Types of contents insurance

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.

What are you covered against?

Contents insurance will generally cover the same situations and incidents featured on our Buildings insurance page. Extra features or add-on extras may include:

· Lock replacements if your keys are stolen.
· Automatic increases in cover around Christmas or wedding gifts.
· 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.
· Liability cover if you accidentally injure or cause damage to another property.

Discounts may be available if you:

· fall within a specific age group;
· have security fittings at every point of entry;
· have a claims free history;
· combine your contents and buildings insurance

Things to watch out for

If you work from home, your contents insurance may cover some losses, but limits could be applied. It is worth checking whether you need individual insurance or if your provider can extend cover.

If you are letting or sub-letting your property, remember to tell your insurer. Failing to do so could result in your policy being cancelled. Typically, insurers won't pay out a theft claim unless there's evidence of forced entry.

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

Buildings insurance

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