Explore Home & Contents Insurance

Kirk WallaceWritten by Kirk Wallace
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor
Last updated 22/11/23

Key takeaways

A watch can be more than just an object to tell time. To some, it can be a family heirloom, a stylish testament of success or simply a functional alternative to jewellery. While it’s smart to protect your treasured timepiece against unexpected mishaps, there are some important things to know first:

  • Contents insurance may cover your watch(es) for loss or accidental damage while at home, although it may be subject to a dollar value limit.
  • Your watch may be covered by personal effects insurance (also referred to as portable contents cover), which is an optional extra to your contents policy that extends cover to contents taken outside of the home.
  • There’s also specified cover and unspecified cover available. Both of these options offer different safeguards for covering your items (like an expensive watch) while either worn out or stored at home.

Expert tips on insurance for watches

Our resident home and contents insurance expert, Stephen Zeller, has tips for getting insurance for watches.

Expensive watches may need personal effects cover

If you own a specialised or rare and collectible watch, you may want to insure it for an agreed value against insured events like accidental loss. Specifying a luxury watch separately will mean that it’s insured for the price you would pay to replace it, which will be reflected in your policy documents.

Keep records of receipts and photos of your insured items

Keep your receipts and certificates of valuation, take photos and store them all away on an external hard drive or in cloud-based storage. Proving ownership this way can be the most assured way of being reimbursed in the event of a claim.

Keep your jewellery safe

While on holiday, it’s important to keep your watch and any high-value jewellery safe and secure by keeping the pieces locked away or out of sight when not being worn. This can give you peace of mind that your items should still be there upon your return. This is also important even when not on holiday.

Insurance for watches

man takes out insurance for watch

Can I insure my watch?

You can insure your watch through your contents insurance (along with your other belongings while stored at home). This may be limited to a certain value which will be outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), although you may be able to increase this limit (you may incur an additional premium to do this). There may also be personal effects cover available through your insurance provider which is an added optional extra to your contents insurance policy to keep your watch insured when you leave your home.

Should I insure my watch?

If you consider your watch a valuable item (whether sentimentally or financially), it might be a good idea to consider insuring it, along with other treasured items. If you wear it around with you, you can extend your cover by adding specified personal effects cover in your contents insurance policy.

How to insure a watch

While your watch will be automatically covered under a typical contents insurance policy, it may be subject to a limit under the policy. If you want cover for a limit higher than the one stated in the PDS, you would specify the actual value of your watch or watch collection to your insurer to add to your contents policy so you could expect to be paid out the replacement value in the event of a claim.

It’s also worth considering personal effects cover for your watch (and any other valuables) if it’s lost, stolen or damaged while out of home.

Personal effects insurance

Woman purchases expensive watch

What does personal effects insurance cover?

Each personal effects insurance policy will offer different levels of coverage, depending on your insurer. Personal effects cover will generally cover your belongings, either up to the policy limit or up to the amount you’ve specified for an individual item.

What types of personal effects cover are there?

There are two types of personal effects cover for your contents when taken out of the home:

Unspecified personal effects

Offers general cover for a mix of portable items (such as handbags, clothing, glasses and your wristwatch) that aren’t individually listed on your policy for an overall sum insured, up to a certain amount.

Insurers are likely to cap your mix of portable items at a certain amount per item under this cover. The following items can be insured under this cover:

  • Watches, jewellery, medals
  • Wallets, briefcases and handbags (consult your insurer for contents coverage)
  • Photographic and video equipment
  • MP3 players/iPods
  • Musical instruments (typically not used for business)
  • Glasses and sunglasses, hats, furs
  • Sports equipment (while not in use)
  • Children’s toys
  • Medical aids
  • Clothing.

Specified personal effects

Offers cover for items taken outside of your home that you specifically describe on your insurance certificate (like an expensive Rolex or Patek Philippe watch, or your engagement ring) up to an amount agreed to by your insurer. This is designed for some precious items with a greater insured value (or replacement cost) than the limit in the policy for which you would otherwise be covered for. Some insurers may offer specific personal effects cover for items valued over standard policy limits per item.

There’s also a third option for contents that remain at home you would like itemised within your contents policy; this is referred to as specified contents.

You should always thoroughly read through your PDS for all inclusions, exclusions and limits to your chosen cover.

Is personal effects insurance worth it?

Personal effects cover, in its various forms, can be worth getting as it offers coverage for accidental loss or damage to a range of belongings – including watches – that travel with you anywhere in Australia, and some insurers may even extend cover for a period overseas.

Smartwatches, Fitbits and Samsung and Apple watches can also be covered under personal effects insurance. Whatever type of watch you have, it may be crucial to either specify its value on your policy or have enough unspecified personal effects cover to insure it.

What’s not covered by personal effects cover?

Personal effects insurance usually comes with some general exclusions to be aware of, including (but not limited to):

  • Business or trade equipment (e.g. company laptop or tools)
  • Sporting gear or recreational and leisure equipment while in use
  • Motor vehicles and their accessories
  • Loss or corruption of electronic records
  • Stamps, travel or other tickets, coupons, gift vouchers
  • Drivers’ licences, passports or other documents
  • Items left unattended in public places or lost due to lack of care
  • Wear and tear of your personal effects


Important to know

What’s the difference between contents insurance and personal effects cover?

Contents insurance is a standalone insurance product that offers coverage against damage, theft or loss of personal possessions (including furnishings and some fixtures) at your home.

Conversely, personal effects cover is an optional extra you can add to your contents insurance which provides financial protection for those items you regularly take with you outside of the house.

Meet our home and contents insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

As the home and contents insurance expert at Compare the Market, Stephen Zeller works to make the protection of a homeowner’s most significant financial assets an easier and more efficient process. Stephen empowers people with choice and believes it’s important to have adequate cover in the event of the unexpected – fire, flood, storm or vandalism.

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is an Allied member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and ensures any information about insurance products that we publish is accurate and comprehensive.

single alexksander portrait in bottom global block

Ready to look for a better deal? It’s easy to compare with us.

Compare home and contents insurance
single sergei portrait in bottom global block