Home insurance policies can protect you from financial risk if your home is damaged or destroyed, and it can also cover your home’s contents if they are damaged, lost or stolen.
You can take out cover for specific events only or wider accidental damage cover, depending on your needs.
Contents insurance is insurance for your possessions as opposed to your home (the actual structure). Possessions that are permanently attached to the structure of your home are considered part of your home insurance (not your contents insurance).
Contents insurance is normally taken out with home insurance but it is also offered as a separate policy, useful for people who rent, for example, where the landlord is responsible for insuring the home, while the tenant is responsible for insuring his or her possessions or contents within the home.
Why you need Home and Contents Insurance
If your home and its contents were damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster, in an accident or if you were broken into and your possessions were stolen, could you afford to replace them?
Many people don’t realise the true value of their home and its contents until it’s too late.
If you’re the victim of fire, theft, loss or damage, you’d be doubly traumatised to find a full replacement of your belongings was beyond your financial reach. It pays to have personal insurance that includes a good home and contents cover in place that realistically reflects the true value of what you own.
What Home and Contents Insurance includes
The cover you receive depends on the policy you take out from your insurer.
Home insurance policies typically cover
- Property damage to the structure of your home caused by flood, fire, explosion, earthquake, tsunami, lightning, storm, rainwater, hail, and wind;
- Water damage from certain leaks;
- Legal liability if someone is injured or killed on your property;
- Storm damage caused by falling trees or the impact of a car;
- Accommodation costs if your house is being repaired.
What’s not usually included?
- Generally, your home won’t be covered if it’s been unoccupied for 100 continuous days;
- Rust, corrosion, gradual deterioration;
- Depreciation or wear and tear;
- Damage caused by rats, mice, or insects.
Contents insurance covers loss or damage to your possessions, typically loss caused by fire, flood, storms, motor burnout, burglary or theft. Insuring your contents covers items such as your television and furniture but also washing machines, carpets, curtains, sculptures and artworks. You should also include your clothing and footwear in your sum insured.
Contents policies can also cover alternative temporary accommodation costs ̶ should repairs in your home cause you to have to move out temporarily ̶ as well as domestic pet insurance cover, emergency work and temporary repairs.
For an additional premium, your contents policy can also insure valuable items you take out of the home. This is often referred to as ‘portable cover’ and it includes personal items such as watches, jewellery, cameras, sunglasses, laptops and surfboards.
Your local insurance broker can assist you with advice on a home and contents insurance policy that’s right for your family and help you estimate the true value of your possessions, giving you peace of mind that everything you’ve worked hard for in your home is protected and secure.
Call Phoenix Insurance Brokers today.
Home and Contents Insurance FAQs
To estimate the value of your contents, walk from room to room making an inventory list of the items contained in each room of your home and the value of replacing each item. Remember to include the floor coverings and window treatments.
Go outside and do the same for the contents of your patio, garden shed, workshop or storeroom. Total up each area of the home then check your existing policy to see if they match. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your receipts for expensive items as proof of ownership.
Your home insurance policy cost is based on the estimated cost to rebuild your property, not on the price you paid for the property, or its market value.
Yes, you can buy insurance products just for your building, or just for your possessions, or a combined policy for the two. If you get a combined home and contents policy, you assign both your house and your contents a separate sum insured amount – the total amount the insurer will pay to repair or replace your home or belongings.
Yes, usually one of the conditions of having a mortgage is to have adequate building insurance cover.
There are two types of insurance cover to choose from:
- Total replacement cover including all the costs to rebuild your home and restore it to the state it was in before the damage occurred, and
- Sum insured which covers damage up to a fixed amount.