The importance of insuring all of your contents
Home is where the heart is, so it's important to protect your most precious asset with the right insurance cover. If you get the sums wrong you could be left with an insurance shortfall, which means your policy might not pay out the full amount in the event of a claim. Or you could take out too much cover and end up paying over the odds for contents insurance you don't need.
How to calculate the value of your contents
Most of us don't own great works of art or antique jewellery, but it's surprising how quickly the value of our belongings can add up, especially when you include all those gadgets, such as laptops and iPods.
The best way to calculate the value of your contents is to systematically go through every room in the house and make an inventory. Don't leave anything out, whether it's an electric toothbrush or a child's toy. And remember to include bed linen, rugs and clothes. You should also carry out an inventory of the shed or garage because garden equipment can be expensive.
You then need to work out how much it would cost to replace every single item on the list with a new one. The internet can help, or you might be able to find receipts and adjust for inflation. If you have any antiques, experts often recommend that you call in an expert valuer. Remember to keep the list up to date, especially if you buy a new flatscreen TV or other big ticket item.
When you have a total, you should insure your contents for at least that amount, though it's probably safer to opt for a slightly bigger figure. Don't simply guess the value of your contents: research shows that one in five households does not have enough insurance.
To make the sums easier, MoneySupermarket has created a handy contents calculator to make it easier for you to come to an accurate figure on the amount of cover you require.