The number of possessions that we own tends to increase over time as we endure life changes such as marriage and earn greater incomes. Of course, the addition of more possessions also means that more insurance coverage is needed to replace them in the event of a theft or natural disaster. Those with insufficient policies will not get enough reimbursement from a contents insurance claim to replace their belongings, and so it is essential that those with homeowners insurance policies or home renter insurance keep their contents coverage up to date. Here are some of the most important things to know about contents insurance and how the amount of coverage may be changed.

The Contents Component of Building and Contents Insurance

Contents insurance covers the loss of belongings in a structure due to theft, fire, or a natural disaster, and it is different than structural coverage. Most homeowners insurance policies include basic contents coverage in their normal plans, but it is almost never enough to pay for all of a person’s belongings. It is therefore necessary for most homeowners to purchase additional contents coverage from their insurer. Renters will want to buy home renter insurance with a good contents coverage policy because the landlord’s homeowners insurance does not usually cover the loss of a renters belongings.

Knowing the Worth of One's Belongings

When contents insurance is first purchased, a homeowner or renter must have an accurate understanding of the worth of their possessions. An inventory should be taken of the dwelling’s contents. Going through the residence room by room and then writing down what will need to be covered in a homeowners insurance or home renter insurance policy is a must. Make sure to note the value of each item, and take pictures. This list will need to be updated periodically to reflect any changes in value and so that individuals will know what has been lost in a disaster or theft. Pictures make it easier to prove a contents insurance claim to the insurance company should one need to be filed later on.

Updating the Contents Portion of Your Building and Contents Insurance

Each time a new inventory of possessions is taken, the homeowner or renter should check the inventory list and its total value against the contents insurance coverage. If there is not enough to pay for all the damages, then a greater coverage limit should be added immediately. Many people elect to pay for contents coverage with a limit that is higher than what their possessions are actually worth when they take out their homeowners insurance policies. That way, they can grow into their contents insurance as they add new possessions and not have to worry about changing it all the time.


The contents coverage of your building and contents insurance is vital to protecting your belongings in the event of a loss. Keep this information in mind and follow these tips to keep all of your homeowners policies and home renter insurance up to date.