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Contents INSURANCE

SUPER SAVE UP TO

£162

ON YOUR HOME INSURANCE1

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Compare cheap contents insurance from over 58 providers2

We’re committed to finding the right cover for you and your home. 
That’s why we compare over 58 of the biggest insurance providers in the country, including:

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151% of consumers could save up to £162.34 a year on buildings and contents insurance. Consumer Intelligence, August 2022. UK only.

2Updated August 2022

What is home contents insurance?

Contents insurance is one of the two main types of home insurance. It covers the contents of your house in the event of loss, damage or theft.

These policies also protect your belongings from events outside your control, including fire, theft, storms, floods, ground moving below your property (aka subsidence) and water leaks.

Contents insurance can be bought separately, or as part of a combined policy which also includes cover for the structure of your home – but you only need buildings insurance if you own the property.

Contents insurance photography

How does contents insurance work?

There are two main types of contents insurance, broadly speaking:

  • New for old / As new

    New for old, also known as 'as new' policies, will pay out for the full cost of repair, or for the equivalent new item. This is the more expensive type because you can get back the full value of the items you claim for.

  • Indemnity policy

    An indemnity policy pays you what the item in question is worth now, not what you paid for it. This type of policy tends to be cheaper because the pay-out reflects depreciation or wear and tear, so you might not get back the full value.

What does contents insurance cover?

Home contents insurance policies will cover pretty much everything you own, except the building itself. In fact, an item is covered if it’s something you would bring with you when moving home, including carpets and light fittings. Items commonly listed under a contents policy include: 

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    Gadgets

    Contents insurance can protect your mobile phones, laptops, cameras and other gadgets in your home, which can normally be expensive to replace

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    Electrical items

    Contents insurance policies can protect some of your important electrical items, like televisions, desktops, and games consoles

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    Money and financial documents

    Money as well as financial documents like bonds and deeds will be covered as long as they are stored securely in your home

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    Furniture

    Everything from Chesterfield sofas to wingback armchairs are covered when you take out a contents insurance policy

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    Clothing

    If your wardrobe is damaged in a major event like a fire or flood, your policy will help cover the cost of replacing your clothes

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    White goods

    All your kitchen appliances are included in your contents insurance policy. Items like your fridge, cooker, washing machine are all protected

What optional extras can I add to my contents insurance policy?

Contents insurance protects your belongings from the most major threats, but not everything will be covered as standard. If you want the extra peace of mind, consider the following add-ons:

  • Home emergency cover

    This will cover the costs if you need any assistance or repairs because of a domestic emergency, like a burst pipe or broken boiler 

  • Away-from-home cover

    If your children are away at university and they take their laptop or phone with them, you may be able to cover their belongings

  • Extra cover for valuables

    You can add extra insurance cover for any valuable items if their value exceeds the limits of your policy

  • Legal expenses

    Legal expenses cover can help you cover the cost of certain legal fees, such as boundary disputes and personal injury claims

How to get a contents insurance quote

When you buy a contents insurance policy, it’s up to you to calculate how much your possessions are worth. It’s important to work this out accurately – if you underestimate and something happens, you won’t be able to claim for everything. If you overestimate, your premiums will be higher than they need to be. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make a list

    Be systematic: go from room to room adding up the approximate values of everything you own

  • New for old

    Most contents policies are ‘new-for-old’, meaning they assess how much it costs to replace your things with new ones

  • Note your valuables

    Make a special note of every item worth more than about £300. Your insurer needs to know about each of these separately

Who needs contents insurance?

Contents insurance isn’t a legal requirement for anyone – but it is often a good idea. These are the groups who might need contents insurance:

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    Homeowners

    You already have buildings insurance, so a combined home insurance policy will protect your belongings too

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    Renters

    Contents insurance will protect your own possessions, though you might want a specific renters’ insurance policy

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    Lodgers

    Lodgers have a slightly different legal status than regular renters, but you can still get lodgers’ insurance

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    Students

    Because they live in halls or flats for part of the year, they need specialised contents insurance for students

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    Flat sharers

    People living in a flatshare need separate contents insurance policies for each member of the household

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    Landlords

    Buy-to-let owners need a different type of policy for properties they rent out – called landlord contents insurance

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Compare cheap home contents insurance quotes

Home contents insurance helps protect your possessions from loss, damage and theft. Whatever cover you’re looking for, the easiest way to find the best policy is by comparing contents insurance quotes online. You can compare policies in one simple search on MoneySuperMarket.

  • It doesn’t take long

    Estimate the worth of your home contents and any particularly high-value possessions, and quickly compare contents insurance quotes

  • We’ll search for savings

    We’ll show you which contents insurance is the cheapest along with claims experience, a quality score, cover level and more

  • Get covered

    Once you’ve found a contents-only insurance policy you like, you can call or click through to apply directly with the insurer

How to get cheaper contents insurance

Contents insurance policies tend not to be very expensive, but there are steps you can take to earn a cheaper quote:

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    Shop around

    Premiums can vary between insurers, so review the quotes on offer and be clear about the level of cover you need. Don't forget to shop around when it's time to renew

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    Cut out the frills

    If you don’t need any added insurance extras like accidental damage cover, you could reduce your premium by opting for basic cover only

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    Think about security

    High-quality locks, burglar alarms, smoke alarms and joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme can all reduce your premiums

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    Raise the excess

    Most insurance policies include an 'excess', which is the amount you pay towards any claim. If you agree to increase the excess you will usually pay a lower premium

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    Pay your premiums annually

    Many insurers charge extra if you pay by monthly direct debit. You’ll save money if you make a one-off, annual payment instead

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    Build up a no-claims discount

    Insurers usually reward people who have not made any claims in the past with a cheaper policy premium

David McDermottroe

Our expert says

"

Contents insurance is the perfect way to protect your belongings, but you need to be careful when you buy it. It’s important to be as accurate as possible when you estimate the value of your possessions – otherwise you might find yourself out of pocket in an emergency. And be sure to declare your valuables, too.

"

- David McDermottroe, Home Insurance Expert

The average cheapest contents-only insurance policy cost £65 in March 2020, according to MoneySuperMarket data. The cost of contents insurance is affected by your location, the value of your home and contents, risk (including flood and burglary) and other factors.

Region

Average Cost

Glasgow

£62.72

Newcastle

£58.04

North London

£95.20

Cardiff

£64.03

Liverpool

£65.07

Manchester

£72.68

Belfast

£64.58

Cambridge

£68.10

Oxford

£63.50

Bristol

£68.32

According to MoneySuperMarket data collected between July and December 2020, accurate as of January 2021

Contents insurance does cover theft as standard, but most policies will cost more if you also want theft cover for your belongings when you take them out of the house. Likewise, any high-value items may need to be explicitly listed on your policy to be covered.

Contents insurance does cover mobile phones, but if your phone is worth more than a certain value, you’ll have to inform your insurer that you need it covered specifically.

For electronic items you use a lot, including those you carry with you when you leave the house, you might want to consider taking out a more specialised gadget policy.

You can pay more to cover more expensive items and add additional cover. The most common additions include: 

  • Accidental damage cover: if you accidentally break a possession, for instance knocking over a valuable ornament while doing the dusting, it will cover you.

  • Out-of-home cover: if something happens to your possessions when you’re out, you could be covered, but you might have to declare which items you want to cover when you take out the policy.

  • Extra cover for valuables: if you have any valuables, you may need extra contents insurance if their value exceeds the limit of your policy. For example, if the limit was £1,500 and your £2,000 engagement ring was stolen, the policy would still only pay £1,500. 

  • Home emergency cover: if you need any assistance or repairs because of a domestic emergency, this will pay out.

  • Away-from-home cover: if your children are away at university, and they take their laptop or phone with them, you may be able to cover their items too.

It does, but if your bike is worth more than the single-item limit listed in the small print, you need to inform your insurer that you own it. Bikes aren’t usually covered by contents insurance when you have them outside the home – you need an out-of-home policy add-on for that.

The single-item limit is the most an insurer will pay to replace any individual items that hasn’t been specifically listed. This limit will depend on your provider and the policy. If you need to cover anything worth more than that, you need to flag it up as a high-risk item.

As well as there being a cover limit for your items, it's important to note that there are other exclusions that may affect your claims. For example, some providers also have a maximum claim limit for all valuable items. So, if several items are stolen or damaged at once, you may not be able to reclaim their full value.

High-risk items are your most valuable possessions, the ones which cost the most to replace. You need to let your insurer know about each one.

Most insurers let you do this, so it’s best to get in touch with them once you’ve made a major purchase.

You might do, especially for your high-value items. It’s best to keep the receipts for everything when you take out insurance.

If you work from home a lot, your home office equipment is not covered as standard by home insurance policies.

However, if you’re working from home due to Covid-19, most UK insurers have agreed to provide cover for the equipment you need to do your job remotely for the foreseeable future.

Find out more here.

Some insurance policies will cover the contents of your garden and outbuildings - like a garage or shed - as standard. However, others might not, and you may have to pay extra. It’s best to ask before you buy.

Your contents are not normally insured as standard by contents insurance when you take them out of your home. However, you can buy an out-of-home insurance policy add-on, which will protect you from theft and damage when you’re out and about.

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