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Home insurance cover note

You can't get cover note insurance for your house anymore but there's a decent alternative: cooling-off periods.

A home insurance cover note was once used to provide people with temporary insurance, but they're not available anymore. As an alternative, insurers now offer cooling-off periods. This lets you cancel your policy before a certain date (usually 30 days) without being charged.

Compare policies and get cover for your house

During the cooling-off period, you can change any feature of the policy, or even withdraw from it completely if you need to – as long as you haven't made a claim.

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.
  • 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
2.5/5★★★★★
Our verdict: A good option if you want a well regarded brand. All come with automatic flood cover and let you pay monthly or fortnightly at no extra cost.
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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What is a home insurance cover note?

A home insurance cover note is a type of temporary insurance that used to be offered when you applied for a home insurance policy.

They were designed to cover you until you were issued with a full policy. However, insurers don't offer them now. Instead, you generally get a cooling-off period when you take out a home insurance policy. This lets you leave free of charge if you change your mind about your policy and want it cancelled or altered.

How long will the cooling-off period last?

Most home insurance policies will give you a cooling-off period of 21 days. This gives you protection while you continue to sort out and finalise the legalities of your home purchase. Essentially, it gives you a little time to make sure that the policy you're getting is the right one for you.

It's worth mentioning that if you make a claim on the policy during the cooling-off period, you'll have to pay for the policy.

ProviderCooling-off periodPolicy wordingApply
ANZ Home Insurance21 daysIf you change your mind within 21 days of buying your policy, you can cancel it and receive a full refund.More info
Budget Direct Home Insurance21 daysIf you find that this policy doesn't cover what you need it to, and you haven't made a claim, you can receive a full refund if you cancel the policy within 21 days of either: the date we issue you a new policy or the date your policy renews.Get quote
Coles Insurance30 daysEven after you decide to buy this insurance, you have 30 days from the date cover commences to change your mind and let us know that you want to cancel the policy. We will refund the premium you have paid less any government charges or taxes we are unable to recover, provided you have not made a claim under the policy.More info
Huddle home insurance14 daysIf you decide that this policy is not for you and you have not made a claim, you may cancel this policy within 14 days of it starting (this also applies to each renewal). If you cancel within the cooling off period, we will refund any premiums you have paid for the policy less any government levies, taxes or duties that we cannot recover.More info
Kogan Home Insurance14 daysIf you decide that this policy is not for you and you have not made a claim or an event has not occurred that could give rise to a claim on this policy, you may cancel this policy within 14 days of it starting (this also applies to each renewal). If you cancel within the cooling off period, we will refund any premiums you have paid for the policy less any government levies, taxes or duties that we cannot recover.Get quote
Real logo14 daysIf you decide that this policy is not for you and you have not made a claim or an event has not occurred that could give rise to a claim on this policy, you may cancel this policy within 14 days of it starting (this also applies to each renewal). If you cancel within the cooling off period, we will refund any premiums you have paid for the policy less any
government levies, taxes or duties that we cannot recover.
More info
St. George logo21 daysIf you're not satisfied with your policy, you can cancel it within 21 days from the date the policy is issued by us and receive a full refund of any premium you've paid (as long as you haven't already made a claim).More info
virgin money logo21 daysIf you find that this policy doesn't cover what you need it to, and you haven't made a claim, you can receive a full refund if you cancel the policy within 21 days of either: the date we issue you a new policy or the date your policy renews.More info
Westpac Home insurance21 daysIf you're not satisfied with your policy, you can cancel it within 21 days from the date the policy is issued by us and receive a full refund of any premium you've paid (as long as you haven't already made a claim).More info
Youi logo
20 daysThe cooling off period is the first 20 calendar days from: the policy start date (if you change the start date the cooling off period applies from the original start date); or the renewal date.Get quote

Father helping son

Do I need to get home insurance before settlement?

While you aren't legally obliged to take out home and contents insurance before your settlement date, it's certainly a good idea to do so. Like a building insurance cover note, having a home insurance policy before settlement means you're not relying on the seller to have a policy, and if something does go wrong, you know it's there to protect you.

Even if the seller has home and contents insurance, it's more secure to not rely on their policy in the event of fire, flooding or vandalism. The last thing you want to deal with when buying a home is an expensive bill, or a delay in moving because the seller isn't sorting the damage quickly enough.

Overall, it is more secure to purchase home building and contents insurance immediately and if necessary take advantage of the 21-day cooling-off period. With contents cover, you'll also get cover for your contents during the move and most policies will also cover you for up to 2 weeks after your move.

If you don't take out home insurance before settlement, there are two common things that can happen.

Scenario 1

If your soon-to-be home gets damaged before settlement, the contract to buy the property could be negated. This is because the seller has failed to keep the house in the conditions it set out. The result? They'll be obligated to fix it, otherwise the contract will fall through. If they don't have home insurance, and you want the house, it might be worth sorting it yourself.

Scenario 2

There's also a chance that your contract will be carried through – generally because the damage isn't considered bad enough that the seller is obligated to fix it – meaning that you will be contractually obliged to go through with the sale and you'll have to handle the cost of repairs yourself.

Can I get insurance if the home is damaged?

Yes. If the home you're buying has seen better days it's still possible to get cover for it. However, any damage that happens to your property as a result of pre-existing damage won't be covered. You will still be covered for unrelated events though.

Make sure you inform your insurer that the property is damaged when applying as you could risk voiding your insurance otherwise.

Why you can trust Finder's home insurance experts

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Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by an insurer. That means our opinions are our own and we work with lots of home insurance brands, making it easier for you to find a good deal.
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Since 2014, we've helped 150,000+ people find home insurance by explaining your cover options simply and clearly. We'll never ask for your number or email. We're here to help you make a decision.

You don't need a home insurance cover note

You just need home insurance 🙌

While you're still working stuff out for your new home, take out a home insurance policy to give you peace of mind. You can still make changes or cancel the policy within the cooling-off period.

Start comparing your options

Picture: GettyImages

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AdrianSeptember 9, 2019

    What is the approx cost on insurance cover note of house value $840k over 2 days?

      AvatarFinder
      JeniSeptember 10, 2019Finder

      Hi Adrian,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Please note that cover notes are no longer offered in Australia. Please speak to your chosen insurer about getting home and contents insurance if you’re going on a holiday as they may offer a policy that will suit your needs with cooling off period which is usually for 21 days.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

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