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Buildings insurance ensures the very foundations of your home are covered against damage caused by fire, storms and flooding. But it’s also important to make sure that your belongings are protected too.

Contents insurance can provide you with reassurance that the things you love are covered should the unexpected happen. However, the contents of your home could be more valuable than you think, so it’s vital to ensure you have adequate cover should you need to make a claim.

The cost of your contents insurance policy will depend on the total value of the contents of your home. You will need to provide your insurance company with an estimate of how much your possessions are worth so that you receive the correct pay-out if your home contents are damaged or stolen.

Overestimating the value of your possessions means you could end up paying a higher insurance premium, while underestimating how much your belongings are worth could mean you are left out of pocket if you need to make a claim, so it’s important to be as accurate as possible when it comes to calculating the value of your home contents.

How much are the contents of my home worth?

Estimating the value of your belongings can seem like a daunting task. However, ensuring you have a good understanding of what to include in the estimate and knowing how to accurately calculate the cost of your belongings will make the task much simpler.

What to include in your contents insurance estimate

Fixtures and fittings, such as the walls, windows and roofs, and items secured in place, like your kitchen cupboards, fitted wardrobes and bathroom suites, will all be covered under your buildings insurance policy, but everything else, including carpets, blinds and curtains, will need to be included.

The best way to ensure everything is covered is to make a list of all the items in each room of your home, including any belongings stored in the attic, shed, and any outbuildings. A good way to look at it is: if you could take the item with you if you were to move house, then it should be included in your estimate. 

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common items to include in your estimate:

Hallway

  • Furniture, including tables and sideboards
  • Telephone
  • Artwork and antiques
  • Rugs

 

Lounge

  • Sofas and armchairs
  • Furniture, including cabinets, tables, sideboards and bookcases
  • Lamps
  • Artwork and antiques
  • Electronics, such as TVs, tablets, laptops and radios
  • Books
  • CDs and DVDs

Kitchen

  • Cooking equipment, including the stove, oven, kettle, toaster and microwave
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Washing machine
  • Contents of cupboards and freezer
  • Tumble dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Pots and pans

 

Dining room

  • Furniture, including tables and chairs, and sideboards
  • Artwork and antiques
  • Lamps
  • Crockery and cutlery

Bedroom(s)

  • Furniture, including beds, wardrobes, drawers and bedside cabinets
  • Soft furnishings and bed linen
  • Lamps
  • Jewellery
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Cosmetics and toiletries

 

Garden shed/garage

  • Garden furniture
  • BBQs
  • Tools 
  • Electricals, including lawnmowers and hedge trimmers
  • Bicycles

 

Calculating the cost of your belongings

Once you’ve made a list of all the belongings in each room of your home, you’ll need to work out their value. You could do this by using a contents insurance calculator, however it’s just as easy to work out the total cost using good old-fashioned pen and paper.

Most contents insurance claims are settled on a ‘new for old’ basis, which means any items which are stolen or damaged will be replaced as new. This means you’ll need to calculate the cost of each item based on how much it would be to replace today, rather than the price you originally paid for it.

If you have any high value items, such as jewellery, antiques and heirlooms, it’s a good idea to have these valued by a professional and obtain a valuation certificate, particularly if they are especially rare or collectable. You should have these items revalued on a regular basis and update your insurance policy accordingly to ensure you receive the correct pay-out in the event of a claim.

Some insurers will limit the maximum amount they will pay-out for a single item, and so you will be required to give details of any particularly valuable items when you take out your policy. This is why it’s important to check the terms and conditions of your policy with your insurer, as you may find it cheaper to insure your higher value items separately.

Designed with the needs of over 50s in mind, Age UK Home and contents insurance is rated 5 Stars by Defaqto and has no hidden admin fees or nasty surprises. It covers your belongings up to a total value of £60,000, so you don’t need to worry about calculating exactly how much they are worth if you know it will be less than this. Buying Age UK Home Insurance also helps support Age UK’s charitable work. Find out more about Age UK Home Insurance

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For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081

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