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Lifestyle Guides

How much contents insurance do I need?

Contents insurance covers the items in your home – whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, you’ll want to protect your belongings

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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 – that's £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. High risk items worth over £1,000 need to be specified on the policy. 

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 (Mar – Sept ’19), 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
Bungalow £44,158

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-risk item such as jewellery or audiovisual equipment .  

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 risk 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 (Mar-Sept ’19), by region.

Region Average contents value
G London £41,651
Other South East £42,818
East Anglia £40,631
South West £40,127
West Midlands £39,825
East Midlands £39,916
Yorkshire £39,259
North West £38,949
North £39,727
Wales £41,148
Scotland £41,004
Northern Ireland £41,089

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.

With Admiral, our cover starts at just £39 – in fact, 10% of customers who bought Admiral-level Contents Insurance between Sept and 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 'Cover away from your home' onto your contents policy. The policy extra is usually split into two options – Personal Possessions and Specified Items.

Personal possessions covers portable items designed – think handbags and cameras. Specified items are high risk items worth over £1,000 – you have the option to select 'cover away from home' when specifying the item.

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 on 1,000 UK adults.