in a shared flat: you can protect your own belongings without having to cover your flatmates’ possessions too with room-only contents insurance.

Why use Compare the Market?

It’s quick

 You can compare quotes from 41 home insurance providers[2] in minutes.

You could save

 We found that 51% of customers could save up to £159[4] on their home insurance by comparing with us.

Quotes tailored to you

 Use our quote tool to tell us about you and your home to see what policies will work for you.

Get a home contents insurance quote for as little as £5.21 a month [5] when you compare with us.

[4] Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during November, 2022. 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance through Compare the Market.

[5] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £5.51 per month in November, 2022 for their contents insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments.

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Author image Kate Hughes

What our expert says...

“There’s often confusion over what items are covered by contents insurance – especially when you’re out and about with high-risk items like tablets and jewellery. So dig out the details of your new or existing policy and check exactly what is and isn’t covered. Don’t forget that pricey individual items, like a bike or top-of-the-range laptop, may need to be listed separately on your policy if they’re worth more than the single item limit.”

- Kate Hughes, Insurance expert

Frequently asked questions

What is unlimited contents insurance?

Unlimited contents insurance policies, also known as unlimited sum-insured policies, don’t typically impose a maximum limit on the amount you can claim for.

But while there might not be an overall limit, there may be a limit on the amount you can claim for a single item – even though this will be higher than a standard contents policy.

See more on unlimited home insurance.

Does contents insurance cover theft?

Yes, contents insurance does protect you against theft. But you won’t be covered if something is stolen from your home because of unforced entry – for example, through an unlocked door or window.

To protect items that you tend to take with you when you’re out and about, like your phone or wallet, you’ll need personal possessions insurance.

Many contents policies will cover you for the cost of replacing locks if your keys are stolen or lost.

Does contents insurance cover mobile phones?

Contents insurance will cover your mobile phone, but normally only when it’s in your home. To cover it while you’re out and about, consider getting personal belongings cover.

Does contents insurance cover bicycles?

Your home contents policy will usually cover bikes against theft while they’re stored at your property. You may need extra cover to insure them away from your home. If your bike is worth more than £350, let us know when you compare quotes. Depending on the provider, it may need to be listed separately under your policy as a high-risk item.

Find out more about bicycle insurance.

Are my garden and garage covered by contents insurance?

Some contents policies will cover garden furniture, for example, but you may need to add extra cover if you have expensive items like a patio heater or a hot tub. Find out more about insuring your garden.

If your garage is attached to you home, it may well be covered by a standard contents policy. If it’s separate structure, it might be classed as an outbuilding on your policy. If you have expensive tools and other items stored in your garage, you may need to extend your cover. Read our guide to garage insurance.

Read any policy carefully and watch out for any exclusions.

How does new for old contents insurance work?

If you have a new for old contents insurance policy, any items that are lost or damaged will be replaced by your insurance provider based on their current market value. Even if the exact item is no longer available, you’ll be paid out enough to buy a brand-new item of the same value.

How much contents insurance do I need?

You’ll need contents insurance to cover the total worth of your belongings.

If you undervalue your contents, you’ll be underinsured. For example, if you value your contents at £20,000 but they’re actually worth £40,000, you'll be underinsured by 50%. If you were to make a claim, then your insurance provider is likely to pay only 50% of it.

If you overestimate how much your contes are worth, you’ll end up paying for more insurance than you need.

How do I know how much my belongings are worth?

To estimate the value of your home contents accurately, go through your home, one room at a time, and add up the value of the contents inside. Don’t forget to include small, high-value items, such as jewellery, and remember to value older items at today’s replacement costs.

To help you work out how much your belongings are worth, we have a handy contents calculator you can use when you get a quote from us. 

Are my contents covered outside the home?

Standard contents insurance generally covers your possessions inside your home. To protect personal items while you’re out and about, you’ll need to add personal possessions cover to your contents policy for an additional fee. 

What is personal possessions cover and do I need it?

Personal possessions insurance covers you for loss or damage to items you’d normally take with you when you’re out and about. This could include your handbag, mobile phone, jewellery and wallet or purse.

Some policies will also cover these items while you’re abroad, but cover is often limited to certain countries and for a set period of time. If you’re going overseas, it’s a good idea to check whether your possessions are covered by your travel insurance.   

Some home insurance policies include personal possessions cover as standard, while others offer it as an add-on for an extra charge.  
See more on possessions insurance cover outside of the home.

What’s a single-article limit?

Most home and contents insurance policies will have a maximum limit that any single item can be worth before you need to specify it separately on the policy – this is known as the single-article limit. It’s often set at £1,500 but could be lower or higher depending on the provider.

What’s a high-risk item?

High-risk items are valuable possessions that could be easily stolen from your home, for example, jewellery, electrical goods, antiques and collectables.

When you get a quote with us, you'll need to list any high-risk items valued at more than £1,500.

See more on the cover usually offered for high-risk items.

Can I add new items to an existing contents insurance policy?

Most home contents insurance providers will let you update your policy to include new high-value items, such as an expensive TV or gadget. The best way to do this is by getting in touch with your provider.

In addition, some providers will increase your cover before and after special events, such as a wedding or Christmas

Do I need proof of ownership for all my possessions?

It’s a possibility, especially for high-value items. Some providers will stipulate in their policy documents that you need to provide a receipt or photo of any items that have been stolen or damaged before you can claim for them. Read our guide to providing proof of purchase on a contents insurance claim.

Do I need contents insurance as a tenant?

Yes, if you’re a tenant and you want your personal possessions covered, you’ll need to get your own contents insurance. Your landlord is responsible for buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the building, and the fixtures and fittings.
You could also benefit from contents cover if:

What changes do I need to tell my insurance provider about while I’m covered by their policy?

Normally, you’ll need to tell your provider as soon as possible if you:

  • Move house
  • Are having building work done
  • Change the number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Change how you use your home: for example, you take in a lodger
  • Have someone other than family live with you
  • Start a business from home
  • Leave your home unoccupied for a set number of days in a row
  • Get new items over the single item limit or increase the total value of your contents
  • A family member is convicted of an offence other than a driving offence.  

If you don’t let your insurance provider know about these changes, any claim you make could be rejected. If you’re unsure if a change will affect your contents cover, it’s best to ask your provider.

I pay monthly for my contents insurance. What happens if I can’t afford or miss a payment?

Your provider could cancel your policy as soon as a payment is missed. Generally, you’ll only be covered if you pay your premiums. Talk to your provider if you know you can’t make a payment as they may be able to offer some short-term help. 

Can I get a no claims discount on my home contents insurance?

You can earn no claim discounts on buildings insurance, contents insurance or combined policies.
If you don’t make any claims during the 12 months of the policy, then you can usually get a reduction on next year’s premium. If you don’t claim the following year, then you can build up your no-claims discount. Typically you can build up your discount over nine consecutive years.

See more on home insurance no-claims discount – how does it work?

Can I get short-term contents cover?

Yes, you can get short-term home insurance. It’s usually used to cover unoccupied properties. Whether you’re intending to return to your home after a long trip away or you’re renovating a house before you move in, temporary contents insurance can protect your belongings while there’s no one living there.

See more on short term home insurance.

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