Do I need contents insurance?

Think about all the things inside your home and consider how much they would cost to replace. For most households, we’re talking tens of thousands of pounds.

Contents insurance protects you financially if you ever become the victim of theft, fire or flood damage. While it isn’t compulsory, it’s a good idea to have it in case your home is burgled or there’s a water leak or blaze. It usually covers loss or damage to your personal belongings, including:

Furniture (such as sofas, beds and tables)


Carpets and curtains

Electrical goods (including TVs and kitchen items)


Bank notes and coins in the home

How much contents cover do I need?

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average UK home has contents worth £35,000. While this can act as a rough guideline when calculating the value of your own possessions, it’s best to go around each of your rooms making an inventory of your belongings. There are lots of apps and online tools that can help you with this.

It’s important you don’t underestimate the value of your contents, so as to ensure that you’re fully covered if you ever need to make a claim.

Contents policies will usually have a limit on the level of cover for valuable single items such as jewellery.

What is ‘new for old’ cover?

Most contents policies will offer cover for your possessions on a ‘new for old’ basis. This means that if an item is damaged, your insurer will pay the full cost of replacing it with its new equivalent.

So, if you make a claim to replace an old TV that’s only worth £50 second hand, you’d be compensated for a new model of similar quality.

What isn’t usually covered by contents insurance?

Each policy has its own exclusions, but most won’t cover you for:

  General wear and tear

  Deliberate damage

  Damage caused by pets


Accidental damage cover is usually not included or limited with standard policies, so if you have messy young children or do a lot of DIY, consider adding this to your policy as an optional extra.

To protect items you take with you outside your home, such as watches and musical instruments, you can often add personal possessions cover to your policy.

Contents insurance doesn’t cover damage to the structure of your home, such as the roof and windows. For this you’ll need buildings insurance.

Not yet covered by John Lewis?

Insure your home today by calling us on 0345 608 9011 or get a quote online.


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