Business Contents Insurance

Compare business contents insurance here with Savvy to find the best cover to protect your assets.

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, updated on July 17th, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with BizCover to bring you a range of business insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

Protecting your assets is one of the most important fundamentals of business insurance. Contents insurance can protect all the things you value most and which form an essential part of your business operation.

You can compare a range of business contents insurance policies right here with Savvy. Use our 100% free, no-obligation service to get a variety of quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurers. Answer just a few questions, choose your policy and get your assets covered with us today.

What is business contents insurance and what does it cover?

Business contents insurance is a type of business insurance that offers cover for your property, including your stock, against the risks posed by defined events which are listed in the policy. It will help your business recover from accidents, catastrophic natural events or malicious damage that may cause damage to your business contents. If your business does suffer one of these events, the insurance will cover the cost of replacing or repairing damaged contents and stock.

What is considered to be business contents and stock?

The items covered by business and commercial contents are those which may normally be found in retail premises, offices or factories. They include:

  1. the fixtures and fittings of your office, shop or commercial premises
  2. furniture, plant and machinery
  3. documents, records and paperwork
  4. your business trading stock
  5. goods held on consignment or loan

What insured events will I be covered for?

The insured events covered will vary from policy to policy. Naturally, not all insurance policies are the same, and each insurer will have its own list of insured events. However, the most common insured events in this type of policy are:

  1. storms, wind and lightning
  2. fire
  3. explosions
  4. earthquakes and impact damage
  5. water damage*
  6. malicious damage
  7. vandalism
  8. accidental damage

*Water damage:

When a policy specifies damage by water, be aware that may not include flood damage due to natural causes (such as rivers overflowing or sea storm surges). Such floods are frequently excluded from contents insurance. Water damage more commonly refers to water pipes bursting or leaking, liquids overflowing from a tank or container or sprinkler systems being activated in a room to extinguish a fire.

For example, if you operate a business in Brisbane and have insurance, you may not be covered if your property is flooded by the Brisbane River. However, if there was a fire at your premises and the built-in sprinkler system flooded your storeroom, you would likely be covered. In such a case, the fire would be the insured event and sprinkler water damage would be a secondary effect of the fire which damaged your stock.

What isn't usually covered by business contents insurance?

It is just as important to understand what isn’t covered by contents insurance. In terms of your business assets, these can include:

  1. the building itself (such as walls, floors and ceilings). Commercial buildings are usually covered by commercial property insurance
  2. cash and security documents (which would normally be held in a safe)
  3. business vehicles (which are usually covered by commercial vehicle insurance)
  4. any explosive material (such as pool chemicals, for example)
  5. animals and livestock
  6. crops or grown plants

The events which won’t be covered by your policy include:

  1. intentional damage
  2. wear, tear or gradual deterioration
  3. machinery or equipment breakdown
  4. faulty design
  5. poor workmanship
  6. deliberate switching off of the power supply
  7. pollution or asbestos discovery
  8. rust, mould or mildew
  9. damage caused by rodents or insects
  10. computer hacking, viruses or intrusion (usually covered by cyber liability insurance)

How do I compare business contents insurance?

The best insurance policy will cover you for the greatest number of events at the lowest price possible. Some of the areas to take a close look at are:

Inclusions

Look for a policy with all the inclusions you need and no exclusions in vital areas. The ideal insurance plan covers all potential threats. This is particularly important if you’re looking to insure your home business and office contents and equipment, in which case it’s particularly important to understand what is and isn’t included in your policy.

For a home business, there can be exclusions for items that are normally found in a home, such as chairs and tables, so check your policy carefully.

Maximum payout

Check the maximum payout for any one item matches the level of cover you require. Be wary of underinsuring your business contents, as this can be a costly mistake. If your business needs a higher maximum amount in one area of cover, it's always possible to tailor or customise an insurance policy.

Excess

An excess is the amount a policyholder will have to pay if they make a claim on their insurance policy. It’s the amount you’ll have to pay in the event you suffer an insured event and wish to make a claim. It is sometimes referred to as the uninsured portion of any claim. An excess can start at around $300 and go upwards from there.

Premiums

This is the amount you’ll be required to pay for your insurance per month. Most insurance policies specify the total cost of the insurance per year and break this down into monthly instalments, which are known as premiums. It’s important to compare premiums to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your insurance policy. 

To compare insurance coverage, all you’ll need to do is answer a few questions about your business with Savvy. From there, you’ll receive instant insurance quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurance companies to help you pick the best for your business with more confidence.

How much does business contents insurance cost?

The cost of your contents insurance will vary from insurer to insurer and depend on several variables. These include:

  • what industry you’re in
  • the type of business you run
  • the size of your business
  • the state you’re in
  • where your business is located – urban or rural
  • the value of the contents you want to be insured
  • whether you’re asking for contents insurance as a standalone policy or as part of a business insurance package

If you want a better idea of how much contents insurance will cost for your specific business, you can compare a range of quotes right here with Savvy to help get you started.

How do I work out how much business contents insurance I need?

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More of your questions about business contents insurance

Is it best to get contents insurance as part of a business package?

A business insurance package will often be the cheapest way to get contents insurance. If you bundle different types of insurance together, you can often benefit from a multi-package discount or a no-claims bonus applied to help reduce the size of your premiums. However, it’s important to avoid paying more for insurance you may not need as part of a package.

Are business assets and business contents the same thing?

The phrase business assets insurance tends to cover a broader range of insurance than contents insurance specifically. With contents insurance, you are covering those items contained within your business premises. Assets insurance is a more general description and can include your property, vehicles, equipment and money, no matter where these assets are located.

Do I need contents insurance as a sole trader?

Yes – just because you’re a sole trader doesn’t mean you don’t have valuable contents you need cover for. It is sometimes difficult to work out exactly what insurance you need for your business. You may just be starting up your business but still have invested in stock or materials which you can’t afford to lose. For example, if you’re a sole trader running a small business in Perth focusing on selling surf gear, your business contents insurance may still be needed to cover the value of 30 surfboards you have on consignment to sell in your shop.

Does contents insurance include cover for gear in my ute?

Some contents policies may include cover for portable items, whilst others may not. This is one area where you need to compare the exclusions carefully to see what is and isn’t covered. If portable items aren’t covered or the policy specifies that only items located at the business premises are covered, it’s possible to get separate insurance cover for mobile tools and equipment you carry around with you.

I’m not a retailer. Do I need contents insurance?

Yes – you may still need contents insurance even though you don’t sell tangible products directly to the public. However, if you aren’t a retailer but run a company offering advice or a service to the public, such as a migration agent or a recruitment consultancy, you may still need contents insurance to cover your reception desk, advertising signs, office furniture and computers.

Will contents insurance replace old for new?

This may depend on the fine print in your policy and the type of contents cover you choose. New for old policies cover the replacement cost of an existing item with a brand-new version of the same item. They don’t take inflation or depreciation into account. However, there are policies which will just cover the cost of the item at the age and condition they are at the time of the claim, therefore taking depreciation into account.

Does contents insurance include theft coverage?

Yes – almost all contents insurance includes cover for the theft of items. This assumes that a stranger broke into your premises and stole your goods. However, read the exclusions carefully, as theft may not be covered if the thief was one of your employees or was due to negligence in security such as forgetting to lock a gate or door or replace valuable items in a safe.

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