Homeowners Typically Undervalue Their Contents By £24,000

29 October 2012

The cost of replacing the contents of the average British home, in the event of total loss, for example from fire or flooding, currently stands at around £55,000 according to analysis of Criterion Loss Adjuster’s data by Sainsbury’s home insurance(1). The value of the belongings in the average home has increased by almost a quarter (24%) in just three years.

However, research(2) commissioned by the supermarket bank reveals that homeowners typically believe their home contents are worth just over £31,000, leaving them at risk of being uninsured by around £24,000(3).

Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance, said: “Our homes contain everything from the necessary fixtures and fittings like carpets and curtains, to our most prized possessions and gadgets, but many of us may not realise their true combined value. Our research reveals that the typical value of the entire contents of a home is £55,000 which is a significant sum of money.

Ben added: “We’re encouraging homeowners to make sure they have a good quality home insurance policy in place to provide the right value of cover should anything happen to their home, for example fire or flooding. It could prove costly for those who don’t have the right level of insurance cover, as they may find themselves having to pay the shortfall which could be thousands of pounds, to get their homes back in order.”

Typical value of the contents of each room in the home
Room Value in 2009 Value in 2012 Value increase
Living room  £10,000 £14,000 40%
Master bedroom  £5,900 £7,000 19%
Kitchen  £5,400 £6,500 20%
Study  £5,000 £6,000 20%
Dining room  £3,650 £5,250 44%
Spare room  £2,800 £3,400 21%
Children’s bedroom  £1,300 £1,600 23%
Entire home £44,500 £55,000 24%
(1) Data provided on typical contents value by Criterion Loss Adjusters (

How much Britons undervalue their home contents by
Room Actual value in 2012(1) Estimated value by homeowners(2) How much the contents of each room are undervalued by(3)
Living room  £14,000 £4,053 (29% of actual value) £9,947
Master bedroom  £7,000 £2,350 (34%) £4,650
Kitchen  £6,500 £5,168 (80%) £1,332
Study  £6,000 £2,710 (45%) £3,290
Dining room  £5,250 £2,370 (45%) £2,880
Spare room  £3,400 £1,508 (44%) £1,892
Children’s bedroom  £1,600 £1,572 (98%) £28
Entire home £55,000 £31,068 (56%) £23,932

The most expensive single items that cost the most to replace are carpets and curtains, which are estimated to cost on average £9,000 to replace throughout a house. This is followed by householders’ clothes and shoes, which amount to around £6,000 to replace; 62% more than three years ago. Televisions, DVD recorders and game consoles cost a further £5,500 to replace, 67% more expensive than in 2009, as householders increasingly invest in modern technology.

Typical cost of replacing example household items(3)
Items Value in 2009 Value in 2012 Cost increase
Carpets & curtains (throughout the home) £7,500 £9,000 20%
Clothes and shoes £3,700 £6,000 62%
Televisions; DVD recorders; games consoles £3,300 £5,500 67%
Computers and other equipment £2,500 £4,000 60%
White goods (eg fridges, freezers, dishwasher, washing machine) £2,250 £2,500 11%
(1) Data provided on typical contents value by Criterion Loss Adjusters (

Sainsbury’s home insurance offers the following tips when considering contents insurance:
• When working out how much insurance cover is required, try to add it up on a room by room basis and calculate the total cost to replace your belongings
• Consider accidental damage cover and make sure it extends to soft furnishings
• Think about any expensive items you may have; check your policy limits for each item and specify them on your policy
• Check if your policy covers personal possessions when taken away from your home
• Flat screen televisions, DVD players, computers or laptops are the kind of ‘high risk items’ that are easy for thieves to take from your home and then sell on.  It’s a good idea to mark your name and postcode on them with an invisible ink pen that shows up under ultra-violet light. That way, if they are stolen, you stand a better chance of getting them back if recovered by the police
• Familiarise yourself with your insurance policy summary and documents so you don’t find out you’re not covered for something when it’s too late.

Sainsbury’s home insurance is offering new customers with a Nectar card up to 50% discount on their premium if they have been five years claim-free(4). Customers purchasing both buildings and contents cover directly from Sainsbury’s will also receive a £30 Sainsbury’s gift card(5).

For further information on Sainsbury’s home insurance, call0800 260 0729, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:
Ian Morris / Tom Wilson, Citigate Dewe Rogerson: 020 7282 1037/2842


Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863 /
Notes to editors:

(1) Analysis of Criterion Loss Adjusters ( valuation reports; research commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank on behalf of its home insurance division.
(2) Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned ICM on behalf of its home insurance division. 2,021 GB adults 18+ were interviewed by ICM in an online survey between 8th and 9th August 2012. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at
(3) Sainsbury’s Bank subtracted the average value of contents estimated by respondents in the ICM research (footnote 2) from the average value of contents supplied by Criterion Loss Adjusters (footnote 1). Analysis carried out on behalf of its home insurance division.
(4) Discount only available to new customers who have been five years claim-free. See for full terms and conditions
(5) Sainsbury’s gift card will be despatched 60 days after the policy start date, providing the policy is still live. Limited to one gift card per household. Full details can be viewed at
Sainsbury’s Bank:
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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.
Sainsbury’s Bank recent awards in 2012 include Best Personal Loan Provider, Consumer Moneyfacts; Best Low Rate Credit Card Provider and Best Credit Card Provider for use abroad (Gold Credit Card), Moneynet; Best Loan Provider, Moneysupermarket Supers.
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Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.
In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.
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