Explore Home & Contents Insurance

Building your new home is the great Australian dream. Whether you’re moving into a newly built home or simply moving back after a rebuild, it’s imperative to consider how you can financially protect your home and belongings before finally putting your feet up in your new digs, especially when you factor in the amount of money you’ve spent building your new home.

This is where a variety of home and contents insurance products can help homeowners.

What are the best new house insurance products I can get for my newly built home?

Building insurance

Getting the right cover when looking for a new house insurance policy is very important when you consider the amount of investment you’re trying to protect. Building insurance covers the home building and other permanent structures on your property against insured events, but not your belongings.

More commonly known as home insurance, building insurance can include damage to the walls, roof and floors of your new home, as well as the kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings subject to the limits and exclusions of your policy as outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). If you took out a loan to build your new home, you might find that building or home insurance is a condition of your mortgage.

Contents insurance

Just as important as insuring your newly built home is making sure your belongings are covered, too. Contents insurance can insure against the repair or replacement costs of the furniture, clothing, possessions and décor you bring into your new home.

If your new home is an apartment, townhouse or otherwise part of a larger building or complex, contents insurance may be the only policy you need to take out.

Home and contents insurance

For full coverage, you can have combined building and contents cover on the same policy. A combined home and contents policy insures both the home and your possessions inside it.

What items 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 both home and contents insurance.

Home InsuranceContents insurance
  • Your private residential building
  • Outbuildings (e.g. garages, carports, sheds)*
  • Verandas, pergolas, permanent decking and gazebos
  • Permanent fixtures like built-in appliances, wardrobes and in-ground swimming pools
  • Fixed floor coverings (e.g. tiles, carpet, timber)
  • Permanently fixed awnings, blinds and shutters
  • Walls, gates and fences (with limits)
  • Fixtures and fittings connected to gas, electrical, plumbing and sewerage services
  • Furniture and furnishings
  • Fixed or unfixed carpets and rugs
  • Internal window coverings and curtains
  • Portable and above-ground swimming pools
  • Portable spas and accessories
  • Tools, gardening equipment and pot plants
  • Clothing, personal effects and valuables (e.g. jewellery, artwork)
  • Electrical appliances like computers, TVs and whitegoods
* Limited to domestic use only

What events are covered by home and contents insurance?

With home and contents cover, you can be covered for loss or damage caused by a variety of reasons (known as insured events). If one of these things happens, you can make an insurance claim to cover the cost of damages, repairs and even rebuilding your house.

Home and contents insurance can cover:

  • Storm damage (including cyclones, hail damage, lightning and rainwater damage)
  • Fire damage (including bushfires)
  • Theft, malicious damage and vandalism
  • Water damage from burst pipes
  • Impact damage
  • Explosions
  • Legal liability (if someone is injured or their belongings are damaged by accident while visiting your property)
  • Temporary accommodation (if your home is uninhabitable due to an insured event)
  • Some natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes and tsunamis).

For payout limits, terms, conditions, inclusions and exclusions, please read your policy’s relevant PDS for the full details.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get home insurance for a new build while it's under construction?

During construction, generally the construction company should have insurance for the work they undertake; this should include business insurance for builders and sub-contractors to cover damages if something goes wrong during construction (such as personal indemnity, product liability and personal accident insurance). Make sure to check this with your builders before the work commences.

Once a building reaches the lockup stage, home and contents insurance can then cover your new home even before you move in.

Some specialty insurance providers can offer home building cover for construction projects. However, if you’re building a new home, it’s worth discussing insurance coverage with your builder, lender or a certified financial adviser.

Do I need home insurance cover to get a home loan?

Some lenders may require you to take out a new policy to cover the property you’re buying or building with a home loan. You don’t necessarily need contents cover to secure your loan, but you’ll likely need to insure the building with a home insurance policy.

Should your new home be damaged or destroyed, having cover for repair or rebuild costs could prevent a significant financial loss to both you and your lender.

What are some common home and contents insurance exclusions?

Most home and contents insurance policies in Australia come with standard exclusions, where your insurance claim may be denied due to the terms and conditions of your policy.

The exact list of exclusions will vary from policy to policy, but some common exclusions are:

  • Corrosion, depreciation and wear and tear of your property or belongings
  • Loss or damage to your home if it was left vacant or unsecured
  • Damage or loss to your home and contents resulting from:
    • Renovations or building extensions
    • Home swapping
    • Structural defects or faults
    • Pet damage
    • Atmospheric conditions or extreme temperature
    • Hydrostatic pressure
    • Terrorism, nuclear contamination and acts of war
  • Damage or loss caused by actions of the sea (e.g. king tides, storm surges)
  • Damage or loss caused by landslide or subsidence (unless caused by an insured event)
  • Damage or loss caused by:
    • Mould
    • Vermin or insects
    • Birds pecking or scratching
    • Tree lopping or roots at your home
    • Loss or damage caused by illegal activities
    • Deliberate damage and fraudulent acts.

Ensure you read the key facts sheet contained within your policy’s PDS so you understand exactly what’s included and excluded from your cover.

How much can home and contents insurance cost?

The cost of your home and contents insurance will depend on your insurer and level of cover, as well as:

  • The sum insured for your home and belongings (the maximum your insurer will pay towards a claim)
  • The age, structure and building materials of your home
  • Your home’s location
  • The age of the policyholder
  • Your claims history
  • The address of the home
  • Your home’s security features
  • If you add optional cover to the policy (e.g. accidental damage or personal effects insurance)
  • 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 might cost to insure your home and contents, you can compare quotes from a range of insurers with our free comparison tool.

How much should I insure my home and contents for?

When deciding on how much to insure your home and contents for, you should first start by estimating how much it would cost to rebuild in today’s economy; one way to do this is 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 and carports.
  • Internal fittings and fixtures such as taps and faucets, kitchen cupboards, vanity units, light fittings, floor tiles and linoleum.
  • Structural improvements, like in-ground swimming pools, awnings, pergolas, decks, fencing and tennis courts.

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

When determining the value of your contents for insurance, it’s important to think about how much it would cost to replace all your possessions and valuable items. This can include clothing, footwear, appliances, furniture, electronics, rugs and curtains, crockery and valuables.

If you’re unsure about how much you should insure your belongings 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 list all the items you have, plus their estimated replacement costs. It’s essential to update the list regularly as you add new items and donate, replace or throw out old ones.

What is underinsurance?

Underinsurance is when you don’t have enough insurance coverage to completely pay for the cost of repairing, replacing or rebuilding your insured home and contents. If your home is damaged or destroyed and you’re underinsured, your insurance payout could be insufficient to compensate for the expenses needed for a rebuild.

This can happen if you set the sum insured too low or it’s been a while since you updated your policy.

Can I get home insurance for an investment property?

If you’ve just bought a new home and plan on turning it into an investment property, you can be covered by home and contents insurance for landlords. Landlord insurance covers the building and its fixtures, as well as benefits specific to landlords (like cover for tenant defaults).

You can also get contents cover if you provide furnishings that can be removed from the home.

If I live in a strata property, can I still get home and contents insurance?

Strata property owners typically have to pay body corporate fees, which will usually contribute towards insurance to cover the physical structure of their complex. You may also be able to get building cover for a strata property if you live in a standalone home (e.g. a villa).

However, as a strata resident, you will typically only need to get contents insurance to cover your belongings, whether you own the property or rent it.

What's the difference between sum insured and total replacement cover?

Most home and contents insurance policies are based on the sum insured, but you may come across total replacement cover as an option to add to your existing home or landlord insurance policies.

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 nominated by you (i.e. your sum insured).

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

Can I pay my insurance premiums in instalments?

As a home and/or contents insurance policyholder, you can generally choose to pay your premium annually or in monthly instalments. When comparing home and contents insurance quotes through our service, you can select which payment frequency you want and easily switch between options to compare the cost.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Insurance tips for your new home from our General Insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

  1. If you’re unsure on how much to insure your property for, you could ask a builder or valuer to provide an estimate. If you used a home loan to buy or build the house, your lender will usually send a valuer to inspect the home and give you a minimum amount to insure the property for.
  2. Cover for things like floods or accidental damage may not be automatically included and may need to be purchased as policy add-ons.
  3. Don’t overlook the lesser-known insurance brands. Quite often, these insurers are backed by well-known underwriters, meaning you can have peace of mind and likely save some money.
  4. It’s really important to understand what’s in your home and contents insurance policy. The PDS might be boring, but it’s absolutely vital you read this carefully and understand what is and isn’t included in your policy.
  5. To help avoid disappointment, make sure you’re honest in the information you provide to your insurer and let them know of any change in your circumstances.

Insure your new home today

When deciding to protect the bricks, mortar and all things inside your new house, our home and contents insurance comparison service can help you weigh up a range of cover options. It’s fast, free and easy to use, so compare today!

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