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New-for-old contents cover

Compare home contents insurance with new-for-old cover

David McDermottroe
Written by  David McDermottroe
5 min read
Updated: 07 Mar 2024

With new-for-old contents insurance, you can claim enough to replace damaged or stolen possessions with brand new replacements. Here’s everything you need to know

What is new-for-old cover?

New-for-old home contents insurance replaces an item that’s been lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair with a new object of the same value. It is often offered as standard on comprehensive home insurance policies

If you have new-for-old contents insurance, it will pay out enough for you to replace any items you’re claiming for with new ones of the same type. If the exact item is no longer available, you should still receive enough for you to buy a similar item of the same value.

For example, if your television is stolen, your insurer should pay out enough for you to replace it with an equivalent new model, even if it’s several years old. However, its important to note that not all policies offer the same level of cover.  

If you opt for indemnity cover instead, which is an alternative to new-for-old cover, your home's contents would be covered for their current value, which includes depreciation from age as well as wear and tear. For example, if you claim for a dishwasher that is four years old, you will therefore be given a replacement dishwasher that is also four years old – or enough cash to buy a four-year-old machine.

brand new kitchen

How does new-for-old cover work?

New-for-old cover is designed to ensure you end up with goods of the same value should your home contents be stolen or damaged in a fire, for example. 

With new-for-old insurance, depreciation is not taken into consideration. Even if you bought at iPhone 12 when it had just been released, your new-for-old insurance will not generally pay out for you to replace it with the latest version of the handset. Instead, it will allow you to replace with a new iPhone – or the equivalent model if the iPhone 12 is no longer available. The cover provided can vary, though, so it’s always worth checking your policy small print to be sure.

That’s why it’s important to give your insurer an accurate estimate of the value of your home contents, including any high-value items worth perhaps more than £1,000, and to update the sum insured if you make any expensive purchases. The same is true of any other policies you take out to protect your belongings, such as gadget insurance

Will new-for-old home cover insurance all my possessions?

Insurers often exclude certain items from new-for-old cover. Common exclusions include clothing, bed linen, and curtains – all of which are considered to have a shorter lifespan than other home contents such as furniture and electrical appliances. 

You may also be unable to claim for the full value of an item if you have failed to take into account the actual cost of replacing it, rather than the amount you paid. 

Regardless of whether you choose new-for-old or indemnity cover, there will also almost always be an excess – the amount you have to contribute towards any claims – to pay.  

Most home insurance policies have two types of excess:

  1. A compulsory excess set by the insurer that is typically £50 or £100, although there will usually be a higher excess of £1,000 or more for subsidence claims

  2. A voluntary excess you can choose to pay on top of the compulsory excess to keep the cost of your premiums down

How do I know if my policy provides new-for-old cover?

When you take out home contents insurance, most policies offer new-for-old as standard – although you might be given the option to pay less by reducing the level of cover provided.

If you’re unsure whether or not your home contents policy offers new-for-old cover, the best way to find out is to check your policy. The policy documents you were sent by your insurer should specify whether you have cover on a new-for-old basis or if you have indemnity cover.

What happens if my policy doesn’t include new-for-old cover?

Most home contents policies now offer new-for-old cover as standard, however all policies are different so it is important to read your policy documents to ensure what is included. If your policy doesn't give you the cover you want, it may be time to switch and look for a better deal with a different policy.

Where can I buy new-for-old insurance?

To help you get the best quote for your home insurance, we need to know certain details, including the value of your home contents and the level of cover you want. 

Once we have the information we need, we will then show you a list of competitive quotes that meet your requirements. So, all you have to do is pick the one that offers the best deal for you and click through to the provider to finalise your purchase. 

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