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Contents insurance - protecting your possessions

Contents Insurance

Over time, the outlay for filling your home with furnishings, trinkets, the latest gadgets and gizmos may appear manageable. But if you had to replace every item in one go, what would the cost be to you and could you afford to do? Walk around each room, including your loft, garage, cellar and shed and do a rough calculation. Add in clothes, computers, laptops, ipads, iphones, BluerayDVDs, CDs, Playstation X-box games, Wii consoles, electrical items, not to mention jewellery, antiques and furniture, and you're probably talking many thousands of pounds

Contents insurance is a cost efficient way to restore some degree of normality if your house burnt down tomorrow, was broken into and items stolen or vandalised, or flash floods washed away your prized possessions.

Think current value, not what you paid

If, like most people, you simply renew your contents insurance annually, you could be in for a shock. The price you paid three years ago for a flat screen TV, or to re-decorate a bedroom, could have jumped significantly in real cost. Your sum-insured today, needs to reflect the current cost of replacing all your items.

Even more important, luxury goods or high value items purchased as maybe a future investment should be listed separately. We would advise obtaining professional valuations of expensive jewelry, watches, rare antiques, including furniture, or works of art, every two to three years.

There are two main types of contents policies available, which affect how claims are processed:

"New for Old"

Most insurers today provide "new for old" replacement cover, which means providing your items were well maintained, they will replace your loss with a brand new item. Clothing and linen that was over five years old may incur wear and tear deductions. With standard items, insurers can arrange replacement deliveries through their network of suppliers within days. Some insurers provide the option to upgrade specific items. You simply pay the difference in value.

Indemnity "wear-and-tear" policies

The cheaper option of the two is the indemnity policy. Premiums tend to be lower as insurance companies take into account the amount of wear and tear when paying your claim. So, if your five year old three piece suite was ruined by leaking water, the pay-out would reflect the age of the suite.

Optional add-ons, which are also often available include:

  • Lock replacements if your keys are stolen.
  • Accidental damage or loss of items that you frequently take out of the home, for instance cameras or sporting equipment.
  • Student cover for household items and personal effects.

Need more help deciding?

If you're wanting to research and cross-compare product features, we can give you some impartial and honest advice to help you choose. And remember, more savings can be had by combining your buildings and contents insurance

We usually offer Buildings Insurance from a selected panel of providers.

Whether you are looking for the best deal on a residential mortgage, or if you are considering Life Cover, Critical Illness, Income Protection or a Healthcare Plan, we offer expert and impartial mortgage advice on the widest choice of products in the UK.