Contents insurance covers everything you own that’s not fixed down in your home – whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, you’ll want to protect your belongings
When you’re taking out a contents insurance policy, it’s so important to provide a correct estimate for your contents to make sure you have enough cover in place if you ever have to make a claim.
A recent survey by Admiral Home Insurance revealed homeowners and renters across the country could be undervaluing their contents insurance. When we asked 1,000 people to estimate the value of all contents in their home, the average figure came out at £18,333 – £16,667 less than the average house contents value of £35,000*.
What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?
Buildings insurance is essential if you want to protect your home, and often a condition of a mortgage offer. It covers the structure of your home (bricks and mortar) as well as fittings such as your fitted kitchen and bathroom. Contents insurance, while not compulsory, is essential if you want to protect everything in the property that you own such as your tech, furniture and clothes.
How do I work out the value of my contents?
To calculate the value of your contents you add up the value of all the items you own; we’ve created a contents calculator to help you work it all out. Go from room to room and enter everything into the calculator – the total amount should be enough to cover everything in your home. Anything worth £1,000 or more needs to be added as a high risk item.
Don’t forget to add anything stored in your attic, garage etc.
So you have a better idea of what your contents might be worth depending on the type of property you live in, we looked at the average contents value of people who bought an Admiral Home Insurance policy in the last six months (March – Sept 2019), based on property type and size.
|Property Type||Average contents value|
|One bed flat||£21,112|
|Two bed flat||£27,956|
|Two bed house||£30,739|
|Three bed house||£41,056|
|Four bed house||£45,008|
How often should I update my contents insurance policy?
While many people update their cover annually, it’s important to remember to add any newly acquired items throughout the year.
While two-thirds of respondents (67%) typically update their contents insurance on an annual basis, just under a quarter (23%) said they didn’t think it was necessary to increase their insurance level regularly, for example when they buy a high-value item such as jewellery or home technology.
When it comes to property types, people living in a rented, shared flat are the least likely to have insurance, more than half (58%) of flat renters said their contents weren’t covered at all.
They also undervalued their contents by the most at just £7,717 – almost £30,000 under the national average – despite the fact they’re the most likely to feel their contents are especially at risk of theft or damage (58%).
Head of Admiral Home Insurance, Noel Summerfield, said: “The value of most items can be searched on the internet, but antiques or jewellery should be valued by a professional before being added to your policy.
“Make sure your contents policy is updated when you buy any high value items (worth over £1,000), such as jewellery or a new television, so you know they’re covered.”
The nation’s home contents value
The average value of people’s home contents also varies depending on where in the UK they live. We’ve taken a look at the average contents value of people who bought an Admiral Home Insurance policy in the past six months (March – Sept 2019), by region.
|Region||Average contents value|
|Other South East||£42,818|
How much is contents insurance?
There's no such thing as an average contents insurance cost. The amount you spend on your contents cover will vary depending on the value of your contents, as well as a number of other factors such as where you live and what level of cover you want. Admiral cover starts at just £39 – in fact, 10% of customers who bought Admiral-level Contents Insurance between Sep & Dec 2018 paid from £39.
Covering your possessions outside of the home
If you want to protect your belongings when you take them out of your home – think about things like your laptop, jewellery and camera - you’ll need to add Personal Possessions Cover onto your contents policy. The policy extra is usually split into two options - Unspecified Personal Possessions and High Risk Items.
Unspecified Personal Possessions covers your portable items worth £1,000 or less while your items worth over £1,000 - think bikes over £350, jewellery and artwork – are classified as High Risk Items.
To find out more about protecting your belongings outside of your four walls, read our ‘What does Personal Possessions Insurance cover?’ guide.
*Based on data from Admiral Insurance Survey carried out by Atomik Research on 1,000 UK adults.