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Contents Insurance

Cover for your belongings, at home or on the go. Personalise your cover and keep your items protected with contents insurance from Howden.
Contents insurance UK

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents at home and away

Contents at home and away

Protection for your belongings at home and whilst you’re out and about with Howden. Control the amount of cover you need, including cover for accidental damage.
Tenants’ liability cover

Tenants’ liability cover

Cover for up to 10% of your sum insured for loss or damage to landlords’ fixtures and fittings for which you are legally responsible under the terms of your tenancy agreement.
Alternative accommodation

Alternative accommodation

If your home is made uninhabitable, by an event covered within your policy, you’ll receive up to 20% of the sum insured for the total cost of getting temporary accommodation.

Benefits of contents insurance with Howden

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make throughout your life, so you’ll likely want to do everything you can to protect it. When you insure with Howden, you’ll experience a whole range of benefits.
Specialist policies tailored to your needs

Specialist policies tailored to your needs

Friendly, helpful, expert advisors

Friendly, helpful, expert advisors

8 out of 10 clients renew with Howden each year

8 out of 10 clients renew with Howden each year

Your guide to buildings insurance 

Need some help with contents insurance? Read some of our useful guides! 

What is home insurance? 

What is buildings insurance? 

What is home legal cover? 

What is new for old? 

What is tenants’ liability insurance? 

Read more guides > 


Buildings insurance: Your frequently asked questions

Still not entirely sure what cover you need to protect your home and belongings? We’ve taken the time to answer some frequently asked questions. 

What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance is a type of home insurance policy that will provide cover for loss or damage to the possessions in your home that aren’t a part of the building (as this will be the property owner’s responsibility to insure). You can also usually add cover to protect items away from the home temporarily, such as mobile phones and laptops. 

Living in a rented or leased home? 

Do you have favourite belongings - such as clothes, electrical items and furniture - that you couldn’t live without? 

Then you may want to consider taking out contents insurance to ensure you’re not left too out of pocket should your favourite items get stolen or damaged. 

Renting your property furnished?  

Contents insurance can also provide cover for landlords’ fixtures and fittings that you are legally responsible for under your tenancy agreement - this is called tenants’ liability insurance. 

Who is contents insurance for? 

If you’re renting or leasing a property and have belongings, such as clothes and furniture, that you want to protect, then you may wish to take out house contents insurance (also known as “home contents insurance”). People who might need house contents insurance include: 

  • Private renters 

  • Flat owners 

  • Students 

It may also be a requirement of your tenancy agreement that you have tenants’ liability cover in place to provide cover for any belongings that your landlord owns in the property, but that you are responsible for - for example, if the property is furnished 

What does contents insurance cover?

It can be tricky, figuring out what’s covered under buildings insurance and what’s covered under contents insurance. Contents insurance would most commonly cover belongings such as your furniture, clothes and jewellery. 

Does home contents insurance cover mobile phones? 

Your mobile phoneis not normally covered under your house contents insurance policy, but can be added for a small additional charge under the ‘personal effects specified by you’ section. This will provide cover for theft, loss or damage to your mobile phone both inside and outside of your home, depending on the level of cover selected. 

Does contents insurance cover theft of my belongings outside the house? 

If you wish to cover contents outside your home, such as watches, money and other portable items, you can may be able to add one of the following optional covers: 

  • Unspecified Personal Effects– this will cover your portable items, such as money, jewellery and watches, away from the home, anywhere within the UK and worldwide. Single article limits will apply as shown on your policy schedule. 
  • Specified Personal Effects– this will cover portable items specified by you, both inside and outside the home, anywhere within the UK and worldwide. 

Does contents insurance cover items in my garden? 

Your contents insurance should provide cover for items in your garden, such as gardening equipment and tools – Check your policy details to make sure. 

Is carpet covered under contents insurance? 

We’re often asked if carpets need to be included under your contents insurance policy. 

Unfortunately, carpets are a bit of a grey area. It’s not like you can always rip them up take them with you to another property, which implies they should be covered under your buildings insurance. However, in a lot of cases your carpets will be covered under your contents insurance, so it’s important to factor this in when calculating the value of your contents. 

Confusingly, floor coverings such as laminate would be considered part of the building, so if you’re unsure you should speak to your insurer or check your policy documents. 

Does contents insurance cover new for old? 

‘New for old’ contents insurance is cover that provides the equivalent value of an item that has been lost, damaged or stolen in the event of a claim. This means that wear and tear will not be taken into account when assessing the value of your belongings. 

This is a particularly useful cover, as it means even if your items have depreciated in value, you won’t be left out of pocket should you need to make a claim.

Does contents insurance cover accidental damage?

Generally, contents insurance policies will provide cover for accidental damage to audio, television and video equipment in your home, including: 

  • Television sets and aerials 

  • Video recorders 

  • Satellite receiving equipment 

  • Hi-fi systems 

  • DVD players 

What is accidental damage for home insurance? 

“Accidental damage” is any sudden or unexpected damage that happens to your belongings by an “outside force” – such as a spilled drink or dropped mobile phone. Remember, this is different to “wear and tear” damage, which is the natural devaluation of your belongings over time due to aging and general use.   

Should I add accidental damage to my contents insurance? 

While contents insurance will cover most types of damage, such as fire, theft or flood, not having accidental damage in place could leave you out of pocket should someone (for example) spill a drink on your expensive new rug. 

Whether you should get accidental damage cover will largely depend on how much you’re going to want to pay to replace your favourite belongings should they get accidentally damaged! 

What else does home and buildings insurance cover?

Does buildings insurance cover windows? 

Yes, most buildings insurance provides cover for damage to fixed glass in windows, doors, skylights and greenhouses, sanitary ware and bathroom fittings and fixed ceramic hobs. 

Does building insurance cover roof repairs, including roof tiles? 

Generally, buildings insurance policies will only cover repairs to the roof that have been caused by sudden and unexpected damage, such as storm damage. General wear and tear or maintenance issues will usually not be covered by your buildings insurance policy. 

For example, if a storm were to blow all the tiles off your roof and allow water to escape into your property, this would be covered under the storm damage section of your policy. 

If the tiles were to simply fall off the roof because they haven’t been maintained or are just getting a bit old, this would not be covered under your buildings insurance. 

However, if one of those tiles were to hit someone on the way down, this would be covered under your property owners’ liability insurance. 

What isn’t covered by home contents insurance?

Generally, insurers are unable to provide the following covers: 

  • Wear and tear or costs for maintenance 

  • Damage caused by your pets 

  • Your excess as stated in your policy documents 

  • Cover will be restricted if your property is left unoccupied for more than 30 days 

  • Theft or vandalism caused by you or any person who is lawfully in your home 

  1. How much is contents insurance? 

The cost of your contents insurance will be based on a number of factors, including: 

  • The total value of your belongings and what you’re insuring 

  • Whether you want to add any extras for example, do you need to add extra covers like kKey care or home emergency? 

  • The postcode of your property 

  • Your personal details (claims history, credit check etc.) 

  • Security features, such as alarms and smoke detectors 

Do you get No Claims Bonus with contents insurance? 

Similarly to car insurance, you may be able to access discounts on your contents insurance policy the longer you don’t make a claim, usually up to a maximum of five years. 

How much is contents insurance?

The cost of your contents insurance will be based on a number of factors, including: 

  • The total value of your belongings and what you’re insuring 

  • Whether you want to add any extras for example, do you need to add extra covers like kKey care or home emergency? 

  • The postcode of your property 

  • Your personal details (claims history, credit check etc.) 

  • Security features, such as alarms and smoke detectors 

How do I get cheap contents insurance?

There are lots of easy ways to reduce the cost of your contents insurance in the UK. Here are just a few: 

1. Increase your excess 

Increasing your voluntary excess amount can sometimes reduce the cost of your overall premium - just make sure you can afford to pay the excess you choose in the event of a claim! 

2. Don’t over-insure 

Take the time to properly calculate the value of your contents so you can make sure you take out the most cost-effective policy for you. 

3. Consider your contents cover options 

Our policies are flexible so you can add or remove the cover you need and get your premium right. 

4. Pick how you pay 

Choose whether you pay monthly (via Premium Credit) or annually. 

5. Build up ‘no claims bonus’ 

Similarly to car insurance, you can usually build up ‘no claims bonus’ if you haven’t made a claim on your home contents insurance 

6. Compare contents insurance quotes 

Just because it was the first quote you got, doesn’t mean you have to take it – comparing quotes and cover options is always the way to make sure you’re getting the best contents insurance for you. 

What insurance policy is best for homeowners?

If you’re a homeowner - rather than a landlord - then you may be required to take out buildings insurance for your property as part of your mortgage agreement. However, the best type of buildings insurance for your property will depend on a number of factors: 

What type of property is it?  

For example, is it a listed building or converted barn? If your property is a more unique structure, you may require specialist home insurance. 

Is it in a high-risk location? 

Specialist home insurance can also provide cover for properties that have a history of subsidence, landslip, heave or flooding, or that are situated in a high risk area, as this is sometimes excluded by standard home insurance. 

Does it have a high rebuild value? 

If you have a particularly high value property (£800k+) or contents (£100k+), then private clients insurance may be for you. 

What’s your living situation? 

Are you renting your accommodation? Are you living in uni halls? Your living situation will have a big impact on the type of cover you need. If you’re renting your property, either in private or student accommodation, you may only require contents and gadget cover for your belongings. 

Find out more about contents insurance 

Find out more about student contents insurance 

How do I calculate how much my contents are worth?

The amount of contents insurance you need will be based upon the total value of the belongings you keep in your home. The easiest way to calculate the value of your contents is to go through each room and do a rough total of how much everything is worth - you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the total value of your wardrobe once you’ve thrown in a few coats and jumpers! 

Here are just some of the items you might want to include in your evaluation: 

  • Furniture, such as tables, sofas, bed, wardrobe etc. 

  • Your TV and other electricals, including DVDs and video games 

  • Personal belongings, including books, pictures and other ornaments 

  • Curtains, carpets, rugs, bedding and other soft furnishings 

  • White goods and kitchen electricals, such as your washing machine, oven, fridge, freezer, toaster etc. 

  • The contents of your kitchen cupboards - cutlery, crockery, glassware, pots, pans, cooking utensils etc. 

  • Your clothes – and don’t forget about your shoes! 

  • Any extras – such as your exercise equipment or gardening tools 

If you have any higher value items that need to be specified on the policy or insured separately – such as fine art or jewellery - you may need to have a valuation carried out by a specialist that you can provide to your insurer in the event of a claim. Please note that the valuation needs to have been carried out in the last 5 years. 

Which contents insurance policy is best for students?

If you’re a student at university, you may find student contents insurancemore suitable to protect your belongings while you’re living in uni halls or accommodation. 

Before taking out your own student contents policy, you should also check whether your accommodation provider has arranged any insurance for you whilst you’re staying with them. If they have, this cover is sometimes provided by Endsleigh. Check your student cover here. 

What’s the difference between buildings and contents insurance?

It can be tricky, figuring out what’s covered under buildings and what’s covered under contents insurance. 

Contents insurance usually provides standard home insurance cover to protect your belongings - such as your furniture, clothes and jewellery - against risks such as fire, theft and flood. Some contents insurance policies also include tenants’ liability insurance to protect any belongings in the property that the landlord owns. 

Buildings insurance, on the other hand, provides cover for the structure of the property, rather than the belongings inside – again, against risks such as fire, theft and flood. Buildings insurance will usually be the landlord’s responsibility to arrange. 

Do I need buildings insurance as well? 

If you’re a tenant, you will not require buildings insurance as this will be your landlord's responsibility – essentially you cannot insure something that you doesn’t belong to you, or that you do not have a financial interest in. 

If you’re a leaseholder, it will still be the responsibility of the landlord (or ‘freeholder’) to provide insurance for the building – although they may charge this back to the leaseholders as part of the property’s management fees. 

Interested in buildings insurance?

Get a quote with Howden


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