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Last updated: 29 October 2021
When it comes to your home, the contents in it are not just materially valuable but have sentimental value too. If you end up losing them, either through burglary or damage, the last thing you’d want is to have to pay out large sums of money to replace them.
Home contents insurance covers the financial burden of replacing your contents should the worst case happen. This guide will take you through everything you need to know on home contents insurance so that you can choose the best policy that suits your needs.
What is contents insurance?
Home contents insurance is one of the two main types of cover that you can get for your home. Buildings insurance covers the structure of your property while contents insurance covers your belongings in the case of damage, theft, or loss.
If you’re a homeowner, getting contents insurance in addition to your buildings insurance is highly recommended as you’ll be covered for any loss of valuable items, which includes electrical goods and furniture but also personal effects too. As a tenant it’s worth having cover for your contents, buildings insurance should be covered by your landlord.
Although contents insurance policies are not compulsory, it’s a good idea to protect your belongings due to the potential cost and for peace of mind. When you compare home insurance quotes, you would need to estimate the value of your contents, and the contents insurance would cover items up to this pre-agreed value.
What are the different types of contents insurance?
There are two main types of home contents insurance that you should be aware of:
- New for old: Quite simply, they will replace your items with new ones, or they will offer you a cash amount for them.
- As new: These are the cheaper policies because they take into account the depreciated value of the item, so normal wear and tear, and the amount of time you have owned them is taken into account.
What does contents insurance cover?
A home contents insurance policy will cover anything from furniture to jewellery and clothes. Essentially, whatever you take with you when you move in will be covered by contents insurance. Some of the higher premium policies will even cover the contents of a garden shed. Always read the fine print of your contents insurance policy to see exactly what’s covered and under what circumstances.
Many contents insurance policies have exceptions to what they cover, and often these lie within the gadget sector. Gadgets and models of high-tech equipment are identifiable and valuable; due to this they are a high risk-item for insurers and as such many providers won’t cover them in a basic insurance policy. Therefore, it’s highly likely you will need to purchase additional insurance for your gadgets.
It’s also important to know that even if you do purchase additional gadget insurance, older gadgets may not be covered as they’re more likely to break. The same caution is advised when looking for cover for second-hand items, as usually insurers request proof of purchase for what you’re claiming for. Therefore, we recommend keeping receipts for valuable items. Regarding more personal items, often these may be unique and sadly irreplaceable, generally these will be covered up to a certain monetary value.
How to apply for home contents insurance
When applying for home contents insurance there are two key things that you will need to have to hand:
- Property details: You will have to provide your address, property type, number of rooms, security arrangements, occupants, and when your home was built.
- Value of contents: You will be required to provide an estimate of the value of all your contents, a list of items worth more than £350 and high-value items over £1,000. While this may seem daunting, it’s an important step to protect yourself against loss or damage to your items and you will be grateful you did it in the future.
How to save money on your contents insurance
There are a few ways you can save money on your contents insurance:
- Compare insurance: The most surefire way to save money on your contents insurance is to compare insurance policies online. This will allow you to pick the right policy to suit your needs. Especially when it comes time to renew as you may be able to get a cheaper deal by switching. Here at usave, we help you to easily compare home insurance quotes from numerous providers.
- Raising excess: Most insurance policies will have a voluntary excess, which means the amount of money you pay to the insurance company when you make a claim. The higher the excess, the lower the premium.
- Annual premiums: Most insurers will charge you a fee for paying premiums monthly, but if you can afford to pay your premiums annually you will get a better rate.
- No claims: By being careful with your belongings and not claiming on your insurance, over time you will be rewarded by your insurance company, who will reduce your premium.
- No extras: If you opt for just basic cover, you can save yourself a lot of money, make sure all of your needs are covered before doing this.
- Combine policies: If you have to get buildings insurance as well as contents, most insurers will allow you to combine the two which will actually be cheaper.
- Prevention: When it comes to insurance, prevention is always a good step towards saving money. By putting in alarm systems, high quality locks, and smoke alarms you could save yourself a lot of money in the long run.