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What Does Home and Contents Insurance Really Cover?

Q Report Team
Updated on February 09, 2023
6 min read

It’s easy to underestimate the cost of replacing your home and possessions. That’s why so many people rely on Home and Contents insurance to compensate for financial loss.

But does home and contents insurance cover all of your treasures? While home and contents policies excel at recouping some losses, they may fall short where jewellery is concerned. Let’s take a look at why specialised jewellery insurance may benecessary for protecting your engagement ring, luxury watches and cherished heirloom jewellery. 


What is Home and Contents Insurance?

Before we delve into the differences between home and contents insurance and jewellery insurance, let’s review the basics.

Home and Contents insurance is a combination of two kinds of cover. 


Home Insurance

Home insurance provides protection for loss or damage caused by fire, storms, earthquake, impact damage, and other disasters. It focuses on the structure of your home: the roof, walls, systems, fixtures and attached appliances. 

Lenders require home insurance on properties with mortgages as a protection for their investment in the building. Even without a mortgage, however, homeowners reduce their financial risks by protecting what for most people is their most substantial investment.


Contents Insurance

If the “home” part of home and contents insurance protects the building itself, the “contents” part covers what’s inside. This may include everything from a pair of designer shoes to the carpet on your dining room floor.


Types of Contents Insurance

When you explore your options for home and contents insurance, you’ll come across two main types:

  • Value of your belongings
  • New-for-old


Value of Your Belongings

Some home and contents policies only cover the value of your possessions, which can depreciate over time. In the event of a claim, the amount you receive from your insurance company may not cover the replacement cost of your belongings.



With a new-for-old policy, your belongings are fully covered for the full cost of replacing them with new items. In some cases, the replacement cost may actually be higher than you initially paid for an item. The premium for this type of policy is generally higher than for a “Value of Your Belongings” policy.

Regardless of the type of contents insurance you choose, keep in mind that your cover likely won’t extend to every item you own.


What Home and Contents Insurance Covers

Subtle differences exist between different insurance providers and policies. It’s not safe to assume that your policy protects everything you own. Let’s look at the different levels of cover you’ll encounter as you do your research.


Standard Contents

Most contents insurance policies protect your possessions when they’re lost through a defined event. What is a defined event, you may wonder? It’s an occurrence such as a storm, fire or burglary. In such an event, your coverage will reimburse you for the costs associated with items such as these.

  • Emergency measures that protect your home from further damage or loss. For instance, the locks may need to be replaced immediately following a break-in.
  • Alternative accommodation. If the event makes it impossible for you to stay in your home, your insurance will likely provide temporary housing for you, your family and pets. 
  • Debris removal. Some events, such as storms, may leave debris around your property. Home and contents insurance should cover the costs of debris removal.
  • Lost medicine or spoilage of perishable food, up to certain limits.
  • Damage to or loss of guests’ possessions, if they were visiting your home during the insured event. Again, this benefit has limits.


Specified Items

Some items do not automatically qualify for replacement in standard home and contents policies. These items are usually valuable, so the policy sets per item and total limits on them. Examples include jewellery, laptops, cameras and artwork.

If you need to insure these items beyond their set limits, you may need to list them separately as “specified items.” Specifying items usually increases the premium on your policy, and it may only cover these items when they are located in your home.


Accidental Damage

Some policies offer an extra “accidental damage” option. For an additional premium, you can cover your home and contents from accidents, such as breaking a porcelain fixture or spilling wine on an expensive carpet.


Flood Insurance

In most cases, standard home and contents insurance does not cover loss or damage due to flooding. That doesn’t mean you can’t obtain flood cover, but you must specify this extra insurance and pay an additional premium.

Flood cover typically covers for the loss or damage to your possessions caused by floodwater (including run-off and rainwater). Be aware that most providers apply an exclusion period to this type of insurance. You won’t be able to bring a claim within 72 hours of the commencement of your policy. Check with your provider regarding specific details.


Portable Contents

Does home and contents insurance cover your possessions when they’re not at home? Sometimes. You’ll need to refer to your policy on specifics. Some providers allow you to purchase extra cover that extends benefits to locations away from home.

People sometimes add portable cover to protect their phones, laptops, handbags and other expensive items while they’re away from home on business. Portable contents policies typically extend protection to anywhere inside Australia and New Zealand; a few may extend benefits to overseas locations as well.


Having Adequate Coverage for Your Possessions

If your lightning struck your home tomorrow and started a catastrophic fire, would you have enough money to rebuild your home and repurchase all of the items inside? Few of us could handle such an enormous financial setback, and that’s why we count on insurance to minimise our risk.

With home and contents insurance, you can get back on your feet after a disaster and recover your previous standard of living. That’s what these policies are for, and they work well in those circumstances.

But home and contents insurance is not ideal cover for all of your possessions. Take jewellery, for example.


Jewellery Requires Specialised Insurance

Because home and contents policies have set limits and per item clauses, they’re not ideal for high-value possessions like diamond rings and luxury watches. Furthermore, a contents policy will likely not cover your jewellery when you’re travelling overseas.

For sentimental items like jewellery, you need to be sure you can restore the piece to its original state, even if that means acquiring unique materials and having your family jeweller take care of the repairs or replacement.

Take your engagement ring, for example. If you lose it, and your home and contents policy has a $1,000 per item limit on replacement, will you be able to restore it to its current, gorgeous state? 

Or what if your grandmother’s diamond bracelet is stolen in a burglary. Will your home and contents policy replace it, even if it means spending more than current market value to restore the emerald-cut gems?


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Q Report Jewellery Insurance

At Q Report, we only insure jewellery, and we are as passionate about jewellery as you are. Since we don’t also cover roofs, televisions, furnaces and brickwork, we can put all of our efforts into protecting and restoring fine jewellery.

And what does our specialised jewellery insurance entail?


Agreed Value Policy

Some insurance providers don’t pay the full amount shown on your policy when you make a claim. Even if you pay a premium on the insured value, they can choose to replace it at a lower price.

At Q Report, we want you to feel satisfied and confident with your cover at all times. We provide agreed value cover, meaning that in the event of an approved claim for a total loss, we pay the actual amount shown on your policy minus a flat $100 excess.


Return to Your Chosen Jeweller

You may have spent months finding the perfect jeweller to create your piece, and that’s why we believe you should return to them if you wish. With a Q Report policy, we always give you the option to return to your original jeweller for replacement or repair.


Free Annual Revaluation

As part of the renewal process every year, we revalue your insured jewellery at no additional charge, so you can be sure it is protected at the correct insured value.


150% Cover

A Q Classic policy also includes a 150% cover benefit. If your jewellery can’t be replaced for the amount shown on your policy, we’ll pay up to an extra 50% to make sure what you receive matches what you lost.


Worldwide Cover

Our specialised jewellery insurance provides 12 months cover against damage, theft and loss, while you travel worldwide. Whether you’re honeymooning or travelling on business, you can take your jewellery along with confidence and peace of mind.


Instant Cover

If you purchase your jewellery from a Q Certified Jeweller, in most cases, they can create your Q Report policy even before you walk out the door! Alternatively, complete our online quote process or call us on 1300 882 018 and our team will assist you.


Learning More About Specialised Jewellery Insurance

Consider your jewellery collection. If your pieces were lost or stolen, would you be able to restore them quickly? Does your home and contents insurance provide adequate cover?

For most people, the answer is no on both counts. We believe that jewellery was meant to be worn and enjoyed, but too many people leave their jewellery at home because they fear loss or damage. That’s why we’ve created affordable, comprehensive insurance, backed by a world-leading insurer, Chubb Insurance Australia Limited.

To learn more about our policy, read more about our insurance. Or to receive an instant, online quote, fill out this simple form. We love jewellery as you do, and we’d be proud to protect yours!

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Jewellery Insurance Instant Quote

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