Home Insurance Finder™

Protect your loved ones and loved possessions with home insurance. Compare policies from Australian brands

What is home insurance?

home insurance comparison

Home insurance is a contract taken out to protect your house and its contents from damage and accidental events such as fire or natural disasters.
It is also known as hazard insurance or homeowner's insurance and it is a form of property insurance that covers  private homes . Normally it combines several types of protection, such as the house, the contents, loss of use and liability insurance to cover accidents that happen within the house. Potential damage caused by children or dogs outside the house can also be included as part of the liability insurance section.

Comparison of Home and Contents Insurance Brands

Details Features
Comprehensive Building and Contents
Comprehensive Building and Contents
Up to 30% discount for combined Home and Contents purchased online. Terms and conditions apply.
  • $8,000 cover for outdoor contents
  • $5,000 cover for home office contents
  • Accidental damage cover
  • Emergency accommodation cover
Go to site More info
Home and Contents Insurance
Home and Contents Insurance
35% premium discount available for Gold Home and Contents policies Purchased Online. 21 day money-back guarantee.
  • Accidental damage cover
  • Home cover around property
  • 21-day money back guarantee
  • Automatic sum-insured at renewal
Go to site More info
Home and Contents
Home and Contents
Up to 25% premium discount* for policies purchased online. Multi-policy discounts also available.
  • Up to $20 million legal liability cover
  • 21 day money back guarantee if a claim has not been paid
  • Optional extras on offer
Go to site More info
Building and Contents Insurance
Building and Contents Insurance
Up to a 19% discount on policy if home is occupied day and night. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Cover for loss or damage by theft, attempted theft
  • Cover for damage from accidental fire
  • Optional burnout of electric motors
  • Optional accidental damage cover
Go to site More info
Home and Contents - Premier Care
Home and Contents - Premier Care
3 flexible levels of cover to choose with no extra fee to pay by the month. This insurance is only available to existing Westpac customers.
  • Theft from inside, outside or away from home
  • Electrical motor burnout cover
  • Cover for jewellery and watches up to $2000 per item ($10,000 total)
  • Safety net up to 30% of sum insured for building and 20% for contents
Go to site More info

How does home insurance work?

Although home insurance has multiple sections or can be designed as an umbrella policy (or all risks policy), its main coverage is the cost of replacement of the entire building in the event of a fire or other natural disaster.

This cost is called the sum insured and it's very important to determine its correct value. Your insurers will feature calculators on their website to help you determine an accurate value . Be aware that if you overestimate its value, you won't be reimbursed more than the real replacement cost, whereas if you underestimate it, you will be reimbursed proportionally.

As previously mentioned, the contents can be covered under the sum insured, though normally they are included under the contents section of the policy.

Finally, there's the liability that protects your property from damage occurring within the property, even that caused by children or pets outside the house.

Most insurers will also offer optional cover for electric motors, flood, domestic workers' compensation, pet cover and variable excess.

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What are the different types of home insurance?

There are different types of home insurance:

Homeowner insurance

Homeowner insurance can also be divided into three types:

  • Home and contents: designed to protect the contents of your building and your building from events such as fire, theft or flood. In the event the policyholder suffers total loss, it can also reimburse for the costs of temporary accommodation
  • Contents: protects your contents, personal belongings and valuables from accidental events such as storm, lightning, earthquake, fire, theft and flood.
  • Home: protects your home from fire, flood or theft, and in case of total loss or reparations you will be moved to temporary accommodation.

Renter insurance

Renter insurance is similar to homeowner insurance, but it is designed for tenants. It does not cover damage to the structure, as this can only be covered by homeowner insurance. There are two types:

  • Contents insurance: protects the tenant's contents from events such as theft, fire and flood. You can even protect your belongings outside your home.
  • Fire and theft renter insurance: a low cost insurance that covers the tenant's contents and belongings from fire or theft up to $25,000. This is different from the renter contents insurance as it is limited to theft and fire.

Landlord insurance

Landlord insurance has been designed to protect your rental property and can be divided into:

  • Landlord home insurance: protects the landlord's rental property and contents from fire and theft, natural disaster or flood. You can even include what is known as 'Tenant Protection' that covers you against unpaid rents, theft or malicious damage to your rental property by tenants.
  • Strata title landlord insurance: covers the contents, fixtures and fittings in the landlord's rental unit or apartment that are not covered by the owner's corporation.Damage caused by fire, theft or flood are included. It is also possible to purchase Tenant Protection insurance.

All of these types of home insurance have the following conditions:

  • New for old replacement: structures and contents are replaced by new structures and contents.
  • Lifetime guarantee on all authorised reparations.
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Steps to choose home insurance

As you have probably realised,  there are many components of a home protection policy for applicants to consider prior to application . It is therefore essential to  assess your situation and consider the losses that you are exposed to .

Some questions to consider when deciding on a policy and the level of cover to take out include :

  • Where do you live? Is it a safe area or is it likely to suffer from natural disasters?
  • Are you a landlord or a tenant?
  • Do you own the house and do you have children and/or pets?
  • Do you have valuables in your house?

Determining an appropriate level of cover is not always easy and the last thing you want is to take out too little or too much cover for your situation. This is where it can be extremely valuable to seek the services of an insurance consultant. A consultant can help you assess your situation and find a suitable policy option.

Once you have  found some suitable policy options ,  it is worth considering :

  • What is covered: you should take your time to carefully read all of the conditions of your policy as exclusions may vary greatly between different insurance groups . Normally home insurance does not cover pipes, but does cover damage caused from leakage of faulty pipes. What might be optional coverage for one company might be basic coverage for another. Again, this is where a consultant can offer excellent support.
  • The price: Nobody wants to pay too much for cover. Make sure the premium you pay is relative to the cover that is provided. What out for additional fees that you may be required to pay at the start and later stages of the policy.
  • Flexibility: You want to ensure you are able to find a policy that provides flexibility in;
    • Premium payment
    • Adjustment of cover
    • Ability to add extra cover
  • How easy it is to make claims: It is worth getting a clear understanding of the insurance brands claims process and what action will be required from you in the event that you need to make a claim . Normally, companies require, within a certain number of days (between 3 and 9), the insurance policy number, the address of the insured home and a police incident report number (if applicable). In order to verify the quality of an insurance company, you should check its reputation in your own area.
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Benefits and drawbacks of home insurance

Benefits:

  • It is flexible and allows you to add extra cover.
  • In case of total loss, you can get a temporary house to live in.
  • It covers all your personal items and especially all your valuables.
  • The old for new replacement condition.

Drawbacks:

  • Not all natural disasters are covered by the insurance companies (such as hurricane, flood and earthquake) or they are covered partially.
  • Most brands will require you to pay an excess in the event of a claim.
  • You need to accurately calculate the sum insured, or you could get partial compensation, or pay more to get less.
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Home insurance traps to avoid

The most important thing to avoid when you purchase home insurance is saving money  while avoiding purchasing a low quality policy from a low quality brands . You may save on your premium but may not be covered for certain losses and be forced to pay exorbitant fees in the event of a claim. Always ensure you know exactly what you are covered for and the conditions for benefit payment.

Other things to avoid are:

  • Incomplete coverage: you need to correctly estimate all your belongings, valuables, electronics and collectables, and also to include cover for natural disasters if you live in an area where these events happen frequently.
  • Leaving your policy as it is: do not forget to update your home insurance if there are any changes. For example, if you've extended or renovated your home, you should increase the sum insured.

Frequently asked questions about home insurance

Some frequently asked questions about home and contents insurance include :

Q. How do I calculate the sum insured?

  • A. You may wish to use an online calculator or seek the advice of an insurance consultant to determine an appropriate level of cover.

Q. Is accidental damage covered?

  • A. Not automatically, but it can usually be added as an extra option.

Q. Are carpets and blinds insured?

  • A. Normally they are, but it is recommended that you check the policy wording.

Q. Are items covered in the contents policy covered away from home?

  • A. No, you should buy valuables cover for accidental loss or damage outside your home.

Q/ Is flooding covered?

  • A. Flash flooding is but river flooding is not.  Again, always best to review your policy to know exactly how you are covered for flood-related losses.

Q. What if I leave my home for a period?

  • A. Generally, if you leave your home for more than 60 days, you need to notify your insurer.

Q. I am building a brand new house. When can I insure it?

  • A. When the Certificate of Handover is provided by your builder.

Compare home insurance options from Australian brands

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13 Responses to Home Insurance Finder™

  1. Default Gravatar
    CHERYL | May 26, 2016

    If I’m renting out my property do I need both home insurance and landlord insurance?

    • Staff
      Richard | May 30, 2016

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice. Landlord insurance covers many aspects your home (building) insurance wouldn’t cover a may include cover for home contents (your personal contents and not that of the tenant), storm damage, loss of rent and malicious damage. Every policy is different so you should review the policy document carefully before getting any cover.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  2. Default Gravatar
    Jack | March 16, 2016

    Hi, buying a holiday home on the coast where I intend to reside 2-3 days a week. Also expect to rent out occasionally for short term holidays (Easter , XMAS, etc). Is normal Home & Contents policy OK in this situation?

    • Staff
      Richard | March 18, 2016

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice. If you are looking to rent your policy using a holiday letting service such as Stayz or Airbnb, you may find ShareCover interesting.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  3. Default Gravatar
    Christine | February 19, 2016

    What is the BEST landlord Insurance to have

    • Staff
      Maurice | February 22, 2016

      Hi Christine,

      While we can’t recommend a specific product for you, you can compare from our panel of home insurance providers in the table on the page: http://www.finder.com.au/home-insurance

      You can also read from our provider reviews on the panel to the left as they may assist you in understanding what the policy offers.

      I hope this helps,

      Maurice

    • Staff
      Richard | February 22, 2016

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice. You may find our Landlord Insurance page useful.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  4. Default Gravatar
    Sonya | January 3, 2016

    Hi , I am wanting insurance for my son’s laptop . This is for when he is using it outside the home. Accidental loss and damage . Travelling to and from school ?

    • Staff
      Richard | January 5, 2016

      Hi Sonia,

      Thanks for your question. Depending on your current home and contents policy, your son’s laptop may already be covered if you selected the portable items cover as an additional extra. If you did not, you may wish to contact your current provider and add it on as an additional extra. Both Westpac and Youi offer this type of cover as an extra.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  5. Default Gravatar
    DENNIS | November 30, 2015

    I am looking for an insurer that will cover me for accidental house fire only. I don t want or need any other covers.

    Is there a company out there that can do this.

    • Staff
      Richard | November 30, 2015

      Hi Dennis,

      Thanks for your question. Normally you can find policies that cover building only, contents only or home and contents. Unfortunately, I am unaware of any insurers that would offer a fire only policy.

      All the best,
      Richard

  6. Default Gravatar
    Kerry | September 7, 2015

    I want to insure a house only on our farm,the rest of the property is used by a neighbour and he has his own insurance on that

    • Staff
      Maurice | September 7, 2015

      Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for your question. As finder.com.au is a comparison service and not a provider of home insurance, we are unable to recommend a specific insurance policy that covers just your building/house on someone else’s farm.

      Are you after this information for any home insurance in particular?

      Cheers,

      Maurice

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