In any emergency situation, you should always call 000 for immediate help or 132 500 for assistance during an extreme weather event.
If there’s been a break-in, vandalism or criminal damage to your property, contact your local police station within the first 24 hours of the incident and request a police report; it may be instrumental to your insurer to help progress your claim. Have all information regarding the incident available to provide to the police for their report.
One of the first things to do after an incident at your home is to take photographic evidence of any and all damage, including capturing the complete scene in photos for both the police and insurance investigations. If there’s also loss or damage to your belongings, you should itemise the damaged goods and try to gather their receipts or photos to prove ownership and the loss.
When preparing to file a claim, you should be ready to provide your phone number, policy number, any police reports and details of the contents lost or damaged (this can include photos of the damage and proof of ownership like receipts, bank statements and certificates of valuation).
The next step involves getting in touch with your home and contents insurer and letting them know about the incident; two common ways of submitting a claim are by phone (through a dedicated claims line) or online (e.g. through a customer account portal). Explain what has happened in as much detail as possible.
Along with your verbal explanation, you may need to provide some of the documentation we mentioned earlier. This all helps the claims team to process your losses and arrange to rebuild, replace or repair your damaged home or items up to the sum insured (the amount you’re covered for).
After you have lodged a claim, your insurer may get in touch to let you know how your claim is progressing, or even to request further information or evidence of the incident. Alternatively, they may also provide you with access to an online claims centre so you can track the progress at any time.
Yes, in most situations, your premiums are likely to rise as a result of making a home and contents insurance claim.
If you find your premiums have risen after a claim, there are various ways in which you can still save on your policy to make up for this added expense. It also pays to use our free home and contents insurance comparison tool to compare other options available that may be better suited to you.
In every insurance policy, there are always conditions, limits and exclusions that apply to your policy; there are some items and events that an insurer will not cover whatever the circumstances. It’s vitally important to check your relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for full details on what you’re covered for.
For example, if a tree fell and damaged your roof, you might find that coverage differs depending on what caused the fall; if it was lopping that caused the incident, the cost of repairing the roof may not be covered. But if it was a storm that brought the tree down, then it generally will be. This is why you should always read your PDS both when you take out a policy and when you think you may need to claim.
You might also find that sometimes, it may not be worth making a claim on your home and contents insurance. This could be when the cost of repairs is less than the excess you’d pay, and so you may want to fix minor damage without lodging a claim. This could be beneficial in the long run by avoiding the subsequent rise in premiums as a result of a claim.
No, pre-existing damage or loss will not be covered by your home insurance policy. For example, if your roof was damaged due to a previous storm and you purchased home insurance after the fact, you won’t be covered for the damage that happened prior to the start date of the insurance policy.
Embargoes are holds on new sales put in place by an insurer from anyone in areas currently or imminently experiencing a specific risk (like a weather event or natural disaster). Policy restrictions may also apply for certain insured events such as bushfires, storms, storm surges, floods and tsunamis in the first 72 hours of cover. You can still start a policy during this time, but you must wait the specified period of time before you’re covered for the specific insured event mentioned. You won’t be able to claim for damages or losses that occurred before or during this period.
Exclusions are events and items that insurers will not cover at all and include things like structural defects, deliberate damage or faulty workmanship. Usually, what you can claim for is the loss or damage caused by an insured event, not from anything else other than what’s insured by your policy.