Usually, the simplest way to find out the insured amount of your possessions is to consult the websites of these companies, where they have interactive contents calculators. These guide you through a virtual house, where you can tot up the value of each item, and voila: the math is done for you! Thus, a sum insured limit is established at the end of the calculations, but if you consider this as not adequate, you can opt for a higher value, of course with increased premiums.Now let's see what are generally covered by contents insurance:
- - damage or loss occurring as a result of fire, natural calamities (such as storms, floods), acts of theft, burglary, vandalism
- reimbursement offered for replacing stolen keys, or changing locks
- accidental damage to electronic equipment such as TVs, videos, PCs
- replacing old items with new ones (usually excluding considerably worn clothing items)
- personal belongings kept in garage or in other outbuildings
- theft or personal money, credit cards and other important documents from your home entered by force
- accidents that occur to high risk valuables such as: computers, watches, works of art, expensive jewellery
- costs of temporary accommodation in case you have to leave home while reparations are carried out as an outcome of an insured accident
- office equipment: if you have your business at home, this covers valuables like laptops, printers, fax machines, telephones, as well as office furniture
- contents of refrigerator
- accidental loss of metered water
- loss or damage of objects, temporary removed from home (in case you leave home for a longer time, and take valuables with you, like cameras, sport equipment, or other objects)
- non stop emergency helpline, in case you need legal advice, or just ask for help if some damage happens
and you need instant repair. Contents insurance is a flexible policy, as it can be taken out both by homeowners and tenants. However, before choosing the right policy you should thoroughly consider your exact needs. Of course, for homeowners it is a good option to take out both buildings and contents insurance at the same time, perhaps from the same company, because in this way lots of discounts are available. But if you are a tenant in somebody else's property, you can opt for a contents policy only, which would focus on your own personal belongings, and would offer you protection if your personal objects are damaged or stolen.
A tenant's contents insurance is worth considering, as this does not only protect your personal items, but also the accidental damages you may cause to the landlord's property, including fixtures, fittings, furnishing, sanitary and bathroom items etc. The cost of the insurance is relatively small compared to the price you will have to pay for replacement if some damage happens.
Some policies have extra features from which you can benefit a lot. For example extra protection is provided during Christmas time, as gifts are considered additional items which must be covered.
Bear in mind that contents insurance is of two types: "new for old" and "wear and tear" (also called indemnity insurance). The latter is somewhat cheaper because it offers a recalculation of the item's value from the original buying according to the level of usage and the number of years owned. So for example if you have a four years old refrigerator which accidentally gets damaged, you will get in return the same value of a second hand refrigerator. The "new for old" is more expensive, but it offers complete replacement of damaged items with brand new ones at the current price. However, clothes and other household textiles are usually excluded from this category.