Home & contents insurance FAQs

Answers when you need them

New to home ownership and looking to insure your property? Or, are you a renter who just wants to insure their belongings? Regardless of how you ended up in your home, we're here to help you learn how to protect it with Home & contents insurance.

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Home & contents insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Am I covered if...?

I’m building an extension on my house. Is my home insurance impacted?

If you’re building an extension on your house, your home and contents insurance will be impacted. Certain factors affect your home & contents premium; put simply, your policy will be impacted if the value of your home changes, and you may need to increase your sum insured. Also, when you decide to add an extension onto your home, or for any home renovation, certain risks increase the chances of theft or of damaging your home (construction sites appeal to thieves, as there might be doors left open or less security).

Also, your extension might not be covered if you don’t notify your insurer immediately, and some policies may have an exclusion on renovations or on your home being vacated for longer than a specific period. Additionally, any claims over a specified amount (normally $50,000), are usually not covered because your home will be deemed as a ‘building site’.

Even if you are covered during an extension to your home, you will need to revise your home and contents insurance after your extension is complete to ensure it reflects the new value of your home, which will more than likely have changed.

I’m moving home. Do I need to get extra insurance for when I’m moving my valuables between houses?

Most contents insurance policies offer a level of coverage for your valuables when they’re in transit between houses, but if it isn’t included, you may be able to add it as a policy addition. However, your valuables will generally not be covered to the same degree while moving home, as they would be if they were at home.

Some insurers may only cover your valuables during a move for loss or damages relating to the vehicle, such as fire or collision. You will need to look at your policy’s limits (located within the Product Disclosure Statement) to find out if your possessions are covered during the move. Also, your valuables may only be covered for a specified percentage of your contents’ sum insured (the amount your insurer will pay in a claim as stipulated on your policy). For example, your contents may be sum insured for $15,000 in total, but if they’re lost or damaged in transit, you may only be covered for up to twenty per cent of your sum insured.

When taking out contents insurance, you will need to ask your insurer or refer to your policy brochure to find out if your valuables are insured for the upcoming move.

I’m moving home. How can I make sure I have the right home and contents insurance in my new house?

The easiest way to make sure you have the right home and contents insurance in your new house is to use your new home’s details to compare home and contents policies through comparethemarket.com.au. There are a number of factors that affect your home and contents premium, especially when moving to a new home; like your new home’s security, its age and structure, and your new suburb’s crime rate and natural hazard risk.

To ensure you have the right home and contents insurance in your new home, you need to know how much it would cost to repair or rebuild your new home and replace all your contents that you have moved over, and include enough in your policy to cover this.

It’s crucial that you update your insurance for your new home. If you fail to update your policy and inform your insurer, it’s likely your new home won’t be covered. You should also be aware of any exclusions on your policy, and remember to provide any information to your insurer that could affect your level of cover.

Is hail damage covered by home insurance?

Yes, hail damage to your home is usually covered by home insurance policies, which typically include cover for storm damage, such as damage from thunderstorms, lightning, and hail.

Hailstorms can be particularly damaging to your roof, windows, pergola, and anything made of glass. If you have storm damage included as a defined or listed event in your policy, then you should be covered for the repairs or replacement of parts of your home that are damaged or destroyed by hail.

It’s best to check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) to make sure your home is covered for storm damage, and what exactly it’s covered for. If you are particularly worried about hailstorms during storm season, compare home and contents insurance policies to find a product that covers you for this event.

Does home insurance cover tree root damage?

Unfortunately, tree-root damage is usually considered an exclusion in most home insurance policies, which means any destruction to your home that occurs as a result of tree-root damage is usually not covered. It’s worth noting that some home insurance policies also exclude cover for any damage to your home as a result of shifting soil, which is often the cause of tree-root damage.

Home insurance providers generally have a range of exclusions you need to look out for in your policy. Tree-root damage and shifting soil is considered something which could have been noticed at the time of purchasing the house, or something that could have been prevented while in its early stages.

Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on cover for tree-root damage.

Does home insurance cover structural problems?

Unfortunately, home insurance policies usually don’t cover any damage caused to your home by structural problems, and termite damage is also usually not covered by home insurance policies. The reason home insurance doesn’t cover structural problems is that they should have been noticed when you purchased the house (e.g. during inspections before you made an offer), and could have been prevented if fixed early enough.

Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on how your home insurance policy or provider classifies structural problems.

Does home insurance cover pipe bursts?

Depending on your policy, home insurance can cover any damage to your home or contents which has been caused by pipe bursts or leaks. However, it usually doesn’t cover the costs of locating, repairing or replacing the actual pipe which has burst or leaked.

Also if you have contents insurance, any damage to your belongings by the pipe burst or leak can be covered for repair or replacement. Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for further information on whether you are covered for pipe bursts, leaks, or escape of liquid; or compare home and contents insurance to find a policy that can cover damage from pipe bursts.

Are hot water systems covered by home insurance?

Depending on your policy, home and contents insurance can cover the damage to your home or belongings caused by hot water systems (or boilers) i.e. if they explode or leak.

Home insurance won’t cover the repairs or replacement of your hot water system if it stops working, due to a fault or its age. However, home insurance can cover the hot water system if it is damaged or destroyed by a defined or listed event on your home insurance policy. For example, if a tree falls on your house and damages the hot water system, or the system is destroyed in a house fire, you will be covered if tree damage and fire cover is included in your policy.

Home insurance generally covers permanently fixed appliances which are connected to your home or building. It’s best to check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information and to determine if your policy covers your boiler or hot water system.

Are blocked drains covered by home insurance?

Blocked drains can cause quite a mess. Luckily, your home insurance can cover the damage to your home caused by blocked drains if it’s included in your policy.

For example, if blocked drains result in the dispersal of liquid which has leaked, overflowed, or burst - and damaged your home’s structure (e.g. walls or floor) - your policy may indeed cover this damage. Also, if you have contents insurance, it can cover the replacement of ruined valuables caused by the after-effects of a blocked drain.

Although home insurance covers the damage caused by a blocked drain, it generally won’t cover the actual drain (repairing the drain or buying a new one), or the costs that the plumber charges to fix the blocked drain. Check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on cover for blocked drains, or compare home and contents insurance to find a policy which can cover you for such problems.

Can I claim for lost jewellery on home insurance?

Yes, you can claim for lost jewellery if you have contents insurance, provided that certain conditions are met. When you’re lodging a claim for lost jewellery, you may need to provide proof that you owned the jewellery in question (e.g. receipts, photos) and specific details on when you lost it. If it has been stolen, you will generally need to lodge a police report to support your contents insurance claim for the stolen jewellery.

Also, claiming jewellery might be subject to a limit, which should be defined in your policy disclosure statement (PDS). However, if you have an engagement ring that you know is worth $20,000, you can usually nominate a specific value to your insurance provider to cover such high-value items.

If you want to be covered for jewellery that you carry around daily, you can add on personal effects cover to your home and contents insurance (at an extra cost) in case this jewellery is lost while you’re out of the home.

Compare home and contents insurance policies, or check your policy disclosure statement (PDS), to make sure you’re covered for the loss of valuable personal belongings.

Does home insurance cover my hot water system?

Home insurance covers your building and - depending on your policy - usually also covers fixed attachments and appliances like hot water systems. However, home insurance won’t cover the maintenance or replacement of the system. What your home insurance will usually cover is the damage that occurs as a result of your hot water system. For example, if your hot water system bursts/leaks and causes damage to the walls or other parts of your house, your home insurance should cover the cost of repairing the wall.

If your policy does cover your hot water system, there may be exclusions, like not covering it due to its age or for damage from certain defined or listed events.

Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on cover for your hot water system. If you’re concerned about your hot water system causing damage to your home, compare home insurance policies now to find cover for your concerns.

Are water leaks covered by home insurance?

Home insurance can cover water leaks, but only if it’s a listed or defined event in your policy. Home insurance can typically include cover for bursting, leaking, discharge or overflow of water or liquids. However, it will only cover the damage caused by the water leak. For example, if a water leak causes a wall to become soft, you can claim the wall repairs on your home insurance. Also, if a water leak destroys your furniture, you can claim the replacement of your furniture if you have contents insurance. Home insurance won’t provide cover for the replacement or repairs of the actual source of the water leak (e.g. burst pipes).

It’s important to remember that water leaks are classified differently to flood damage or storm & rainwater damage.

Does home insurance cover public liability?

Home insurance policies usually include cover for public liability, which covers the cost of an injury or death sustained by a visitor on your property. If you are a landlord who is renting out your property, your landlord home insurance will usually cover public liability for your tenants and their guests.

Depending on your policy’s level of public liability cover, it will only cover injuries or death up to a certain amount of money.

Compare home & contents insurance policies to make sure you find an adequate level of public liability cover – you don’t want to be liable if a guest or visitor is injured or dies on your property.

Is my fence covered by home insurance?

Yes, your fence is usually covered by your home insurance, so long as it’s damaged by a listed event on your policy (e.g. being destroyed by fire, damaged by a car).

Home insurance provides cover for fixed structures around your home like garden sheds, in-ground swimming pools, home extensions, and fences. When you get insured, make sure your sum insured includes enough money to replace your fence if you ever need to claim.

If you want to find the right insurer and policy to cover your home (and your fence), compare home insurance policies today.

Is asbestos covered by home insurance?

Your home insurance policy can cover asbestos in some instances, for example, if your wall gets damaged and its material is made out of asbestos, your insurer will replace the wall with another material. However if someone in your house gets a disease or becomes ill from the asbestos in the wall, any claims for this are generally not covered by home insurance.

Depending on your insurer and policy, if the cause of your home insurance claim is solely due to the presence of asbestos in your home, this may be considered an exclusion. Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information regarding asbestos cover.

Are bicycles covered by home insurance?

Home insurance won’t cover your bicycle, as it’s not attached to your home. However, your contents insurance can cover the costs of replacing or repairing your bicycle if it’s stolen, damaged, or destroyed while stationed at home. This all depends on where you store your bike (securely indoors vs. left outside), and whether your policy includes cover to protect contents left outside in the open air*.

For those who ride their bike to work, or regularly ride on the weekend, you can cover your bicycle while you’re on the road if you have personal effects cover as an added extra in your home and contents insurance policy. Personal effects cover insures valuables which you take out of the house on a regular basis, including your bicycle. This will reimburse you for the cost of the bicycle, or replace the bicycle, in the event of it being stolen or damaged (while you’re not using it).

* This is an optional extra, or is sometimes included with comprehensive policies. Check your product disclosure statement (PDS) to be sure of the extent of your coverage.

Does home insurance cover personal injury?

Your home insurance generally won’t cover your own injuries or of any family that lives with you. However, most home insurance policies will include public liability cover, which covers personal injuries or death of a visitor on your property. Depending on your level of cover, it will cover injuries up to a certain amount of money, and can also cover damage to or loss of the visitor’s property if you have contents insurance.

Compare your home and contents insurance options to make sure you’re covered for personal injury in case someone is hurt on your property, or you’re covered for damage to someone else’s property at your home. If you need to cover injuries or illness for yourself or your family, consider a product like private health insurance or use Medicare to access the public healthcare system.

Is my mobile phone covered by home and contents insurance?

Your mobile phone can be covered by contents insurance while it’s inside the home, but not when it’s taken outside of your home. Contents insurance covers your phone if it’s lost or stolen from the home, however breakage or accidental damage of your mobile phone at home is usually not covered by contents insurance.

Depending on your insurer and policy though, you may be able to add personal effects insurance to cover the costs of theft, loss, or damage to your mobile phone and other personal possessions you carry around while outside the home, however some insurers don’t offer this option.

Learn more about what is covered by renters or contents insurance, or check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) to see if you are covered.

Is plumbing covered by home insurance?

Damage to your home which is a result of a plumbing issue is generally covered by home insurance or building cover, but home insurance won’t cover the cost of fixing or replacing the actual plumbing itself (e.g. internal pipes), nor will it cover the plumber’s service fees to fix the issue.

It will cover the value of the destruction to your property caused by the plumbing issue (e.g. your hot water system bursting and damaging walls/floors). Also, if you have contents insurance (or renters insurance), this will cover the value of damage to your belongings from the plumbing issue (e.g. leaking pipes that have ruined your furniture).

If you are a renter, structural damage or destruction from gas or plumbing systems will usually be covered by your landlord, through landlord’s insurance.

Check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) to determine the extent of cover for plumbing in your policy, or compare home insurance to make sure you are covered for damage from plumbing.

Contents insurance

Are solar systems covered under house and contents insurance?

Yes, solar systems are usually covered under your home insurance policy, as they are permanently fixed to the building’s structure. If you want to be covered, you will need to contact your insurer to make sure your solar system is listed on your policy.

 

Solar systems might not be covered for general wear and tear or if they simply stop working. However, if they are damaged by a listed event on your policy, then they should be covered for repair or replacement.

 

It’s also worth noting that having solar system panels can increase your home’s value, which means you may need to increase the amount you are covered for (sum insured) when you compare home insurance policies.

Does contents insurance cover kitchens?

Contents insurance covers items found in your kitchen; like fridges, microwaves, cookware, or cooking utensils, if they are stolen, damaged or destroyed by a listed event on your policy.

 

These policies usually do not cover the fit-out of your kitchen. Instead, your kitchen’s fit-out can be covered under your home & building insurance or landlord insurance (if you’re leasing out a property), which usually covers fixtures and fittings permanently attached to your home or to your home’s gas, plumbing, sewage or drainage. If your place of residence is part of a strata complex and you pay body corporate, some permanently fixed parts of your kitchen like built-in ovens, stove tops, and kitchen cupboards may be covered under your strata insurance, although it’s best to check this with your body corporate.

 

Additionally, you may have to consider adding motor burnout insurance to your policy, to cover the repair or replacement costs of any electrical kitchen appliances or machines that stop working or break down.

 

Compare home and contents insurance today, to make sure you’re covered to fully rebuild your kitchen if it gets destroyed, or to replace your favourite kitchen appliances if they’re damaged.

How does contents insurance work?

Contents insurance works by covering the costs of repairing or replacing your possessions if they are damaged, destroyed, stolen, or lost by certain events. Once you lodge a claim, you will usually need to pay an excess (the cost of which will depend on your policy) and provide proof. If your claim is approved, your insurer will then provide you with a suitable replacement, organise cover for repairs, or reimburse you the value of the items which were affected.

 

Standard contents insurance policies will cover your valuables against fire or theft, although you can include a policy addition for accidental damage, or get cover against another defined or listed event that might damage or destroy your possessions.

 

Now that you understand the basics of how contents insurance works, compare contents insurance policies to make sure your valuables are covered.

What does contents insurance cover in Australia?

Standard contents insurance policies in Australia cover the replacement value of your possessions (e.g. furniture, clothing, appliances) against accidental water leakage, fire, or theft.

 

Some insurers might also cover you for other defined or listed events like explosions, water damage, vandalism, natural disasters, or accidental damage of your contents, although these policy additions may come at an extra cost.

 

Contents insurance in Australia can also cover your personal items that you carry around daily – like a mobile phone, wedding ring, or expensive watch – if they’re damaged, stolen, or lost outside of your home, but this is only if you have added personal effects cover to your contents insurance policy.

 

Contents insurance cover in Australia may be subject to limitations or terms and conditions, which is why you should always check your policy documents. If you’re ready to cover your possessions, compare contents insurance policies today.

Is my mobile phone covered by home and contents insurance?

Your mobile phone can be covered by contents insurance while it’s inside the home, but not when it’s taken outside of your home. Contents insurance covers your phone if it’s lost or stolen from the home, however breakage or accidental damage of your mobile phone at home is usually not covered by contents insurance.

Depending on your insurer and policy though, you may be able to add personal effects insurance to cover the costs of theft, loss, or damage to your mobile phone and other personal possessions you carry around while outside the home, however some insurers don’t offer this option.

Learn more about what is covered by renters or contents insurance, or check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) to see if you are covered.

How it works

If I purchased my property for $600,000, do I need to insure it for $600,000?

Not necessarily. The price you paid for your home and the costs involved to replace it are not the same.

Yes, the land value of your property is considered in the purchase price when you buy. However, the amount your property is insured for doesn’t need to factor in the value of your land. After all, if your house were destroyed, you wouldn’t necessarily need to replace the earth it’s built on!

Therefore, your sum insured (the amount your insurer will pay in a claim as stipulated on your policy) only has to be enough to cover the cost to fully replace your property (i.e. the land may be valued at $300,000, but your home might only cost $300,000 to rebuild).

If the costs of rebuilding your house are higher than your sum insured, you’ll have to cover the difference. That’s why it’s imperative to understand the costs involved in fully replacing your property. Once you’re confident of how much cover your property is going to need, compare a range of home and contents insurance policies side-by-side, in the one place.

If I own and live in a unit, do I actually need home insurance? Isn’t it covered by the strata?

If you’re an owner-occupier in a unit and pay strata (otherwise known as body corporate) fees, you may still need home insurance. Strata insurance is paid by all lot owners to cover repairs or replacement to the common property of your building (e.g. lawns, pools, shared stairwells). Your strata will usually only cover damages to the exterior of your premises, such as the exterior wall, ceiling, or balcony. Your strata fees generally won’t cover damages to anything inside your unit, like interior walls, fittings and fixtures, or personal belongings, and won’t cover you from flooding.

 

You will need to take out home insurance to cover repairs or replacement for your unit’s internal structure and interiors, and to cover certain events like floods and storms – provided they are a listed event in your policy. It may also include cover for items fixed to your unit like carpets, fixed appliances or built-in wardrobes.

 

You will also need to take out home insurance if you’re paying a mortgage and your lender requires you to be covered to protect their investment. If you’re looking to protect your belongings inside your unit – like clothes, furniture, and valuables – you should also consider contents insurance.

What is included in home and contents insurance?

Home and contents insurance covers the structure of your property and your valuables inside it.

 

Home insurance will cover the cost to rebuild or repair your home (up to your sum insured) in the event of malicious damage, explosion, impact (e.g. a car hits or tree falls on your home), rainwater and wind damage, fire, theft, storm, or other natural disasters, and more (depending on defined events in your policy). As well as covering your home, home insurance will also cover other built structures around your home like sheds, garages, fences, and even in-ground pools.

 

Contents insurance includes cover for personal possessions and household items and furnishings that are damaged, lost, stolen, or destroyed in your home. This will usually cover white goods, furniture, TVs, computers & laptops, gaming consoles, electrical appliances, cookware and utensils, curtains, clothing, jewellery, sporting and garden equipment, and toys.

 

Contents insurance only covers possessions that belong to you and family members who live with you - not for visitor’s items, unless this is listed on the policy. It also doesn’t cover portable items that you carry around with you daily (e.g. wedding rings, mobile phones), you will need additional personal effects cover to insure these items against being stolen, lost, or damaged outside of home.

 

Refer to your policy documents for terms and conditions, and to make sure the value of your home and your most valued belongings are included in your home and contents insurance; if they aren’t covered, compare home and contents insurance policies today.

Because I live in a unit, do I actually have to get home insurance? Doesn’t my strata cover it?

Just because you live in a unit and pay strata fees doesn’t mean you don’t need home insurance. Strata insurance is paid by all residents to cover costs of repairs or replacement to the building and common or shared property and contents (garden, swimming pool, etc.). In terms of your unit, strata will usually only cover damage to the exterior part, like external walls, ceilings, and balconies that form part of the building. Strata will generally not cover damage to interior walls or fixings, or personal contents, and won’t cover any damage from flooding.

You will need home insurance to cover the cost of repairs or replacement for your unit’s internal structure in certain events like storms, floods, or accidental damage – provided they are included in your policy. It can also sometimes include cover for items fixed to your unit like light fittings, carpets, fixed appliances or built-in wardrobes. You will need contents insurance to cover any possessions you have in your unit; like clothes, furniture, and valuable belongings if they are damaged, lost, or destroyed.

Whether you take out home insurance to cover these things is up to you, but remember that if you have a mortgage, holding home insurance will often be something that your lender requires.

I lease a unit to tenants. Does my strata cover my home insurance?

If you are leasing a unit to tenants, strata does not cover the same things as home insurance. All owners/landlords share strata fees, and strata insurance covers the whole building, but only the external structure (exterior walls, roof, balcony, etc), and anything that is deemed ‘common property’ stipulated in your body corporate bylaws. Strata doesn’t include cover for interior fixings, like internal walls, blinds, and carpets, or personal items that aren’t fixed to the premises (like appliances), and won’t cover certain risks such as floods.

Landlord insurance, however, will cover your unit for theft by tenants, or malicious/accidental damage during a tenancy, and can cover repairs or replacement after storm, fire, or flood damage (if included in your policy). It may also cover some of your fixed appliances, and will include liability cover if your tenant is injured on the premises, and cover for loss of rent following damage to the unit, or if your tenant defaults on payments.

It’s worth checking with your building’s body corporate to determine exactly what you’re covered for with your particular strata.

We’re renovating our home. When do we need to update our home insurance?

You should always let your insurer know as soon as you begin renovating, or ideally when you’re in the planning stages. If your home or contents are impacted by the renovation, and your insurer wasn’t aware of any works and hasn’t updated your policy, you will generally not be covered by your home insurance.

It’s also best to contact your insurer immediately. Your insurer may choose to suspend your home and contents insurance during renovations, as it may present potential risks, such as damaging your home’s external structure and foundations if you’re tearing down walls, or impacting the safety of your home and contents, like leaving doors open during construction. Homes are an easy target for theft and vandalism during renovations, which means some insurers might not cover your home if it’s not deemed secure. Furthermore, if it’s a costly renovation, the insurer might not want to cover the risk of any added value.

Most insurers will have an exclusion that doesn’t cover any water damage that occurs during renovation. Also, if you’re living elsewhere during renovations, your insurance might include an occupancy clause (that changes your cover if the home isn’t occupied). If you’ve hired a licensed builder, the builder should have construction insurance for the part they’re working on, but you should confirm this before commencing renovation.

For further information, it is best to check your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact your insurer.

My friend told me I was over-insured because I had my land insured too. Is this true?

Yes, you may be over-insured. You don’t have to factor in the land value to your sum insured (i.e. the amount of money you insure your home for), because - in the event that something unfortunate happens - you will only be replacing your home; not the actual land. But you have to consider the costs of removing your home and getting the land to a point where they can build on it (i.e. a block of land with Bondi Beach views will cost the same to “prepare” as one in the suburbs, but the values will be completely different).

Your home insurance should cover the costs of rebuilding your property in a total loss, with the ‘removal of debris’ inclusive in the rebuild costs or as an additional benefit. Your sum insured should include enough to rebuild your home fully. Otherwise, you might risk under-insuring your property. If you don’t have the right level of cover, it may end up costing you hundreds of thousands more to rebuild.

Is home insurance included in my mortgage?

Unfortunately, home insurance is not included in your mortgage. Additionally, mortgage lenders usually require you to take out home insurance as a condition of the mortgage, particularly if the house is a large investment or if it presents more of a risk of being damaged (e.g. situated in a flood zone, made of older materials, situated in a neighbourhood with high crime rates). However, home insurance costs are not included in your mortgage repayments, so you will need to take out home insurance separately if you want to cover any damage or loss to your building.

Mortgages can be expensive, so if you’re looking for an affordable home insurance policy, compare a range of home and contents insurance options today on comparethemarket.com.au.

Is building insurance the same as home insurance?

Yes, building insurance is the same as home insurance. They are names for the same product, and will both generally cover damage to your property’s structure and fixtures which are permanently attached to your building or home, against defined or listed events like fire or storm damage.

Typically, your building or home insurance will cover the walls, roof, floor, ceiling, doors, windows, and things fixed to the home’s foundations; like inbuilt cupboards, wardrobes, cabinets, and sometimes even stoves which can’t be moved. Building or home insurance also generally covers outside structures like garden tool sheds, pergolas, or carports. However, it’s best to check with your insurer to determine exactly what you’re covered for.

Not insured yet? Compare home insurance policies today to make sure your building is covered.

How do I insure a vacant home?

If you want to insure a vacant home, you must first contact your insurer and let them know that you’ll be leaving your home vacant for an extended period. Depending on your insurer, an ‘extended period of time’ might be classified differently. However, most insurers will usually require you to inform them if your home will be vacant anywhere from over 30 or 60 days. Your home will usually be covered regularly under your home insurance for anything shorter than this, but if it exceeds 30 or 60 days of being vacant, then it may not be covered.

If you are planning on leaving your home vacant for longer than the limit specified by your insurer, then you may have to pay more on your premiums for the added risk. If your home is vacant for longer than the specified period in your policy disclosure statement (PDS), and you haven’t notified your insurer, then you might void your home insurance or impose an additional excess on any claims in the period of vacancy.

Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on covering a vacant home.

Is there GST on home insurance?

Yes, GST is usually charged on your home insurance premiums and indeed most types of insurance policies; excluding life insurance (input taxed) and health insurance (GST-free).

How does making a claim affect my home insurance?

Making one claim will most likely affect your home insurance premium slightly, while making a lot of claims might really increase your home insurance premium.

There are a few factors that can affect your home & contents premium, including making multiple claims. Insurers will usually consider your claims history when determining your premium, and if you had previously made some trivial minor claims, or had a major costly claim in the past, your insurer might consider you more of a risk of claiming in the future.

On the flip side, not making a claim can also affect your home insurance. Many insurers offer a ‘No Claims Bonus’ discount if you don’t claim on your home insurance – a discount calculated based on each continuous claim-free-year you’re covered.

What is ‘home building’ insurance?

Home building insurance is another name for home insurance and covers the cost to rebuild or repair your home and other structures which you have built on your property, in the event of damage from fire, theft, storm, or other natural disasters (depending on your policy). Home insurance can include cover for the structure of your building and other built structures around your home like sheds, garages, fences, and even in-ground pools.

If you’re concerned about protecting your home, your favorite outdoor tool shed, or other structures around your house, compare home insurance policies and find one that specifies buildings cover, or check your policy disclosure statement (PDS).

Do I need home insurance if I own an apartment?

You may not need home insurance if the apartment you own is under strata title, in which your exterior walls, balcony, and ceiling are generally covered by body corporate insurance. However, you will then need to take out a contents insurance policy to cover the internal walls, kitchen, laundry, and bathroom(s), as well as your belongings.

If your apartment doesn’t have any body corporate insurance, then you may need to purchase a home insurance policy to cover your apartment’s structure. If you own an apartment and decide to rent it out you will need landlord insurance, as well as home and contents insurance if it is rented furnished, to cover damage caused by your tenants, rental default, and more. You should consider any one of these products for your unit, depending on your circumstances.

What does excess mean in home insurance?

An excess is the amount of money you have to pay every time you want to claim on your home insurance policy. With most home insurance policies, you will have to pay an excess to claim. However, your excess amount will depend on your policy. Check your policy documents for your particular excess amount.

If your excess is $500 and the damage to your home is worth $3,000, you will pay the excess upon making a claim, and your insurer will pay the remainder of the costs: $2,500. In some cases, if you’re claiming on both home and contents, you will need to pay an excess for both claims. Also, if you’ve already made a claim and paid the excess for (for example) a storm damage claim, but your home gets damaged again from another storm not long after, you may have to pay another excess for a new claim.

Most policies will have a standard excess. However, you can choose to increase your excess if you wish to reduce your home insurance premiums. Each insurer and policy will have a different excess amount, which you can see side-by-side when you compare home and contents insurance policies.

How do I file a claim on home insurance?

Get in touch with your insurer as soon as practical. They will ask you for all the details over the phone and commence your claim, or provide you with claim forms to promptly fill out and return.

N.B. If your house has been robbed, it’s best you report this to the police before anything else. From there on, the police report can be used to substantiate your claim. For all other matters of claiming, it’s best to contact your home insurer immediately.

Once you have lodged the correct forms, your insurer will assess your claim. They will then notify you if it’s been accepted, rejected, or if any further actions are required; like sending out an assessor to inspect the extent of any structural damage or damaged items. When you lodge a claim, you will likely need to pay an excess (the amount will depend on your policy).

Your insurer may require further proof of damage when lodging a claim, so it is best to take photos of the damage and have receipts ready if you want to claim on any additional expenses (e.g. relocation from your house, if it has become unliveable).

Once your claim is approved, your insurer will provide you with quotes for any repairs or replacements required. Alternately, you can gather your own quotes, although some insurers will have pre-approved providers and repairers they will prefer/insist on using. If you need to replace items, your insurer will help organise this from the place of purchase, or from an approved retailer. If you need to repair building damage or replace your home entirely, your insurer will cover the costs required to repair or replace – based on a quote approved by them.

Learn more about how to submit a home insurance claim.

How long do home insurance claims take?

How long home insurance claims take will depend on how complex your claim is, the type of damage being claimed for, and the number of people involved with the claim (e.g. assessors, surveyors, builders, removal companies etc.).

Claims for minor home damage and issues (like electrical faults from storm damage) might take a few days to process. However, major claims that are more complex (like a robbery or house fire) can take weeks or months for your claim to be assessed, processed, and for you to receive cover for damage. Your claim may be paid out as reimbursement or replacement, with your insurer typically organising quotes to get a repairer or builder to fix the damage.

To comply with the General Insurance Code of Practice, insurers must get back to you within 10 business days of when they first received your claim, with their decision to deny or accept your claim, and an estimate of how long the claim may take. If further information or assessment is required by your insurer, they will need to notify you within those first 10 business days of receiving the claim, and also keep you informed of your claim’s progress every 20 days after.

The length of time it takes for your claim to be processed may depend on when you submit your claim and how busy your insurer is at the time (e.g. if you’re making a claim following a natural disaster when many others are doing the same). You can reduce the claiming time by having receipts prepared, getting replacement costs and repair estimates, and taking clear photos of the damage and emailing them to your insurer.

Landlord insurance

Does landlord insurance cover water damage?

Yes, standard landlord insurance policies usually cover water damage to your home that is caused by bursting, leaking, discharge, or overflow of water or rainwater. However, this may be subject to terms and conditions. Refer to your landlord insurance policy documents for more information on your coverage.

 

If you’re specifically worried about water damage to your property, compare landlord insurance to find a policy that includes cover for water damage.

Does landlord insurance cover tenant damage?

Yes, landlord insurance can include cover for malicious or intentional tenant damage or vandalism to your property, but only if it’s a defined or listed event in your policy.

 

For example, if your tenant or their visitors have smashed the windows in a fight, or if the walls have graffiti all over them, landlord insurance should cover the costs of the damage. However, if your tenant has spilled red wine all over the carpet, or slipped and broken the shower screen, you will need to have accidental damage included in your landlord insurance policy to cover it.

 

Check your landlord insurance documents for terms and conditions regarding cover for tenant damage. Or, if you are worried about your tenants damaging your property, make sure you have cover for malicious damage and accidental damage when comparing landlord insurance policies.

Does landlord insurance cover fire?

Yes, landlord insurance can cover damage caused to your property by natural disasters (like a natural fire or storm) or by malicious damage (arson fire). However, if the fire was caused by something within the property (like candles, cooking equipment, or faulty wiring), then you may need to have fire cover as a policy addition or included as a listed or defined event on the policy, or have taken out specific fire insurance to be covered.

 

With your landlord insurance, public liability can also cover damage to surrounding properties that is caused by a fire which began at your property. Refer to your policy brochure to find out if your landlord insurance covers you for fire. Learn more about what landlord insurance covers or compare landlord insurance policies to find a policy that can cover you for fire damage.

Does a landlord need public liability insurance?

No, It’s not compulsory to get public liability cover for your rental property, unless your mortgage lender stipulates this as a requirement for taking out a loan. However, a landlord should protect themselves from medical and legal costs if their tenant (or a visitor) is injured or dies, due to a problem or accident at their rental property. Public liability coverage – as part of a landlord insurance policy – is one of the best ways to do this.

 

There are several other events landlords are liable for. For example, a landlord should have public liability insurance in case a fire originates from their property and causes damage to surrounding homes. Without landlord insurance that includes public liability, these situations can cause a lot of damage and cost the landlord a lot of money.

 

Landlords should refer to their policy documents to determine if they are covered for public liability, and if there are any conditions or limitations regarding their public liability cover.

Does landlord insurance cover loss of rent?

Yes, depending on your policy, landlord insurance can offer conditional cover for loss of rent (usually up to a certain amount) caused by:

  • tenants breaking their lease earlier than expected and leaving the rental property vacant for a time;
  • tenants missing rent payments or not being able to pay on time; or
  • your property becoming unliveable, and therefore not in a state to rent out, due to loss or damage caused by a listed event on your policy.

 

It’s best to refer to your policy documents to determine if your landlord insurance includes cover for loss of rent, and for any limitations or terms and conditions that may apply once you make a claim. And if you’re specifically worried about loss of rent, make sure cover for this is included when you compare landlord insurance policies.

Is landlord insurance worth it?

Yes, landlord insurance is worth it if you want to protect your investment property against events which could result in significant financial loss. For example, landlord insurance can cover your property’s structure being damaged or destroyed from natural disasters, which could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to fully rebuild without cover.

 

Landlord insurance can also cover you for loss of rent if your tenant can’t pay or breaks the lease early, or loss of rent if your home is damaged to the point where it’s unliveable and you can’t rent it out.

 

Also, some landlord insurance policies can include public liability coverage which covers some of your legal costs and damages you may have to pay if you are liable for someone having an accident and dying on your property, as well as some legal and medical costs of your tenants or their guests if they’re injured on your property as a result of your negligence (which can cost a lot of money if the injury is serious enough).

 

It’s worth taking out landlord insurance to protect yourself and your property; find out more about what landlord insurance covers, or compare policies today.

Do I need building insurance if I have landlord insurance?

No, you usually won’t need to get building insurance on top of your landlord insurance. Much like building insurance, your landlord insurance will cover damage to your building’s structure and to internal fixtures or fittings (like fixed-in appliances and pipes) from natural disasters, malicious damage, water damage, and vandalism.

 

However, each insurer will offer different coverage in their landlord insurance policy, so it’s best to refer to your policy documents to better understand the full extent of your coverage. Find out more information on what is covered by landlord insurance, or see our guide to home and contents insurance to learn more. Compare landlord insurance policies today to protect your investment property.

What is the difference between building insurance and landlord insurance?

While homeowners building insurance and landlord insurance both cover damage to your property’s structure and internal fixtures and fittings from natural disasters, landlord insurance offers additional coverage for specific events that might impact a landlord.

 

If you get stuck with bad tenants, landlord insurance will cover theft of contents (e.g. carpets and furniture), vandalism, and malicious damage or destruction of your rental property or contents by those tenants. It will also provide cover for public liability if your tenants or their visitors injure themselves on your property. You’ll also be covered for rent default or loss of rent if your tenants can’t pay rent or break their lease earlier than expected (including legal costs).

 

To learn more about the difference between building insurance and landlord insurance, check out our guide to home and contents insurance.

What insurance do you need as a landlord?

Landlords are only obligated to have insurance if their mortgage lender demands it, so no insurance is compulsory. However, you’d be wise to consider a product like landlord insurance if you want to protect yourself from financial loss or legal liabilities. This includes cover for loss of rent/rent default if tenants can’t pay rent or break their lease early, public liability for tenants who injure themselves on the property, and malicious damage or theft of your property or contents. It can also include cover for damage inflicted by natural disasters, fires, thefts, and more.

 

Landlords might also need to get contents insurance if they are leasing out a furnished property with movable items like white goods or furniture. Such a policy would cover the value of your contents if they were damaged or destroyed. Also, it’s best to check with your body corporate to make sure you’re not doubling up on cover with your strata insurance.

 

Learn more about landlord insurance or check out our guide to home and contents insurance for more information. Compare landlord insurance policies today if you’re ready to protect your investment property.

Is landlord insurance more expensive than homeowners?

Landlord insurance can be slightly more expensive than homeowners insurance if you’re insuring the same property, as it covers additional events which are specific to covering landlords.

 

Both homeowners and landlord insurance cover you for damage that occurs to your home and the fixtures and fittings inside it against natural events like fire or storms, or from theft. However, landlord insurance also covers malicious damage to the property by your tenants, legal liability for your tenants if they are injured on the property, and loss of rent and rent default if a tenant breaks the lease early or cannot pay rent.

 

Renting out a property to tenants presents more of a risk, which is the reason why it can be a bit more expensive to take out this type of policy. Find more information on what affects the cost of landlord insurance, or read our guide to home insurance to learn more.

Is landlord insurance compulsory or mandatory?

Landlord insurance is not a compulsory or mandatory requirement by legal standards. However, it may be mandatory if you have purchased the property on a mortgage and your lender requires landlord insurance to protect their investment.

 

Although landlord insurance might not be compulsory or mandatory, there are some things that landlords are liable for (e.g. protecting yourself against lost rent or legal action, your property against damage, your personal contents, and tenants’ safety), so it is a good idea to have landlord insurance.

 

Regardless of whether it’s compulsory or not, this product can be invaluable. In the event that your rental property is damaged by your tenants, a natural disaster damages the structure, or a range of other events occur; having landlord insurance means you’ll have an opportunity to recoup major financial losses.

 

Find out more about what landlord insurance is or compare landlord insurance policies today if you want to protect your investment property.

Does landlord insurance cover vacancy?

Landlord insurance will not cover a rental property’s vacancy if the landlord simply cannot find a tenant. However, landlord insurance can cover vacancy if a tenant breaks their lease by not paying rent or by vacating the property before their lease ends. Landlord insurance may also cover you for ‘loss of rent’ from vacancy if the property becomes unlivable due to damage from a listed event on the policy, although this cover may come at an additional cost.

 

Learn more about what landlord insurance covers or refer to your policy brochure to find out if your policy covers vacancy.

Do I need landlord insurance for a flat?

Whether you’re renting out a free-standing house or a flat, you will need landlord insurance if you want to protect yourself from potential financial loss. Landlord insurance is not a legal requirement. However, it may be required by your lender if you have purchased your apartment on a mortgage.

 

Although you may already have strata insurance for your flat included in your body corporate, strata insurance only has limited cover for common areas and the external structure of your unit. On the other hand, what landlord insurance can cover is the cost of damage to internal walls, fixtures and fittings, theft by tenants or their guests, public liability within the apartment (i.e. if tenants hurt themselves), and rent default/loss of rent if your tenants can’t pay or break the lease early.

 

It can cost you quite a bit if any of these issues occur, but on our website you can easily compare landlord insurance policies for a flat if you want to protect yourself as a landlord and protect your property’s value.

How much is landlord insurance?

How much landlord insurance costs will primarily depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether you’re only insuring the building, or both the building and your possessions;
  • How much you want to insure the property for (cash value of property vs. replacement costs);
  • The likelihood that you’ll make a claim (i.e. if the property is in a natural disaster risk zone, your suburb’s crime rate is high, how reliable your tenants are);
  • Whether you want to include any additional cover for personal effects, earthquakes, electrical motor burnout, or rent default and legal costs; and
  • Whether you already have certain cover with strata insurance that might double up.

 

Unfortunately, it’s hard to determine exactly how much landlord insurance will cost, as there are a number of contributing factors that could alter your premiums. If you would like to find out how much landlord insurance could cost you, you can easily compare landlord insurance policies in minutes on our website.

What does landlord insurance cover?

Landlord insurance covers the costs of repairing or rebuilding the landlord’s property if the building’s structure and any attached fixtures or fittings inside are damaged or destroyed by a listed event on the policy (e.g. fire, theft, malicious damage). Landlord insurance can also cover valuables you left in your property or leased out to your tenants, but only if you have included contents cover with your policy.

 

Landlord insurance can also protect you from legal liability by covering legal and medical costs if someone is injured or dies on your property from an accident that you’re liable for. It can also cover rent default or loss of rent caused by tenants not being able to pay, or if they vacate the property before the due date - without fair warning.

 

Refer to your policy brochure to determine exactly what your landlord insurance covers you for. Learn more about what landlord insurance can cover or compare landlord insurance policies to make sure you’re protected in case something happens to your property.

What is landlord insurance?

A landlord insurance policy is designed to offer protection to landlords and their investment property. A policy will generally include cover for the physical building itself, as well as permanent fixtures and fittings, if they are damaged or destroyed by a listed event on the policy. Landlord insurance can also provide cover for legal liability if a tenant or their guest is injured on the property, and can cover the value of rent if a tenant can’t pay, or breaks their contract before the due date.

 

Learn more about landlord insurance or compare policies today to protect your investment.

Renters insurance

Does homeowners insurance cover renters?

No, homeowners insurance does not typically cover renters; it covers the actual property if it’s damaged or destroyed by listed or defined events in the policy.

If you are a home owner who is leasing out your home to renters, you should consider landlord insurance which, depending on your policy, can cover you for:

  • Public liability: can cover some of the medical or legal costs if a tenant gets injured or dies on the property as a result of your negligence.
  • Rent default or loss of rent: can provide some compensation if your tenant vacates the property before the due date on the contract without fair warning, or can’t pay their rent on time.
  • Malicious damage: can cover some of the costs to repair or replace part of the property belonging to the home owner that the tenants have damaged or destroyed.

If you are a renter, you will not need homeowners insurance, as the owner of the house (your landlord) is responsible for the building. However, you should consider renters insurance which can cover your personal possessions within the rental home from being stolen, lost, damaged or destroyed.

Do I need home insurance if I rent?

No, you will not need home insurance if you rent. It is the responsibility of the home owner (your landlord) to take out home insurance or landlord insurance to cover the property they’re leasing out for the costs to repair damage.

If you are renting out a place, you will only need to consider taking out renters insurance which, depending on listed or defined events in your policy, can cover some of the costs to repair or replace your possessions and personal belongings that you keep in your rental property if they’re damaged, destroyed, lost, or stolen.

Find out more about what renters are liable for or read our guide to home and contents insurance to compare what types of home insurance you should consider if you rent, or are a homeowner or landlord.

Is renters insurance worth it?

Yes, renters insurance is worth it so you don’t have to worry about how much it might cost to pay to replace all of your belongings in your rental property if they’re damaged, stolen, or lost.

 

If you don’t have renters insurance, not only will you face the unfortunate event of losing your belongings, but you will also have to replace everything you had lost, which could cost a lot of money out of your own pocket.

 

This is why it’s worth comparing renters insurance policies today.

How does renters insurance work?

The way renters insurance works is if a tenant’s belongings are stolen, lost, or damaged by a listed event on the policy, they can lodge a claim on their insurance policy. Lodging a claim usually requires an excess payment, the amount of which will differ per policy.

 

Once the claim has been assessed and approved, renters insurance can cover the costs of repairing or replacing the tenant’s belongings. The insurer does this either by reimbursing the agreed amount or by providing a replacement item from a partnered supplier.

 

Now that you understand how it works, compare renters insurance policies to find a policy that works for you.

Does renters insurance cover moving?

Yes, renters insurance usually covers moving your home or address, but only in terms of providing cover for your possessions against being damaged, lost, or stolen while they’re in transit. Even then, this might be subject to terms and conditions, like only being covered in certain events (e.g. fire or collision of the moving truck) or cover being limited to a certain percentage of your contents’ value.

 

Refer to your policy brochure to determine your renters insurance covers you for moving, and for any terms and conditions. If you’re planning on moving rental properties soon, compare contents insurance policies to find a policy that can cover your possessions in transit.

Does renters insurance cover accidental damage?

Basic renters insurance policies generally don’t cover accidental damage of personal items and possessions. However, they usually do cover accidental breakage of glass, ceramic, and sanitary fixtures like baths, basins, and toilets. If you want to cover accidental damage of personal items, you will need to add accidental damage as a policy addition to your basic policy. Alternately, some top-level or comprehensive contents insurance policies may include cover for accidental damage.

 

Check your policy documents to see if your renters insurance covers you for accidental damage, and read up on any terms and conditions. If you’re a bit clumsy and are concerned about breaking a valuable item, compare contents insurance policies to find a policy that covers accidental damage.

Does renters insurance cover theft?

Yes, renters insurance policies usually cover theft of a tenants items found at the property (like jewellery, clothing and accessories, furniture, or electronics). However, this will depend on whether theft is a listed or defined event in your policy, and might also be subject to limits (only up to a certain amount) or terms and conditions (like submitting a police report).

 

Renters insurance doesn’t cover theft outside of the home, but if you want to cover theft of portable items you carry around (e.g. mobile phones, wedding rings), you can add personal effects cover to your contents insurance policy.

 

Learn more about what renters insurance covers, or refer to your policy brochure to determine your renters insurance covers you for theft. When you compare contents insurance policies, make sure you are insured for enough money to cover the cost to replace all your possessions if they're stolen.

Do I need renters insurance for a house?

While not compulsory, you do need renters insurance for a house to cover your possessions if they are damaged, destroyed, lost, or stolen. Whether you’re renting a house or renting an apartment, renters are liable for all personal belongings that are brought into the rental accommodation. A renter’s possessions are not the responsibility of the landlord.

 

Therefore, if you want your own valuables to be covered, you will need to compare renters insurance policies. Learn more about what renters are liable for, or read our guide to home and contents insurance.

Does renters insurance cover flood damage?

Yes, renters insurance can cover flood damage to your contents, although this will depend on whether your policy includes natural disasters and flood damage as a listed or defined event. Adding flood damage as a policy addition to a basic contents or renters insurance policy will usually cost extra, although it’s usually included as standard in top or comprehensive policies.

 

For more information about flood insurance, refer to your renters insurance policy for terms and conditions regarding flood damage. Alternatively, you can learn more about what’s covered by renters insurance, or compare renters insurance policies today to find a policy that covers flood damage.

Do you need home insurance if you rent?

No, you will not need home insurance if you’re renting. You will only need to worry about contents insurance to cover your possessions at home in the event they are damaged, lost, or stolen. Home insurance should be covered by the homeowner or landlord, who should also cover strata/body corporate fees.

Does renters insurance cover theft outside the home?

Renters insurance or contents insurance can cover theft of household items left outside your home (like outdoor furniture garden equipment etc.) if you have this included in your policy. However, renters insurance doesn’t usually cover theft of your personal items when taken outside of the home, unless you have personal effects cover added on to your contents insurance policy.

Personal effects cover protects valuable items that you carry around every day (e.g. phones, wallets, jewellery) and insures their value if they are stolen or lost outside the home. Refer to your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on what renters insurance covers.

If you are worried about theft of your personal items that you carry outside the home, then it’s best to make sure you have personal effects cover added on when you

Reviewing your options

How can I make sure I’m not paying too much for my home and contents insurance?

The easiest way to make sure you’re not paying too much to insure your home and contents is by comparing home and contents insurance policies on our website, to see how the price you’re paying compares to other policies. However, you should keep in mind that getting the best deal or cheapest price isn’t always as important as making sure you find the best value (affordable price for appropriate cover) on your home and contents insurance policy.

Many factors can affect your home & contents premium, but there are also some ways that you may be able to save on your home and contents premium, including updating your home’s security, having a higher excess amount, and paying your premium annually (instead of monthly or fortnightly).

You can also reduce your home and contents insurance premium if you choose to lower your sum insured amount and remove listed or defined events (e.g. removing flood damage coverage). However, you should make sure you have enough left to fully rebuild your home and replace all of your valuables, and not risk being under-insured in an event that could damage or destroy your home. See our guide to home and contents insurance to learn more.

Why is home insurance important?

Home and contents insurance is important because, if you don’t have cover, it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to fully rebuild your home or replace your belongings.

 

Whether a fire destroys your home, it’s damaged by flood, or affected by any other listed event on your policy, the right insurance means you can afford to rebuild. In addition, contents insurance makes sure the value of your belongings are covered, so they can be replaced if they’re stolen, damaged, or destroyed.

 

Compare home and contents insurance policies today for some peace of mind.

Why does home insurance increase every year?

Certain factors affect your home and contents premium, like risk levels and changes in the insurance market, although the main reasons home insurance premiums increase every year is so insurers can keep up with rising building costs and inflation.

Yearly inflation rates mean the value of everything increases, including your home. Therefore, when your policy is renewed, your sum insured will be adjusted automatically to make sure you’re not underinsured for your home’s new increased value. Your home insurance premium will also increase every year to cover this new valuation.

Also, Australia’s housing boom generally increases demand and, therefore, the costs of building supplies. Because of this, there is a general increase in the amount it costs to rebuild homes – from building materials to labour costs – which insurers have to accommodate for, and which are reflected in increasing home insurance premiums every year to customers.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get around home insurance increases every year. However, what you can do is compare home and contents insurance policies every year to make sure you’re getting great value, rather than just renewing your policy.

How do I save on home insurance?

The easiest way to save on your home insurance is to compare home insurance policies through comparethemarket.com.au and find one that offers you great value. Rather than just renewing your policy each year, which could be outdated and too expensive, finding different options through our comparison service could present you with multiple opportunities to save.

There are a few other ways to save on your home & contents insurance.

  1. You could remove cover for particular defined or listed events that you doubt will affect your home (e.g. remove flood cover if you don’t live in a floodplain).
  2. Some insurers might offer discounts if you take out multiple policies with them (e.g. buy home, contents and car insurance through one provider).
  3. You may also be able to save on your home insurance if you nominate to have a higher excess (what you pay out-of-pocket when making a claim) than what’s required by your insurer.
  4. Your premium might be slightly reduced if you choose to pay annually, rather than monthly or fortnightly.
  5. Upgrading your home’s security and safety features (alarms, fences etc.) can help you save on home insurance if your insurer believes your house has a lower risk of theft or being damaged.
  6. If your home is made of older materials, making renovations to increase its sturdiness and decrease the risk of making a claim could make your home less risky to insure.

Compare home and contents insurance today to find a great value policy for your household.

Can I switch home insurance at any time?

Yes, you can switch home insurance policies or providers at any time, as you are usually not locked into a contract with your home insurance. So if your policy permits, you may be able to cancel your policy before its expiry date, however some insurers may charge a cancellation fee if you’re cancelling mid-term. It’s best to check your policy disclosure statement (PDS) for more information on cancelling your policy.

There isn’t a specific day or time you have to switch your home insurance, either. If you do cancel your policy before it’s expired for the year, then you should receive a refund of any premiums which you have already paid, within 15 business days. Generally, you also have a 14-day cooling-off period (sometimes 21 days, depending on your insurer/policy) where you don’t incur any penalty or loss of premiums if you change your mind when switching home insurance.

The easiest way to switch home insurance at any time is to compare home and contents insurance policies side-by-side on comparethemarket.com.au, fill out your details, and find a policy that suits you and your home. Although, if you do switch home insurance polices, remember to cancel your existing policy so you aren't paying for two policies at the same time.

What should I look for in a home insurance policy?

Unfortunately, the first thing most people might look for in a home insurance policy is the premium and excess price, but that isn’t necessarily the most important thing. What you should also look for in a home insurance policy is:

  • Enough cover to replace your home & contents. Make sure your sum insured amount is enough to replace your possessions or fully rebuild your home in the event it’s fully destroyed.
  • Cover for specific events. e.g. flood cover if you live in a flood zone, personal effects cover for items you take out of your home (e.g. bicycles).
  • Flexible payment methods. Being able to pay monthly instead of annually, at little or no extra charge, can be an enormous benefit to households on a tight budget.
  • Flexible excess amounts. Choose a higher excess to reduce your premium, or elect not to have multiple excesses per claim - if possible.
  • Great customer service and a smooth claims process.

These are the types of things you should look for in an insurance policy, so keep them in mind when you compare home and contents insurance policies.

How can I switch home insurance?

You can switch home insurance easily through comparethemarket.com.au.

Step 1 – Fill in your details and complete a home insurance quote online;

Step 2 – Compare a range of policies from a variety of insurance providers (make sure your new policy has adequate coverage for your future needs);

Step 3 – Once you have found a suitable policy and completed your purchase, contact your previous insurer to cancel your original policy in time (before your new policy starts), as you could be paying for two home insurance policies at the same time if they overlap.

Once you have switched home insurance, you can rest knowing your home is covered for the things it needs to be, at a price you’re comfortable paying.

What information is needed for a home insurance quote?

The information needed for a home insurance quote will depend on whether you’re a homeowner, renter, or landlord, and what you’re interested in insuring.

The information needed for your quote will generally include:

  • The address of the property to be insured
  • If you have a mortgage on the property
  • If the property is your principal place of residence
  • If there is any business activity conducted from the home
  • The date you moved into the home
  • The year the home was built
  • The type of home it is (freestanding, townhouse, unit)
  • The main construction material (walls & roof)
  • If your home is part of a body corporate or strata complex
  • If your home is fitted with a security alarm
  • If any older residents are living in the home
  • The cost to rebuild your home (how much you want your sum insured to be)
  • The cost to replace all your valuables (if you want contents insurance)
  • Your home insurance history (past cover/claims)

This information determines some of the factors that affect your home and contents premiums, which is why it’s best to provide the right information and answer truthfully to get the right quote. Complete a home and contents insurance quote now to find the right policy for your home.

How do I choose home insurance?

While you may be inclined to choose the policy with the cheapest premiums or lowest excess, you shouldn’t choose a policy based solely on price. It’s better to choose a policy that offers great value for events you may need to be covered for.

For example, if you live in a flood zone, you’ll want to make sure you have cover for this specific event. Also, you’ll want to make sure the sum insured in your home and contents policy provides enough coverage to be able to fully rebuild your home and contents if it were totally destroyed.

When choosing a policy, there are exclusions you will need to look out for that vary between insurers, as well as factors that affect your home and contents premium. Comparing home insurance policies from multiple providers in one place on comparethemarket.com.au allows you to compare prices and choose a home insurance policy with the right coverage for you and your home.

How much is home and contents insurance on average?

There’s no easy way to determine how much home and contents insurance will cost on average. The cost of home and contents insurance will depend on the type of policy and level of cover you require, and certain factors that affect your home & contents premium, including (but not limited to):

  • If you’re a homeowner, tenant, or landlord;
  • The type of policy you’re looking for (what you want to be covered for);
  • Your home’s address (median suburb price, theft rates in the area);
  • Natural hazard risks (living in a flood zone or bush-fire zone);
  • The age and structure of your home;
  • Your home security (alarm, fence);
  • Your home insurance claims history;
  • Your excess amount;
  • Your building material;
  • How much it would cost to rebuild the home/replace your contents; and
  • How much you want to be covered for – the total sum insured.

There are ways to possibly save on your home and contents premiums, including increasing your home security, choosing to have a higher excess amount, paying annually (rather than monthly or fortnightly), and shopping around for a less costly policy.

To get a better idea of how much home and contents might cost on average, you can check out our guide to home and contents insurance. Or, simply complete a quick home & contents quote with us and see what you’d pay either monthly or annually.

Ready to find a better deal? It’s easy to compare with us.

Compare home and contents insurance