How to value your contents

When applying for contents insurance you'll be asked for the total amount you'd like to insure (sum insured). But how do you work out the value of all your belongings? And which value should you use?

It's important to take some time to make sure the total value you give is correct. If the figure you give is too low, you can leave yourself under insured. On the other hand, you may unnecessarily increase your premium if the value you choose is too high.

What's included within 'contents'?

As a general rule, anything which you would normally take with you when you move house is considered to be contents.

Fixtures and fittings such as kitchen units or bathroom suites are not considered to be contents and will fall under a buildings insurance policy.

For more details and examples see our guide to contents insurance.

Replacement value

A home insurance policy bought through Sainsbury's Bank insures your belongings on what is generally referred to as a 'new for old' basis. This means if your contents are damaged as a result of an insured event you can expect to have the item replaced as new.

Therefore the value you give should be the amount it would cost to replace each item as new.

Common mistakes to avoid

Be careful to avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Don't guess the total value of all your belongings. Go room to room and add up the value of all your items. You might be surprised at how much it adds up to.
  • Belongings stored in sheds, garages, attics and gardens are often forgotten.
  • Check whether the provider offers cover for digital content. You may be able to include items which you have downloaded such as films and ebooks.
  • Remember to include any items you received as a gift.

Review your sum insured

Your belongings are something that will change all the time. You'll buy new things and get rid of others. Equally, a partner might move in with you or children may grow up and move out. So, it's important to keep reviewing the amount you're insured for.

Review your sum insured at each renewal. In addition, if you buy or receive an expensive item, contact your insurance provider as soon as you can and increase your sum insured accordingly.

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