GUIDES & RESOURCES

Portable contents & personal effects insurance

While many people choose Home and Contents Insurance to protect their belongings inside their home, insurance for belongings outside of the home can be slightly different.
Insurance for a Watch
*iSelect does not compare to all home and contents insurers in the market. The availability of policies may change from time to time. Not all policies made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all policies compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. See below for our range of home and contents insurers. Some policies are only available from iSelect’s call centre or online. Our advice on this website is of general nature and does not consider your situation or needs. Consider if any advice is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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In this article, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of this type of cover.

What is portable Contents Insurance and personal effects insurance?

These terms with some insurers are generally interchangeable, and this type of benefit essentially helps cover costs in case any of your insured personal belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged if you take them with you when you leave the house

  • Unspecified personal effects cover includes coverage for a broad range of your belongings up to a certain dollar limit that you might take with you every day such as bags, glasses, binoculars, prams and jewllery just to name a few.
  • Specified personal effects cover helps provide cover for belongings you’ve specifically identified to your insurer outside of the home. Generally, this will means you can cover an item to a specific amount instead of up to a certain limit

Can you get portable contents/personal effects as a standalone insurance product?

In many cases, this type of benefit is typically included under Home and Contents Insurance policies.

But some insurers may offer this product as a standalone option, or perhaps at an extra cost under an existing policy you may have.

This provides peace of mind for frequent flyers and travellers who regularly take expensive personal belongings with them and want to help cover their items in case they’re lost, stolen, or damaged during their travels. But check with your insurer to make sure your belongings would be covered whilst travelling interstate or overseas.

You can also find out more about mobile phone, tablet and laptop insurance when you’re on the move at Moneysmart.

What sort of things can be covered?

Many people like to have peace of mind and get their favourite or most valuable personal items covered by their insurer.

As mentioned earlier, these items can vary from person to person, but a general rule of thumb is to cover valuable items that are frequently carried with you or worn out of your home. Here are some examples:

  • Jewellery
  • Watches
  • Glasses
  • Cameras & photography equipment
  • Bicycles
  • Medical aids
  • Clothing
  • Sporting equipment (while not in use)

Are there any items or situations that aren’t typically covered under this type of policy?

Generally speaking, there are limitations on what is and isn’t covered.

Here are some examples:

  • Items that you use for work or business
  • Items that are on show or up for sale (e.g: paintings & handmade products)
  • Electronic records that are lost or stolen
  • Cash & vouchers
  • Items affected by gradual wear & tear
  • Lack of personal care & security (e.g: leaving an unlocked bicycle in public)

Again, you must check your policy with your insurer to find out what isn’t covered, but hopefully these examples give you an idea of what to expect.

What else is worth considering when comparing policies?

  • Type of cover: See whether your policy is specified or unspecified (a.k.a: listed or unlisted.) If you choose an unspecified policy, then make sure you’re able to get enough to cover the costs for all the items you want to protect.
  • Dollar limits: Is there a maximum amount of money you can claim on single, unspecified items? Make sure you check your product disclosure statement to see what is covered and to what dollar limit
  • Making a claim: Check to see how accessible making a claim would be with your provider. You may want to keep an eye out for things like helplines and online claim-tracking systems.
  • Excess fees: Most insurers charge an excess fee if and when you choose to make a claim.
  • Inclusions & exclusions: Are there any items your insurer won’t help provide cover for? If so, you might prefer to keep looking for a policy that can help protect niche items.
  • Travel cover: If you’re a frequent flyer, check to see if your insurer can help provide cover for your items while you’re interstate or overseas.

How can I apply?

Many insurers offer online or over-the-phone applications. If you find an insurer or policy that you’re happy to work with, you’ll typically need to provide some personal details including contact details, proof of identity, employment details, and the personal items you’d like to protect.

These details can vary between providers, so make sure you read through the eligibility requirements of your chosen insurer.

Where can I compare options?

You can compare a range of Contents Insurance policies and providers with iSelect, both online by clicking here, or via phone on 13 19 20*.

Last updated: 6/12/2021

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