Renters insurance 101
If you’re renting, your landlord is responsible for insuring the property, including permanent fixtures like fences and fixed appliances – but not the stuff in it that you’ve brought with you. The responsibility for covering that stuff – that is, your contents – generally falls to you, the renter.
The good news is you can insure your contents and not have to worry about insuring the building you are renting.
What is renters insurance?
“Renters insurance” is sometimes used to refer to insurance policies that just cover contents. AAMI offers two types of contents-only insurance that renters might consider:
If you don’t think you have stuff worth insuring, think again! Whether it’s that coffee machine you can’t go without, a favourite outfit or three, or your brand-new gaming set-up, we all have things that are important to us. And if they’re lost, damaged or destroyed by insured events like burglaries or wild weather, that can be as expensive as it is heartbreaking.
What renters insurance covers
Renters insurance could help cover the cost of repairing or replacing contents items that are damaged or lost in an insured event, so check with your insurer.
For AAMI Renters Insurance this can include cover like the following:
- Cover for spoiled medication and food, with a $400 limit.
- New for old. This means repair or replacement with new items or materials reasonably available at the time of repair or replacement, regardless of an item’s age with no allowance for depreciation, and to the same type, standard and specification as when new. If the same is not reasonably available, this means a similar type, standard and specification.
For more details, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
What renters insurance doesn’t cover
If you are renting, the building itself isn’t usually covered for loss or damage under a contents insurance policy. This could also mean some permanent fixtures like an installed oven may not be covered - check with your insurer. That sort of thing should be covered by Home Building Insurance, which (hopefully!) your landlord has.
Can you get renters insurance in a sharehouse?
With AAMI Renters insurance you can’t take out insurance for just the stuff in one room of a sharehouse; you’ll have to cover everything in the house. You could discuss a joint policy with your housemates, in which case you might agree to all chip in for cover. In that case, if you want you could all be listed as joint policyholders.
If they aren’t interested, you can always take out a policy anyway, and ensure that the sum insured is just enough to cover your own things. Keeping the sum insured to that amount, rather than setting it to cover all contents items in the house, means your premium will be lower.
How much could renters insurance cost?
Premium costs can increase or decrease based on a few factors, such as your location and claims history. AAMI offers two types of rental insurance, and the flexibility to choose a sum insured, so there are options that enable you to adjust your premium depending on your needs and circumstances.
Fire & Theft Contents Insurance
AAMI Fire and Theft Contents Insurance is a low-cost option when compared to our standard Contents Insurance. It offers up to $25,000 of cover for any one incident, should they be lost or damaged through theft, attempted theft or fire, including bushfire1 when they are inside the insured building or unit. It does exactly what it says on the tin!
That does, however, mean that other events such as floods and storms aren’t covered.
Please check the PDS to read more about what is or isn’t covered by Fire and Theft Contents Insurance.
AAMI’s Home Contents Insurance offers cover for a wider range of insured events than Fire and Theft Contents Insurance. Under AAMI Home Contents Insurance you can also specify a sum insured for a particularly valuable item that has a flexible limit such as a piece of jewellery or artwork when you pay the additional premium, and that item will be covered for up to the amount you choose to increase its limit to.
Check the PDS for full details of AAMI Home Contents Insurance and for terms, conditions and exclusions.
When you take out Home Contents Insurance, you can consider whether you wish to add a few optional covers in exchange for you paying extra on your premium.
Need extra cover?
Accidental damage at home
This optional cover can be added for an additional premium and could help with repair or replacement of contents that are accidentally damaged at home – for example, in scenarios like the following:
- You spill wine on your carpet, causing a big, red, impossible-to-remove stain.
- A painting decides it doesn’t like being on the wall anymore.
- A ring is lost down the deep dark drain (note that limits may apply to jewellery, unless you list it on your policy!).
- You’re playing an intense video game and the controller slips – smashing the TV screen.
Read the PDS for more info on this optional cover, including limits and exclusions.
Portable Valuables Insurance
You might have a few valuable items you take with you when you’re on the go – like a special watch, laptop or even your phone. The thing is, if these items are damaged when you’re not at home, they probably won’t be covered by your policy.
There’s good news, though – if you’re an AAMI Contents Insurance customer and take out optional Portable Valuables cover for an additional premium, you can travel all over Australia and New Zealand without having to worry, because eligible items will be insured for accidental loss or damage2! Jewellery and watches will also be covered for 30 consecutive days anywhere in the world as long as they’re being worn by you or are in a secure safe.
There are two types of Portable Valuables cover:
Unspecified item cover
This is for items that are eligible, but aren’t specifically listed on your policy. For any one incident we will pay up to $1,000 per item, pair, set or collection in total for all items up to the sum insured for this optional cover. This value is shown on your Certificate of Insurance. You can also choose a sum insured for these items up to $5,000.
Specified item cover
Some eligible items aren’t covered when unspecified, and need to be added to your policy – like your mobile phone. Other items may have a value that is greater than $1,000, like a smart watch, which will only be insured up to this amount unless specified with its full value. Adding these items will increase your premium, but means they’ll be covered for up to the amount shown on your certificate of insurance for each itemif a claim needs to be made.
It can get confusing, so be sure to read the PDS for a full list of which items are eligible, and which items need to be specified.
If you ever need to make a claim on a Portable Valuables covered item, an excess of $100 will apply, regardless of if it’s specified or unspecified.
- What can be included in Home and Contents Insurance?
- Are broken windows covered by insurance?
- What is accidental damage cover?
1 We do not insure you for bushfire in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. For full details read the PDS.
2 Subject to the terms, conditions and exclsuions of your policy.
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination (TMD) is also available.
This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.