Unlike buildings insurance, contents insurance will not be insisted upon by your mortgage provider.
Contents insurance is a type of home insurance that’s designed to protect the possessions you keep inside your home. As a general rule, ‘contents’ refers to anything you would take with you if you moved house. So this can include furniture, soft furnishings, clothes, tech equipment, jewellery etc.
A contents insurance policy could help you out financially if you had to repair or replace an item if it was damaged or stolen. Think about all the items in your home and their collective value. If your house burnt down tomorrow (sorry for the depressing thought…) would you be able to replace all these items without any insurance pay out? It’s very wise to have contents insurance in place should the worst happen.
How much contents insurance do I need?
Many insurers now offer a standard level of contents insurance, so you have to make sure that this level is sufficient for the collective value of all your items. Do a check around your home to make sure you’re fully protecting all the items you want covered.
Remember, a standard contents insurance policy won’t always cover high value items automatically. There may be a ‘single article limit’ meaning your £3000 antique engagement ring may need some additional cover. Equally, certain items (such as jewellery, bikes, laptops) might need to be listed individually on your insurance application as they won’t fall under the standard cover automatically.
Look out for…
Level of excess: an ‘excess’ is the amount you’d have to pay out of you own money should you ever need to claim. Changing the excess amount will normally affect the price of your policy. For example, if you opt for a higher excess – your premium price will normally go down. Make sure you’d be comfortable paying this amount if you ever did need to claim.
Away from home cover: If an item (such as a watch, ring or laptop) regularly accompanies you outside of the home, make sure your contents insurance will cover it when it is away from the property. You should be given this option when applying for the insurance.
New-for-old cover: this means that your insurance should replace your item with an up-to-date model. For example, if you had an old TV insured with new-for-old cover, the provider should reimburse you for the cost a new model at today’s prices (providing the claim’s valid of course).
Accidental damage: this is usually offered as an optional extra and can help cover items against unexpected mishaps – such as a football through the TV, red wine on the cream sofa or a smashed glass coffee table.