COVID-19 Home & Contents Insurance FAQs

Answers about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and home insurance

How does the current pandemic situation affect home and contents insurance? We’ve compiled answers to some of the questions we are receiving from customers. The situation is evolving, so we’ll keep this page up to date with new information as it is released.

General

If a family member or friend has moved in with me due to loss of work or isolation do I need to update my home insurance policy?

This could possibly affect your insurance if they’re moving in for an extended period and are bringing new valuables into the house which aren’t listed in your current policy. Let your insurer know to be sure that any new belongings can be sufficiently covered by the policy, especially in the event a total loss claim is made (such as a fire destroying the home). Always remember to read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to know exactly what you’re covered for.

Remember, items designed to be carried with you - like a wallet, sunglasses, bag or personal laptop  - may not be adequately covered without the personal effects add-on to your policy.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Will my home insurance cover a deep clean of my home if someone in the house contracts COVID-19?

No, home and contents insurance doesn’t cover the cost of cleaning your home, unless cleaning is related to cleaning damage such as mould caused by an insured event like a storm or flood. Read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to learn whether your policy includes such a feature.

Last update: 06/04/2020

I am home more. Does this affect my home insurance policy?

It shouldn’t affect your policy, as the price is based on risks when you took out your policy such as your address and the level of cover you took out. For example, the risk of break-ins or fires are based on crime rates or fire zones in your area and typically aren’t increased by you being home longer.  Ask your insurer to be sure, though.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Due to self-isolation, or being unable to return home, my house is unoccupied. Is my property still covered?

If your home is unoccupied due to you being stuck elsewhere in self-isolation or quarantine, your policy may be impacted if the home is vacant for an extended period of time. For example, if you were away from home for 60 days or more, then your house might not be covered.

Check with your insurer to learn more about the extent of your cover, and to let them know if you’re going to be absent from the property for an extended period as this time period can differ between insurers. In addition, read your product disclosure statement (PDS) for detailed information about your policy.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Does my contents insurance cover me if I cannot pay my rent?

Your contents insurance will continue to cover your belongings so long as you pay your premiums. Check your product disclosure statement (PDS) to learn more about this.

It will not cover your rent, however, when you are unable to pay it, or fall behind on paying it.

Last updated: 27/03/2020

Landlord insurance

Does landlord insurance cover lost rental income due to coronavirus?

The Australian Government has announced a moratorium on rental evictions. As of 29 March 2020, for six months, tenants cannot be evicted due to unpaid rent.

Since then, insurance companies have withdrawn landlord insurance policies from the market as they reassess their products. This may affect new landlord insurance customers who may now be unable to find cover due to these unprecedented events.

Should you already hold landlord insurance, and your tenant has lost their job to COVID-19, you may be able to claim the loss of rental income, depending on your policy. You should contact your insurer to discuss any questions you have about your coverage in claiming on any lost rental income, as well as read through your product disclosure statement.

It may also be worth reaching out to your real estate agent or tenants (if they haven’t contacted you already) to see if they may face trouble paying rent.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Do tenants working from home due to COVID-19 affect my landlord insurance?

Each policy is different, so it’s impossible for us to know whether a tenant working from home due to COVID-19 would affect your particular landlord insurance policy.

If those tenants are just undertaking simple duties on a computer temporarily, it may not affect the policy - but this will depend on your insurer.

Let your insurer know about any change in circumstances, such as your tenants now working from home. The insurer will then be able to tell you if your policy has been affected.

Last update: 06/04/2020

If my tenant is moving soon, and I can’t secure another because there is no demand. Will those losses be covered by my insurance?

Generally, you can’t make a claim (on the loss of rent) if you’re unable to fill a vacancy – unless your property is being repaired due to damage (e.g. fire). For further information, please contact your insurer directly, or read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Additionally, given the Australian Government’s moratorium on rental defaults and evictions, insurers are changing their policies, and new landlord customers may have difficulty finding cover for lost rental income.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Will my home or landlord insurance increase in price because of COVID-19?

The future price of your policy will differ from insurer to insurer. To get a more detailed answer, we suggest you contact them directly.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Working from home

If I’m now working from home, or my partner or tenants are working from home, do I need to update my insurer?

If it’s a temporary situation and the type of work is relatively low risk (e.g. administrative computer work), it may not affect your policy, and updating your insurance provider may not be necessary. However, for your peace of mind, you should contact your insurer to discuss your individual circumstances.

Last update: 06/04/2020

Am I covered if something happens to my work equipment at home?

Insurers offer different coverage for working at home (or may not cover it at all), so it will depend on which policy you have.

For example, your policy may not change if you’re undertaking administrative duties from a computer at home temporarily. However, you may be only covered for contents you own or are legally responsible for (i.e. computers you purchased yourself).

All that being said, you won’t know for sure until you talk to your insurer and read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Last update: 06/04/2020

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COVID-19 FAQs