Regardless of the type of home you have or how many valuables you keep in your humble abode, insurance is important – whether you’re an owner-occupier, a renter or a landlord.
Different people will have varying insurance needs. While some Aussies require full home and contents cover, others may only need to cover their contents or purchase a home insurance policy just for the building.
We’ve broken down the differences to help you find the right cover for your home!
Jump to the section most relevant to you below.
We also provide information on:
Still have questions? We answer them in our home & contents FAQs.
Your excess is an amount deducted from claims by your insurer, and varies between policies.
To see how excess works, let’s say a storm damaged your home and the repair costs sit at $5,000. If your policy has a $500 excess agreement, you’d need to pay this amount to your insurer. Your insurer will take this amount off the cost of your claim and you will receive $4,500.
If you need to make a claim on your home and contents policy for both your home and your contents from the same event, then you will usually pay the highest excess fee out of the two (you often don’t have to pay two excesses).
If your home is damaged a week or a month later from a different event, you will usually need to pay an excess again to make another claim.
This is how much you choose to insure your home and contents for, and this can impact your premium. Generally, the more you’re insured for, the higher your premiums will be.
A high crime rate in your neighbourhood could increase your premiums. Conversely, living in a safer area, or having additional security installed at your home (e.g. fences, alarms, cameras etc.) may reduce your premiums.
For example, an older tin roof might be more likely to leak in a storm and damage your contents, which means it could present a higher risk for claims to be made. This increased risk may then ‘bump up’ your premiums. Conversely, a sturdy new brick home may cost less to insure than an older wooden home.
Living in a flood zone or bushfire zone is more of a risk, as it can increase your home’s likelihood of being affected by these events therefore usually increases the amount of your premium.
|What can renters insurance potentially cover for loss or damage of contents?|
|Flood damage||Fire & smoke damage||Theft or burglary|
|Storm damage||Cyclone damage||Earthquake damage|
|Tsunami damage||Leakage damage (water/liquid leaking)||Accidental & malicious damage to fixtures/fittings (vandalism)|
N.B. Contents insurance for tenants will usually cover you up to certain limits, sub limits, terms and conditions. Some types of cover may be an optional extra that costs more to add to your policy. Make sure you check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see exactly what’s covered under your policy.
Depending on the renters insurance policy you have you may have the option to ‘add on’ additional cover (at an extra cost) for such benefits as:
Also, if you’re moving house, some contents policies may include transit insurance. This provides limited cover against things like fire and car accidents when your contents are being moved by professional movers to another property!
Renters insurance (contents only) premiums depend on the type and amount of belongings you choose to insure and their replacement value. The items you insure may be designer brands, handcrafted furniture, or basic equipment and minimal furnishings.
One factor that may affect the cost of your renters insurance is any item that’s particularly expensive to replace may have to be added to your renter’s insurance policy separately, usually for an additional premium.
Contents insurance is based on a variety of factors, not just the value of your contents. The excess payment, and the insurer you go with can also affect how much a policy costs.
A great way to make sure your policy is right for you is to follow these two steps:
You can also check out our guide for first-time renters for more information.
If you’ve taken the plunge and purchased your own home, congratulations! It’s an exciting time, but unfortunately, it’s one filled with a ton of paperwork.
As a homeowner or owner-occupier, you may want to safeguard your abode with home insurance, as it’s one of your most valuable assets.
Your mortgage lender may even require you to take out an adequate home insurance policy to cover your property’s replacement costs, should something unfortunate happen to its physical structure. This is because your lender is also investing in your home. Until you finish paying off your mortgage, your lender is a part-owner of your home.
If anything happens to your home or to the contents inside it and you’re suitably insured, you can make a claim and be reimbursed up to the sum-insured amount listed on your policy – potentially totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars!
The cost of home and contents insurance that covers your building and belongings inside it will be unique to each person, and can be affected by a number of factors. If you want to get an idea of how much home and contents insurance could cost you, you can complete a quote through our comparison service.
Certain events may be specifically covered by your policy (like storm damage), while others may not be (like flood damage), which is why it’s important to:
Be sure to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand your policy benefits, limits, terms and conditions. You should also make sure that you’re adequately insured for certain events.
For example, if your house burns down as a result of an out-of-control bushfire, you could have your house repaired or rebuilt if you have fire coverage included in your home and contents policy.
Additionally, you could claim against your contents insurance to repair or replace possessions inside, such as furniture, electronics, and white goods, provided bushfire is listed as a policy addition or ‘covered event’ for your policy.
|Home (i.e. building)||Contents (i.e. belongings)||Strata insurance|
Covered by landlord
|✓ Can cover renters||✖ N/A|
Covered by landlord
|Owner-occupier||✓ Can cover owner-occupiers||✓ Can cover owner-occupiers||✓ Can cover owner-occupiers|
If you own a strata-title property
|Landlord||✓ Can cover landlords||✓ Can cover landlord contents|
Tenant’s belongings are covered by their own renters insurance
|✓ Can cover landlords|
Flood damage to an area within your home is generally beyond your control. If you have a high level of renters insurance, it will usually cover the replacement of your contents or any belongings which are damaged or destroyed by flood damage. However, cover for these circumstances might not be automatically included if you are on a basic, lower level policy. You may be able to elect to add flood cover, however this is likely to increase your premiums.
Any flood damage to the home’s physical structure should be covered by owners insurance or landlords insurance.
Depending on your renter’s insurance policy, there will be specific terms and conditions, and possible limits on the amount you can claim for flood damage to your contents.
It is best to check with your insurer or your product disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on what you are covered for.
If you get the right level of cover (with the right extras), contents insurance for renters can offer replacement or repair costs for items that are kept outdoors or outside of your address.
Extras can include cover for bicycles and other sporting items which can be added on to your policy at an extra price (like gardening equipment and bikes) usually up to a certain limit. No matter where you leave your bike, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, higher level renters insurance for content will generally cover bikes (and other items) that are damaged or stolen due to theft.
If you own a property that includes strata insurance as part of your strata or body corporate payments, then this will generally provide home insurance cover for any damage to your home’s physical structure. However, strata insurance will not protect your contents or valuables, which is where you will need contents insurance.
If you live in and own a unit without any strata insurance then you will need to purchase home insurance as well as contents insurance. It is best to check with the property manager to determine your pre-existing level of cover.
Whether you’re a renter, live-in homeowner or a landlord, your home is your castle and your belongings your treasures; you shouldn’t risk either of them. We can help you compare different cover options and quotes from a range of insurers, to make sure your home and contents have the right protection.
It only takes a few minutes to find great-value insurance for your living situation and budget with our free home and contents insurance comparison tool. So, why not get started now?
1 Strata Insurance. Understand Insurance, Insurance Council of Australia. 2019.