Will My Contents Insurance Claim Be Paid Out Without Receipts?

28 September 2018
Lodging a successful insurance claim for lost, stolen or damaged contents may prove tricky without receipts or another way of proving you owned the items in the first place.

While it’s potentially a prudent move to have a home and contents insurance policy in place, as with any type of insurance policy, there will generally be a few steps to take if you need to make a claim. One of these is typically providing proof that you owned the items you’re claiming for.

I want to make a contents claim; what evidence will I need?

If you want to make a contents insurance claim, you will generally need receipts or some other evidence of ownership; both to prove that the stolen or damaged contents belonged to you, and to demonstrate their dollar value.

Without proof of ownership, your claim may be rejected or significantly delayed.

In the case of a claim for stolen contents, you may need to prove that the items existed, and that you owned them. With a claim for damaged contents you still possess, you’ll need to submit proof of the damage and the dollar value of the contents. On that note, you may want to read our list of five things which may void your theft claim for contents insurance.

Remember, different insurers may vary when it comes to what they will accept as proof of ownership from a customer making a claim – this is sometimes called the ‘burden of proof’. Whether you already have a home and contents policy or are shopping around for one, make sure to check the PDS for details on what your insurer may require during the claims process.

What if I don’t have any receipts to support my contents insurance claim?

If you don’t have receipts to support your contents insurance claim, you may still be able to prove you owned the contents in question. Insurers may also accept one or a combination of the following as proof. 

  • Home videos or photos in which the items appear in your home or on your person.
  • Credit card/bank statements which show that you purchased the goods
  • Warranties/user manuals you received along with the goods when you first bought them
  • Spare parts for the item or original packaging
  • A declaration made by a friend or family member in support of your claim

Generally speaking, having a strong body of evidence in support of your claim may help when it comes to having it approved by an insurer.

Shopping around for a home insurance policy?

Whether you're looking for home, contents or combined cover, you can easily compare from 100+ policies with Canstar.

When it comes to making sure that you have access to receipts when you need them, it may be a good idea to keep electronic copies. Some retailers now offer the option of having a copy of your receipt sent to you by email at the point of purchase. You could also scan your paper receipts to create an electronic copy.

If the specific items are listed on my policy, will I still need to provide proof?

Some insurers will let you specify individual items you want full cover for when you first take out your home and contents insurance policy.

Doing this may make it more straightforward when it comes to making a claim for those items. If your insurer is aware of the contents from the beginning of your insured period, they may not need as much proof from you in order to get your claim paid out. However, some form of proof may still be required in this type of case.

It’s a good idea to consider whether your home and contents or contents insurance policy provides you with adequate cover for your personal belongings and contents. You can compare your current policy against others on the market with our comparison tool.

If you’re comparing home and contents insurance policies, the comparison table below displays some of the policies currently available on Canstar’s database for an Australian aged under 50, seeking cover in NSW or ACT for a cost to replace building and contents of below $550,000. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by provider name (alphabetical) and features links direct to the providers’ websites. Use Canstar’s home insurance comparison selector to view a wider range of policies.

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