It’s natural to feel excited about moving to the city. Whether you opted to live on your own or rent a shared flat in London, there are plenty of opportunities to explore new places and widen your social circle.

However, moving to a new place is not always a bed of roses. Getting used to a landlord or roommate may take a little while; homesickness might settle in. A worst-case scenario is that you lose your belongings due to fire or theft.

Although there are ways to get along with your landlord or roommate, and to deal with homesickness, getting back the losses from damaged or stolen items is a challenge. It helps to sign up for insurance so that you’ll be reimbursed for your losses. A popular policy that protects you from these risks is content insurance.

Types of Content Insurance

There are two main types of content insurance. The first is an indemnity policy, which reimburses you for the current value of your possessions. If you filed an insurance claim after your three-year-old television was stolen, this policy would pay you back only for a percentage of what you paid for it.

The other type is called new-for-old, which covers the full cost of replacing your items. This policy will reimburse you for replacing your possessions even if they’re at a higher price than their original value. The premium for a new-for-old policy is usually more expensive than its value-only counterpart.

Determining the Insurance Amount

The insurance amount you have to pay depends on the value of all the items you want to be covered. To determine which coverage and policy are right for you, start by taking an inventory of your belongings. Keep this list as comprehensive as possible: photograph your items and note down details like makes and models, serial numbers, receipts and warranties. Add up the value of all your belongings and choose an insurance amount higher than the total cost.

Movers unloading moving van

It’s helpful to go over your inventory each year and update your policy. This ensures that you’re fully covered and maintain an accurate insured amount.

Coverage and Limitations

Content insurance covers the cost of replacing and repairing all the items you own at home when they’re damaged, destroyed or stolen. As a general rule, the contents are the possessions you’ll take when you move houses, such as clothes, electronics, books, furniture, jewellery, kitchenware and ornaments. Permanent fixtures and fittings are excluded since they’re covered under building insurance.

Generally, content insurance will cover repair and replacement of items when they’re damaged due to fire or flood, or when they’re stolen. However, coverage varies, so carefully check for any exclusion clauses. For example, an insurance company may reduce the amount reimbursed for stolen possessions if it’s found that no effort was made to secure your property. Insurance companies offer a range of coverage to suit different budgets, so understanding what you are paying for is important. In some cases, the insurer will only partially cover the cost of high-value items, while others exclude cover for objects like jewellery, cameras and mobile phones. Some insurers cover claims for accidental damage, home emergencies and legal fees. Others will extend the coverage to the items stolen or damaged on your premises that belong to friends and family.

It’s a good idea to take out a contents insurance policy even if you’re not required to sign up for one. Make sure to regularly update the record of your belongings so that you’re insured for the right amount. Money doesn’t solve all the problems associated with loss or damage of belongings; an effective content insurance policy ensures you at least recover the maximum compensation.