How Reading Home Insurance Reviews Can Help You Get the Best* Deal

Want to know how to get the most out of a home insurance review? Keep reading for what to look for in a policy review

Home insurance offers critical protection for the most valuable asset you’ll ever own — your home.

Much more than just four walls and a roof, your home is just as emotionally important as it is financially, so taking out insurance cover is hugely important.

But because there are so many different home insurance policies available on the Australian market, finding the right policy for your needs can be difficult.

This is why it’s a great idea to read home insurance reviews.

These online home insurance reviews allow you to understand the features, exclusions, pros and cons of each policy so you can make an informed decision about cover for your home.

Details Features
Gold Home and Contents
Gold Home and Contents
Save 35% on cover when you purchase a Gold Home and Contents policy online.
  • Cover for surrounding garages, verandahs and fences on your property
  • Cover for your contents
  • Cover against theft, storm and rainwater, fire and more
  • Temporary accomodation
Go to site More info
Home & Contents Insurance
Home & Contents Insurance
Get complete protection for your property and possessions with this combined home and contents policy. Save 30% when you get Smart Home and Contents Insurance online.
  • 35% discount when you take out cover online
  • Covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home
  • Covers in-home contents and contents away from the insured address
  • Choice of excess options
Go to site More info
Home and Contents
Home and Contents
Save 35% when you combine new Virgin Home & Contents Insurance Price Saver online. T&Cs apply.
  • Up to $20 million legal liability cover
  • 21 day money back guarantee if a claim has not been paid
  • Optional extras on offer
Go to site More info
Building and Contents Insurance
Building and Contents Insurance
Up to a 19% discount on policy if home is occupied day and night. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Cover for loss or damage by theft, attempted theft
  • Cover for damage from accidental fire
  • Optional burnout of electric motors
  • Optional accidental damage cover
Go to site More info
Comprehensive Building and Contents
Comprehensive Building and Contents
Up to 30% discount for combined Home and Contents purchased online. Terms and conditions apply.
  • $8,000 cover for outdoor contents
  • $10,000 cover for home office contents
  • Accidental damage cover
  • Emergency accommodation cover
Go to site More info

What do I need to look for when comparing policy reviews?

There’s plenty you need to keep an eye out for when comparing home insurance reviews, but the item at the top of the list for many people is how much the policy costs.

  • Where do you live? The location of the property might pose more of a risk to an insurer. For example, if your home is located in an area prone to bushfires or with a high crime rate.
  • How was your home built? The construction of your building can affect its ability to withstand damage, while the installation of home security systems can deter thieves and therefore lower your premiums.
  • What is the excess? You can lower the cost of premiums by electing to pay a higher excess.
  • How much does it cost? Policy costs obviously differ between insurers and also depending on the level of cover you select, but there are a range of other factors that can also affect your premiums.
  • Do you know what the policy actually covers? The next thing you should look for in a home insurance reviews is what is actually covered by the policy. Generally speaking, there are two types of home insurance policy available: defined event policies and accidental loss or damage policies. A defined events policy covers you against accidental loss or damage caused by incidents such as fire, storm, theft and explosion, while an accidental loss or damage policy covers all losses as long as they are accidental.
  • Is the policy new for old? Once you know what’s covered, consider whether your policy offers indemnity cover or replacement cover when you make a claim. Under indemnity cover, your policy will replace the loss of your building up to its market value — e.g. taking into account factors such as depreciation. But if you have replacement cover, you’ll be covered for the true replacement cost of the home or item. A common term you will see used in insurance policies is new for old replacement.
  • Do you understand the exclusions of the policy? As you examine more insurance policies, you’ll soon realise that each policy contains a list of general exclusions. These are circumstances when an insurer will reject your claim, such as if you fail to take reasonable steps to prevent any loss or damage occurring, or if you lodge a dishonest or fraudulent claim. You’ll need to examine each policy’s list of exclusions to determine whether any of them will affect you.
  • Do you understand your cover needs? You’ll need to work out how much cover you actually need. While some policies will cover you for total replacement, others will only cover your sum insured. If your sum insured is only $300,000 but the real cost to rebuild ends up being $400,000, you could end up out of pocket by $100,000.
  • Do you know the size of your property? When it comes to estimating the amount of building cover you need, most insurers are able to provide an accurate estimate of the replacement cost based on the materials your home is constructed from and its size. You’ll also need to check that your policy covers things like demolition, removal of debris, architects’ fees and more.
  • Do you know how much cover you need? If you need to estimate the amount of contents cover you require, the best thing to do is take the time going through each room of your house and working out which items you would need to cover.
Back to top

What should I look for when reviewing home insurers?

  • What kind of range does the insurer offer? The first thing you’ll need to consider when comparing anf reviewing home insurance companies is the type and range of policies they offer. Do they offer standalone building insurance and contents insurance, and do they allow you to combine your building and contents cover into one insurance package? Do they specialise in home insurance or do they offer a full suite of insurance products?
  • Do you know who the underwriter is? Next, look at who underwrites the insurer’s policies. When you apply for cover, the insurance underwriter assesses your level of risk and determines whether the insurer should offer you cover, as well as under what conditions that cover should be offered. Look for a policy that has been underwritten by a major insurer, one that’s backed by years of experience and a position of financial strength. You will have heard of many of these companies already, but a quick online search is an easy way to inspect an underwriter’s bona fides before you apply for cover.
  • What is the companies claim history like? Another important issue to look at is how the insurer handles claims. How are claims settled? What is the maximum amount the insurer will pay? What sort of evidence and documentation will you need to provide to support your claim? How quickly are claims processed? Look for an insurer with an impressive reputation for handling claims quickly and efficiently, and for always paying out on valid claims.
Back to top

Policy features to consider when reading home insurance reviews

  • What are the benefits and features? You’ll obviously want to take a closer look at what a policy covers. What risks are you protected against and to what level? Are extra costs, for example the removal of debris and demolition costs, included in cover?
  • Are there any optional benefits you need? Many policies will also allow you to add optional benefits to your policy for an extra cost, so which added benefits are available to you? For example, accidental damage or electrical motor burnout might be offered as options on your home insurance policy.
  • Have you checked the definitions section? Make sure to familiarise yourself with your insurer’s definitions of ‘building’ and ‘contents’. You’ll need to be certain exactly what is covered by which section of a home insurance policy.
  • How are premium payments made? Do you need to pay your premium in a lump sum or can you opt to pay it in instalments?
  • How long is the cooling-off period? Every home insurance policy will have a cooling-off period after you purchase cover. During this period, you are able to cancel your policy and receive a full refund of any premium you have paid.
  • Have you examined the exclusions? The list of general exclusions is something you should examine on any insurance policy. You don’t want to end up with an unpleasant surprise when it comes time to make a claim on your policy.
  • Can you bundle and save? Many insurers will offer you sizeable savings on your insurance premiums when you bundle one or more policies together. Speak to your insurer about the multi-policy discounts that may be available to you.
Back to top

What you need to know before buying insurance

  • Your insurance needs. Determine the type and level of cover you need before you start shopping for a policy. Do you need building insurance, contents insurance or both? How much would you need your policy to pay out if the worst happened and you lost everything?
  • Your current cover. If you already have a home insurance policy in place, consider whether it meets your needs. Are you paying for benefits you don’t need? Are you under-insured or are there gaps in your cover that need to be filled?
  • Whether you can afford the premiums. While the peace of mind offered by a comprehensive home and contents insurance policy might sound very attractive, don’t bite off more than you can chew. You’ll need to work out whether or not you can afford the insurance premiums before you purchase cover.
  • The importance of reading the fine print. Reading insurance policy documents is far from an entertaining way to spend your time, but it’s the best way to ensure that you end up with the right type and level of cover for your needs.
  • Review your cover needs regularly. Your circumstances are changing all the time, so don’t forget to take stock of your cover requirements regularly. This could end up saving you a lot of money, as could shopping around for a better deal rather than simply automatically renewing your policy every year.

If you’re in the market for home insurance, be aware that finding the right policy can be a difficult exercise. But with the right tools at your disposal and a willingness to do your research, you should have no trouble finding a home insurance policy that satisfies all your cover needs.

Back to top

What to watch out for when reading user reviews

While home insurance reviews can provide valuable information about an insurer, it's always wise to read more than one review. Here's why:

  • What if you're just reading the opinion of one disgruntled customer? We've all seen them, reviews from current and former customer just trashing their provider. Warnings like, 'IT'S A SCAM' or 'NOT AS ADVERTISED' litter review sites. The problem is that a lot of these people didn't understand what they were getting in the first place and that misunderstanding leads to and and frustration. This frustration commonly manifests itself in online reviews.
  • Is that review you're reading on the insurers site unbiased? While these testimonials can provide some insight into the benefits of a product, you know that the company is not going to use a scathing review.
  • This product has a great star rating so it must be the best*, right? Ratings given by consumer reviews should only be used as a general guide. More accurate star ratings can be found on government or consumer watchdog sites.
  • Who wrote that review you're reading? If you're reading a guest post, it's quite possible you're actually reading something written by the companies PR department.
  • Are forums a good place to get an unbiased review? Forums can be a great starting point on your comparison journey but just like anywhere on the Internet, you'll find more negative than positive. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience, while happy customers tell about 4-6 people about their experience.
Back to top

Home insurance reviews conducted by finder.com.au

Westpac Home Insurance

Westpac Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Theft from inside, outside or away from home
  • Electrical motor burnout cover
  • Safety net up to 30% of sum insured for building and 20% for contents

Woolworths Home Insurance

Woolworths Home Insurance benefits include:

  • $8,000 cover for outdoor contents
  • $5,000 cover for home office contents
  • Accidental damage cover

Budget Direct Home Insurance

Budget Direct Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Accidental breakage of glass, ceramic and porcelain fixtures
  • $20 million of legal liability protection
  • 20% discount is available on policies purchased online.

Virgin Money Home Insurance

Virgin Money Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Removal of debris
  • Alternative accommodation
  • $20 million of legal liability cover.

CGU Home Insurance

CGU Home Insurance cover includes:

  • Accidental Damage provides cover for Listed Events
  • Accidental loss or damage to your contents anywhere in Australia
  • Loss or damage to your valuables is covered up to 20% of your contents sum insured or $7,500, whichever is greater (up to $2,500 per item)

Real Home Insurance

Real Home Insurance benefits include:

  • 20% if you buy combined home and contents Real Home Insurance online
  • Optional extras such as Motor Burnout
  • Flexible payment options.

AMP Home Insurance

AMP Home Insurance provide cover benefits including:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Combined home and contents discount
  • Top Strata Insurance discount.

Allianz Home Insurance

Allianz Home Insurance customers can benefit from:

  • Guarantee on repairs
  • $5,000 maximum cover for damage to guests property
  • Easy claims process

AAMI Home Insurance

AAMI Home Insurance covers events including:

  • explosion
  • malicious acts
  • vandalism.

Chubb Home Insurance

Chubb Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Multi-policy discounts
  • Valuable Articles Coverage
  • Emergency clothing and essential purchases.

OnePath Home Insurance

OnePath Home Insurance member benefits include:

  • Multiple policies
  • Loyalty discounts
  • Seniors discounts.

NRMA Home Insurance

NRMA Home Insurance cover includes:

  • Theft and burglary
  • Malicious acts
  • Vandalism.

Suncorp Home Insurance

Suncorp Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Classic provides lower flexible limits for high-value items
  • Extras includes higher flexible limits and 25% extra cover if required
  • Advantages offers the highest flexible limits and a 30% safety net

QBE Home Insurance

QBE Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Joint policy discount
  • Retirees discount
  • Pay your premium annually.

RACQ Home Insurance

RACQ Home Insurance member benefits include:

  • Alarm discount
  • Apartment discount
  • Membership loyalty discount.

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback