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 home and contents insurance, whether it’s a standalone policy like home insurance or an optional extra you can add to an existing policy.

The different types of home insurance and contents insurance explained

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Home insurance

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

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Contents insurance

Contents insurance covers your belongings, such as furniture, devices, appliances, art and clothing in case they’re damaged, stolen or irreparable due to an insured event.

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Combined home and contents insurance

Combined home and contents can cover your home and the belongings you keep in it together in one policy, with separate benefit limits.

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Landlords insurance

This is one of the more popular types of home insurance which covers the building the landlord rents out as well as some fixtures and furnishings, loss of rent and tenant malicious damage or default.

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Renters insurance

Renters can take out these types of contents insurance covers to protect their personal belongings, furniture, appliances and devices they bring with them into the rental home.

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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.

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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 white goods damaged by power surges and high electrical currents.

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Flood cover

This type of cover may be an optional extra available for both home and contents policies, but 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? Below are different scenarios that home and contents insurance can cover and more about how home and contents insurance works.

Read on to learn more about home and contents insurance.

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Cover for fire damage

These types of home and contents insurance covers can cover you for damages caused by bushfires, arson and accidental fires.

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Cover for storm damage

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

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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’s possible to increase these limits for high value items.

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Cover for apartments

There are different types of home insurance you can get for your apartment. For example, if you rent the apartment, you might consider contents insurance. If you’re renting your apartment to a tenant, landlord insurance might be more suitable.

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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, your claims history, any optional extras and more.

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Defined and accidental events

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

Frequently asked questions

What types of home insurance do I need?

The types of home insurance you may need depends on your relation to and the type of the property to be insured. For example, if you own the property (whether as a landlord or owner occupier), home or building insurance is the essential cover, whereas a tenant or strata owner may only need contents insurance.

Does home insurance cover natural disasters?

Home insurance can cover the costs of fixing, repairing or rebuilding your home and belongings following a variety of natural disasters, including:

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

There may be conditions to your cover, such as tsunamis having to be caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Also, 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 are 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 doesn’t cover intentional damage caused by residents, household members and their guests.

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 uninhabitable following an insured event. There’ll usually be a limit on how long your accommodation costs will be covered for, depending on your specific policy; for example, your accommodation may be covered 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 some of 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 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 things with you when you leave the house, you may be able to insure them with portable contents cover (also called portable items or personal effects cover). Additionally, you may be able to add cover for some appliances 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 for full details specific to your policy.

How does replacement cover work?

Your home insurance will cover your rebuilding costs to the amount you chose when you took out the policy; this is the sum insured. If this amount isn’t enough to completely cover the cost of rebuilding your property, you’ll 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, which provides a sum insured for the full amount of restoring your home to the condition it was in before the incident based on the home’s replacement value. These policies are less common nowadays 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 include legal liability cover should someone be injured, or their property damaged by accident when visiting your home. It can cover the cost of replacing or repairing someone’s belongings, plus legal costs associated with death or injuries someone experiences at your property.

Adrian Taylor, Executive General Manager

Tips from our home and contents insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

  1. When reviewing a policy, check whether cover like flood cover is included as standard or as optional. This can cost extra to add to your policy.
  2. It pays to go through and tally up the potential cost of replacing your contents 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 may 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 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 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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