Valuing your belongings for home contents insurance
They mean the world to you and many of your possessions will be priceless but you need to know their true value.
There’s more to home and contents insurance than simply picking a policy. To make sure your belongings are covered if something goes wrong, you first need to know how much they’re worth. This allows you to ask your insurer for the right type of cover and tailor your policy with any optional extras you might need.
Add up the total value of your belongings
When you are completing your quote for contents insurance, you’ll need to tell your provider the value you’d like to insure your contents for. This is known as sum insured and should be the total cost to replace your insured items.
What does your home contents insurance cover?
Generally speaking, your home contents insurance covers anything that you’d take with you when moving house. For example, this would typically include:
- Electrical goods
Fixtures and fittings, like kitchen units or bathroom suites, do not count and these fall under your buildings insurance policy.
You’ll find more information in our guide to home contents insurance.
Things to know before valuing your contents
Be careful to steer clear of these common pitfalls:
- Don't guess the total value of all your belongings
- Don’t forget to include any belongings stored in the shed, garage, attic and garden
- Check whether your insurer offers cover for digital belongings. If so, you may be able to include items you’ve bought and downloaded, like films, music and eBooks
- Remember to include any belongings you received as a gift. It’s likely you would have to show proof that you received it as a gift.
How to estimate the value of your home contents
To work out the value of your items you should start by making a list of everything you want your contents insurance to cover. You can then use an online tool, like the Which? contents insurance calculator to add up the total value of your belongings.
What happens if you get the value wrong?
If the total value you give your policy provider is too low, you might find yourself underinsured. This means you could be left out of pocket if you have to make a claim. Your insurer could even cancel your policy completely. At Sainsbury’s Bank, we will not cancel your policy if the contents value was inaccurate. We provide blanket cover up to a total value of £75k and the claim limit of a single item is £2k.
If the value you give your insurer is too high, you may end up paying more than you should for your monthly premiums.
What does full replacement value mean?
Full replacement value refers to the total amount you’d have to spend to buy the item as new.
When you insure your belongings with our contents insurance, they will be covered on a ‘new for old basis’. This means that you can expect to have any insured items replaced with brand new ones if they’re stolen or damaged.
Keep your sum insured up to date
The value of your belongings will change all the time. You'll buy new things and get rid of others. A partner might move in, bringing new items to your joint household or the kids may move out, taking belongings with them.
It's a good idea to keep reviewing your cover, revisiting your sum insured each year when your contents insurance policy renews. And if you buy or receive an expensive item, contact your insurer straight away to discuss increasing your sum insured.
Ready to get a quote?
We can help you with stand-alone contents insurance or a combined policy that covers your building as well as your belongings.