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Are your personal belongings protected?

Our homes are crammed full of our precious belongings. This doesn't just include valuable things like TVs, laptops and games consoles, but also the more sentimental items – like family photos or ornaments passed down through generations.

It's the things inside a house that make it a home. But new research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed many homeowners are putting their belongings at risk by not insuring them.

According to the study, based on analysis of ONS data, one in four households in the UK have no protection for their home contents. Londoners are the least protected, with just 55% having a contents policy, while people in Northern Ireland are the most concerned about their belongings with 82% having cover.

Cost of home insurance at record low

ABI's research also showed the cost of home insurance is at a record low. The average annual policy stands at just £127 a year. That's just £2.40 per week – less than the average weekly spend on takeaway! To compare, the weekly average was £4.40 back in 2012, so almost double.

Still, around six million people currently have no insurance in place to protect their belongings.

ABI's senior policy adviser of general insurance, Laura Hughes, says many people are playing 'Russian roulette' with their possessions.

"For some people on lower incomes and renters, especially in cities, insuring your possessions may be seen as unaffordable or unnecessary. But spend a few minutes totting up the value of all your possessions and you'll realise they can add up to a significant sum if they all need to be replaced at once."

Why you need contents

The fact contents cover's at an all-time low is a great incentive to take out insurance if you haven't already. But more importantly, contents insurance will give you peace of mind your possessions are protected should the unexpected happen.

Contents insurance will pay out if your belongings are damaged by things like fire, water leaks and storms, or if they're stolen. It essentially covers all the items that aren't permanent fixtures in your home – so your sofa, fridge, rugs, dining table and so on.

You can use a calculator to add up the value of items, like this one on Doing this will make sure you're not underinsured, or overinsured and paying too much for cover.

Most homeowners choose to combine contents and buildings cover under one easier-to-manage policy. Buy a Hastings Direct policy and you could save up to 20%, too.

What if you rent?

If you rent, it's still your responsibility to arrange contents cover for your belongings. It's down to your landlord to sort out buildings insurance and cover for any furnishings they own – it's worth checking your tenancy agreement to make sure they have the right cover in place.

When it comes to contents insurance, a lot of homeowners and renters leave it until it's too late. Start protecting your possessions today by getting a competitive quote for home insurance from Hastings Direct.

Home insurance

We know how important your home and its contents are to you. That's why we offer home insurance that covers you for the unexpected expense that theft, loss and damage can bring. Plus, you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

Log in to MyAccount

Log in to MyAccount to manage your policy online. You can view and download documents at your convenience. If your policy number starts with 'XA' you can also make payments and changes to your policy online.