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When looking at home and contents insurance policies in Australia, you might often come across a couple of terms: defined events and accidental damage. We break down the jargon to explain the difference.

What are defined events?

Broadly speaking, defined events are a list of situations and events (which cause damage to your home and/or contents) that you’re insured for. All other ‘events’ are typically excluded from cover.

Defined events may vary between different insurance policies and providers. For example, a home insurance policy might provide cover for broken window glass, while contents insurance won’t because the windows are part of the house’s structure.

Some common defined events include:

  • fire;
  • storm damage (like lightning, wind and rainwater damage);
  • theft or attempted theft;
  • natural disasters (like cyclones or earthquakes);
  • explosions;
  • escape of liquid;
  • malicious damage;
  • damage caused during a robbery; and
  • vandalism, riots or civil commotion.

What is accidental damage?

Accidental damage insurance is usually an optional extra that can cover you for any accidental loss or damage, like spilling a liquid all over your carpeted floors.

You may find that some providers will offer accidental damage as an automatic inclusion in their top-level home and contents insurance policies.

It’s more than likely accidental damage cover won’t let you claim in every circumstance, so you’ll need to consider any exclusions listed in your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). For example, you may not be covered if defective workmanship results in damage to your house.

If you’re unsure about whether your policy covers you for a particular event, give your insurance company a call or review your PDS, which contains the details of your coverage.

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