Contents Insurance – Protecting the Items That Make Your House a Home
Contents only insurance typically covers items that:
- are belongings of visitors to your home
- are designed for use outside but not fixtures (e.g. an above ground pool)
- are installed fixtures (e.g. carpet)
- are items normally kept in your home.
Working out how much contents insurance you need can be tough if you don't now what you're looking for. Keep reading this guide for more information about getting the right contents insurance for you, how to make a contents insurance claim and other useful tips.
As mentioned above, contents insurance covers a range of items and defined events. Generally, contents insurance covers:
Are there any additional contents insurance extras?
Additionally, some contents insurance policies cover:
What about optional contents insurance extras?
Other optional contents insurance cover include:
Are personal valuables covered?
Generally, there are three ways to protect your personal valuables with contents insurance:
- Specified. Specified items are ones with an individual sum insured
- Unspecified. Unspecified items are ones such as the ones listed below and are covered for an amount stated in your PDS.
- Combination. A combination of specified and unspecified cover to have specific cover for important items only.
Personal valuables insurance can be taken out to cover items such as:Back to top
Just like what is covered by contents insurance, what isn't covered will vary depending on the insurer. However, some instances that are generally not covered include:Back to top
The type of contents insurance you choose affects the premium you pay. Some policies cover you for defined events such as fire or theft, while others provide protection for accidental events. Some provide limited cover for items outside your home, such as a laptop. These contents insurance policies can be broken down into two main categories:
- Indemnity value. This type of contents insurance provides you with cover for the market value of an item, and deducts an amount of depreciation of the item.
- Replacement value. This type of contents insurance policy is more common and provides you with new-for-old replacement of insured items.
When applying for contents insurance, the last thing you want to happen is have an expensive item left uninsured. Don't make this item sing, 'Don't you, forget about me' ... create a contents insurance checklist. This is a reasonably fast and simple process to run through and should assist you in earmarking the items in your home that require cover. Create a contents insurance checklist for each room to avoid skipping over items. For example:As you go through the process of creating a checklist, note how much the cost or how much it would cost to replace it. Once you have created your checklist, you can tally the numbers and have a good idea of how much contents insurance you need.Back to top
Premiums for contents insurance vary and a number of factors are considered when determining a premium, which include:
- How does my excess affect my premiums? If you choose a higher excess level it may result in a lower premium.
- Does where I live impact how much I pay? The location of your home plays a huge roll in determining your premium. If where you live is prone to storms, bushfire or has a high crime rate, you may end up paying a higher premium because of the increased likelihood of you making a claim.
- How does my home security impact my premiums? If your home is fitted with deadlocks, security doors, window locks and other security devices you may be able to get cover at a reduced premium.
Insurers will ask you for any relevant information when determining your contents insurance premium.Back to top
I need to make a claim, what do I do?
Making a claim is generally a pretty straight forward process.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible after an insurable event has occurs. This can be done generally either online or via the phone.
- Once you have made contact with your insurer, you'll generally be asked to complete a claim form.
- Be honest with your insurer about the loss. You don't want to get caught lodging a fraudulent claim.
- Make sure you can provide your insurer with proof of purchase. This may includes receipts, valuations or other evidence of ownership.
- Cooperate with your insurer and the whole process should run smoothly.