Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance inside story blog logoIndiana Farm Bureau Insurance Inside Story Blog Logo

by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance

What is contents insurance and who needs it?

Family of four sitting on the couch looking at an ipad

You are moving out! Now what? Not only do you need something to protect your belongings, but many landlords require proof of renters insurance. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance can help you get started.  


What is contents insurance? And how does it work? 


If your belongings are damaged or destroyed by a covered loss, your contents insurance policy will pay to replace or repair those items.*  


Here are some examples: If your mountain bike is stolen from the garage, your policy will pay to replace it. Or, if there is a fire in your rented home and clothing or furniture is ruined, your policy can pay to replace those items.  


In addition to your belongings, the policy also provides additional living expenses if your apartment or rented home becomes uninhabitable. Additional living expenses can cover the cost of a hotel room while you are displaced from your home.  


This policy also provides coverage if someone gets hurt in your home. Accidents do happen and this policy provides an extra layer of protection.  


Are personal property insurance and contents insurance the same? 


Yes! You may hear both terms, and they can be used interchangeably. Personal property and contents insurance are the type of coverage.   

What is included in contents insurance? 


There are three types of coverage offered as part of a contents insurance policy: 


  • Your belongings 

  • Medical coverage if someone is hurt at your home 

  • Living expenses  


There are limitations to this type of policy. It does not provide coverage for your motor vehicle, your motorcycle or your landlord’s property. Coverage for these items can be purchased separately. 


What is not usually covered?  


If you have higher value or specialty items such as jewelry, fine arts or furs, you may want to talk with an agent about the best way to provide coverage. A contents policy typically has a limit on these types of items, but you can schedule these items individually on your policy to ensure they have proper coverage. 


Another area where there may be limited coverage is if you have a substantial portion of your belongings in an off-site storage facility. Typically, contents insurance coverage provides limited coverage when more than 10% of the value of the contents is in another location (not where you reside).  


Also, if you operate your business out of your home, the personal contents policy does not provide protection for business operations in your home. That coverage should be provided by a business policy. If you don’t have a business insurance policy and need one, get a free online quote today.  



A local agent can help you with all these scenarios.  


How much contents insurance do I need? 


If you lost all your possessions, how much would it cost to replace everything that you own in your home? Seems daunting, right? The minimum amount of coverage that we provide is $10,000, but that may not be enough coverage for you.   


There are a few ways to calculate how much coverage you need to cover your belongings. First you can do a high-level estimate of the following categories of coverage:  


  • Clothing 

  • Furniture and decor 

  • Appliances (that you own) 

  • Electronics  

  • Hobby equipment (golf clubs, exercise equipment, etc.) 


Don’t want to do the estimate yourself? We also have an easy-to-use calculator. You can find what you are looking for with our Personal Property Estimator.  



Finally, you can always contact an agent. Our local agents can assist you with this entire process.  



4 factors that can affect your contents insurance: 


There are many factors that may affect your contents insurance. These include, but are not limited to:  


  • Amount of coverage that you select 

  • Location of your home 

  • Policy deductible 

  • Any additional coverages that you add to the renters policy   


Additional helpful questions: 


You may have questions when it comes to contents insurance. Below, we answer some commonly asked questions to assist you. If you don’t find what you are looking for, contact a local insurance agent. They will be happy to get you the answers you need!  


Does contents insurance cover my personal belongings while I am moving? 


The policy does provide coverage while your belongings are being moved from one location to another. However, the policy provides limited coverage when your belongings are stored at a location away from your home.  


Does contents insurance cover my belongings in the storage unit? 


A contents insurance policy may cover up to 10% of your personal property that is not at home. If you have a storage unit and you have $15,000 of coverage for personal property, your policy will provide $1,500 of coverage for the items in the storage unit.  


Does it cover damages by a pet? 


Damages caused by a pet are not covered by a contents policy. As a tenant, you are responsible for this damage.  


I run my business from home, does contents insurance cover the damages? 


The personal contents policy does not provide protection for business personal property in your home. Business personal property would include things that belong to or are used for the business. That coverage should be provided by a business policy. Please note that running a business in your home is different from working remotely (i.e., you work for an employer and work at home).  


Many landlords require renters insurance, and you need to know that if something happens to your property, your landlord’s insurance won’t cover it. You need a contents policy that covers your property, including special items and things housed somewhere else. This is an important step, so don’t delay! Contact an agent to help you today. 


*We will reimburse you for damages up to your policy limit (and minus your deductible).