Guide to renters insurance

How contents insurance can cover your belongings in your rental home

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A guide to renters insurance

Updated March 11, 2024
Written by Eliza Buglar
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Why take out renters insurance?

While your landlords insurance covers your rental home, your belongings, furniture and appliances aren’t included. By taking out contents insurance, you can:

  • Cover the repair or replacement value of your possessions (up to the limits of your policy) if they’re damaged, lost or destroyed.
  • Extend your policy to include more benefits, like cover for your personal effects that you take out of the home with you.
  • Be covered for your legal liability for death or injury of someone visiting your home or damage their own belongings.

Choosing cover as a renter


When it comes to choosing the right content insurance policy as a renter, you’ll need to consider:

  • Your sum insured. This is the value of your insured belongings if you had to replace them with new items after an insured event. When setting your sum insured, be careful not to select too low a figure, as you could end up underinsured and may have to foot some replacement costs yourself.
  • Optional extras. You may have the choice of optional extras to add to your renter’s insurance for extended coverage (and an additional premium). One of these is personal effects or portable contents cover, which can insure the possessions you regularly take out of the house (e.g. pushbikes, handbags or mobile phones).
  • Excess amount. The excess is the amount you have to pay towards a contents insurance claim, and you may be able to choose this amount when you take out a policy.

You should also keep in mind that contents cover can vary between insurers, so you should always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the full details of an insurance policy before you purchase and your insurer’s Target Market Determination (TMD) to check if the policy is suitable for you. Some events that are commonly covered by renters insurance can include:

  • Fires
  • Theft
  • Storm damage
  • Floods (sometimes offered as an optional extra)
  • Damage from fallen trees
  • Impacts and explosions
  • Earthquakes and tsunamis
  • Malicious damage and vandalism
  • Debris removal and temporary accommodation
  • Legal liability cover

Expert insurance tips for renters

Compare the Market’s home and contents insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has the following tips for renters looking to insure their belongings:

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Make a reasonable assessment

It’s easy to underestimate the value of all the contents in your home, so take the time to look through and make a reasonable assessment of what your policy limit should be. If you can, take photos or videos of your possessions as evidence and keep them in a safe place.

You can switch anytime

You don’t have to wait for your policy’s renewal date to save on your insurance; you can cancel your existing policy anytime and switch insurers.

Don't rule out smaller brands

Don’t pass on the lesser-known or smaller insurance brands. These insurers are often backed by well-known underwriters, so you have peace of mind knowing you’re in safe hands. Plus, their policies could be cheaper than the major insurers!

How it works

What renters insurance covers

What isn't covered by renters insurance?

How much is renters insurance?

Why is renters insurance important?

What renters are responsible for

Do renters need home insurance?

Are tenants liable for accidental damage?

What is a tenant responsible for?

Meet our home and contents expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Adrian Taylor works to make it easier for homeowners, renters and landlords to protect their home and contents. He believes it’s important for all residents (whether they rent, own or lease) to have adequate financial cover for their property and belongings in case the worse should happen.