What is contents insurance?
Contents Insurance, sounds like quite a simple term, doesn’t it? But often, customers aren’t sure what cover they get, what cover they need, or when extra cover is needed. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to contents insurance
What is it?
Contents insurance provides cover for, well, the ‘contents’ of your home and possibly your garden. As a rule, think of these as things you would take with you if you moved home. As opposed to the building and fixtures which are covered with buildings insurance.
Why do I need it?
It’s not just a case of insuring your most precious items. Think about what it would cost you to replace all your day to day things if they were damaged in a fire or flood. Furniture, kitchen equipment, entertainment, toys, clothes – if you had to replace all of this at once, the costs would likely be in the thousands.
Do I have to have it?
In short, no! However, as we explained above, taking out contents insurance can provide much-needed peace of mind that you have cover in the event of theft or damage.
How much cover do I need?
That largely depends on how many possessions you have and what it would cost to replace them. Our handy contents checker can help you estimate the value of your possessions – going through your property room by room is often a good way to start.
What does it cover?
This depends on the particular terms of your insurance, so always check the fine print and ask your provider for specifics if you are unsure.
Some contents insurance, like esure, provides cover on a new for old basis – this means they will give you the value to replace an item at today’s prices. Other insurers provide indemnity cover, meaning they will deduct the wear and tear from the value of an item.
As our cover is new for old, it’s important, when calculating your contents sum insured, to use the retail cost of these items if purchased new, not the current value.
Other things to check for are:
- Home office equipment – You may want to see if this is covered with your insurance provider. And if you are covered for running a business from home. Additionally, you’ll want to know what the limit of this cover is.
- Personal Money – You’ll want to know what amount of cash is covered and whether there are any conditions on where in your home it would need to be stored.
- Garden contents – If you have a garden, you may want your contents insurance to cover things like tools, equipment, and sheds.
- Seasonal cover – Your contents insurance policy may provide increased cover for times when you may have more possessions in your home, for example, during weddings, civil ceremonies, births and religious festivals.
What if I take my things out of my home?
Again, check if your contents insurance covers you when your items are away from home.
You may be able to add this on to your policy so that your possessions are covered when you are out or on holiday.
If you’re a student or are considering cover for a child moving away to study, you may not need to take out a separate students’ insurance policy. esure contents insurance provides cover of up to £5,000 for student possessions in student accommodation. It’s advisable to check your terms and conditions to make sure the accommodation can be classed as student.
What about my expensive things?
These are often called ‘High Risk Items’ and cover possessions which are expensive and desirable to thieves. For example, jewellery watches and antiques.
You may be required to list items over a certain value on your policy and you should check that these items are covered for their full value.
Anything else I need to know?
Once you have your contents insurance in place, it’s worth confirming with your insurer what evidence of your possessions is needed. If asked to provide receipts, make sure you keep them in a safe place and consider maintaining an electronic copy as well.