How to find the best contents insurance: our ultimate guide
Maybe you’ve just moved into a new place, or something happened to make you worry about not being insured, whatever it is – we’re happy you’re looking into home contents insurance! Despite everyone in the country having vast quantities of possessions, according to a Mintel survey, only 40% of renters have contents insurance, compared to 90% of homeowners.
Contents insurance covers all of your possessions, from your clothes, to your kitchenware, to your electrical appliances. An easy way to think about it is, imagine tipping your home on its head. Everything that falls out is considered to be part of your contents, so this includes any freestanding fridges, bathroom cabinets, etc. where everything which stays in its place like flooring or the built-in-oven is part of the building.
Things which aren’t covered by your contents insurance would be anything which is owned by your landlord and anything which plays a structural role in your home, such as the walls or roof. There are some things which you can choose whether or not you want to cover, such as phones, laptops, high-value items and bikes.
Do I really need contents insurance?
This begs the question; do I really need contents insurance? The stats tell us that the majority of readers won’t have insurance, and a lot of you have probably never had reason to think about it before – so why now?
The things that contents insurance cover your possessions against theft, fire, water damage, and accidental damage.
In 2017, 2% of UK households were victims of burglaries, rising to 3.5% in London. You can check what the burglary stats are like in your area here, as they will vary quite widely.
In 2016/17, there were approximately 30,000 fires in people’s homes in the UK. Insurance or not, always make sure that you check your fire alarm is working regularly, make sure you always turn the hob off and be careful with open flames. You can check the stats on fires in your local area on http://maps.london-fire.gov.uk.
In 2015 the Association of British Insurers recorded that claims for water damage were equal to thefts and fires combined, as was the case for accidental damage. This means that the biggest area of risk in your home will be the plumbing, so keep an eye on your boiler, any damp areas, and potential leaks from the roof.
Your options are to get insurance, hope for the best, or self-insure. Self-insuring is fine, but you need to be sure that you can genuinely afford to support yourself should the worst happen. Just think, if your house burnt down would you be able to buy everything new again? Would you be able to afford alternative accommodation while you wait for everything to be sorted out?