12 Jan 2024
Your guide to contents insurance

Your guide to contents insurance

  • Contents insurance protects your possessions and household items
  • It’s important to understand how much the contents of your home are worth
  • Items can also be insured when you’re out of home with Portable Contents cover

What is contents insurance?

Contents insurance protects household items and personal possessions if they’re damaged in, or stolen from, your home.

What does contents insurance cover?

Contents insurance covers items damaged during weather events, including storms, earthquakes or lightning. It can cover appliances like TVs, dishwashers and clothing, furniture, jewellery, artworks, and entertainment systems.1

It can also cover replacement locks after a burglary, as well as vandalism or malicious acts that damage your possessions, up to certain limits, as long as you didn’t invite the responsible party into your home.2

Home and contents insurance for homeowners

Contents insurance for homeowners is generally taken out as a joint home and contents insurance policy, which covers the cost of replacing and repairing your home and belongings if they were damaged.

Contents insurance for tenants and strata owner-occupiers

A standalone contents insurance policy is suitable for renters who need to cover their possessions, but not the building they’re living in.

Strata owner-occupiers may not need home building insurance, as their building will usually be insured by the owners corporation, but their contents will not usually be covered. If you’re a strata owner-occupier, you’ll need to check your individual situation.

What is the contents sum insured?

Your contents sum insured should be the cost to replace all your contents at today’s prices.

What is underinsurance?

Underinsurance is when the contents sum insured – the dollar amount of contents insurance you have – is less than the cost to replace what you’ve lost.

For example, if the total value of your possessions was $50,000, but you only had $35,000 of cover, you’d be considered underinsured.

How do I calculate the value of my contents?

A good place to start is the home contents online calculator. By entering your address, it will estimate the amount of home contents a typical household would have, based on the size of your home.

From there, you can adjust every category – down to the type of light fitting – to understand the true value of the contents you own.

What affects the cost of contents insurance?

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of contents insurance. These include:

  • Your home (including location)
  • The contents sum insured (the higher the insured value, the higher your premium)
  • Specific contents you’ve insured (e.g., jewellery or watches that are worth more than the policy limit) – and you want them to be covered outside of a safe
  • Your basic excess: the higher the basic excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) you select, the lower your premium – be sure to pick an excess you can afford to pay at short notice if you need to make a claim
Interior of messy bedroom with bed and shelves

Is there a limit to the value of a single item I can claim on contents insurance?

A contents insurance policy will usually have standard policy limits. The policy limits refer to the value of a single item that can be claimed and differ based on the type of item.

Can I increase the standard policy limits on a QBE home contents policy?

For some items, such as jewellery, collections, artworks, rugs and antiques, yes. This is known as specified contents.

Does contents insurance cover you while moving house?

Yes. QBE’s Contents Insurance covers transit of contents from your current home to your new home or storage facility within Australia.3

Does contents insurance cover my possessions when taken out of my home?

No. You can add a Portable Contents option to your contents insurance policy, which covers your portable contents outside of your home anywhere in in the world for 90 consecutive days.

Does contents insurance cover me if I accidentally damage my possessions?

You can add the Accidental Damage option for an additional premium, which can cover you for incidents like where your friend’s child who’s visiting accidentally smashes your TV screen with a ball.

Find out more about QBE Contents Insurance and get a quote.

1 https://homecontents.com.au/index.php?c=web_categories&profile=qbe_circa
2 https://www.qbe.com/au/home-insurance/home-contents-insurance
3 https://www.qbe.com/au/home-insurance/home-contents-insurance

This advice is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. To decide if QBE’s products are right for you, please ensure you obtain and consider the Policy Wording or Product Disclosure Statements and Target Market Determinations, available online at QBE.com/au. Insurance issued and underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545).

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