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Contents insurance policies are designed to help cover the cost of some household belongings or possessions if they’re damaged, lost, or stolen. Typically, a Contents Insurance policy will cover your belongings and your family’s belongings if they live with you in the same house up to any policy limits. Your “belongings” can include stuff like clothing, jewellery, white goods, appliances, computers, TVs and sporting equipment.
With Contents Insurance, policies are typically either covered in two ways, which are ‘new-for-old’ or ‘replacement at value’. Learn more about how each generally works below:
Under a new-for-old policy, your insurer will cover the replacement cost of your lost, damaged or stolen items with the full cost of a new item. The monetary value of a new item can sometimes even be more than the value of the original item. These policies are typically more expensive.
Replacement at value policies can cover the value of your items at the point that they are damaged, lost or stolen. These policies are often cheaper, as the amount of cover they provide will typically drop over time, along with the depreciating value of your household items and belongings. In some cases when you claim, insurers may repair or replace the damaged items, or pay you the amount it would cost to repair or replace them.
Like most insurance policies, Contents Insurance has different levels of cover. So it really depends on what level you choose and the provider you sign up with. It’s important to review the Product Disclosure Statement to understand what is covered and excluded, but here’s a list of things that may be included:
A defined events policy will help cover your belongings if they are lost through a ‘defined event’, such as a fire, theft, vandalism or storms. This is the most basic level of cover and usually the most affordable.
With standard Contents Insurance policies, some insurers may put a limit on certain items, such as jewellery , laptops or artwork. If you want these items insured for their full amount, you might be able to list them on your policy as a ‘specified item’. This will generally add to your premium, but it might be worth it if it’s a special piece.
Some policies also offer accidental damage. This could help cover the cost of accidental incidents, like breaking a mirror, or even spilling red wine on the carpet.
Flood cover can help with the loss or damage of your belongings caused by a flood. This type of cover might be included in your policy or as an optional add-on with an increased premium.
Motor Burnout can help cover the cost of repair or even the replacement of burnt-out electric motors in household items. This is usually available as an optional extra.
Commercial storage can help cover your Contents for loss or damage while they’re being held in a commercial storage facility.
Some Contents Insurance policies may also cover certain items you take with you out of your home. Stuff like your mobile phone, laptop, or jewellery. Generally this type of insurance can help cover the cost of the item if it were stolen, lost or damaged anywhere in Australia and New Zealand.
As with any insurance policy, it’s just as important to check what’s not covered as it is to check what is. Generally, a standard policy helps cover you for defined events, like fire and theft. If you want more coverage, such as damage caused by floods or portable Contents Insurance, you may need to add this on to your policy. There are also cases where your insurer won’t cover you, such as intentional or criminal acts, lawful seizure of your contents, or wear and tear of your contents. So make sure you have a good read over the Product Disclosure Statement before signing up to a policy.
Before you sign up to a Contents Insurance policy, you should try to work out the value of your contents. This will help you to know how much cover you may need and what items could be worth insuring. The easiest way to do it is to start by pulling together as many details as possible about each item, like serial numbers, warranties, photos, receipts, condition and the date of purchase. This should give you a rough idea of how much each item will cost to replace.
Premiums for Contents Insurance are generally based on the likelihood of you making a claim and the cost of the item/s being insured. So your insurer will take into account a number of factors when landing on a figure, including:
Here are three easy ways you could save on your Contents Insurance.
Insurance companies deem a safely secured house a lower risk. So if you put in measures like deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and security systems these measures could reduce your premium. But some insurance companies, on the other hand, may require you to put in some safety measures. So make sure you check with them before signing up.
Who doesn't love hearing that word…"discounts"? Once your premium is all sorted, you might be eligible for one of the following discounts:
A great way to save on your Contents Insurance is to shop around. Compare a number of different policies to find one that suits your lifestyle and budget. Or just give us a call on 13 19 20 and someone from our team can help you compare policies from our range of providers*.
Contents Insurance policies are usually designed so that they come into effect after a ‘defined event’. These defined events set the conditions under which you become eligible to make a claim. They also inform the exclusions of many policies. If your policy doesn’t explicitly define something like flooding as an event in which you’re eligible to make a Contents Insurance claim, that policy will not cover any damage or loss that results from a flood.
So make sure you take some time to familiarise yourself with the defined events and exclusions in the product disclosure statement of any Contents Insurance policy before making a commitment. You’ll typically find that things like fire, storm damage, theft, natural disasters and malicious damage are included, but it’s always good to double check.
Even if you’re renting, it may be a good idea to consider taking out a Contents Insurance policy. Your landlord could potentially have taken out insurance on the house itself, but it’s unlikely that it covers any of your possessions.
Yes. A lot of homeowners combine their Contents Insurance with their home insurance to create one policy - ‘Home and Contents Insurance’. Some insurers may even offer you a deal if you combine them, so it’s worth checking.
Easy! You can do it with us. Just call 13 19 20 and someone from our team will help you compare policies from our range of providers.
Last updated: 23/06/2021