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Compare contents insurance

Get a quote and see what you could save on your contents insurance


What is contents insurance?

Home contents insurance pays out if your belongings, furniture and house fixtures and fittings are stolen or damaged. It covers everything from clothes to gadgets, and from your oven and fridge to your curtains.

Even if you only have a small house or flat, it's a good idea to have home contents insurance. If your home contents were damaged by flood, water leak or fire, to buy everything you owned from new, it would cost more than you think and could leave you seriously out of pocket. 

You pay a monthly premium and the policy pays out when you make a claim.

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Types of contents insurance

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.

Author Ben Gallizzi Last updated April 18th 2024

Do I need contents insurance?

Home contents insurance covers everything inside your house that isn’t part of the structure of your house.

It's an important piece of insurance cover to have, even if you don't own the house or flat you're living in.

Renters and tenants, as well as homeowners, should consider contents insurance to protect their possessions from loss or damage.

Just replacing your clothes and personal possessions would be very expensive.

How much does contents insurance cost?

The cost of contents insurance will depend on a number of factors including:

  • 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 providers.

What level of contents insurance do I need?

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.

You may have to pay extra for cover that includes accidental loss or damage, especially for those items you regularly take out of the house, such as portable electronics like mobile phones and laptops.

What does contents insurance cover?

At a basic level, home contents insurance will cover items within your home against theft and damage. However, the details of policies vary widely.

  • If you have a timber-framed home or live in a thatched cottage you may be considered at a greater fire risk

  • If you have expensive items such as works of art, expensive gadgets, top-of-the-range cycles or jewellery, you'll have to list them separately on your insurance policy

  • If you have valuable content, you may need to find a specialist insurer who will give you a quote for high net worth home contents insurance

  • You may also need to insure your electronic items separately with gadget insurance or all risks policy

Some policies don’t cover large houses (with more than four or five bedrooms), properties near a river or the coast, or properties that are deemed at risk from flooding.

What's not covered by home contents insurance?

All home contents insurance policies will have some exclusions including:

  • General wear and tear: This includes breakdowns of your home appliances and problems with electronic equipment.

  • Accidental damage: Some home contents insurance policies will not cover accidental damage. You can decide whether you want to add it on to your policy if this is the case. Accidental damage includes spillages on sofas and carpets or dropping a valuable item like a mobile phone. 

  • Damage by pets: Most insurance policies will not cover damage caused by your pets, whether it is fouling the carpet or scratching your furniture. Some more expensive home contents insurance policies may include it as an optional extra, but there will still be exclusions, including not leaving your pets alone at home, damage by puppies or kittens, and damage by certain breeds of dog.

  • 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.

  • Items taken outside the home: Unless you add this on to your policy, taking items out of your house or flat will mean that they are not covered by your home contents insurance. It is possible to add on additional cover for a price, but this option is not usually included as standard, especially with high-value items.

  • 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.

Contents insurance policies may not include personal possession cover. Some policies will let you add it on as an extra and charge you a higher premium.

How can I get cheaper contents insurance?

  • Raise your excess

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.

  • Improve your security

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.

  • Pay upfront

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.

  • Compare providers

Quotes for contents insurance can vary wildly, so the best way to find a good price is to compare quotes from different providers.

Should I buy combined building and contents insurance?

It can work out cheaper for you annually to purchase a combined policy for buildings and content insurance.

Having one policy can also make life admin easier at time of renewal and making a claim.

Avoid having two of the same home insurance policies.

If you take out a new policy and forget to cancel your old policy, which is then automatically renewed, you could end up with two policies.

If you keep both policies and make a claim on both, this could be considered fraud. You can only make one claim.

What contents insurance add-ons are available?

  • Away from home cover

This add-on allows you to cover items up to a certain value for loss or damage outside the home.

For example, if your laptop on the go and it's damaged or stolen while outside your home, you could claim to replace it. You can also cover your mobile phone this way, but it may be most cost-effective to consider gadget insurance.

  • Accidental damage cover

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.

Find home insurance cover that’s right for you

While standard home insurance work for most people, there are also specialised home insurance policies that might be more suited to your needs.

Do you have an expensive bike?

Expensive bicycles will also need specialist cover, as most standard contents insurance policies limit the amount you can claim back for loss or damage of a single item to £500

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