Contents insurance

Contents insurance is an insurance policy that covers damage to contents in your home as a result of a number of unexpected events. In principle, this covers everything that isn’t nailed down in the home. Some items, such as business contents, garden furniture, motor vehicles, and fitted fixtures are not included, Some items that might not be present in the home are also included in the Netherlands, such as a child’s laptop that they take with them to school etc.

Table of contents

    man checking his contents insurance

    Types of home contents insurance

    There are two types of contents insurance: the extra comprehensive contents insurance (covering everything explicitly stated) and the all-risk contents insurance (covering everything that is explicitly excluded). The extra comprehensive contents insurance is actually less extensive than contents insurance.

    Extra comprehensive contents insurance

    The following occurrences are covered:

    • Fire damage

    • Lightning strike

    • Theft

    • Vandalism

    • Water damage due to a defective aquarium or water bed

    • Soot damage

    • Storm damage

    • Explosions

    • Overturned cranes

    • Vandalism

    • Aircraft damage

    In addition, this insurance also includes the classic exclusions (defect, catastrophe risks, etc.)

    All-risk contents insurance

    The following are often excluded:

    • Catastrophe risks (e.g. earthquake or war)

    • Intentional damage

    • G;ass damage (a separate policy is required in most cases)

    • Gradual influences (e.g. rotting, corrosion, fungal growth, insects, etc.)

    If no exclusion is provided, the all-risk contents insurance will cover the claim.

    Additional coverages

    With most insurers it is possible to take out additional coverage in addition to contents insurance. The additional coverage that are usually offered include:

    • Out-of-home cover: cover for household contents that are used outside the home (e.g. a smartphone stolen while jogging)

    • Coverage for valuables (e.g. valuable antiques or art)

    • Temporary rental (e.g. coverage if the home is rented through Airbnb)

    • Tenant's interest (certain building improvements carried out by the tenant, e.g. the installation of parquet or a new kitchen)

    • Owner's interest (coverage of home insurance by the owner of an apartment for which the VvE (Vereniging van Eigenaren) has already taken out home insurance)

    Glass insurance

    Glass damage is not usually covered by home contents insurance, but by building insurance.. There are some insurers that offer glass damage as an additional policy for those tenants that take out home contents insurance and are worried of being held liable by the landlord in the event of glass damage.

    Compare home insurance policies

    It is best to compare different home contents insurance policies to find the most suitable coverage for your specific house and needs. We recommend making a new comparison at least every three years or whenever there is a major change in your life. What should you compare?

    Compare coverages

    The biggest thing is to look at the different insurance policies to compare what is covered. This may differ for both an extra-comprehensive and an all-risk home contents insurance policy. There could be a higher number of exclusions or a limit in values for insured items. The more extensive the coverage, the higher the premium is likely to be.

    The cover can be found in the policy conditions. Look out for:

    • Portable equipment: exclusions often apply here (e.g. fall damage from a window)

    • Damage to pets

    • Storage of things outside the home (e.g. self-storage)

    • Short-term rental of the house with furniture

    • Items borrowed or rented from the employer

    • Water and flood damage

    • Theft without burglary damage (e.g. theft via a chat trick)


    With an excess, part of the damage is not reimbursed. With a damage of 1,000 euros and a deductible of 100 euros, the insurer will only reimburse 900 euros. Some insurers require a limited deductible, but it is often possible to opt for an optional deductible. A higher deductible often means a lower premium.

    Pay attention to the following provisions:

    • Audio equipment, visual equipment and computer equipment

    • Tenant or apartment owner interest

    • Valuables and jewellery

    • Theft outside the home

    • Garden furniture

    • Dropped items or impact damage

    • Storm damage

    • Falling trees, objects or buildings

    • Outflowing water

    • Multiple claims in one year

    Avoid double insurance

    When comparing home contents insurance, you should also pay attention to other insurance policies. The jumble of insurance policies sometimes means that people are insured twice and therefore actually pay twice the premium for the same risk. Contents insurance policies can conflict with different insurance policies. Examples are:

    Damage situationConflicting insuranceExtra comprehensive contents insurance
    Damage to a smartphone (fall damage, theft, etc.)Phone insurance: Fall and impact damage, water damage, short circuit and technical defects of the smartphoneDamage to the smartphone that is in the home due to external damage influences, such as fire or burglary
    Damage to a laptop while on vacationTravel insurance: Coverage for damage to luggageN/A
    Damage to externally stored goodsSelf-storage insurance: Contents insurance for the storage space, often offered by the landlordOften limited coverage for a limited period of time
    Damage to a business laptopBusiness laptop insurance: Fall and fire damage, anywhere in the worldSometimes fire damage for business laptops is already covered

    Compare building insurance

    It is important that the contents insurance and the home insurance fit together properly and that there are no uninsured aspects. It is therefore recommended to take a look at the policy conditions of the home insurance or to take out home contents and home insurance with the same insurer. The insurer often also grants a package discount for this.

    More about building insurance →

    Cost of contents insurance

    The cost of home contents insurance depends on various factors on which the insured person might have no impact on. The general rule is that costs increase as the risk of damage increases. On the other hand, the cost price of the contents insurance decreases when the amount to be paid out is lower.

    The cost of home contents insurance is higherCost of home contents insurance is lower
    RiskRisk increases: (i) More covered situations, (ii) Children in the house, (iii) Burglar-prone neighbourhood ...Risk decreases: (i) Police Seal of Approval for Safe Living (ii) Alarm system, connected to an emergency centre (iii) Children leave the house ...
    Damage paymentHigher damage payment: (i) Low deductible (ii) Few restrictions (iii) High home contents value ...Lower claim payment: (i) High deductible (ii) Maximum amounts covered are low (iii) Low home contents value ...

    Type of contents insurance

    There are two types of contents insurance: the extra comprehensive contents insurance and the all-risk contents insurance. The cover is more extensive with an all-risk home contents insurance policy, which means that the premium is also higher. There are exclusions for both insurance policies, for example for war damage.

    Policy conditions

    Not all extra comprehensive insurance policies or all-risk contents insurance policies are identical. Some all-risk home insurance policies have more exclusions or impose lower maximum benefits. It should come as no surprise that cheaper home insurance often has less favourable policy conditions and higher premiums for favourable policies.


    Many insurance policies have a limited deductible. In addition, it is possible to opt for a higher, voluntary deductible. The higher the voluntary excess, the lower the insurance premium will be. In the event of a claim, the insurer must therefore pay less. It is important that the higher risk can be borne. Be aware of a number of policy conditions:

    • In which situations is there already a contractual deductible?

    • How does this relate to the voluntary excess? Is this on top?

    • What happens to the (voluntary) excess in the event of multiple claims in a year?


    The insurer will always make an assessment of the risk of property damage. The higher that risk is, the higher the insurance premium will be. In doing so, the insurer takes various factors into account:

    • Family situation: more inhabitants (especially children) means a higher risk

    • Place of residence: in some neighbourhoods or districts the risk of burglary or water damage is greater

    • Type of home: depending on the type of home and the building materials used, the risk is smaller or greater

    • The presence or absence of burglary protection

    Value of the contents and the contents value calculator

    The higher the value of the contents insured, the higher the premium. In practice, the value is rarely determined with pen and paper, but insurers use a home contents value calculator. The contents value calculator makes an estimate of the value of the contents based on statistical data, applying points which are multiplied by a fixed value to indicate value.The calculated household contents always include a fixed amount for personal jewellery, valuables, audiovisual equipment and computer equipment. In exchange for a higher premium, it is possible to increase this amount. The factors in the table below play a role in determining the insured value:

    Factor from the household value calculator Higher premiumLower premium
    Age of main breadwinnerPremium increases up to the age of 70 yearsFrom the age of 71, the premium is slightly lower (but still higher than for 50-year-olds)
    Net monthly income of the main breadwinnerPremium increases when net monthly income increases. With net monthly incomes of more than 10,000 Euro, a detailed calculation by an expert may be requiredPremium decreases with lower net monthly income. For the very lowest incomes (< 1,000 Euro) even 0 points are used
    Household compositionMarried couple or cohabiting couple, with or without childrenSingle, with or without children living at home (0 points)
    Surface houseThe larger the house, the more points. From 450 m² a detailed calculation may be necessaryThe smaller the house, the less points. For homes with less than 90 m², 0 points are even used

    Additional coverages

    The policyholder can voluntarily add additional cover to the contents insurance. For example, an out-of-home cover, an owner's interest, a tenant's interest, etc. Extra coverage will lead to a higher cost.

    How does the monthly income affect the household value?

    The Dutch Association of Insurers uses income classes of 1,000 Euro each and the points increase from 0 to 50. If the necessary calculations are made again, the following table is the result:

    Income classScorePoints x 1,063 Euro
    Up to 1,000 Euro00 Euro
    1,001 Euro, up to 2,000 Euro1010,630 Euro
    2,001 Euro up to 3,000 Euro1718,071 Euro
    3,001 Euro up to 4,000 Euro2829,764 Euro
    4,001 Euro up to 5,000 Euro2829,764 Euro
    5,001 Euro up to 6,000 Euro3234,016 Euro
    6,001 Euro up to 7,000 Euro3739,331 Euro
    7,001 Euro up to 8,000 Euro4143,583 Euro
    8,001 Euro up to 9,000 Euro4648,898 Euro
    9,001 Euro up to 10,000 Euro5053,150 Euro
    Higher than 53, 150 EuroN/A (expert calculation)N/A (expert calculation)

    Commercial formula of the insurer

    The insurer determines the premium based on all of these factors. This is created on the basis of each insurer's own formula and rates, with a balance found between competitiveness and profit. This allows for flexibility in the form of discounts and promotions, which can make it hard to compare different policies and insurers.

    Switch to another home insurance policy

    It is often possible to save extra on the premium by switching policies. Before a switch can be made, the previous contents insurance must first be cancelled. The home contents insurance can be cancelled on the due date, subject to a contractual notice period In the case of a tacit renewal, cancellation is always possible with a notice period of one month.

    Family switched to another home insurance policy

    What to ask before switching home contents insurance

    There are questions you can ask yourself about switching home contents insurance. We discuss some of them in detail below.

    Why switch to a different home contents insurance policy?

    The main reason people want to switch home contents insurance is to save money. Switching may also be the best choice if the insurer unilaterally changes the policy conditions. Another good reason to change could be that there has been a change in your family composition. Consider the following as an indicator you need to compare policies:

    • A strong increase in the value of household contents

    • A change in family composition

    • Changes and renovations to the home

    • Moving home

    • Changes to your financial situation

    When is it possible to switch home contents insurance?

    You can switch contents insurance on the expiry date of the current contract. It is always possible to switch but with a notice period of one month. Some insurers allow for more favourable agreements, such as a transfer within the first year. It is not always possible to switch when moving home, but you should always notify of a change in your circumstances.

    How does switching home contents insurance work?

    Switching home contents insurance is not difficult, but there are a number of things to consider, especially ensuring there is no overlap between your old and new policy.Follow the steps below to switch home contents insurance:

    1. Compare home insurance policies

      Check whether it is the best choice to switch home contents insurance at this time. Look at price, coverage, and policy conditions, using online comparison tools. Also check other policies you might have to avoid double coverage.

    2. Cancel home contents insurance

      Before taking out a new home contents insurance policy, the old home contents insurance policy must first be cancelled. Determine the date on which this is possible and cancel the contents insurance. Ideally, this is done by registered letter.

    3. Take out a new home insurance policy

      You can take out home contents insurance directly with the insurer, via an insurance broker or via an online tool. The premium is identical everywhere: intermediaries are paid by the insurer and have no influence on the premium you will pay.

    7 Ways to save on home contents insurance

    There are several ways to save money on your home contents insurance. It doesn’t always need to be switching policies, there are a few other ways that could leave to savings:

    1. Increase deductible

    It is possible to get a discount on your premium by increasing the deductible, but this isn’t always the best option. A high excess of say, 500 Euro could bring with it a saving of up to 25% compared to policies without a deductible. An excess of 100 to 200 Euro is attractive to most policyholders when looking for a lower premium.

    2. Invest in security

    Most insurers offer discounts to homes that have invested in home security. The risk of burglary damage decreases, which leads to a lower premium. DIY home security is not enough though, it is important to have the Police seal for Safe Living in mind. For example, a higher discount is sometimes offered to homes with a Borg-certified alarm system.

    3. Insurance packages

    Many insurers grant loyalty discounts when several insurance policies are taken out with them. The combination of building insurance and liability insurance often results in a discount of several percent. It might not always save money to have all policies in one place, so always pay attention to the policy detail before committing.

    4. Pay insurance premium in one go

    Many insurance companies grant a discount when the insurance premium is paid in one go, up front. This discount is limited and often does not exceed 1 to 3%, but if you can afford to pay up front, it is still a nice discount to receive.

    5. Compare and change

    Regularly comparing home contents insurance policies is still the best way to discover savings. Do this every year, and you could save up to 15%, with discounts on offered to new policyholders.

    6. Damage Benefit Limitations

    If the insurer has to pay less in the event of a claim, the premium will also decrease. By increasing the deductible or by opting for an insurance with lower maximum benefits, the insurance premium will decrease.

    7. Take advantage of commercial promotions

    Some insurers grant a discount when different insurance policies are combined or when opting for an annual premium. Always check the different promotions and discounts on offer, as they can vary significantly between different insurers.

    Contents insurers

    Home contents insurance is offered by almost all insurers. About 5.8 million Dutch people have this type of insurance and it is therefore one of the most popular insurance policies in the Netherlands, comparable to the popularity of liability insurance. Insurers that offer household contents insurance include:

    • WitGeld

    • Centraal Beheer

    • Univé

    • InShared

    • Allianz Direct

    • FBTO

    • ANWB

    • Aegon

    • ING

    • Interpolis

    • Ditzo

    • OHRA

    Frequently asked questions about home contents insurance

    What is the average property damage in a claim?

    The damage to household effects can be considerable. The average size of the damage is 875 Euro, mainly due to the many small claims that lower the average figure.

    Does age play a role in determining the insurance premium?

    Figures show that young people have less ‘stuff’ and collect more and more during their lives. From the age of seventy, the value of household effects decreases. Older people no longer see the point in investing in expensive household effects. That is why the premium for people over 70 is often lower.

    What does home contents insurance not cover?

    This differs from policy to policy. Almost every policy includes exclusions for earthquakes, nuclear reactions, dike breaches, volcanic eruptions, riots and war. In principle, damage that occurs outdoors is also not covered. It is possible to take out additional cover for this.

    Is home contents insurance compulsory?

    No. Home contents insurance is recommended though. The value of the contents is usually in proportion to the net income and in the event of a claim there is almost always a major financial impact.

    What is the contents value calculator?

    The contents value calculator is a tool to easily estimate the value of your household contents. Statistical data shows that the value of household contents can be estimated quite easily based on a number of questions, so you don’t need to worry about writing everything down with pen and paper. For large houses and high incomes, a home contents calculator is helpful.

    How much is the discount with a PKVW quality mark?

    This differs from insurer to insurer. With some insurers, the discount is only a few percent, but there are also insurers that grant discounts of up to 20%.

    How much is the discount with a Borg certificate?

    Not all insurers grant a discount for this. For insurers that grant a discount, the discount is in line with the PKVW discount.

    How much can I save on home contents insurance?

    It is possible to save up to 50% on home contents insurance, but you must invest in burglary protection and the deductible must be increased considerably. A total saving of 20-25% is more realistic for many Dutch people, but the exact saving will still differ from case to case.

    Can I adjust my home myself for PKVW recognition?

    There is a lot that the policyholder can do themselves, such as installing smoke detectors and providing outdoor lighting. If hinges and locks still need to be installed, it is important that certified material is used. Furthermore, it remains necessary to have the inspection carried out by a PKVW-approved company.

    What about the new value and the current value?

    New items are reimbursed at their replacement value for a certain period of time. Over time, however, they are written off and the value, at least for the insurer, continues to decrease. This also reduces the compensation in the event of a claim, which differs from insurer to insurer. This should also be taken into account when comparing home insurance policies.

    What differences are there regarding pets?

    Not all insurers cover damage caused by pets. If that is the case, additional conditions sometimes apply. In the case of damage to pets, there are often exclusions, for example if the damage was caused by the pet's own actions. Finally, pets are not depreciated at the same rate everywhere.

    What is the guarantee against underinsurance?

    The insured value is often determined on the basis of a home contents calculator. However, the result of this calculation may be lower than the actual value of the contents. In the case of a guarantee against underinsurance, the insurer guarantees that it will still pay on the basis of the actual value, provided that the insured was also honest.

    What is ‘valuables’ insurance’?

    Very valuable possessions, such as antiques or art, are often not fully covered by standard contents insurance. For optimal cover against various claims, additional cover for valuables can be taken out. Naturally, this has a significant impact on the premium.

    How does age affect home contents value?

    The household contents value calculator (2020) of the Dutch Association of Insurers provides four age categories: 35 years and younger (22 points), 36 up to and including 50 years (29 points), 51 through. 70 years (39 points) and 71 years and older (37 points). These points are multiplied by 1,063 Euro. According to this calculation method, there is therefore a difference of 7,441 Euro between the household effects of a forty-year-old and that of a thirty-year-old.

    How does the composition of the household affect the household value?

    No extra points are awarded for a single person. On the other hand, those who live together, with or without children, are awarded 10 extra points. The household contents value then increases by 10,630 Euro.

    What is the price difference between an extra comprehensive cover and an all-risk cover?

    This differs from home contents insurer to home contents insurer, but it also depends on the content of the two coverages. All-risk cover is often 50% more expensive than extra comprehensive cover.

    Do I need ‘valuables’ insurance?

    Valuables are often already covered to a limited extent by home contents insurance. Valuables insurance is useful when the value of the items exceeds the value covered by the contents insurance. Remember that valuables insurance often has the same exclusions as contents insurance, for example for damage during wear and tear or due to earthquakes.

    Does home contents insurance cover damage to a kitchen?

    A kitchen is part of the building structure and is, in principle, not covered by home contents insurance. A separate outdoor kitchen, on the other hand, is covered, just like separate refrigerators and other separate cooking appliances.

    Does home contents insurance cover damage to a smartphone?

    Yes, but exact coverage varies. With extra extensive cover, damage due to fire, burglary, water and storm damage is in principle only covered if the smartphone was in the home. With an all-risk cover, for example, fall and impact damage is also covered if it takes place indoors. With outdoor cover, this may also take place outside the home, but often only in the Netherlands. Always consult the policy conditions for more information.

    Does home contents insurance also cover a stolen bicycle?

    Most home contents insurers cover a stolen bicycle if it was in a house or in a shed attached to the house, it was locked and if there are signs of burglary. Outdoor coverage almost always has an exclusion for bicycles. In other words, a bicycle in front of the home is not covered. With most insurers it is possible to take out bicycle insurance for this.