How to calculate your contents insurance cover

Last updated on February 21, 2024

When you take out a contents insurance policy, you need to calculate the replacement cost of your home contents. This can help you decide your ‘contents sum insured’. Why is this important? It’s the total amount your insurer will pay for repairs or replacements due to loss or damage caused by an insured event, such as a burglary or fire.1 

Here’s our guide with tips to help you get started.

Two men sitting on a sofa reading a brochure together
These tips may help you estimate the value of your home contents.
List each item and its value, but list higher value items separately, such as expensive watches or jewellery. If these items exceed your insurer’s ‘general contents’ set limits, you’ll need to list them separately on your policy as ‘specified contents’. You can also include purchase dates, serial numbers, and any other information that may help if you ever need to replace them.

Check your list room by room to make sure you’ve included everything. To cover items that you wear or carry with you, consider adding Portable Contents cover to your policy.

These are some of the more common items you might consider adding to your list:

Kitchen and laundry

  • Kitchen appliances, such as a jug, toaster, microwave, blender, and air fryer 
  • Linen, sheets and towels
  • White goods, such as a fridge, freezer, washing machine, and dryer 

Dining and living room

  • Electrical appliances, including freestanding fans, TVs, and games consoles and their accessories
  • Furniture, including tables, chairs, and couches
  • Pot plants

Bedroom and bathroom

  • Clothes and accessories, including bags and shoes
  • Cosmetics and toiletries
  • Doonas, sheets, and towels
  • Furniture, including your bed, mattress, bedside tables, and freestanding wardrobes
  • Spectacles and sunglasses

Home office

  • Electronics, including computers, laptops, monitors, keyboards and mouse
  • Furniture, including desks, chairs and bookshelves

Throughout your home

  • Artworks
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Curtains and internal blinds

Other items

  • External medical aids and devices, including wheelchairs and mobility scooters
  • Musical instruments

Garage or shed contents

  • Bicycles and sports equipment – Cover doesn’t apply when they’re being used
  • Canoes, kayaks, or surfboards under 3 metres in length – Cover doesn’t apply when they’re being used
  • Contents intended to be kept outside, like your barbeque, outdoor furniture and children’s play equipment – A $2,000 limit applies
  • Tools and equipment
Note: Contents cover applies to the contents of your shed or garage excluding motor vehicles, motor bikes, boats, farm vehicles, caravans or trailers, drones and other items. For the full list of exclusions, see the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
A home contents replacement calculator can help you estimate the amount to replace your contents in minutes. However, remember that this is an estimate only, based on the average home contents value in Australia.
Consider getting valuable items appraised professionally to make sure they’re insured for the correct amount.
Keeping your home contents list up to date should help you each time you renew your contents insurance.

If you value your contents too low, you may not have enough insurance cover. ‘Underinsurance’ could result in having to cover repair or replacement costs yourself if you have to make a claim. On the other hand, valuing your contents too high could mean you’re paying too much for your insurance.

If you’re a homeowner, you may also need to calculate your ‘building sum insured’ for your home building insurance. You may find our article ’How to estimate building replacement costs’ useful.

It’s a good idea to check your home’s replacement value each year, before renewing your policy. Be sure to add any new items to your list of contents. Maybe you had new jewellery or a new phone for your birthday?

If you have Allianz Home Insurance, we’ll increase your sum insured automatically each year when your insurance is due for renewal. If you don’t want us to increase your sum insured, let us know.

We won’t adjust your sums insured for specified contents and portable contents, so you’ll need to review the value of these items. Don’t forget to add anything new. 

To make sure your insurance covers the replacement value of your contents, we recommend you check your sum insured each year. You’ll see your sum insured in your renewal documents.

General contents are the things you own and are legally responsible for, like your furniture, white goods, electrical appliances, clothing, and other personal belongings.

Contents insurance does cover carpets, curtains and internal blinds. But it doesn’t cover the physical structures of your home, such as any fitted wardrobes, a garage, shed, or fences. For this type of cover, you need building insurance.

Expensive items may exceed the general contents limits set by your insurer. You may have to list these items separately as ‘specified contents’ and specify their value. Contents insurance will only cover these items while they’re at your home, unless you take out optional Portable Contents cover.

For a full list of what Allianz Contents Insurance covers and doesn’t cover, see the relevant PDS.

  1. 72-hour exclusion period may apply - Home
    We may not provide cover for any loss of or damage to your property caused by cyclone, flood, grassfires, and bushfires, during the first 72 hours after you first purchase a policy or increase your cover under an existing policy. For full details of conditions and exclusions please refer to the relevant PDS.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

Allianz acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work across Australia. We pay our respect to First Nations Elders past and present.

Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website. We do not provide any form of advice if you call us to enquire about or purchase a product.

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