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Homeowners should choose their contractors with care

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An uptick in unhappy Brisbane homeowners exposes the need for caution.

Police in Queensland noticed an uptick in complaints against contractors but since it was a civil matter, there wasn't much they could do from a legal standpoint. So they sent out a notice offering tips to help homeowners choose their contractors wisely.

In a similar spirit, finder has decided that now's a good time to remind homeowners how to get the most protection out of their home and contents insurance if their contractor doesn't live up to expectations.

Hiring a contractor can have major implications for home insurance. Most home and contents policies that would usually cover the cost of damage will often not cover damage to the existing home if it is caused by additional construction or renovations. As a homeowner, you will need to have owner-builder insurance in case the contractor's insurance refuses to cover the damage, or worse yet, the contractor is uninsured.

One way to find out if your contractor is insured is to check with your state's building authority. They will also be able to tell you if the contractor has their licence and if they've recently had any breaches or fines.

A typical home and contents insurance policy will also refuse theft-related claims if the thief is someone you've invited into the home. Police might be able to help in this case, but insurance probably won't. That means if you want to be covered for theft, you should not give contractors unrestricted access to the home when you're not present.

Having home and contents insurance in place will protect your most expensive asset, so make sure it's not compromised by a poor choice in a contractor.

Latest home insurance and loans news

Name Product Building Cover Contents Cover Fire, Storm & Theft Damage Sum Insured Safeguard Online Discount Cheapest way to pay
Finder AwardBonus
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
Optional
Annually
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.
Best Rated Brand
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Annually
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.
Green CompanyBonus
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
Annually
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.
Finder AwardBonus
Honey Home & Contents Insurance
Monthly or Annually
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
Australia Post Home & Contents Insurance
Annually
Our verdict: Covers common claims such as fire, storms, floods and rain. It’s also very helpful if you need to rebuild following a disaster. It offers a special safeguard of up to 30%.
Bonus
Kogan Home & Contents Insurance
Annually
Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get 16% off on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
BonusFinder Award Finalist
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
Optional
Annually
Our verdict: Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Home Insurance policy you take out by 22 April. T&Cs and exclusions apply.
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
Monthly or Annually
Our verdict: Provided by Allianz, one of the biggest insurers in Australia. Cover for fire, theft, storm, cyclones and more.
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