Contents Insurance Explained

4 minutes

Whether it’s your engagement ring, family heirloom or your brand spanking new laptop, you want to protect the things that mean the most. 

Home contents insurance protects you against loss, theft or damage to your personal possessions. Depending on your policy, it can also cover these items when you’re out of the home and on holiday. 

Our complete guide to contents insurance explains what a policy does and doesn’t include, the difference between insurance for homeowners and renters, and how it differs from buildings insurance.

When to get contents insurance

Contents insurance is a form of home insurance that covers the cost of replacing your personal items if they get damaged, broken or stolen in your home.

This type of policy is different to buildings insurance as only specific personal items are covered, rather than the actual structure of your property.

Most items are insured if they’re lost or damaged through:

Valuable items such as your TV, laptops and tablets are protected if they’re accidentally damaged too, as well as breakable fixtures like glass and mirrors.

However, a contents insurance policy won’t cover you against:

  • Gradual wear and tear
  • Computer viruses
  • Breakdown of home appliances

What does contents insurance provide?

When you purchase a contents insurance policy, you’re essentially protecting yourself against the cost of replacing expensive items in your home, up to a certain value, if they are lost or damaged.

All this adds up to a comprehensive policy that protects the life you love, giving you peace of mind.


Having contents insurance in place when you’re renting a property is just as important as it is when you’re a homeowner.

What additional cover options are there?

You can beef up your policy with additional cover that gives your household items extra protection should they need to be repaired or replaced.

Additional policy add-ons include:

  • Additional accidental damage – gives you increased cover for valuable items that are damaged by young children or pets – handy when the occasional spillage happens or when you’re looking to pet- proof your  home
  • Bicycles – covers bikes and accessories, up to a certain value, while you’re away from home, if they’re stolen when securely locked
  • Personal belongings – protects your treasured items when you take them out of your home
  • Alternative accommodation – ensures that you have alternative accommodation if damage to your home means you need to move out

Contents insurance if you’re renting

Having contents insurance in place when you’re renting a property is just as important as it is when you’re a homeowner.

A landlord is only responsible for the building itself and the fixtures inside the property. If you live in shared tenancy, there’s a chance your items could go missing or be stolen.

Tenants insurance is a specific type of cover that is often a good fit for students, young professionals and anyone who doesn’t own their property.

Paying an annual premium or spreading the cost over monthly instalments can work out much cheaper than having to pay to replace items – so it’s something to consider if you’re renting.

What does buildings insurance cover?

Buildings insurance protects the property itself, rather than the contents within it – though some fixtures and fittings are also included.

It provides cover against any loss or damage to the structure of your home caused by explosions, fires, flooding or theft.

To find out more, read our guide to buildings insurance  or speak to our specialist team. 

Start protecting the items you love today with contents insurance. Explore our range of home insurance policies and begin a quote.