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Contents Insurance

Understanding Contents Insurance in New Zealand: An Essential Guide from Gerrards Insurance Brokers

Most New Zealanders will agree that our homes are often our most valuable assets. Not only in the financial sense but also because they’re the keepers of our memories and treasures. Thus, protecting these spaces with adequate insurance is of paramount importance. But while we often think about insuring the physical structure, it’s easy to overlook the contents within – items that often carry as much, if not more, value and significance.

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Topics covered

What is Contents Insurance?

Contents insurance, a key component of home insurance, is designed to provide financial protection for the personal belongings within your home. This could range from everyday items such as furniture, electronics, and clothing, to the more precious possessions such as jewellery, artwork, or heirlooms.

While the specifics can vary across policies, contents insurance generally covers your belongings against loss or damage due to a range of events including theft, fires, natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, and accidental damage.

Who Needs Contents Insurance?

Who needs it, you may wonder? If you own items of value that you couldn’t easily replace out-of-pocket, contents insurance is a worthwhile consideration. It becomes particularly crucial if you are renting or own a home.

Common Contents Insurance Claims

To illustrate the importance of contents insurance, let’s walk through a few scenarios that commonly lead to claims:

Natural Disasters

After a devastating earthquake, you find your home severely damaged, with valuable personal items destroyed. Contents insurance can help replace these items.

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A kitchen fire spreads, damaging furniture and appliances. Again, contents insurance can save the day by helping replace these items.

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While you were on holiday, burglars broke into your home, stealing electronics and jewellery. A comprehensive contents policy would cover these losses.

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Accidental damage

Your valuable painting was accidentally knocked off the wall during a family gathering, ruining the artwork. With contents insurance, the cost of replacement or repair can be covered.

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If you need a more specific claim example for contents insurance, contact us and we can provide you with these. 

Commonly Asked Questions

When exploring contents insurance, there are common questions and areas you need to be mindful of:

What do I need to watch out for with contents insurance?

There are several potential pitfalls to be aware of:


Often, people underestimate the value of their belongings, leading to a sum insured that’s too low to replace everything in case of a total loss.

Excess Options

Different excess options can affect the cost of your policy and the amount you’ll get from a claim, so it’s crucial to understand these when setting up your insurance.

Specified Items

High-value items may not be fully covered unless they’re specified in your policy.

Policy Exclusions

All policies have exclusions. Make sure to read and understand them.

Keeping your policy updated

When you acquire new valuable items, or when their value increases, it’s important to update your policy.

What is covered by contents insurance vs house insurance?

While house insurance covers the physical structure of your home and other structures on your property, contents insurance covers the personal belongings within your home.

What are specified items?

Specified items are high-value items that are specifically listed in your insurance policy with their respective values. These often include jewellery, art, high-end electronics, or antiques.

Can contents insurance cover business equipment or plant?

Yes, contents insurance can cover business equipment or plant. But even if it does, there are usually very low limits and exclusions on certain types of equipment. It’s crucial to discuss this with your broker.

How long does contents insurance last?

Most contents insurance policies are annual and need to be renewed each year.

How do I get a contents insurance certificate?

You can obtain your certificate of insurance directly from your insurance provider or broker, typically after you’ve purchased the policy.

Buying Contents Insurance

What does contents insurance cost?

In New Zealand, the cost of contents insurance can vary widely, from just over $200 annually for the most basic homes, to a few thousand for luxury homes filled with high-value contents.

How can I purchase contents insurance?

You can purchase contents insurance through a direct insurer or via an insurance broker, like us here at Gerrards Insurance Brokers.

Should I use a broker for house insurance?

So, should you use a broker for contents insurance in New Zealand? The answer is a resounding yes. Insurance can be a complex field, rife with potential pitfalls. A broker’s role is to guide you through this complexity, helping you to understand and select the best coverage options for your unique circumstances.

At Gerrards Insurance Brokers, we’re dedicated to helping you navigate the world of contents insurance. Our team of experienced brokers is ready to help you protect what matters most to you, ensuring you get the best deal and coverage for your needs. Get in touch with us today to find out more.