How much does home and contents insurance cost?

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A guide to home and contents insurance costs

Updated March 19, 2024
Written by Kenneth Young
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Experts tips for saving on your home and contents insurance premiums

Our home insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has these helpful tips on managing the cost of home and contents insurance:

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Get an estimate

If you’re unsure on how much to insure your property for, you could get a builder or valuer to provide an estimate. That way, you can be pretty confident of the value of your home and get the right insurance for it.

Read your PDS

It’s really important that you go through your home and contents insurance policy in detail. 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.

Don't rule out smaller brands

Don’t overlook the lesser-known insurance brands. Quite often, these insurers are backed by well-known underwriters, giving you peace of mind and generally cheaper prices.

It pays to be honest

To avoid any issues down the track, make sure you’re honest in the details you give to your insurer when signing up for your policy, and keep them updated of any changes in your circumstances. Failing to disclose important information means that your insurance provider may reject a claim and cancel your policy.

The sum insured

What is the sum insured in home and contents insurance?

Should the sum insured payout for my home equal its estimated value?

Your excess

What is excess in home and contents insurance?

Will I have to pay multiple excesses?

Other factors that affect the cost of home and contents insurance

  • Your level of cover. Your home insurance premiums will be affected by the level of cover you choose. For example, a premium policy will cost more than a basic policy, as it includes more benefits and covers a broader range of events.
  • Any optional extras you add. Insurers will often have extra cover available that you can choose to add to your policies, usually for an additional cost. This can include things like insurance for portable items (like guitars, laptops and wedding rings) and accidental damageLandlords insurance for home buildings may also offer optional cover for malicious damage by tenants.
  • Your suburb’s crime rate. If there’s a lot of crime in your neighbourhood, like break-ins and burglaries, this may mean your insurer charges a higher premium.
  • Natural hazard risk. Your suburb’s risk of natural events (such as floods, storms or bushfires) influences the cost of insurance. The higher the risk perceived by your insurance company, the higher your premium may be in turn.
  • Home security. If you reduce your risk of theft in and around the home (e.g. installing alarm systems, adding deadbolts on doors and windows), it may reduce your home insurance premium.
  • Age and structure of your property. Your insurer will consider your property’s age, construction materials and sturdiness to determine how likely it is to withstand severe damage and how much it might cost to replace.
  • How the home is used. Your premiums may be calculated differently depending on how you use your home, such as if you conduct business from your property or rent it out.
  • Any government charges. Your premium will take into account any applicable government taxes and state- or territory-based stamp duties or levies (e.g. Emergency Services Levy or GST).

When you buy home and contents insurance in Australia, your insurer is required by law to supply a key facts sheet, which will outline the events that your policy does and doesn’t cover. Along with this document, you should thoroughly read through the PDS, which lists the terms, conditions, inclusions and exclusions inside your policy. As well, you should read the Target Market Determination (TMD) to understand whether the policy is suitable for you.

If you have any questions for your insurer about the cost of your home and contents insurance, don’t shy away from asking them! After all, you’re better off being adequately covered than risk being underinsured.

How can I lower my home and contents insurance premiums?

  • Choose a higher excess payment. This reduces premiums, but keep in mind that if you do claim, you will have a higher excess to pay.
  • List your security measures. Having strong security features on your home can lower your premium, so it’s a good idea to notify your insurance provider that you have these security features installed.
  • Seek out online discounts. Most insurance providers apply discounts to the first year of your policy if you buy online. You can get those discounts when you compare and buy through Compare the Market, too.

Important to know

Do I need home and contents insurance if I buy a new home with a home loan?

If I work from home, is home and contents insurance tax deductible?

Meet our home and contents expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Adrian Taylor works to make it easier for homeowners, renters and landlords to protect their home and contents. He believes it’s important for all residents (whether they rent, own or lease) to have adequate financial cover for their property and belongings in case the worse should happen.

1 Working from home expenses. Australian Taxation Office, Australian Government. Last modified April 2023. Accessed June 2023.