Everything you need to know about contents insurance

Contents insurance covers the financial cost of replacing or repairing your household possessions due to theft or damage. It covers items such as furniture, white goods, TV, computers, clothing and jewellery.

It is suitable for both home owners and renters. Home owners can purchase it in a combination with home and building policy or as a stand alone policy. 

If you are a renter it is important to know that your possessions are not covered by your landlord’s insurance policies. Your landlords home insurance will cover any damage to the building but that doesn’t include any of your belongings.

Thinking of changing home insurance policies, InfoChoice can help you compare.

Even though contents insurance is optional you should still consider it a necessity.

Both owners and renters may not want to spend the extra money on contents insurance, but if property is stolen or damaged, how much would it cost  to replace it at full cost?

9 categories you should make sure you are covered for

1. Computers and devices

2. Electrical appliances

3. Furniture and furnishings

4. Internal blinds, curtains and window coverings.

5. Carpets and rugs

6. Kitchenware

7. Clothing 

8. Sunglasses and cameras and other personal possessions

9. Jewellery

How to estimate how much you should be insured for

Create a checklist of all your belongings. Walk from room to room and estimate how much it would cost to replace each item. You will be surprised how much it can amount to. Now imagine having to replace all those items from your personal account.

Could you afford to replace all of it if it was destroyed in a flood or fire?

What level of cover do I need?

When it comes to contents insurance there are different levels of cover. Depending on the policy you choose, your contents insurance may include some of the following:

Standard Contents:

Most contents insurance policies will offer protection for your belongings if they are lost through a defined event, such as burglary, vandalism, fire or storm. 

Some policies offer additional benefits at a higher premium. These may include reimbursements for:

  • Emergency repairs to your building to prevent further damage from an insured event. E.g., Fixing broken window after a break in.
  • Alternative accommodation. If your contents are damaged by a defined/insured event to such an extent that your home is now uninhabitable.
  • Spoilage of perishable food up to certain benefit limits.

Accidental damage

Accidental damage is a standard inclusion in many policies however some may offer them at a higher premium. It offers protection in case you experience an unintentional incident that causes damage to your home or your contents.

Specified Items

Expensive items such as artwork should be listed as specified items on your policy to make sure they are covered properly. Insuring them as a specified item means  you can cover them for their full amount. Specifying items for extra cover will usually add to the cost of your insurance.

Motor burnout

An optional extra for your contents insurance is motor burnout. It specifically covers the reasonable cost to replace motors that suffered from burnout in a household appliance. 

This cover may only be available to items under a certain age.

Once you have decided to sign up for contents insurance, make sure to cover for the right amount. There is no point in paying for a policy that leaves you underinsured. 

It can create a tremendous amount of financial and emotional stress. Make sure you have the right level of insurance cover to suit your needs.


This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information.

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