A beginner’s guide to contents insurance

Contents insurance is a bit of a mystery to a lot of people, particularly young renters. It’s often put on the “I’ll sort it out later” pile and then never gets done, or is seen as a bit of a luxury best saved for later in life. What you might not know is that contents insurance is actually really helpful for renters – especially if you’re living with friends, and it can protect your savings in a big way. Unless you’re going for the really premium policies, it doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) break the bank.

So, what is contents insurance? It’s pretty simple – it protects everything that you own which isn’t a fixed part of the property. An easy way to think about it is to imagine tipping your home on its head. Everything that falls out is considered to be part of your contents, this includes any freestanding fridges, bathroom cabinets, etc. Everything which stays in its place like flooring or the built-in-oven is part of the building. If you’re renting, you don’t need buildings insurance.

Basic contents insurance will cover your stuff against theft, fire and flood – if you buy with Urban Jungle then tenants liability insurance is also included as standard. This covers your landlord’s fixtures and fittings against accidental damage caused by you, it can come in really handy for avoiding deposit deductions. All policies offer optional add-ons, such as cover away from the home or for high value items. A lot of people don’t realise that they can cover their phones, gadgets, and bikes on their contents insurance – so there’s no need to have a separate policy for all your things.

If you’re living in a shared property (in insurance, this means a property of 3+ unrelated tenants), then things can be a little tricky when it comes to getting good cover. It’s generally a little easier if you’re living with one other person, or with family. If there are three or more of you, you’ll probably find that a lot of insurers just won’t cover you, or will charge you an arm and a leg. That being said – all is not lost, there are a few specialists out there, you just need to know where to look (and what to look for). Urban Jungle has a guide to shared contents insurance, if you want to find out more.

The big question on everybody’s lips is how do I find a great deal? Well, this might not be what you want to hear, but the cheapest deal isn’t always the best deal. We agree that paying less is always a plus, but you don’t want to end up under-insured or caught out by some sneaky fineprint. A good place to start is to figure out what cover you really want – it’s all well and good getting a cheap policy, but not if it doesn’t actually cover you for the stuff you really care about. If you know you’ll want out of home cover, or that you’ve got some valuable jewellery, then covering that should be a priority.

Price comparison sites can be a really good starting block if you’re not sure what’s available. Do be aware of dual pricing, though, as you could be seeing different prices on different sites. Something to bear in mind is that they can be more time consuming than going straight to the insurers themselves. If you’re after a quick quote, you can get one from Urban Jungle in just 7 questions.

Hopefully this has cleared up most of your questions about contents insurance, and if you have anything else you’d like to know then head to Urban Jungle and ask the team there! We know that insurance can be really confusing, but Urban Jungle’s here to simplify it, put it into plain English, and take the pain out of insurance once and for all.