Explore Home & Contents Insurance

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.

The different types of home and contents insurance explained

A modern house with lights on at dusk

Home insurance

Home insurance covers the physical structure of the house or building you live in against a range of events like storm damage, fire, impact damage, vandalism and more.

A woman arranging decor inside her home

Contents insurance

Contents insurance covers your belongings, such as furniture, devices, appliances, art, clothing, sports equipment – essentially – your stuff.

A father and son looking out from the deck of their house

Combined home and contents insurance

Combined home and contents includes home insurance coverage and contents cover together in one policy, with separate benefit limits.

A female landlord holding out house keys

Landlords insurance

This popular type of home insurance covers the building the landlord rents out as well as some fixtures and furnishings, but not the contents belonging to the renters.

Renters sitting on a couch unpacking boxes

Renters insurance

Renters can take out contents insurance  to cover their personal belongings, furniture, appliances and devices. It does not cover the building owned by the landlord.

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Portable contents

Portable contents insurance (also known as personal effects cover) is an optional extra for contents insurance. It can cover belongings you take out of the home against theft and damage.

A vase broken accidentally in the lounge room

Accidental damage

Accidental damage cover is an optional extra for home and contents insurance policies. It covers accidental damage caused to the home and its fixtures, which typically isn’t covered by standard home or contents insurance.

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Motor burnout

This is an optional extra for home and contents insurance. Motor burnout insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing electrical appliances and whitegoods damaged by power surges and high electrical currents.

A house next to a river

Flood cover

This type of cover is typically an optional extra for home and contents policies (some may include it as standard). Flood cover insures you for the cost of repairing, replacing or rebuilding your home or contents if they’re damaged by a flood.

Learn more about home and contents insurance

Interested in the different types of events that can be covered by home and contents insurance? The topics below includes different categories of insured events that different types of home insurance or different types of contents insurance can cover, cover for certain types of contents and more about how home and contents insurance work.

Read on to learn more about home and contents insurance.

A family looking outside glass door of home

Cover for fire damage

Home and contents insurance can cover you against bushfire, arson caused by a third party (not by yourself) and accidental fires. Scorching, melting and smoke damage typically isn’t covered, and your home must comply with fire safety laws.

A modern house pool area surrounded by trees

Cover for storm damage

Both home and contents insurance cover damage caused by storms, including strong winds, hail and cyclones. It can also cover damage caused by rainwater runoff and storm surges.

Woman in jewellery store

Cover for jewellery

Contents insurance can cover jewellery and other precious valuables. There are limits for the total amount that can be claimed through insurance if they’re stolen or damaged, but it is possible to increase these limits for high value items.

A couple in the kitchen of a modern apartment

Cover for apartments

Apartment insurance can mean a few things. For example, if you live in but don’t own the apartment, you might consider contents insurance. If you’re renting your apartment to a tenant, landlords insurance might be more suitable. Learn more about how to insure your apartment.

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What affects home insurance costs

There are multiple factors that influence how much home and contents insurance costs (i.e. the premiums). These include your address, your level of cover, the types of property being covered, any optional extras and more.

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Defined and listed events

When it comes to events that could damage your home or contents, there is a difference between defined events like fires and storms, and accidental damage like spilling liquid over the carpeted floors.

Frequently asked questions

Does home insurance cover natural disasters?

Home insurance can cover you against having to pay to fix, repair or rebuild things following a variety of natural disasters, including:

  • Bushfires
  • Cyclones
  • Tsunamis (depending on the insurance provider)
  • Earthquakes
  • Storms
  • Floods (typically an optional extra).

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.

Is vandalism covered by home insurance?

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.

Am I covered for temporary accommodation if I have to rebuild my home?

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.

Are electronics covered by contents insurance?

A wide variety of appliances and electronic devices can be covered by contents insurance. These can include:

  • Computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • TVs
  • DVD and video players
  • Speakers
  • Fridges
  • Washing machines
  • Drying machines
  • Air conditioners (if it’s a portable unit)

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.

What isn’t covered by home or contents insurance?

There are some standard exclusions common in home and contents insurance, including:

  • General wear and tear
  • Insect and vermin damage
  • Tree lopping
  • Illegal activity
  • Terrorism, war and civil conflict
  • Fraudulent insurance claims.

You should always read the PDS to check the exclusions, terms and conditions specific to your policy.

How does replacement cover work?

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.

If someone gets hurt at my home, would my insurance cover it?

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.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Tips from our home and contents insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

  1. When viewing a policy, check whether certain types of home or contents insurance like flood cover are included in the policy as standard or it’s optional cover that will cost extra to add to your policy.
  2. It pays to go through and tally up the value of replacing your contents or rebuilding your home in today’s money, especially with portable effects or valuable items as you can often specify an exact coverage amount for particular pieces or categories of items.
  3. Always report theft, attempted theft and vandalism to the police. Insurance companies will need a copy of the police report when you file a claim on your contents or home insurance policy.
  4. Take care of your roof by clearing any debris and fallen branches from trees on your property. Ensure the gutters are clear and the roof itself is in good condition. This can help reduce or prevent damage during a storm.
  5. Always notify your insurer if you’re planning on doing any renovations at home. Most insurance companies will not cover any accidental loss or damage to your contents or house that occurs because of alterations or any home building and construction work.
  6. You can lower the cost of your home and contents insurance premium if you choose a higher excess payment. This can reduce your insurance premiums but does mean if you do claim you will have a higher excess to pay.

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