Whether you’re a homeowner, renter or landlord, you may wish to have financial protection for your home or belongings.
There are several different types of insurance to choose from, though most revolve around the two main types: home insurance (for the building) and contents insurance (for the items inside the home or in the yard or your car).
Take a look at the list below to learn more about the different types of insurance for your home, whether it’s a stand-alone policy like home and contents insurance or an optional extra you can add to an existing policy.
Home insurance can cover you against having to pay to fix, repair or rebuild things following a variety of natural disasters, including:
There may be conditions to your cover, such as tsunamis having to be caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Additionally, not all providers cover all types of natural disasters.
Be sure to read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and any key fact sheets for each policy before you buy, so you know exactly what you’re covered for.
Vandalism and malicious damage is generally covered by both home and contents insurance. This can include the cost of repairs for damage caused by attempted break-ins as well. It does not cover damage caused by residents and household members, however.
Home insurance can cover the cost of temporary accommodation if your home is rendered uninhabitable following an insured event. There will be a limit on how long your accommodation costs will be covered, depending on your specific policy. For example, you may be insured for 12 or even 24 months. Be sure to check your PDS to know how long your benefit period will last.
Renters may also have their accommodation costs covered for a set time following an insured event that damages their contents under a renters insurance policy.
A wide variety of appliances and electronic devices can be covered by contents insurance. These can include:
If you take some of these devices with you when you leave the house, you can insure them with portable contents cover (also called portable items or personal effects cover). Additionally, some appliances may also be insured against power surges with motor burnout cover.
There are some standard exclusions common in home and contents insurance, including:
You should always read the PDS to check the exclusions, terms and conditions specific to your policy.
Your home insurance will cover your rebuilding cost to the amount chosen by yourself (the sum insured) when you took out the policy. If this amount is not enough to completely cover the cost of rebuilding your property, you will likely need to pay the difference yourself; this is known as underinsurance.
Home insurance also generally includes the cost of removing debris following an event that destroys or severely damages a home.
Some insurance providers may provide total replacement cover (Total replacement cover insures you for restoring your home to the condition it was in before the incident based on the home’s replacement value.
These policies are less common and typically cost more but can provide peace of mind as there are generally fewer discrepancies between the cost of rebuilding and the current value of your home.
Home and contents insurance policies cover your legal liability should someone be injured or their property damaged by an accident that occurs when visiting your home. It can cover the cost of replacing or repairing someone’s belongings, plus legal costs for any death or injuries someone experiences at your property.