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Home insurance for new home buyers

It’s the great Australian dream, and one of the most significant investments in one’s lifetime – buying a home. If you’re a homeowner or investor, one thing to consider is protecting your property and assets from the unforeseen. That’s where home and contents insurance comes in. This type of cover provides financial protection against losses, damage or outright destruction of your home and what’s inside it.

Want to safeguard your home? It pays to compare.

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Buying a new home can be stressful, but finding the right home and contents insurance doesn’t have to be. You can compare policies and quotes from a range of reputed Australian insurers with us in just minutes!

Tailor your cover options

Finding great-value cover has never been easier. Our comparison service lets you refine your quotes based on your preferred level of cover, extras and excess amount, so that you can find a home and contents policy that works for you.

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Still unsure about what home and contents insurance you need? Do you have a specific question about your premium, policy features, or extras? Don’t fret; we can help you find the answer.

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Frequently asked questions

What can home and contents insurance cover?

The scope of your policy varies depending on your insurer and level of cover. The table below lists some common inclusions under home and contents insurance.

What can be covered in home insurance?What can be covered in contents insurance?
Your private residential buildingFurniture and furnishings
Outbuildings (i.e. garages, carports, sheds, etc.)Computers and electrical appliances
Permanent fixtures (i.e. built-in wardrobes, in-ground swimming pools, etc.)Clothing, personal effects and valuables (i.e. jewellery, artwork, etc.)
Fixed floor coverings (i.e. tiles, carpet, timber, etc.)Fixed or unfixed carpets and rugs
Verandas, pergolas, permanent decking and gazebosFixtures or fittings you own (i.e. dishwashers, ovens, etc.) that are not legally part of the home
Fixtures and fittings connected to gas, electrical, plumbing and sewerage servicesInternal window coverings and curtains
Permanently fixed awnings, blinds and shuttersPortable and above-ground swimming pools or portable spas and accessories
Walls, gates and fences used for domestic purposesTools, gardening equipment (i.e. lawnmowers, power saws, etc.) and pot plants

For limits, terms, conditions, inclusions and exclusions, please read your individual policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

What are some common home and contents insurance exclusions?

Most home and contents insurance policies come with standard exclusions. Ultimately, what you will be covered and not covered for will depend on your insurer and policy. The table below lists some common exclusions of home and contents insurance:

What’s commonly not covered in home and contents insurance?
Corrosion, depreciation and wear or tear of your property or belongings
Loss or damage to your home if it was left vacant for an extended period of time or unsecured
Damage or loss to your home and contents resulting from:

  • renovations or building extensions
  • home swapping
  • structural defect or faults
  • pet damage
  • atmospheric conditions or extreme temperature
  • hydrostatic pressure
  • terrorism, nuclear contamination or acts of war.
Damage or loss caused by actions of the sea (i.e. king tides, storm surge etc.)
Damage or loss caused by landslide or subsidence unless it was as a direct result of a:

  • flood
  • storm or storm surge
  • rainwater run-off
  • water or oil spill
  • earthquake.
Damage or loss caused by:

  • mould
  • vermin or insects
  • birds pecking or scratching
  • tree lopping, roots or felling at your home.
Loss or damage caused by any illegal activity you may be involved in

How much can home and contents insurance cost?

The cost of your home and contents insurance will vary depending on your insurer and level of cover, along with some other factors, including:

  • the estimated value of your home and belongings
  • your sum insured (the maximum your insurer will pay towards a claim)
  • the age and structure of your home
  • your location
  • your age and the age of other people listed on your policy
  • your claims history
  • if you live in an area prone to natural disasters (i.e. floods, storms, bushfires, etc.)
  • your home’s security features
  • extra cover options (which cost more to add to your policy)
  • your excess (what you pay towards your claim)
  • government charges, taxes or levies relating to your policy.

If you want to get a better idea of how much it would cost to insure your home and contents, you can compare quotes from a range of insurers with our free comparison tool. Refine your quote to find policies with the right inclusions and features for your home and budget in just minutes.

How much should I insure my home for?

Home insurance provides a financial ‘safety net’ that can help cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged by events outside of your control like vandalism or natural disasters.

When deciding on how much to insure your house for, you should first start by estimating how much it would cost to rebuild your home in today’s economy by speaking to a professional in property appraisals. Here are a few factors to take into account:

  • your home’s size, ground slope, design, features, materials and any permanent features like timber floors, patios, carports etc.;
  • internal fittings and fixtures such as taps and faucets, kitchen cupboards, vanity units, light fittings, floor tiles, linoleum; and
  • structural improvements, like an in-ground swimming pool, awnings, pergolas, decks, fencing and tennis courts.

When calculating the value of your home, remember to exclude the land value.

What’s the difference between sum-insured and total replacement?

Total replacement cover provides complete financial protection for costs to restore your home to its original condition before the event that caused the damage.

Sum-insured cover reimburses you for losses or damages to your home up to a set limit (i.e. your sum insured). It’s important to make sure that you get this value right. Why? Because if repair costs balloon and you’ve undervalued your home, you will be out of pocket in the event of a claim.

It’s important to note that most insurers only offer ‘sum insured’ cover, so it may be difficult to find ‘total replacement’ cover. It’s wise to seek professional advice when calculating your sum-insured value as building costs may be impacted by different factors.

How much should I insure my contents for?

Big or small, all the objects inside your home are valuable. But, what would you do if they were stolen, damaged or destroyed? That’s what contents insurance is for: to shoulder those repair or replacing costs.

If you’re unsure about how much you should insure contents for, start by working out what it would cost to replace all your belongings at their current value. Do an annual inventory of every room in your home and make a list of all the items you have, plus their estimated replacement costs.

Your contents can consist of:

  • expensive and valuable items (e.g. electronics, appliances, jewellery)
  • clothing and footwear
  • furniture, carpets, rugs, curtains, internal blinds and shutters
  • other stray bits and pieces you may not have considered, such as bed linens, crockery, utensils and even the food in your freezer.

What should I look out for when buying home insurance?

  1. Beware of underinsurance. Underinsurance can result in a significant financial burden if you need to make a claim. This danger occurs when your insurance policy doesn’t cover you for the full costs of rebuilding or replacing your home and belongings.
  2. Options to reduce your premium. If you’re worried about how expensive insurance can be, did you know there are ways to lower your premium? Here are some simple options to reduce your insurance bill:
    • take measures to protect your home against potential theft. Maintaining a stable security system and installing dead locks is very important, and can help you save on your insurance;
    • update your policy regularly to help minimise your insurance costs. Don’t forget to look for multiple policy discounts as well; and
    • increase your excess payments (the amount you pay towards a claim) in order to pay a lower annual premium.
  3. If in doubt, always ask. While home and contents insurance comes with general inclusions and exclusions (see above), there may be variations depending on your policy. If you’re ever unsure of the scope of your policy, make a list of the questions and contact your insurer to get all the information you need.
  4. Compare your options. We understand that making an informed decision is important to you. That’s why we’ve created our free comparison tool for home and contents. Our handy service makes it easier for you to compare your options by the features that matter to you the most.

Ready to look for a better deal? It’s easy to compare with us.

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