Contents insurance

Contents insurance

This cover is optional but it's not a good idea to skimp. In the 12 months before September 2002 there were 982,000 burglaries in England and Wales, and there are many other ways you can lose your possessions.

Contents insurance covers the things that aren't part of the fabric of your home, such as furniture, electrical equipment and clothes. It also covers curtains, carpets and things in your garden, and most polices also cover the contents of your freezer.

As with buildings insurance, most policies pay out in the event of a burglary, vandalism, fire, storm and flood, and premiums are calculated according to the type of property you own and its location.

However, contents insurance is perhaps more complicated to buy than buildings cover because of the large number of items most people have in their homes and the wide range of scenarios covered by insurers.

Accidental damages

Accidental damage cover is available on contents insurance policies. This will protect you against things like paint spillage and damage caused by pets, so it's a good idea to take it if you plan to redecorate or have a cat that loves to scratch furniture.

Adding this cover usually costs extra, although some insurers include some level of cover as a matter of course.