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Insurance Guide

Insurance for Homeowners, Renters and Rental Property Owners

Whether you own a home or are renting, flatting, or have any other valuable property you want to protect, you need an insurance option that will cover you in case of an unfortunate and unforeseen event. With different types of insurance cover for people in different housing situations - owners living in the home, people who are renting or flatting in a house, and rental property owners renting out the home, it can be quite confusing which insurance cover you should get to protect your belongings and property.

We aim to offer a little help on each of these insurance types, so you can better understand which cover you will need when moving into your next apartment, house, or flat; or buying a property to live in or rent out.

What is contents insurance?


Contents insurance provides you with protection in the event of a loss due to an insured event such as theft, accidental damage, and major natural events such as earthquake, fire, storm, or flood. It covers a wide range of items such as furniture, electronics, clothing, jewellery, and other personal belongings.

It is important to understand that contents insurance does not cover some things. For example:

  • Items that belong to another person such as a flatmate, boarder or other guest in the home
  • Your vehicle
  • Any contents that is used for business purposes


A contents insurance policyholder can be a renter or the homeowner.

What else does contents insurance cover?
 
  • In the age of identity theft, you can never be too careful. In addition to identity theft cover, you want to ensure your bank accounts are secure. If thieves take your bank cards from your address and use them fraudulently, AMP Everyday Plus contents insurance policy can assist you in covering your losses up to the benefit amount.
  • Contents insurance can also provide cover for items that are more costly. Contents with flexible limits can include personal items like jewellery, watches, antiques, bicycles, and works of art items like paintings and sculptures.
  • Contents insurance can also provide cover for private collections such as memorabilia, stamps, collectors pins and medals, as well as currency that is no longer in circulation up to a specified limit, unless agreed otherwise by the insurer.

How should I protect my things if I'm renting?


Contents insurance for renters is a good option for those who are flatting with friends or renting their own place.

Insurance doesn’t cover everything that can go wrong, but there is a lot that it does. In the event of a theft or burglary it can be expensive to replace your valuable items if you don’t have insurance in place. Having contents insurance while you’re renting or flatting can provide cover should something go wrong and cause financial strain on you. It can give you peace of mind knowing your personal items are protected from burglaries, fires, floods, or just plain accidental damage or loss.

Remember, it is not the rental property owner’s responsibility to insure your stuff. When you carry the right insurance cover you have the assurance of knowing your precious stuff is protected should an insurable event occur, resulting in a loss to your household contents and personal items.

Will contents insurance only protect my belongings?
 
  • If you have home or contents cover, we will cover the necessary costs of replacing or recoding locks to the external doors or windows of your home at the insured address if the keys to those locks are stolen anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, up to the benefit amount of your policy. However, the policy will only cover the locks, you will need to pay to replace the keys. 
  • It also provides identity theft cover for when you need to re-establish your personal credit history up to the policy’s specified cover.
  • If you take medication that requires refrigeration, and were to lose power due to an insured event, your policy provides cover up to the policy limit. This benefit will also pay for refrigerated and frozen food, also up to the policy limit.

 

What if I'm a rental property owner?


Landlord insurance is designed to protect the property owner when the house is rented. There is cover for loss of rent should an insurable event result in the house being uninhabitable. The policy can also provide more limited cover for things like prevention of access, tenants vacating without notice and more. There is also cover available for Methamphetamine related losses, gradual water damage from internal pipes and internal water systems, and as with our Owner Occupied insurance, SumExtra as an optional benefit. If you provide some of the household contents for the tenants, then these can be insured also.

Why should I purchase landlord insurance?
 
  • You own a property and need protection in case of an earthquake, storm, fire or flood that causes insured damage to your house, and you lose revenue due to the house being deemed uninhabitable due to the insured loss.
  • You own a property and want protection from damage as a result of use, consumption, storage or manufacture of methamphetamine or its precursor chemicals by your tenants or persons at the home with your tenants’ permission.
  • You own a property and need to replace the locks because a tenant forgets to return their keys when they moved out. This also assists when the tenant is evicted and does not return their keys. However, the policy will only cover the locks, you will need to pay to replace the keys.

 

Why do you need insurance cover for your house contents?


As you may know, standard home insurance does not cover personal possessions. One would need contents insurance to protect the personal belongings in their home. And when you live in a rental, your landlord is not responsible for the personal items you keep in the home. In both of these situations, your contents require their own insurance policy in order to be insured. Also, if you are a rental property owner and one of your tenants has a break-in or if there is a fire in your building, you are not responsible for their property. Your responsibility is for the building alone and the contents you own in the building.

Example: Emily has a break-in, and many of her high-dollar value items are stolen; a television, a laptop, and her favourite guitar. Emily did not have a contents insurance policy. She thought the rental property owner was responsible for her loss under his landlord insurance policy because it was his building. Unfortunately, Emily’s rental property owner was only responsible for fixing the broken lock on her door under his insurance. If Emily had a contents insurance policy, it could’ve covered the theft of her personal property up to the covered amount.

In situations where we are unsure of where cover lies, we need to ask questions. Insurance is needed to protect against and recover losses should the unfortunate take place. Here is another scenario of what is covered.

Example: A lightning strike during a storm starts a fire. It damages part of Elvin’s flat, including his television and his flatmate’s stereo system. Elvin has contents insurance, his flatmate does not. While Elvin’s television is covered, his flatmate’s stereo will not be because contents insurance only covers the named insurer’s contents.

Just as we have questions about which cover type we need; we also may have questions of how much cover we may require.


How much insurance cover do you need?


This is always the big question. And the larger your family is or the more things you have, the larger the sum insured amount will be to insure all your contents. This is primarily why we want to provide you with information, to assist you in making informed choices.

Insurance cover if you're a tenant, flatting or living in the house you own


When one recognises the need, the next question becomes how much cover is enough? The answer will depend on your personal circumstances. Each person has different needs. Do you own jewellery or other valuables? Are you a collector? If so, then you will need to ask yourself these questions.

  • How expensive are your important valuables? –  Jewellery, paintings, rare sports memorabilia, or family heirlooms. Collections have a certain dollar value as well as personal value. How much would it cost to replace them?
  • Am I responsible for the item? – If you do not own them and are still making payments, you may be required to take out insurance on the item.
  • Do I have a way to replace my valuables if they are lost? – If your items do not have insurance already through another source, what would happen if they were lost? Are you able to replace them easily?

While most valuable items are irreplaceable on a personal level, having insurance protection can assist with recovering some of the financial loss experienced. If you don’t know how much an item is worth, you can have it appraised or search for its market value. 

Check out our contents calculator to help make it easier for you to find how much cover you may need. 

Insurance cover if you're a landlord


Rental property owners have a different view of insurance needs than a renter would. Their protection needs would be quite different than a tenant’s. Their insurance focus would be on protecting the building and insuring against loss of rent and possibly any furnishing they provide with the house.

Examples of why a landlord policy would be needed are as follows.

  • Tenants are forced to move out due to a weather event that damages the house, and it is deemed uninhabitable.
  • A tenant that leaves a flat damaged. The rental property owner must make repairs before the next tenant moves in.


In each scenario, landlord insurance can provide cover for the property owner up to the policy’s coverage limits. Landlord insurance, in most cases, includes liability insurance for the policyholder; this protects against damaging someone else’s property and bodily injury.

Frequenty asked questions


Can electronic valuables like a phone and laptop be covered with contents insurance?

Yes. Mobile phones are usually included under general items in a contents insurance policy. However, keep an eye on which policy you purchase. Some policies may require you to select an optional benefit for you to be covered for accidental loss or damage to your mobile phone when away from your home.

If I work from home, is my computer and other home office equipment covered?

Yes. Home office equipment that is kept at the home for personal or business use is covered by contents insurance, provided you own it. This has a separate benefit limit which will vary depending on the type of policy you choose.

Are my valuables protected if I am moving to a new home when the loss occurs?

When you move, you are at risk if you do not have the right type of coverage. A comprehensive contents insurance policy can provide limited cover for your property in the event of damage while they are being moved to your new home. Normally the cover is restricted to loss from  fire or flood, or if they are stolen from the vehicle that is carrying them or that vehicle is involved in an accident.


Do you have more questions about contents insurance or landlord insurance?
We can answer them for you. Contact us today at 0800 267 263 for a quote or get a Contents insurance, Contents insurance for renters or Landlord insurance quote online.


There are some limits for what we pay for individual high value items when you make a claim. If you have not specified them on your policy, the policy limit is the most we will pay for these items when you make a claim. It's important to carefully consider your insurance needs and the coverage options available to you before purchasing a policy. Be sure to read the policy documents carefully to understand what is covered and what is excluded from insurance coverage.