2nd December, 2017 | 4 minutes

Renting and Insurance: What you need to know about Contents Insurance

by Nathan Kennedy
Insurance Geek

If you rent a home or live in a share house, contents insurance is optional. But just because it’s not compulsory, you should still consider it a necessity. Contents insurance could give you valuable protection at a time when you need it most.

What is Contents Insurance?

Contents insurance covers you for the replacement value of any personal belongings and effects due to theft or damage. This includes things like furniture, appliances, clothes, electronics, computers, artwork and jewellery, and items that you are legally responsible for. Certain coverage limits may apply.

A common misconception when renting is that your landlord will cover you if your belongings are lost in a fire or other calamity. This isn’t the case. Your landlord will probably have home insurance to cover any damage to the building itself; but they don’t have insurance for your belongings.

That’s why renters or contents insurance is so important.

The idea of forking out for contents insurance premiums on top of other bills and groceries can seem daunting. Even more daunting is the thought of having to replace everything you own if it all suddenly was destroyed.

Renting and Insurance: What you need to know about Contents Insurance

Getting started with Contents Insurance

As a starting point when deciding if you should get contents insurance, estimate how much your house contents are worth. This includes all the items inside your home that belong to you and your family:

  • furniture and furnishings
  • computers and electrical appliances
  • kitchenware
  • clothing and shoes
  • personal effects like jewellery, sunglasses and cameras (to insure these items when you take them away from your home, you’ll need to add the Personal Effects benefit to your cover)
  • carpets – loose and fitted
  • Internal blinds, curtains and window coverings.

Walk from room to room and create a checklist of the things you own, and estimate what it would cost to replace them. After you’ve done this it’s likely you’ll find that the grand total is worth more than you think – and certainly more than your monthly income should you have to replace it all at one time.

With this grand total in mind, could you afford to replace it all if it was stolen or destroyed in a flood or fire? Would you be prepared to go all the way back to square one?

Contents insurance for peace of mind

With contents insurance – which is sometimes called renters insurance – you are covered if your belongings are stolen, damaged or destroyed. Most policies will cover you for accidental loss or damage to your belongings; and some will also cover you for accidental damage to the property you are renting, too.

For complete peace of mind, you should make sure that your sum insured is enough to cover the cost of replacing all your stuff. If you own expensive jewellery or artwork, you will have to add these as separate items on your policy.

So what exactly are you covered for?

With renters insurance, you may be insured for:

  • Fire
  • Theft or attempted burglary
  • Malicious damage
  • Accidental damage
  • Storms, lightning and rainwater damage
  • Earthquakes

As well as cover for damage or loss to the things inside your house, you may also be able to claim things like:

  • Temporary accommodation costs if your rental is unliveable
  • Contents lost or damaged from outside your house
  • Credit card cover
  • Uninsured guests’ content cover

Insurance can give you the extra peace of mind that you’re covered in the event that something happens. And the best news? Contents insurance for renters doesn’t have to break the bank, either.

Need help finding insurance?

iSelect can help you with your home and contents insurance.

Get a home and contents insurance quote

Get started

Any advice provided in this content is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice we give you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on our advice or purchasing any product.

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