Anything beyond the maximum amount your insurer says they will pay, and it may pay a maximum amount on single articles. You'll need to specify the value of the contents. Some companies have limits on the value of any one item under the general policy so you'll need to specify individual items such as expensive jewellery or camera equipment, for example. Your cover may also be affected or cancelled if you leave your home empty for a long period of time, or if you let it out. Damage to the building itself is also not covered; this needs to be covered separately with Buildings insurance – see Buildings insurance.
Many insurers will offer discounts if you have a burglar alarm, window locks or if you're a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. You may also get a deal if you combine contents and buildings insurance.
Most policies have a standard excess charge which means you agree to pay the first part of any claim, for example the first £50 or £100. If you agree to pay a higher excess you might get a cheaper policy.
Always compare what's covered by a policy, not just the price – the key policy information will help you do this. Some might be cheaper than others, but they may not offer the same level of protection.
Some contents insurance policies offer new for old. This means they'll replace old damaged appliances and possessions with new ones when you claim. Bear in mind that your premiums may increase the following year, or the insurance company may refuse to cover you for the same risk if it happens more than twice, for example.