There is no standard UK policy for contents insurance. Policies usually include all kinds of household goods and personal effects that belong to the insured person or family members who live in the property as well as providing liability cover. Actual cover will depend on the individual insurer providing insurance.
Contents insurance is not usually compulsory for mortgage borrowers, but it should always be considered.
Many insurers provide assistance and advice services and can arrange for emergency help such as plumbers, central heating engineers, electricians, etc.
Coverage of contents insurance
Contents insurance normally covers the same perils as the buildings policy, although there likely to be certain variations. For example, legal liability insurance provides cover to the insured as the occupier of the property rather than the owner so that the policy can insure people who rent their home as well as homeowners. Contents insurance normally includes:
• Household goods and personal effects
• Money (often with a limit of say £300.00). Additionally money may be covered against accidental loss.
• Valuables – This may be limited to a percentage of the sum insured under the policy (say 35%) with a single limit of one item (say 5%). Individual large items must be declared to insurers and special cover may need to be purchased.
• Items that belong to the insured or resident domestic employees or for which they are responsible.
• Property in the open (eg. washing on a line or statues in a garden).
• Items temporarily removed from the property, eg. clothes in a suitcase stolen while the owner is on holiday.
• Accidental breakage of mirrors or glass that is fixed to furniture.
• Loss of rent and any reasonable extra expenses that are incurred for replacement accommodation if the property becomes uninhabitable. The cover is usually limited to about 10%-20% of the contents sum assured.
• Legal liability incurred as an occupier of a property or where the property is used as temporary holiday home.
Theft cover may require that there has been forcible entry or exit from the property to cover the theft of money or to provide cover while the building is wholly or partly lent, let, sub-let or has been left unoccupied or unfurnished for 30 days.
There are various exclusions and optional extensions of cover. It is our job to guide you through the myriad of policies; and arrive at the one that is best for your particular circumstances.