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Featuring Budget Direct Home Insurance
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Not sure what these features mean? Here's the lowdown.
Underinsurance protection: Even if your nominated sum insured (what you value your home to be) isn't enough to repair or replace your building, your insurer will increase it (usually by 10%) so you're not left in the dark.
Full building replacement: Your insurer will rebuild your entire home if it's destroyed. This feature is only available in a few policies on the market.
Accidental damage: Most policies will have this as an optional extra. If it's included in your policy, that's good news.
Flood: It's sometimes actually better to have a policy that lists flood cover as optional. This means that if you don't need to pay for cover you might not need, which may also result in lower premiums.
Emergency accommodation: This is a pretty standard inclusion across the board, but the limits may vary.
Why do I need home insurance?
Do you rent or own a property?
Do you keep valuable belongings at home?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, home and contents insurance should definitely be on your radar.
So, why do I need it?
Not getting insurance for your home is like riding a motorbike without a helmet - it's just not a good idea. You've been slaving away for years, putting away every penny toward your home, so why wouldn't you take the extra step and make sure it's covered against the worst?
If your home was to catch fire, how much trouble would you be in? If a thief stole your expensive jewellery, how angry would you be? If disaster struck, would you actually be able to afford the expenses that come with it?
No? We couldn't either.
That's why home insurance is such an important thing to have. It protects you against everything from fire and storm damage to burst pipes, falling trees, theft and vandalism. Here's a quick breakdown of why you need it:
It protects your house. Your home is usually the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy and the most valuable asset you’ll ever own. Home building insurance provides protection against an extensive range of risks, guaranteeing that you will be able to repair or rebuild from scratch if an unexpected disaster strikes.
It protects your possessions. Whether it's family heirlooms, your expensive dining room set, or even your Xbox, many of us couldn't live without our possessions. The contents of your home aren't just stuff; they’re often your most important and treasured possessions and can hold just as much sentimental value as they do financial worth. Contents insurance ensures that you will be able to repair or replace your possessions if they’re damaged by fire, storm, theft or a range of other insured events.
Quite simply, it gives you the ultimate peace of mind. The biggest benefit of getting cover is the peace of mind and confidence it provides. With the right policy in place, you can rest assured that you will have the financial support you need should loss, damage or some other unexpected misfortune affect your home or contents.
New to home insurance? Here's what you need to know.
Not sure what you're getting yourself into? That's totally fine! Sometimes it seems that insurance companies try to overcomplicate and confuse their users on purpose. But it's okay. Our guides can help you actually understand home and contents insurance, how it works, and why you shouldn't go without it.
If you want to cover your house and your possessions in it, you're looking at a combined home and contents insurance policy. It covers the cost of repairing your home if it's damaged from natural events. It also covers your possessions - such as furniture, electronics, carpets, curtains, and clothing - from loss, damage, and theft. You can also take out over for items that you take outside of the house (like electronics or jewellery) at an extra cost.
Contents insurance is stand-alone cover for your possessions in the home. This includes jewellery, electronics, carpets, curtains, furniture, appliances, and furnishings. This is a great option for renters or those homeowners who live in an apartment.
This is stand-alone cover for only your home. It also covers other fixtures on your property, such as garages, fences, and sheds. It protects you against a bunch of natural events, such as fire, storm damage, and floods.
Landlord insurance protects your home against theft, malicious damage, loss of rent, as well as natural events like storms, flood, and fire. It's a smart idea if you're renting your home out to strangers.
Lightning. Loss or damage caused by lightning, or by a power surge caused by lightning.
Flood. Protects you against loss or damage caused by water that has escaped the normal confines of a lake, river, creek or dam, or a number of other bodies of water. Many policies only offer flood cover as an option, not as an automatic inclusion.
Earthquake and tsunami. This benefit ensures that you are covered against loss or damage caused by an earthquake or tsunami.
Water and oil leaks. When water or oil escapes from gutters, pipes, baths, toilets, appliances or a range of other household items, you're covered for the resulting loss or damage.
Theft or burglary. Covers you against loss or damage caused by theft, attempted theft or burglary.
Malicious acts and vandalism. If your home or contents are damaged due to vandalism or a malicious act, your policy can offer financial protection.
Riots or civil commotion. Financial protection in the event that a riot, civil commotion, or industrial or political disturbance results in loss or damage to your home.
Accidental glass breakage. This covers accidental breakage of items such as window glass, skylights, fixed mirrors and light fittings, sinks, basins, baths, toilets and glass cooktops.
Explosion. Loss or damage caused by an explosion, as well as a landslide or subsidence that occurs as an immediate result of an explosion.
Impact damage. This benefit covers you against impact from objects such as falling trees, power poles, TV antennas, motor vehicles and meteorites.
How to make sure your policy fits you like a glove
Is home insurance worth it?
So is home insurance worth it? Take a moment to think about how you would cope financially if your home and everything you own was completely destroyed. Sure, it’s a worst-case scenario and one that you’ll hopefully never have to deal with, but would you have the financial means to start again from scratch following an unexpected disaster? Even a burst pipe or a thief could set you back thousands of dollars.
You've spent all these years turning your house into a home, so it just makes sense to put aside some cash each year and make sure that it's protected no matter what life throws at you. With the right level of protection in place, you can be sure that you won’t end up out of pocket if your home or contents are damaged or totally lost. Home insurance gives you peace of mind.
Still not convinced? These facts might change your mind
How to insure your house
Step 1: Evaluate how much your home and possessions are worth. When you take out home insurance, you give a dollar value to your insurer for how much your home is worth. The cost of home insurance for you will depend on this figure. Insure your house for too little and you risk being underinsured and out of pocket come claim time. Overinsure your house and you'll pay higher premiums.
Step 2: Determine what kind of cover you need. Do you want to cover your home and everything in it? Then opt for home & contents insurance. Only want to cover your contents? Just your building? Figure out what kind of things you want to cover and find the policy that fits those needs. For example, a policy that offers total replacement cover might cost more but will also ensure you won't be underinsured. You'll also pay more if you want to get covered for accidental damage, but if you've got toddlers running around this is a no-brainer and could save you more cash in the long run.
Step 3: Compare insurers. Once you've figured out how much your home and contents is worth and you know what policy you're after, start comparing insurers. Be sure to look at what the policy features as well as price.
When should I get house insurance?
So you've just bought your new home. Before you pop the champagne, make sure you're insured in case that cork decides to go straight through your wall.
It's a good idea to have building insurance in place when you exchange contracts. People used to get cover notes for the period between exchange and settlement, however, these are no longer offered. What you can do, however, is take out insurance and request a start date up to 40 days in the future.
If you require insurance in place in order to get a home loan, all you need to do is send a copy of your insurance contract to your lender in order for them to release the funds.
It's also a good idea to get your contents insurance organised before you move, as this will include damage or loss of your possessions while in transit.
How much cover do I need?
Unfortunately, there’s no "one size fits all" answer that explains exactly how much cover is enough for your home and contents. You need to carefully consider your insurance needs to work out what will be adequate protection. According to research from the Insurance Council of Australia, 83% of Australian homeowners and renters don’t have enough insurance to cover their home and contents. That’s an alarmingly high figure, so it’s essential that you take the time to think about your requirements before choosing a policy. Ask yourself:
How much would it cost to completely rebuild my home?
What about replacing my contents and all of my worldly possessions?
Unless you have sufficient protection to cover the cost of replacing everything following an unexpected disaster, you will be under-insured, and the financial consequences can be disastrous. Many insurers offer handy online calculators to help you work out how much home and contents insurance cover you need. These useful tools are a great place to start, but an independent valuation will be much more accurate.
You should also remember to consider the benefits of a particular policy: does it provide cover for all the risks you need protection against? Do you need to add extra-cost options so you have a suitable level of cover? If you take time to crunch the numbers and carefully examine your needs, you’ll be able to select the right amount of cover for your home and possessions.
What isn't covered?
As well as checking what a policy covers, it’s also essential to check the PDS for a list of general exclusions. These are situations in which an insurer will refuse to pay your claim. Common circumstances under which you will not be covered include the following:
Quotes were obtained for the same 3-bedroom NSW home in Baulkham Hills owned by a family of two.
Building replacement costs for all quotes was $1,000,000, with an excess of $500.
Contents were valued at $100,000.
Quotes were obtained in 2018 and were for a combined home and contents insurance policy
Homeowning family of two who moved into their property in 2017.
Three bedroom, 1 story freestanding house on flat ground with brick veneer walls, terracotta tiled roof, no verandas and built in 1980.
Windows secured by deadlocks, with no security devices.
How to reduce your insurance premiums
Like so many other things in life, when buying home insurance you really do get what you pay for; if you choose a cheap policy with an insufficient level of cover, the results could be disastrous. Remember to look past the price of a policy to the features and benefits it offers to determine whether you are getting true value for money. There are also several other things you can do to lower the cost of your policy, such as the following:
Shop around. Many people assume that sticking with the same home insurance company will reward them with lower costs for being loyal. Unfortunately, this isn't true. If your renewal costs are looking a bit expensive, chances are that they are. This is because insurance companies believe that people will be too lazy to go somewhere else. Compare companies and chances are that you'll find the same cover for less.
Choose a higher excess. Most insurers allow you to vary the excess payable when you make a claim; if you choose a higher excess, you’ll be rewarded with lower premiums.
Don’t add options you don’t need. Adding optional extras to your policy allows you to tailor home insurance protection to your requirements. Unfortunately, it also increases the premium, so make sure anything you add is absolutely essential.
Don’t make any claims. Sometimes making a claim is unavoidable, but if your insurer offers a no-claim bonus, the cost of cover will be greatly reduced if you don’t submit any claims.
Take advantage of discounts. Home insurers offer a variety of discounts to customers. These include discounts for loyalty, for seniors, for having multiple policies with the insurer, and for purchasing online.
Review cover regularly. Just because a particular insurance policy was right for you a few years ago doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best fit now. Cover needs change all the time; maybe you’ve just invested in a top-of-the-line home entertainment system and want to upgrade your contents cover. In addition, insurers are constantly updating their policies and premiums. Don’t be afraid to compare your options and see if you can find a better deal.
Got any other questions?
If you are renting a property, including shared accommodation, you can get renters insurance to protect your belongings instead. The structure itself can only be insured by the owner or landlord.
No, there is no legal requirement for Australian homeowners to have home insurance. However, the benefits and peace of mind home insurance offers make it something every homeowner should consider purchasing.
Yes. You can get owner builder insurance to cover the building while it's still under construction, as well as covering yourself from liability issues.
In most cases, home insurance premiums are not tax deductible. However, you may be able to claim a deduction if your home is used for income-producing activities. Ask your accountant whether you are eligible.
Accidental damage cover is not usually a standard inclusion but can be purchased as an optional extra.
You can purchase home insurance cover as soon as the Certificate of Handover is provided by your builder.
There are a lot of conditions under which an insurance company may refuse to pay out. You will receive an explanation, but if you disagree, you should first contact the company and try again. If you still feel that you are in the right, you can seek the opinion of a professional third-party or take legal action. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) might be able to help you.
Does home insurance cover fences?
Yes, home insurance usually covers fences as long as they are structurally sound and you keep them well maintained. If you share a fence with your neighbour, your insurance will usually only cover your half of the cost.
Does home insurance cover plumbing?
If your plumbing bursts, your insurer will cover any damage the liquid causes but usually only if it was sudden and unexpected or if it was gradual and you couldn't have reasonably been aware of the problem. As for the pipes themselves, your insurer usually won't replace them unless they are damaged in an insured event like an earthquake.
Does home insurance cover public liability?
Yes. Most home insurance policies include public liability cover. This protects you if someone is injured on your property or if something of theirs gets damaged. For example, someone could sue you if they slip on your walkway and twist their ankle. Most insurers will include around $20M dollars worth of liability cover and sometimes a little extra to cover your legal fees.
Does home insurance cover a leaking roof?
Your insurance will cover your leaking roof and anything damaged by the leak if an insured event like a storm caused the damage. Your insurance will also cover you if the leak was caused by an unexpected problem as long as the roof was well-maintained and it was not an issue you could have reasonably been aware of.
Yes and no. A typical contents insurance policy will usually cover your mobile phone while it's inside the home but not when it's with you out in public. However, you can buy an add-on called portable contents cover that will protect your phone outside of your home.
Does home insurance cover tree removal?
Your insurance will pay for tree removal if the tree falls onto your home during a storm or other natural event as long as it wasn't already dead. Your insurance won't pay for you to voluntarily remove a tree even if it threatens your home. You are responsible for preventing damage, and that includes removing dead trees and trimming roots that threaten your foundation.
Does home insurance cover foundation problems?
Your insurance will typically cover your foundation if it is damaged in an event you are insured against like an earthquake, storm or flood. However, most policies will not cover you for foundation damage related to tree roots or naturally shifting soil (unless the shifting soil can be directly tied to an earthquake, flood or other insured event).
Does home insurance cover termite damage?
No. Home insurance policies do not typically protect you against damage from from termites, mice and other vermin. This is considered preventable and gradual damage and it's up to you to keep such problems from spreading.
More than 10,000 policyholders could end up dropping their cover as a result. Read more…
*The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.
Will Eve is the lead publisher of the global team at Finder. He was previously the group publisher for insurance for Finder Australia. Will has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney. He loves the challenge of launching Finder into new markets while helping grow Finder’s global team.
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