What Really is Contents Insurance?

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A contents insurance policy covers everything you would take with you if you moved home.
That usually includes furniture, household goods, food and drink, televisions, videos, computers, stereo equipment, clothing and valuables, usually up to a stated limit.
Boats, caravans and motors are usually insured separately.
A contents insurance policy pays if any of your home contents are lost or damaged.
Typically, claims result from a burglary or fire, but a policy should also pay if your possessions are damaged or lost as a result of an explosion, water leaks or if your home is vandalised.
Most content insurance policies pay for accidental damage, but the extent of cover varies.
Many pay to replace accidentally broken mirrors and glass in furniture while some policies cover accidental damage only to TVs, videos, computers and stereo equipment.
Content insurance policies that cover accidental damage to all content may be bought, but this cover is usually offered as an optional extra and costs more.
Most content insurance policies may be extended to cover accidental damage or loss of valuable items that you frequently take out of your home.
This option, known as an all-risks extension, may be used to cover jewellery, cameras and sports equipment.
Once you have bought my contents insurance policy, there are several golden rules to follow: 1.
Do not let or sub-let your house without first telling your contents insurance insurer - your policy could be declared null and void.
Letting increases the risk of a claim so an insurer will probably impose conditions on the policy and increase your contents insurance premiums.
2.
Do not buy travel insurance that offers personal possessions cover without first checking what is covered under your existing contents policy.
Many insurers automatically include cover for personal possessions away from home, so buying similar cover under a travel policy is a waste of money.
You should ask for a discount on travel insurance premiums if you do not require personal cover.
3.
Do not embark upon DIY without checking that your policy's accidental damage section covers the consequences of mishaps.
4.
Keep your contents insurance policy up to date.
Most insurers automatically link the sum assured under your policy to the Retail Price Index so that it increases in line with inflation, but check that yours does also.
If you add to your possessions, ask your contents insurance insurer to increase the sum assured to reflect value of your contents.
5.
Most insurers offer premium discounts people whose homes meet certain minimum standards.
These include having deadlocks fitted to front doors and fitting key-operated window locks on all ground-floor and other accessible windows.
Make every effort to prevent theft from your home.
There are a number of simple and easy ways to do this: o Fit proper security locks on all points of entry - back doors and windows as well as your front door.
o Ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home while you are away.
Ask them to move the post from the front door so it cannot be seen, put out your dustbin and cut the lawn.
If you do not have time switches, ask them to turn lights on at night so that no ones can guess your home is unoccupied.
o Join your local neighbourhood watch scheme.
o Have an alarm system fitted.
An alarm is a great deterrent, so use it even if you go out for only a few minutes.
o Do not leave ladders or tools around outside the house - it encourages thieves.
o Do not leave valuable goods in full view - they may prove an irresistible temptation.
6.
be careful with high-value items.
Keep receipts and take photographs if possible, especially of antique items.
Articles worth more than £1,000 should be listed and insured individually.
7.
Keep an eye on the competition.
When your policy comes up for renewal, shop around for alternative quotes.
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