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Contents insurance

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Compare cheap contents insurance from over 55 providers

We’re committed to finding the right cover for you and your home. 

That’s why we compare over 55 of the biggest insurance providers in the country, including:

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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.

Home contents illustration

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:

  • Gadgets, electrical items, money and financial documents, furniture, clothing, white goods

Most contents insurance policies have limits on how much you can claim for each item, but this can be avoided if you mention your most valuable items separately. This includes things like:

  • Bikes, computers, high-end hi-fis, jewellery, art collections, designer bags

2According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of October 2020

Illustration showing most popular items insured and their average cover value

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:

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Make a list

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

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New for old

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

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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

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.

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It doesn’t take long

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

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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

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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 much is contents insurance on average?

Lots of factors go on to make up your final premiums, including the value of your possessions, where you live and how secure your house is, but this is what you can expect to pay on average:

  • Number 1 icon

    Contents - £562

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    Buildings - £1092

  • Number 3 icon

    Building and Contents - £1412

2According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of July 2021

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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    Combine contents and buildings insurance

    If you have to buy buildings insurance, it is often cheaper to buy both policies from the same insurer

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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

What contents insurance add-ons are available?

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

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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 

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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

Kate Devine

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."

- Kate Devine, head of home insurance

Contents insurance covers your possessions in the event of theft, loss or damage, including natural disasters, fires or flooding. It’s separate to home insurance, which covers the building you live in, including fixtures and fittings.

Contents insurance specifically protects your belongings. As a rule of thumb, anything in your house could be protected provided you could pick it up and take it to a new home, including white goods and carpets.

You’re asked to estimate the total value of your possessions, but insurers need you to notify them of any particularly high-value items, especially jewellery, electronics like TVs, audio equipment, gadgets and computers, or expensive bikes.

 

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.

There are two main types of contents insurance, broadly speaking. Most policies are called ‘as new’ or ‘new for old’, and pay out for the full cost of repair, or for the equivalent new item.

The alternative is an indemnity policy, which tends to be cheaper because the payout reflects depreciation or wear and tear. An indemnity policy pays you what the item in question is worth now, not what you paid for it.

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.

You don’t need to know how much your possessions are worth down to the last penny, but it’s worth being as accurate as possible. Work out what it would cost to replace everything you own with the same items brand new, and you’ll have a fair idea.

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 item that hasn’t been specifically listed. It’s usually between around £200 and £350. If you need to cover anything worth more than that, you need to flag it up as a high-risk item.

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 garage, shed or garden as standard, but others may 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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But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

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