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Insuring your belongings: what you need to know

Insuring your belongings: what you need to know

Whether you own your home, live in a strata property or are renting, contents insurance can help protect the things that make your house a home.

Most people know that contents insurance provides cover for your personal belongings, so you can replace them if they’re damaged in an insured event or stolen. But contents insurance also covers things you might not have thought about, such as your home furnishings and fittings.

So while building insurance is generally only relevant if you own a non-strata title property, contents insurance can provide valuable protection no matter what your home situation.

Live in a non-strata home you own?

If you own a home that’s not under strata title, a combined building and contents policy gives comprehensive financial protection for your most valuable assets. While building cover protects the main structures of your house, contents insurance can cover the things that make it a home – from your furnishings and fittings, appliances and technology through to your personal items like sporting gear, jewellery and clothes.

Live in a strata title building?

While strata insurance, held by the body corporate, looks after the building and common areas, it’s important to realise it doesn’t cover everything.

Generally, strata building insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, like putting in a new kitchen, bathroom or built-in wardrobes
  • Fixed furnishings, including light fittings, curtains and carpets
  • Personal belongings, from whitegoods, mirrors and artwork, to clothing, jewellery and sporting equipment.

Check with your strata manager to be certain you know what is and isn’t covered under the strata insurance.

Renting?

One of the benefits of renting is not having to worry about building insurance. But if you haven’t insured your contents, you could still be exposing yourself to financial risk. If there were a fire, for example, you could lose your furniture, appliances and other personal items. Or, a thief could take your high-value, expensive-to-replace belongings.

Contents insurance can provide protection against these risks, and the opportunity to claim back the cost of replacing these goods. So even if you’re renting, it makes sense to consider contents insurance.

The benefits of contents insurance

The good news is, a contents policy can fill the gap and protect your belongings from damage, loss or theft – providing peace of mind if something goes wrong. You can even add cover for items you take outside your home – like a bike or laptop – with optional portable contents insurance.

To work out how much cover you’ll need, use a contents sum insured calculator to work out the value of your belongings.

Remember, different policies offer different limits and exclusions, so it’s important to always read the product disclosure statement (PDS). 

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Home Insurance is provided by CommInsure, a registered business name of Commonwealth Insurance Limited ABN 96 067 524 216 AFSL 235030 (CIL). CIL is a wholly owned non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (The Bank). The Bank does not guarantee the obligations or performance of CIL or the products it offers. Where we refer to 'we', 'us' and 'our', we mean CIL. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances. A Product Disclosure Statement is available at all Commonwealth Bank branches, by downloading them from commbank.com.au or by calling 13 2423 and should be considered before making any decisions about this product. You should also read the Home Insurance Key Fact Sheet, Financial Services Guide and Privacy Policy which are also available by calling 13 2423.