Home insurance cover notes

While cover notes aren’t issued in Australia anymore, there are other ways to get cover.

You’ve just bought your very own home – how exciting! But how should you approach insuring your home before the settlement date?

Cover notes were once used to provide individuals with preliminary insurance, but not anymore. Read on to learn about current alternatives.

Can I take out a cover note?

Cover notes are not used by insurance companies anymore. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be left without cover. Cooling off periods are your best friend.

By law, every home insurance policy should have a cooling-off period. During this period, you can change any features of the policy, or even withdraw from the policy completely if you haven’t yet made a claim.

That way, if your circumstances change during your settlement period, you have no obligation to stick with a policy that doesn’t suit your needs.

Get cover for your home, stat

Details Features
Home & Contents Insurance
Home & Contents Insurance
Save 30% when you purchase cover online
  • 24/7 Phone & online claims service
  • Covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home
  • Covers in-home contents and contents away from address
  • Choice of excess options
Go to site More info
Building and Contents Insurance
Building and Contents Insurance
Buy both home and contents cover online and save up to 19%.
  • Cover for emergency accommodation
  • Full building replacement
  • Optional accidental loss or damage
  • Optional flood cover
Go to site More info
Home and Contents Insurance
Home and Contents Insurance
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online.
  • Sum insured safety net
  • Emergency accommodation for up to 12 months
  • $5,000 credit card loss
  • Up to $10,000 gardens and landscaping cover
Go to site More info
Home and Contents
Home and Contents
30% online discount. Earn 5,000 Velocity Points when purchasing a new eligible policy by 14/01/19. T&C’s apply.
  • Save 30% when purchasing online
  • Up to $20 million legal liability cover
  • 21 day money back guarantee if a claim has not been made
  • Optional extras on offer
Go to site More info
Home and Contents Insurance
Home and Contents Insurance
Save up to 20% when you purchase combined Home and Contents online.
  • Cover for fire, explosion, storm and flood
  • New for old contents replacement
  • Up to $1,000 replacement of locks
  • Accidental glass breakage, theft and burglary
Go to site More info
Building and Contents Insurance
Building and Contents Insurance
24/7 emergency claims assistance so you’re never left in the dark.
  • Cover for loss or damage by theft, attempted theft
  • Cover for damage from accidental fire
  • Cover for burnout of electric motors
  • Optional accidental damage cover
Go to site More info
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How long will the cooling-off period last?

In your insurance policy you will be given a cooling-off period of 21 days. This gives you protection while you continue to negotiate and finalise the legalities of your home purchase as well as allowing you to ensure that your current policy is the most ideal for your circumstances. If a claim is made during the cooling-off period you will be contractually obliged to the policy financially.

Do I need to get 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. Imagine if something were to happen to your property before you even moved in.

Although the seller may have building insurance, it is more secure to not rely on their policy in the event of fire, flooding or vandalism.

The extent of any property damage that occurs during this period will determine whether it negates the buyer's contract, or maintains the buyer’s legal obligation to go through with their purchase of the property.

Overall, it is more secure to purchase building insurance immediately and if necessary take advantage of the 21-day cooling-off period.

Why is insurance before settlement important?

While taking out insurance before settlement is optional for the buyer, the idea of taking out a cover note is a comforting one. It gives you that extra bit of protection without needing to rely solely on the seller’s building insurance.

If your soon-to-be home gets damaged before settlement, the contract to buy the property could be negated by the seller’s inability to produce the house in a reasonable condition.

However, there is a chance that your contract will be carried through, meaning that you will be contractually obliged to go through with the sale as well as having to handle the cost of repairs yourself.

It’s then of little surprise that having your own building insurance to assist in such circumstances is ideal.

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 your pre-existing damage won't be covered. You will still be covered for unrelated events.

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


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William Eve

Will is a personal finance writer for finder.com.au specialising in content on insurance. While he cannot give personal advice to clients, Will enjoys explaining the intricacies of different types of protective cover to help individuals and businesses find affordable cover that won't leave them underinsured.

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