We have recently had to make a claim on our Suncorp contents insurance. We were very surprised to discover that carpet is considered a Content (even though you can’t take it with you when you move). However, lino, floorboards and the like are covered under Home policy. When we asked why, we were told that is just the way it’s always been. The replacement cost of carpet was quiet a lot and we had not previously accounted for it as part of our contents value. The same goes for curtains and blinds, they are considered contents.
I also did a complete inventory (excel) of all of our belongings and replacement value. It was a huge eye opener as we were underinsured. Particularly when you include carpet and blinds.
Don’t under estimate the cost of replacing books, especially hardcovers, text books, reference books etc… Some are now worth a fair amount of money.
Likewise with clothes and shoes. It is easy to underestimate the replacement value particularly if you have older designer labels etc… Their value is often quiet a lot now. Even RM Williams boots add up when there are multiple pairs.
It is common across the insurance industry that carpets (and other floor coverings such as rugs and mats) are part of contents insurance.
You have raised a good point that many consumers may not be aware of this classification and as a result could easily be uninsured by not including their replacement value in their contents estimates. For a large carpeted home, it could run into $10Ks to have all the carpet and underlay replaced through an insurable event.
In relation to clothing etc, one should check to see if the policy is ‘new for old’ or ‘market value’.
If it is new for old which is relatively common for most contents, the insurance estimate should be based on replacing the item with a equivalent new product. This means an old item which may not be worth much if sold, would be replaced with a new equivalent item at current new product prices. An example being a TV which one might get $50 for selling at a garage sale, would be replaced by an equivalent new TV say at $1000. The estimate should be based in $1000 rather than $50.
Market value, which is less common but could apply to some items, would mean the insurance estimate for the TV would be $50. In the event of an insurable event, $50 would be provided as the replacement cost for the TV which means one may be out of pocket if a replacement TV for $50 can’t be found.
The other category is agreed values. These are usually for specific items often listed in the policy and includes such things as jewellery, artwork, antiques, collectables etc. These often require some evidence of the insured valuation.
I hope you don’t mind, but I have changed the topic name slightly to open it up to more discussion about what may be in each category, and whether others were aware of this.
I was told that the difference between what goes into the ‘home’ and the ‘contents’ policies was that you could move something it went into ‘contents’, but immovable objects such as those permanently fixed to the building were ‘home’. For example:
curtain tracks are home, whereas the curtains are contents,
laid carpets are home, but unsecured carpets no matter how large are contents.
built-in cupboards and wardrobes are home, but movable cupboards and wardrobes are contents.
Some insurers such as NRMA also provide calculators, which your spreadsheet probably looks like, that list and prompt for things to include in contents insurance.
There has been discussions in other topics to do with home and contents insurance such as:
(You can do a search using the magnifying glass icon on the blue bar to search for things.)
When I worked for NRMA many years ago, we gave the advice that if you could tip your house upside down and shake it, then everything that fell out was contents. The rest home cover…pretty sure most companies may still operate on this equation
It might need some further clarification, for those who keep the lawn mower under the house or out the back in the garden shed, along with other prized yard maintenance equipment.
It’s important to look carefully at the dollar limits by category, hence listing anything not found in the most everyday of suburban homes is always wise. A basic zero turn or upper end ride-on mower can set one back $5k-$10k these days. I’ve neighbours on small acreage lots with a handy small Kubota or equivalent. Loader, backhoe, mower, muck raker etc all in one. Well passed the $20k mark to replace.
Also our experience, and similar circumstances for those on larger residential blocks or averages. The best option is to discuss the details in person with your insurer before they prepare a quote.
It’s useful to note that some insurers offer cover matched to ‘lifestyle’ properties, hobby farms or home businesses. It’s important to ask the insurer if they offer a type of cover specific to your circumstance. CGU provide cover to suit lifestyle properties, EG horse owners, self sufficient homes etc, under their Hobby Farm heading. Although not necessarily hobby farms depending on your mindset.
‘Hobby farm insurance | CGU Insurance