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Renters insurance myths and tips

Think renting means you don’t need insurance, or think your landlord’s insurance will have you covered? Think again. It makes no difference if you live in your own place or rent - without contents insurance you could be leaving yourself open to serious financial stress. Take a look at these two commonly-held myths about insurance when renting:

Myth 1: Your landlord’s insurance will cover your belongings 

Your landlord should have insurance to cover their investment property. However, this is designed to cover their investment and not your belongings. 

The same goes if your landlord has supplied whitegoods for you to use. If you have appliances included in your lease–such as a fridge or washing machine – these will be covered under the landlord insurance policy. However this most likely won’t extend to any loss you experience if they’re damaged or break down. That means if a fridge and freezer supplied by your landlord breaks down and it’s filled with food, your landlord’s insurance won’t cover you for the spoiled food. 

Myth 2: You don’t own enough stuff to make having insurance worthwhile 

A common misconception for renters is they don’t have enough belongings to warrant taking out insurance. However, it doesn’t take much for the total to add up. Start by taking into account any electronics – think laptop, stereo and TV – then add in clothes, your bed, any other furniture and white goods such as a fridge or washing machine and you could be surprised by the total. 

So what can you do? Take a look at these top tips to help you get the right level of cover. 

Tip 1: Make sure you’ve estimated the value of your possessions correctly 

Make sure you take the guess work out of what your possessions are worth and do a proper inventory. Go from room to room and list all your possessions, then put a figure next to each of them with what the replacement value would be. 

Tip 2: When selecting a policy, make sure you know what is (and isn’t) covered 

Before choosing a policy, it’s important you know exactly what is and isn’t covered. Insurance policies provide cover for a range of predefined events, such as damage caused by flooding or fire or for theft. Make sure you read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) thoroughly to ensure you’ve got the right cover – it’s important you know what coverage you need before you need to use it. 

Tip 3: Check if you need to insure individual items 

Policies generally have limits on certain items, such as jewellery and artworks. Check the PDS to see if you need to up the coverage amount on individual items. 

It’s also generally a requirement that you list any collections – even a DVD collection. If you’re in any doubt about whether your belongings could be considered a collection, get in touch with the insurer before you take out any cover. 

Tip 4: If you make any big purchases, see if you need to up your insurance 

Taking out an insurance policy isn’t a case of ‘set and forget’. Let’s say you buy a new laptop during the year – take the time to check you’ve still got the right level of coverage.


Fortunately, there are contents insurance policies that cover renters. Renters Contents insurance provides cover for your personal belongings while living in a rental property. It can also provide legal liability cover should someone become injured while visiting your home, and some policies may offer optional cover for valuables (such as jewellery and electronics) outside of the home. Taking out a contents insurance for renters policy could help put your mind at rest and cost far less than what you’d expect.

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When it comes to insurance, many of us undervalue our home and all the things we've collected over the years, so it pays to invest a little time in working out their value accurately and keeping it up to date. Knowing what to include in valuing your home and contents can help you determine the right amount of cover.


Things you should know

The information contained in this article is general information only and is not specific to any product.  

It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs to these factors before acting on it.

Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to any insurance product. Please read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement, before deciding.

Cover is subject to your application for insurance being accepted.

Westpac Retail and Business Banking Financial Services Guide, Credit Guide and Privacy Statement (PDF 89KB)

Home and Contents Insurance Product Disclosure Statement (applicable to policies issued or renewed on or after 5 April 2021) (PDF 461KB)

Home and Contents Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement (applicable to policies issued or renewed in the period between 1 July 2019 and 4 April 2021) (PDF 339KB)

View the Home and Contents Insurance Key Fact Sheets.

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Westpac General Insurance Limited ABN 99 003 719 319 (except workers compensation cover where applicable). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 distributes the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Read the Product Disclosure Statement to see if this insurance is right for you.