Can I just insure my most valuable item? Yes! Here’s how, with Butter Insurance

A smartphone collage on a yellow and green background.

Contents insurance can be a great investment to financially protect your most valuable items. But what if you don’t own a lot? What if you just want to cover your new smartphone, engagement ring, or laptop? Can you do that?

You certainly can – and new provider Butter Insurance hopes to make it that much easier.

Meet Butter Insurance

Butter Insurance logo on a gradient yellow background.
Image courtesy of Butter Insurance.

Butter Insurance bills itself as a “subscription style” contents insurance policy. Users sign up to receive coverage on eligible items, particularly recent purchases like a new TV or pair of headphones, on a monthly or yearly basis. No longer need cover? Butter says you can cancel anytime for no additional fees. 

Butter Insurance is an insurtech start-up based in Sydney. Founded in 2021 by former lawyers Steph Skevington and Cassie Bell, the product is aimed at digitally-savvy users, particularly young Australians – a generation notorious for being underinsured, or not insured at all. 

“Insurance is the un-sexy corner of financial services that has been ignored for too long,” explained founder Cassie Bell. 

“By partnering with retailers and using open banking integrations, Butter aims to make the process of taking out insurance seamless and simple. You get the flexibility of a single-item policy and the convenience of purchasing through any store at checkout.”

What does Butter Insurance cover?

Collage of a woman holding a shopping bag then checking her phone against a yellow background.

Specific coverage is available for items such as electronics and jewellery that cost between $300 and $5,000 at the time of purchase. Items must be added to your Butter Insurance policy within 90 days of purchase (so apologies if you wanted to cover that older laptop). 

At the time of writing, you can cover the following categories of items with Butter Insurance: 

However, Butter also says new coverage categories are coming in 2023. 

You can add Butter Insurance at the checkout when buying through participating retailers, or add your eligible items to your policy through the Butter Insurance web app. If you add Butter at the checkout, you could receive seven days of free coverage before upgrading to the full policy.

Coverage includes basic accidental damage and theft protection within Australia (and outside Australia if you’re travelling on holidays under three months long).

So if you accidentally drop your covered smartphone, or if someone steals it from your handbag and you file a police report, you may be able to claim back the costs through Butter Insurance. Eligible claims may even receive new-for-old replacements. 

Note that accidental damage doesn’t include gradual wear and tear on the item. So make sure you keep everything in good nick! 

Butter Insurance policies also don’t cover accidental loss, so if you leave your insured item somewhere (even on accident!), you’ll miss out. 

Claims can be made online through your Butter account. 

Excesses also apply to some claims, such as a flat fee of $75 when you claim for a mobile phone screen repair. It’s vital to read Butter Insurance’s product disclosure statement (PDS) for the full details on all the terms, conditions, and charges.

FAQs about covering expensive items with insurance

What’s the difference between insurance and a warranty?

A warranty is a basic consumer goods guarantee that applies to all purchases made in Australia for a certain period of time – called a ‘warranty term’. 

Basically, the warranty stipulates that anything you purchase must be in good working order. If not, you could receive a repair, replacement, or refund from the retailer or manufacturer. This guarantee usually lasts for six months to a year from the date of purchase.

A warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage, theft, or gradual deterioration. It only covers things that ‘come broken’, i.e. a new laptop that glitches straight out of the box.

Extended warranties are often a waste of money since they tend to double up on the consumer rights you already have. If you want more comprehensive protection for your new purchases, you may be better served with a good value contents insurance policy.

Can I get a custom insurance policy?

Yes! You can acquire custom insurance policies through an insurance broker. The broker builds the policy for you (for a fee) to meet your needs. 

This may come with higher premiums or additional fees compared to a standard insurance policy, but your coverage will be specifically tailored to your situation. The right custom policy could therefore give you better value than a standard one. 

Custom insurance policies often suit people with high-value or complex assets, such as rare collections, unusual dwellings, or unique small businesses. 

But like any purchase, be sure to do your research and compare providers/quotes before settling.

How do I insure an older valuable item, like vintage jewellery or an old laptop?

Most home and contents insurance policies come with specific limits for valuable items, such as jewellery or electronics. These limits also tend to lower if the item is older or outdated, since its value has depreciated. 

If you can increase your sub-limits for specific categories, or add your most valuable items to your insurance certificate, depending on the policy. 

However, for high-value items, you may have to build a custom insurance policy through a broker to get the value you’re after.

Compare contents insurance - rates updated daily

Search promoted home insurance below. Advertiser disclosure. Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Home Cover - Contents

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Details
  • Contents Insurance

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    No
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Details
  • Contents Insurance

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
      Optional Extra
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Details
  • Contents Insurance

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
  • Contents Insurance

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacement
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Details

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