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Home insurance claims

Need some help with home insurance claims? It can be confusing. Here’s our guide on what to do, what you need and other bits of advice.

First of all, is everyone safe? Only start dealing with home insurance claims if everyone in the family is safe.

After that's confirmed, get in touch with your insurer directly. They can advise your next steps, what they need from you and how to get everything up and running again. The rest of our guide will take you through submitting a claim, step-by-step.

How long do I have to submit a claim?

Depending on the insurance company you are with, time limits can vary from 30 days to as much as 1 year and more. Regardless, your best bet is to file your claim as soon as you've gathered all the necessary information.

How long does my insurer have to make a decision?

According to the General Insurance Code of Practice, insurance companies should respond to your claim within 10 business days, letting you know whether they have accepted or denied your claim based on the information you have given them.

In some extreme cases like natural disasters, it might take insurers a little bit longer to get back to you. This is generally because of the large volume of claims that would be coming through.

How do I submit a claim?

Here's how to submit a claim in 3 easy steps.

One

Contact your insurer

Let them know that you need to make a claim. This can be done online, on the phone or by using their mobile app (if they have one).

Two

Collect and provide evidence

Make sure to keep all your invoices and receipts to prove your expenses.

Three

Wait to hear from the insurer

It can take an insurer up to 10 days to respond to your claim. Contact your insurer directly if you need immediate help.

Here's a list of a few Australian home insurers and how to contact them

BrandOnline claimsPhone numberDo they have a mobile app?Apply
ANZ LogoYou can make a claim online here13 16 14
More info
ahm logoYou can make a claim online here(+61) 2 4062 8737
More info
Australia post logoYou can make a claim online here13 70 11
More info
Australian seniorsYou can make a claim online here13 13 43
Get quote
Budget Direct LogoYou can make a claim online here1800 069 336
Get quote
Coles InsuranceYou can make a claim online here1300 265 374
More info
Domain insureNo online claim1300 370 456
Huddle home insuranceYou can make a claim online here(+61) 2 8294 7772
More info
Kogan insurance logoInsured events - You can make a claim online here
Theft - You can make a claim online here
1300 034 888
Get quote
Qantas home Insurance LogoYou can make a claim online here13 49 60
Get quote
QBE logoYou can make a claim online here133 723
Get quote
Real insurance logoYou can make a claim online here13 19 48
More info
St. george logoYou can make a claim online here1300 655 489
More info
Virginmoney logoYou can make a claim online here1800 662 884
More info
westpac home insuranceYou can make a claim online here1300 369 989
More info
Everyday InsuranceYou can make a claim online here1300 10 1234
Get quote
Youi logoYou can make a claim online here13 9684
Get quote

What if I'm having issues with my home insurance claim?

If you're not happy with the outcome of your claim, there are steps you can follow to dispute it:

  1. Lodge an internal dispute with the insurer. Get an understanding of how they came to that decision or provide new information to help push through your claim.
  2. Lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). The AFCA works like the ombudsman for home insurance and can follow up the complaint on your behalf.

Is it worth making a claim?

It's probably not worth making a home insurance claim if the loss or damage is worth less than your excess.

For example, you could have $500 worth of accidental damage to a new carpet, but if your excess is $500, it probably doesn't make sense to file a claim.

If you make a claim for something small, you also risk losing your no claims discount, which lots of insurers offer.

Home insurance isn't really for smaller types of damage, but it's extremely helpful for when expensive stuff happens – such as water damage to your bathroom or a burglary that would otherwise leave you thousands out of pocket.

What do I do if I need urgent help?

If you need urgent access to funds or repairs, let your home insurer know. They can't make any promises but they can at least try to fast track the claims process for you.

More home insurance claims advice

To help get a successful home insurance claim, there are a few things that you can prepare:

  • Try to file your claim as soon as possible, as further damage due to delays may not be covered.
  • Always have any temporary or emergency repairs approved by your insurer or they may not be covered.
  • Equip your home with safety and security devices approved by your insurer such as alarms, CCTV and Residual Current Devices (RCD).
  • Try to keep digital files of all your receipts and big expenses on a USB or app, that way you have quick access to important information when you need it

Looking for home insurance? Compare policies from Australian providers

Name Product Finder Rating
Finder AwardBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: The most popular insurer on Finder, Budget Direct prioritises low-cost cover and gives you up to 30% off your first year for new combined policies purchased online. This is a big reason it won this year’s Finder Award for value.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
Best Rated Brand
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Finder’s 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction and our Top Pick for Fire Damage cover. It’s good if you want a tailored quote over the phone.
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
3.5/5★★★★★
Green CompanyBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Finder's Top Pick for Floods plus cover for other common claims such as fire and theft). Its discount is better than most – 20% off your first year with a combined policy.
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
BonusFinder Award Finalist
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Earn up to 50,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Home Insurance policy you take out by 5 December. T&Cs and exclusions apply.
Honey Home & Contents Insurance
4.5/5★★★★★
Finder AwardBonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
4.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Honey gives you $250 smart sensors to reduce accidents and estimates your rebuild costs for you. Honey was a finalist for the comprehensive category in this year’s Finder Awards.
Bonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Get up to 20% off when you buy a combined home and contents policy. Terms, conditions, underwriting criteria and minimum premiums apply, which may reduce discount. Make sure your rebuild costs are accurate though – Australian Seniors don’t do underinsurance cover.
Kogan Home & Contents Insurance
3/5★★★★★
Bonus
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
  • Storm
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Accidental Damage (e.g TV falls)
  • Impact to home (e.g falling trees)
  • Escaped water (e.g burst pipe)
  • Portable contents (e.g dropped laptop outside of home)
  • + more insured events and other features
3/5★★★★★
Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get 22% off on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
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Frequently asked questions

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    WarrenApril 2, 2019

    My insurer has had an inspection done after my house suffered from significant hail damage. Butthe scope of work doesnt cover a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed, some rooms have been neglected entirely (e.g. kitchen which had extensive flooding).

    Am I able to get a 3rd party assessor or someone to review the scope of work and put something back formally to the insurer?

    Thanks,
    Warren

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiApril 3, 2019

      Hi Warren,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder! A very important step in this process is to check the terms and conditions of your policy and see where you stand in this situation. Also, before letting a third party assessor review the scope of work on your house, it would be best to contact your insurer and see if it’s possible to have a reassessment since you were not satisfied with their initial assessment. During the process, you can ask them if they will allow a third-party assessor.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    RobertSeptember 21, 2018

    On 2nd July my home was totally destroyed by fire. On 8th August the insurance company began getting quotes from their network of builders but it is now 22 September and i have had no word on my claim being processed. How long can it take ?

      AvatarFinder
      JohnSeptember 21, 2018Finder

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Insurers are required to comply with the General Insurance Code of Practice. Section 7.10 of the Code states that an insurer must decide to accept or deny your claim within 10 business days of receiving the claim. If the insurer decides it needs further information or an assessment to decide your claim, then the insurer must notify you within 10 business days of receiving the claim:

      What further information is required;
      If a loss assessor needs to be appointed; and
      An estimate of the time required to make a decision.

      You may send a letter of dispute or a complaint letter addressed to the insurance company to follow-up on your claim.
      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    AdamApril 20, 2018

    In the event of a burglary where a window/door is damaged to enter the property and contents were stolen, where home & contents insurance is in place with the same insurer would only one excess be payable or would two excesses be applicable?

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiApril 20, 2018

      Hi Adam!

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      Since there are separate policies for home = window/door damage and another contents insurance = for stolen contents then you would two (2) excess payables.

      Here are the steps on how to claim from your insurance provider:

      Step 1. Contact your insurance company via phone or online as soon as reasonably possible after the event occurs.
      Step 2. Fill out and submit a claim form. Many insurers allow you to do this online but you can also do it over the phone. You should receive a claim number once you submit your form.
      Step 3. The insurer will send a representative to your property to assess the damage, arrange any emergency repairs if necessary and obtain job quotes from their network of builders and repairers.
      Step 4. Once your claim has been processed your insurer will notify you of the outcome.
      Step 5. The insurer approved builder or repairer will contact you directly and work will commence as soon as possible.
      Step 6. When the job is complete, the insurer will pay the builder or repairer and you will be free to move back into your home.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to message us anytime should you have further questions.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    KhalilAugust 25, 2017

    Our insurance accepted the accidental fire damaged claim of our home garage. But the rebuilding has been delayed. The claim was accepted in January and still the building has not completed yet. Up to present, the builder has done maximum 50 present of the total job. We are frustrated with such delay because we need to sell this house, pay the mortgage and move to our second house. Therefore, we lost a lot of many because of this delay.
    I should be most grateful if you would advise me what course of action I should take and whether we are entitle to some compensation.
    Thanks,
    Khalil

      Default Gravatar
      ArnoldAugust 25, 2017

      Hi Khalil,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      After you file a claim with your home insurance provider, an adjuster will usually visit your home and inspect the damage. He or she will decide how much the insurance company will pay toward your claim. Often, you’ll get an advance against the total amount your provider is paying. It would be best to recheck the terms and conditions of your insurance to fully know what eligible claims and compensations you may be entitled to.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

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