Renting and contents insurance explained

Whether you enjoy being able to live wherever you like, you prefer the financial flexibility or it’s just the most practical option for your lifestyle and budget, renting is a popular alternative to owning a home. Between 2017-18, 32% of Australians rented their home—up from 30% in 2015-161.  

When you’re renting, you may find it useful to make sure your possessions are covered if they’re affected by fire, storm, flood, theft or burglary. That’s where having contents insurance for renters might come in handy.

What is contents insurance for renters?

Contents insurance for renters may provide you with the option to repair or replace your personal belongings if they’re affected by an insured event. Generally, this kind of insurance will cover items left at home up to an amount specified on your policy. Though your landlord is responsible for insuring the structure you live in, it’s up to you to cover the stuff inside it.

If you live with others, you may not have the option to cover only your room, which means you could end up insuring the entire household. If this is the case, and your flatmates aren’t prepared to contribute to the costs involved, you could opt to specify your things on the valuable items list.

So you can choose the amount of cover that’s best for you and your living situation, GIO offers three levels of cover for renters: Classic, Classic Extras and Platinum. Classic is our basic level of cover, Classic Extras is our mid-range cover that includes everything in Classic plus a few extra covers and higher limits, while Platinum is our high-end cover.

Explore GIO’s Contents Insurance For Renters

What does contents insurance for renters cover?

Contents insurance will usually cover the items that you keep at home. Think appliances and furniture items, electronics and important documents like your birth certificate. Even remote-controlled toys are included! Just be mindful that if you’re a model aircraft enthusiast, these items are only covered provided the wingspan is less than 1.5m wide.

With contents insurance for renters, your important stuff is covered in insured events like:

  • Fire
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Theft and burglary

What isn’t covered by contents insurance for renters?

If you’re thinking about contents insurance, it can be helpful to know which of your possessions aren’t covered (if in doubt, a quick peruse of your policy documents should clarify this). These things may not be covered by the most basic level of contents insurance:

  • Valuable items that you might take with you away from home, such as jewellery, a laptop or your mobile phone.
  • Injury to pets or animals.
  • Plants, hedges, soil or other garden matter like pebbles. But, plants in pots are covered.

It’s important to note that GIO offers cover for portable valuables and injury to pets as optional extras, which means you can choose to include these items on your policy at an additional cost.

How to make a claim

If you ever need to make a claim, documenting your things, especially if they’re valuable or one-of-a-kind, can be a useful habit to get into. It may also help your claim to go more smoothly. Depending on the item, it’s possible you’ll need to provide proof of ownership or proof of value documents to your insurer, like a purchase receipt, photographs of the item in your home or a valuation certificate.

If you’re a GIO customer, it’ll only take a few minutes to lodge your claim online or with the Suncorp App. You’ll also need:

  • your GIO insurance policy number
  • details about when the event occurred and what happened
  • a list of the item or items that have been affected (make sure you include the make and model of electrical items), and
  • if you’ve been affected by theft or burglary, you’ll need to notify the police and include a copy of their report with your claim.

GIO is here for you. Visit our online help centre or get in touch with our knowledgeable insurance specialists today on 13 10 10.


ABS: Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2017-18

Read more:

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.

Got a question?

Ask George, your GIO Virtual Assistant