Home and Contents Insurance Q&A Image

Do you know how much your home’s contents is worth? Or what may be classified as home contents? In this article we aim to answer some of these frequently asked questions when it comes to home and contents insurance*.


Q: What is the difference between home and contents?

A: Home Building insurance typically covers the building and things that are permanently attached to it.

Home Contents insurance then typically covers other items in the home, such as furnishings, white goods, clothing – and also carpets, curtains, linen. Contents may also include items in your shed and items you keep outdoors on your property.  Some additional contents benefits could include vet costs for your cat or dog if they are injured in a road accident during the period of insurance covered up to the limit set out in the Product Disclosure Statement.

Different insurers have different terms and conditions, so it’s worth checking the Product Disclosure Statement before you buy insurance.


Q: How do you value home contents?

A: Traditionally, most people just make their own estimate, but the research suggests that underinsurance is common in Australia¹.

The good news is that there are calculators available to help you estimate the replacement value of your buildings and/or contents, visit and use our Home Buildings and/or Home Contents replacement calculators.

Taking photos of each room can be useful to provide proof of value and ownership at claim time.  Over the years you may have accumulated more than you think!


Q: What happens if home or contents are insured for less than the actual value?

A: If the value of your home or its contents at the time of a loss is greater than the value you insured them for, you could be uninsured by the difference in value.

For example, if you insure your contents for $50,000 and it is damaged in its entirety and the cost is $100,000 to replace in a total loss event, insurers may only pay the $50,000 that you are insured for.

The key value of insurance is to cover you from unexpected events like fire or theft and return you to your previous state. This is only possible if the appropriate level of cover is maintained.

The annual renewal of your insurance policy is a good reminder to review and update your home contents inventory, and make sure your amount insured is adequate to meet your needs.

Remember to evaluate the estimated value of your home and contents by visiting https://www.cota.com.au/products/home-contents/ and scrolling down to the calculators.

¹ The Risk of Underinsurance   https://insurancecouncil.com.au/resource/know-your-worth-and-avoid-underinsurance/



Insurance and Membership Services Limited ABN 59 057 159 743, AR No 246235 trading as COTA Insurance (COTA, we, or us), arranges this insurance as agent of the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (Allianz) ABN 15 000 122 850, AFSL No. 234708. Any advice here does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs, which you should consider before acting on our recommendations. Policy terms, conditions and exclusions apply. You should read and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available at cota.com.au before deciding whether to acquire any product mentioned. The relevant Target Market Determination is available by calling 1300 1300 50. We receive commission on these insurance products as a percentage of the premium paid for each policy ranging from 0.3% to 25%. Allianz also pays us a percentage of the profit which exceeds the agreed profit threshold for Home (excluding flood), Landlord (excluding flood), Motor and Caravan and Trailer policies arranged by us or renewed with Allianz in each calendar year, provided that the agreed premium threshold is met for these products. Additionally, we receive a marketing allowance from Allianz every 2 months, which is a percentage of the total premium earned on these policies in the previous 2 months. Ask us for more details before we provide you with our services by calling 1300 1300 50.  *Note, the information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs.