Defence Service Homes Insurance

Building and contents insurance for those who have served.

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Established in 1919, the Defence Service Homes Insurance Scheme (DSHIS) provides home and contents insurance to Australian veterans, serving members of the ADF, reservists and widows/widowers of those who have served. Since 1 January 2020, all current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members with at least one day's service are eligible.

The scheme offers broad coverage, including cover for bushfires, floods and action of the sea, as well as economical premiums reserved exclusively for Australian veterans and serving members.

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Defence Service Homes Insurance cover options

The following home insurance options are available with Defence Service Homes Insurance:

Building insurance

Building insurance provides coverage for the structure of your property. The home building insurance policy provides cover for damage caused by events including flood, storm, fire, explosion and action of the sea. You receive an estimate for the replacement cost of your home to reduce your risk of underinsurance which includes cover for extra expenses related to rebuilding e.g. temporary accommodation and demolition costs.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance reimburses you for the cost of repairing or replacing your household possessions and furnishings, including curtains, furniture, white goods, laptops, TVs, garden equipment and clothing.

What is covered?

Defence Service Homes Insurance policies offer protection for the following losses:

Building insurance

  • Fire: Loss or damage to the home caused by fire (including bushfire).
  • Explosion: Loss or damage to the home caused by explosion.
  • Lightning or thunderbolt: Loss or damage to the home caused by lightning or thunderbolt
  • Earthquake: Loss or damage to the home caused by an earthquake.
  • Flood or action of the sea: Loss or damage to the home caused by flood, a tidal wave or the action of the sea. "Action of the sea" means the rise or fall of the sea over a short period of time.
  • Storm, snow or hail: Loss or damage to the home caused by storm (including cyclone), snow or hail. "Storm" means a violent wind that may occur with thunder or heavy rain.
  • Rain: Loss or damage to the home caused by rain. Rain includes the part of the rainfall that is not absorbed by the soil but runs off as surface water.
  • Theft or attempted theft: Loss or damage to the home caused by theft or attempted theft.
  • Escape of liquid: Loss or damage to the home caused by the sudden bursting, leaking, discharging or overflowing of liquid from any shower base or shower walls, fixed tank, fixed pipe, gutters or drain and other equipment used mainly to hold or carry liquid that's attached to the home.
  • Riot or violent civil disorder: We insure you for loss or damage to the home caused by riot or violent civil disorder.
  • Impact: Impact covers you for sudden and violent collision including by an animal that is not kept at the home or site or a vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, sonic boom from an aircraft and more.
  • Falling tree or branch: Loss or damage to the home caused by a falling tree or branch. This includes paying the reasonable costs of removing the fallen tree or branch to the nearest dumping ground.

Contents insurance

  • Household goods, including carpets, personal effects, cash, coins and negotiables.
  • Articles of special value (you can list them on the policy schedule under "Contents specified items").
  • For those in a strata building, you will receive cover for the internal paintwork, wallpaper and any fixture within the residence which the body corporate is not required by law to insure.
  • For tenants, landlord's fixtures and fittings that are legally liable and those installed by you for your own use.
  • Equipment that does not require registration e.g. golf buggies, motorised wheelchairs, motorcycles up to 125cc engine capacity and garden equipment.
  • Canoes, kayaks, surfboards, sailboards, surf-skis and other watercraft up to four metres.
  • Your office furniture and equipment in the home, as well as any tools and equipment used for earning an income.

What's not covered?

The following list includes some of the scenarios in which building insurance will not cover you:

  • Loss or damage to the home that is caused by burning or heat, if that happens without flames.
  • Loss or damage caused by wind, rain, snow or hail entering the home unless it enters because of structural damage to the home that is directly caused by the storm, snow or hail.
  • Loss or damage caused by rain seeping into or entering the home because of defects in the structure or design of the house.
  • Loss or damage caused by failing to properly maintain the home.
  • Loss or damage caused to the external paint work or other external coatings on the home.
  • Loss or damage to the home caused by any act that is intended to cause loss or damage.
  • Theft or attempted theft was by someone who lives in the home or is there with your consent.
  • Loss or damage that is caused by liquid splashing or gradually escaping because of something other than a sudden burst, leak, discharge or overflow.
  • Cover for defective items or a defective part of the item, that is responsible for causing loss or damage.
  • Loss or damage to the home caused by lopping or felling a tree if that is done by you or with your consent.

Contents insurance will not cover the following:

  • Your home or any part of your home
  • Trees, shrubs and plant life including grass or lawns
  • Caravans and trailers
  • Motorised vehicles unless specified otherwise
  • Watercraft unless specified otherwise
  • Some equipment used for earning any income e.g. photographic and video equipment and musical instruments
  • Anything illegally in your possession
  • Commercial or retail trade stock
  • Fish, birds and any other animals

Who qualifies for Defence Service Homes Insurance?

To get access to Defence Service Homes Insurance, you must be an Australian veteran, a serving member of the ADF, a reservist or a widow/widower of someone who has served in one of these groups. You must qualify for one of the following:

  • Benefits under the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986
  • A loan under the Defence Service Homes Act 1918
  • A Home Support Loan
  • A loan under the Defence Force (Home Loans Assistance) Act 1990
  • A subsidy under the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Act 2008 (DHOAS), whether used or not

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