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Contents insurance

What is it?
A contents policy covers just about everything you would take with you if you moved home - furniture and furnishings, household goods, kitchen equipment, televisions, video, computer and audio equipment, clothing, personal effects, and valuables up to stated limits.

If you have a replacement as new/new for old policy you will be paid the full cost of repairing damaged articles or the cost of replacing them with equivalent new articles if they are stolen or destroyed. With an indemnity policy, a deduction will be made from your claim payment to account for wear, tear and depreciation of the damaged items.

What you can insure under replacement as new varies between insurers and sometimes age limits apply so it is important to check a policy carefully to be sure of what you are covered for.

Most policies will cover loss or damage while in your home by:

Fire, explosion, lightning or earthquake
Subsidence, heave or landslip
Storm and flood
Theft or attempted theft
Escape of water from tanks or pipes
Falling trees or branches
Breakage or collapse of television, radio signal or satellite apparatus
Riot, civil commotion, strikes, labour or political disturbances
Impact by aircraft, other aerial devices, any vehicle or animal
Escape of oil from heating systems

Why should I have contents cover?
Let's face it, if you're unlucky enough to come home and find your possessions either stolen or destroyed, that's bad enough. But if you have to fork out to replace them as well?.. well sometimes, it's just not possible. If nothing else, by taking out contents insurance, it takes the financial pressure off what is often a very traumatic experience.

Additional Options
Accidental damage

You can extend a contents insurance policy to include accidental damage cover for your possessions. However, anything that is not clearly listed in the policy is not usually covered.

High value items

Most policies have a limit on the value of high value items, either as a total, for single items, or both. If any high value possessions exceed these limits, you can have the option for them to be listed separately. However, it should be noted that the normal limits on most policies would cover the majority of this type of possession in most households.

Cover away from home

Many policies give the option of cover for things like cameras, bicycles, etc. away from the home. This can sometimes cover items and possessions belonging to students whilst away at university.

Public liability and legal expenses

If you own the property, you can also be insured against legal responsibility if someone dies or is injured when they visit your property. You can also get cover for damage to someone else's goods or property when they visit you.

How much will it cost me?
There are many factors affecting the cost of house insurance, be it buildings or contents cover:

  • The sum insured
  • The postcode of the property (insurance companies work with data about past claims of various kinds in particular areas to assess how much risk a property is at of factors such as burglary, flood, subsidence, etc)
  • How many claims you have made in the past
  • Any additional options taken
  • What the property will be used for (eg: main residence, holiday home, let out, etc)

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