Insurers define ‘contents’ as the sort of things you would take with you if you were to move house, including furniture, clothes, electricals, money and jewellery. Contents insurance also covers some fixtures such as carpets and curtains.
There are broadly two types of cover. Most policies these days are ‘as new’ or ‘new for old’ – which means that if something is damaged, the insurance will pay the full cost of repair. If something is stolen, the payout will be enough to buy the equivalent new item.
You can choose an indemnity policy instead. Indemnity policies are cheaper because any payouts reduced to take into account wear and tear or depreciation in value.
The ‘sum insured’ is the maximum amount the policy will pay out if the contents or your home are completely destroyed, so it is important to get the figure right. Some insurers calculate the sum insured according to the number of rooms in your home. It means you don’t have to worry about working out the value of your possessions, but your premiums can be higher – and of course the sum insured could still be inadequate.
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