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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.
If you do need to make a claim, you will get a pay-out minus your excess amount. This is the amount that you have to pay towards the replacement of your possessions.
When you compare house insurance contents cover, there are three main types of policies to consider.
A home contents insurer works out how much home contents cover you need based on the number of bedrooms in your home.
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.
All your home contents are covered without limit.
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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.
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.
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 to a river or the coast, properties that are deemed at risk from flooding.
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.
All home contents insurance policies will have some exclusions, things they won’t cover.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn about whether you should get extra home insurance cover for your bike as part of your home contents insurance, or search for specialist bicycle insurance to cover your two wheels.