Home Contents Insurance Explained

Home Contents are the valuable assets and items that you have in your home. You take so much time (years, months, or days) to accumulate these assets and they might hold great value in your life. They help you make long-lasting memories and they are part of your family. 

Losing these items or assets can cause undesirable lifestyle changes and might require you to take a loan or start saving again in order to replace your lost valuables. Fortunately, this can all be avoided with home contents insurance. The home contents insurance can help you maintain your home possessions even in the occurrence of unfortunate events. 

Home Contents insurance will help you retain the state of your home valuables should an unfortunate occurrence happen. This insurance product is one of the best to have in South Africa since there are many home burglaries in the country. 

South Africa has faced 169 000 incidents of home robberies that affected around 139 000 households in 2019/20. This means that there is nearly a 1% chance of your household getting impacted by a home robbery. 

Taking chances may not be a great solution for you. A home contents insurance will provide you with a source of security that you need for your home valuables. You will get a sense of security whether you are home or away. 

What is home contents insurance? 

Home Contents insurance is a short-term insurance cover that covers your home valuables against theft, fire, or malicious damage. The home contents insurance is there to cover the financial costs of repairing or replacing your household possessions should there be stolen, damaged by fire, or by malicious activities. 

Natural occurrences are also covered under home contents insurance. Therefore, any damage that happens to your home possessions will be replaced or repaired by the insurance cover. The cover doesn’t cover the physical structures of your home. For the physical structures of your home, you will need to get buildings insurance

How to get home contents insurance in South Africa

Getting a home contents insurance cover in South Africa is easy. You only need to contact a short-term insurance provider to get a quote. You can contact a short-term insurance company by phone or by visiting their website to request a callback or by filling in an online application to get a quote. 

When getting the quotation, you will need to supply the value of the items that you want to insure. After processing all the information the insurer will give you a call to explain the terms and conditions of the policy and your policy will be activated from then on. 

How to value your home contents 

Your insurer will ask you to provide the value of your home contents. To calculate the value of your home contents, you need to estimate their current value. However, the values that you present to your insurer will need to be accurate. This will help you not to be under-covered or over-covered by the insurance product. 

If you estimate a higher amount on your valuables than what they are worth, you will pay high premiums. On the other hand, underestimating their value in order to pay low premiums, will result in you being underinsured, your insurer will only cover you for a smaller percentage of possessions instead of a100% cover. 

To estimate the value of your home contents, you should:

  • Go from room to room making a list of all your home possessions, 
  • Then estimate how much each possession that you have on the list costs or is worth, 
  • You need to get up to date valuations of jewellery and watches or other items of higher value, 
  • Add the cost of all your items to get your estimates. 

Keep the valuation certificates of your most valuable items. By keeping the certificates you will be able to make claims that are worth the actual value of the items. Make sure that you use a SABS (South African Bureau of Standard) valuator. 

Types of home contents insurance 

There are two popular home contents insurance types in South Africa. These include comprehensive home contents insurance and fire and Storm Only Home Contents Insurance. 

Comprehensive home contents insurance 

Comprehensive home contents insurance is an insurance product that covers your home possessions against theft and/or damages. Home possessions are also covered against fire, lightning, power surge, flood, storm, overflowing of geysers, falling of trees, explosions, earthquakes, and malicious damage. 

Comprehensive home contents insurance insures your home possessions from nearly every occurrence that may affect your home valuables. This cover is an all-around home contents insurance product that covers natural occurrences and damages due to theft. 

Fire and Storm Only Home Contents Insurance 

Fire and Storm Only Home Contents Insurance covers your home possessions against fire, lightning power surge, explosions, impact with your home and outings, falling trees, earthquake, storm, flood, and damage due to bursting or overflowing of geysers. 

Under the Fire and Storm Only Home Contents Insurance you are not covered against theft or break-ins. You get cover for damages that can happen to your home contents caused by natural occurrences and outages only. 

What are you indemnified for under home contents insurance? 

Indemnification depends on the insurance company that you insure your home contents with. Here are some of the most common Indemnifications for home contents. 

  • Your guests’ belongings stolen at your home, 
  • Loss of personal documents, coins, and/or stamp collections, 
  • Locks and keys if lost or damaged, 
  • Washing and garden furniture that is stolen while in the open at your home,
  • Food that deteriorates because of power failure,
  • Money stolen from your house caused by a break-in or violent entry, 
  • You and your spouse’s death caused by fire or a break-in at your home, and more. 


Home Contents insurance covers your most precious home possessions. To make use of this cover you need to make a list of your valuables and make sure that you keep your valuables safe. Making use of a safe to store your jewelry and valuable items is advantageous. It is advisable to use a safe that is SABS approved to avoid any inconveniences when making a claim.

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