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Home contents insurance covers everything inside your house that isn’t part of the structure of your house.
This can include your furniture, electrical equipment, like an oven and fridge, as well as personal belongings.
Contents insurance can be valuable to everyone, not just the owner of the property, including renters and council tenants.
Like most insurance policies, to get home contents cover, you pay a monthly premium and the policy pays out when you make a claim.
Home contents insurance covers the cost of replacing the items in your home if they are damaged by fire, flooding, and storms, or are stolen.
You may have to pay extra for house contents insurance that covers accidental loss or damage especially for those items you regularly take out of the house such as portable electronics like mobile phones and laptops.
New for old cover is home contents insurance that will pay out the cost to replace your item at today’s value. Most home contents policies provide this cover.
All home contents insurance policies will have some exclusions, things they won’t cover. This can include:
General wear and tear: This isn't covered by contents insurance. So if your old TV suddenly stops working, you probably won’t be covered to claim on your home contents insurance.
Indemnity cover: The cheapest contents insurance may only provide indemnity cover. Indemnity cover will only pay out the current value of your belongings. It may cost £1,800 to replace your fridge, but if it's only worth £180 today, that's all you will get.
Accidental damage: Some home contents insurance policies will not cover accidental damage. Accidental damage is something like spilling wine on your sofa, or scratching your mobile phone for example. Home contents insurance policies will often let you include accidental cover as an added extra. House contents insurance companies may charge you a higher premium for this.
Buildings insurance: Contents insurance doesn't cover the physical structure of your home. If you own your home, you would get buildings insurance for that.
Personal possessions cover: Personal possessions cover insures items like jewellery, tablets, wallets and purses, things you take with you outside your home.
Contents insurance policies may not include personal possession cover. Some home contents insurance policies will let you add it on as an extra, and charge you a higher premium.
Unlike car insurance, you don't need to have home contents insurance by law.
But home contents insurance is highly recommended. If you were burgled, for example, home contents insurance would pay to replace all of your valuables. You may not have the cash to do this by yourself.
Home contents insurance will cover the cost of replacing everything you own. Without contents insurance, this could cost you thousands of pounds.
When you compare house insurance contents cover, there are three main types of policies to consider.
Bedroom rated: A home contents insurer works out how much home contents cover you need based on the number of bedrooms in your home.
Sum insured: It’s up to you to work out how much home contents insurance you need. If you use an amount that is too low, you may not be covered when you claim.
Unlimited sum insured: All your home contents are covered without limit.
To work out how much home contents cover you need, make a list of everything you own. Then add up how much it would cost to replace everything on the list at today’s prices.
Online calculators can help you with this. Home contents insurance will typically provide cover up to £50,000.
How much contents insurance costs will depend on a number of factors. This includes:
The type of contents insurance policy you want
How much your home contents are worth
How much cover you want
To get cheap contents insurance, you can compare Uswitch contents insurance quotes from several house contents insurance companies. Use a comparison site like ours to compare home contents insurance quotes.
Different home contents insurance companies will provide different levels of cover in their contents insurance policies. This means the cheapest contents insurance may not be the best home contents cover for you.
To apply for home contents insurance, an insurance company will need some information from your. This can include:
Name and contact details
If you want only home contents insurance, or also building insurance
Do you own your home or do you rent
When you want the policy to start
If you want the policy in joint names, e.g. you and your partner
How many times you have claimed on home contents insurance in the last five years
Compare the cost of home and contents insurance with our comparison tool and protect your house or flat today. Compare and switch home and contents insurance with Uswitch using our simple, speedy and impartial comparison tool. Find cheap insurance policies in minutes.
Looking to find out how much would home insurance cost for your property? Read our guide and decide how much cover your home needs.
Home insurance that includes additional accidental damage insures the policyholder's possessions against spillages and breakages at home.
Are the contents of your shed or garage covered under your home insurance policy? Read our guide to find out how to protect and insure your outbuildings, with shed and garage contents insurance.
Find and compare building insurance online in just a few minutes. Find the best building insurance policy for your needs and compare cover and prices.
This add-on allows you to cover items up to a certain value for loss or damage outside the home. For example, if you use your laptop on the go and it's damaged or stolen while outside your home, you could claim to replace it if you have away from home cover. You can also cover your mobile phone this way, but it may be most cost-effective to consider gadget insurance.
Most basic contents insurance policies will cover you for events such as weather damage, flooding, fire, and theft. However, most policies don't include accidental damage cover as standard – for example if you spill a glass of red wine on your white sofa or if you accidentally knock over a valuable vase. This cover can be added for a fee, which might be useful if you have children or pets that might be prone to causing accidents.
Similar to car insurance policies, you can reduce the cost of your premium by opting to pay a higher excess should you need to make a claim. Your insurer will require you to make a small payment when you make a claim (a compulsory excess), but many will allow you to add an optional amount (voluntary excess) that you promise to pay if you need to make a claim in the future. It can be tempting to add a huge voluntary excess to your policy to cut the cost of your premium, but be realistic about how much you will actually want to pay in the event of a claim.
Anything you can do to minimise the risk of theft or damage can help to cut the cost of your insurance premium. Ask your insurer whether you can get a discount on your premium by installing specialist locks or a burglar alarm.
Some providers will allow you to spread the cost of your insurance over the year by paying a deposit followed by monthly instalments. This is a great way of making your insurance seem more affordable, but often it’s actually more expensive. Rather than simply splitting your annual contents insurance premium into 12 monthly payments, insurers tend to charge interest when you opt to spread the cost, meaning you pay more over the year. You may prefer the convenience of monthly payments, but check both prices (annual and monthly), as you could make a great saving by paying upfront.
Quotes for contents insurance can vary wildly, so the best way to find a good price is to compare quotes from different providers. Get started below.