Home Contents Insurance Explained – 5 Main Things To Know

We live in an unpredictable world where disaster could strike at any time. Having the right cover could protect you in the event that you become a victim of theft or a natural disaster occurring. It would offer you peace of mind if you end up in a situation where you have to replace items within the house if they were damaged or stolen.

What’s Home Contents Insurance?

Home contents insurance was designed to protect belongings that are in your home. These belongings are not fixed features and include anything that you could move with to another house. Home contents insurance provides cover against theft, vandalism and damages caused by fire, water, storms and earthquakes.

The reality is if anything happened to the belongings in our homes, we would be unable to replace all of them as this is incredibly expensive. Home contents insurance would assist in replacing those things.  

Home vs Home Contents Insurance

People tend to think that home insurance and home contents insurance are the same thing. Home insurance is also known as building insurance or homeowners insurance. This policy covers the physical structure of your home or your business in the event of a disaster occurring. The kind of damage that it covers includes earthquakes, flooding, fire, heavy winds or even lightning.

Home insurance not only covers damages, but accidental loss as well as fixtures for things such as fitted kitchens, bathtubs, etc. This policy allows you to cover other structures on your property such as your swimming pools or the garage. Home insurance isn’t compulsory in South Africa, but most banks require you to own the policy if you want to get a home loan.

Home contents insurance covers the movable contents in the home and isn’t only for homeowners but for renters as well. Though people who rent a house or apartment don’t have to pay for home insurance, they are responsible for covering their personal belongings in the apartment with home contents insurance. Renters assume that their belongings are automatically covered by their landlords home insurance policy, but this is not true.

What Does Home Contents Insurance Cover?

Home contents insurance covers a vast range of possessions in your home, if you had to remove the roof off your home and flip it upside down, all the things that would fallout are part of your home contents. These contents would include;

  • Household goods – this includes appliances such as cookers, microwaves, fridges, televisions, laptops, washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Kitchenware – pots, pans and cutlery.
  • Personal belongings – shoes, bags, sunglasses and clothes.

There are some items that we possess that have a higher value and are considered high risk as they are tempting for burglars and are more expensive to replace. Remember to check to see whether there is additional cover that is available for those items.

The Process of Insuring Your Home Contents

When you do decide to take out home contents insurance, you will be asked how much cover you want. This figure should represent the total value of the belongings you own in your home; excluding the items that are part of your home insurance. In order to calculate the cost of your possessions, you could use a contents calculator or you could go through every room in your house and estimate how much your possessions are worth.  

  • Living room: this would include the value of furniture such as TV stands, couches, curtains/blinds and carpets. Include electronic appliances such as your TV, game consoles, lamps and ornaments.
  • Kitchen: include your stove, fridge, washing machine and dishwasher. Add the cost of your kitchenware as well as small appliances like kettles, toasters and microwaves.
  • Dining room: include furniture such as your dining table, chairs and sideboards as well carpets and curtains. If there is cutlery, you should also include that.
  • Bedrooms: add items and valuables such as jewelry, bedroom furniture like beds, wardrobes, soft furnishings which includes bed linen and clothes. IT equipment in your bedroom should be included like printers and computers.
  • Bathroom: include the cost of bathroom cabinets and toiletries if they are valuable.
  • Outside the home: include the items outside the home such as gardening equipment – this could be the lawn mowers or items in the garage as well.

Home Contents Insurance Cost in South Africa

The cost of home contents insurance varies from person to person as we don’t own the same possessions.  Check that you have insured your home contents for their right value. If you underinsure your contents, in the event that you need to claim, you will receive less money than you will need to replace the items in your home.

You can also reduce your home contents insurance premiums if you combine them with your vehicle or home insurance. A package insurance policy will be cheaper than getting two or three separate ones.


Many people believe that they are covered for all their belongings, but it’s important to check with a reputable broker to ensure that this is the case. Consider home contents insurance as most people would be unable to replace their belongings by themselves in the event that all their possessions are destroyed.

Learn How Securing Your Home Can Help You Lower Insurance Costs.

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