The right cover for your belongings
Contents insurance covers the loss of damage to the things inside your home such as furniture and electrical goods. Some policies cover you for items that accompany you outside the house, such as cameras and jewellery. It is absolutely essential that you read and understand the full terms and conditions of your policy, because there can be great variation in the level of cover. However, most cover you against theft and fire, and you will have the option to insure against damage you cause by accident. There are ways of keeping the cost down. Some insurers offer a discount if you have a burglar alarm and window locks, or if you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. You may also get a discount if you combine your contents and buildings insurance. Most policies have a standard excess charge, which means you pay the first part of any claim, usually £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess, you might get a cheaper policy.
What is not covered?
Any items valued at more than the maximum amount your insurer says it will pay will not be covered. Some companies have a limit on the value of a single item that is covered by the general policy - you will need to specify the value of individual items such as engagement rings or expensive home office equipment. Your cover may also be affected or cancelled if you leave your home empty for a long spell, or if you rent it out. Damage to the building itself is also not covered; this needs to be covered separately with buildings insurance. Some insurers offer new for old, meaning they will replace damaged possessions with brand new ones if you claim. But be aware your premiums might rise steeply the year after you make such a claim.
Other benefits may include:
Credit card misuse
Deeds, registered bonds and personal documents
No claims discount
Outbuilding contents (except garages)
Door lock replacement
Gold, silver, jewellery and furs