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What is covered under contents insurance?

Contents insurance provides cover to reinstate any damage to your items and belongings following an insured event that is specified within the policy. Contents can be defined differently within policies, and it’s important to understand these definitions to ensure you have complete cover to suit your business needs. If you are a retailer for example, contents can be broken down into three main groups: electronic office equipment (computers, tablets, printers etc.), fixtures and fittings (those items that are fixed or fitted to the fabric of the building, i.e. bathrooms, kitchen units, carpets etc.) and general contents (all freestanding contents used in relation to the business, display units, tills etc.). This may seem complex, but with a little thought and consideration it can be quite easy to quantify. Stock must also be taken into consideration, and keeping track of the volume of stock through weekly or monthly stock checks is the best way to evaluate the level of cover required.

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What level of cover do I need?

When calculating the amount you require for contents cover, it is important to consider how much it would cost you if you had to replace all of your belongings following an insured event. Always be realistic and as accurate as possible in your estimations. If you are underinsured this can affect claim payments in future, so it’s important to spend time evaluating your contents, and review these regularly.

What is the difference between fixtures and fittings and contents?

Generally speaking, fixtures and fittings are defined as those items that are fixed or fitted to the building, and contents would be the moveable items contained in your property. Imagine if it were possible to turn the building upside down like a dolls house, the contents would be the items that would fall out, and the fixtures and fittings would remain in place.

Is contents cover compulsory?

While contents insurance is not compulsory, it is important to consider how you would replace all of your belongings if the worst happened. Think of a fire, and the devastation it can cause within a matter of minutes. Would you have the necessary financial resource set aside to replace all of your items? How quickly could you replace your stock and get back up and running again? Without contents protection in place, you may face a situation that forces you out of business. Remember, if you have any equipment on hire, your lease agreement may specify a requirement for contents insurance. This could also be the case if you hold any goods or stock belonging to your clients or suppliers.

Can I cover contents away from my business premises?

From time to time you may need to take business belongings to meetings, or prospective clients and many companies will deliver goods as part of the service they provide. Most policies can offer cover for goods whilst they are in transit, as well as specified all risks cover, that specifies particular items to be covered outside of the business premises.

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Mrs Chalise, Laundry/Dry Cleaners, Warrington. (Customer since May 2017)