Your home is the most significant financial investment of your life. That’s why knowing that your home and its contents are protected no matter what, is important for peace of mind.
Home and contents insurance protects your building and your belongings against loss or damage caused by a wide range of risks, from fire and storm to theft. But if you rent out your home to guests through a website like Airbnb or Stayz, most conventional home and contents insurance policies will not offer any cover while those guests are in your home. This is where ShareCover comes in. Rather than replacing your standard home and contents policy, it provides cover for the extra risks associated with renting your house via a sharing economy platform. ShareCover provides you with cover for the nights that you have a guest. You only pay for the nights where you have a paid guest. Nothing more.
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Who is ShareCover?
ShareCover is issued by Insurance Australia Ltd, which is part of the Insurance Australia Group (IAG). The leading general insurance company in Australia and New Zealand, IAG has been protecting people since 1851 and last year paid more than $6.8 million in claims.
ShareCover home insurance options
With the rise of accommodation-sharing websites such as Airbnb and Stayz, renting out your home to travelling guests offers an easy way for homeowners to make a little extra money. Unfortunately, many home and contents insurance policies refuse to pay claims for damage and liability caused by a paying guest staying in your home. This means that if you invite someone into your home and it’s accidentally or maliciously damaged, or someone gets hurt, you won’t receive any help from your insurer for the resulting costs. ShareCover is designed to offer protection when you list your property on a website such as Airbnb and Stayz. Designed to complement rather than replace your regular home and contents insurance, ShareCover allows you to only pay for cover on the nights when you have a guest staying in your home. The policy covers a wide range of risks including theft, accidental damage, malicious damage, personal liability, and loss of portable and valuable contents.
How does ShareCover compare to a normal home and contents policy?
Your standard home and contents policies generally come up lacking when it comes to cover for guests, especially for damage. Most policies contain exclusions such as:
You are not covered under any section of this policy for damage, loss, cost or legal liability that is caused by, arises from or involves tenants, paying guests or boarders, or someone who lives with them or a person who entered the home or unit with their consent ...
ShareCover can fill the gaps left by your home and contents policy and provide you with added protection. Because every home and contents policy is different, it's hard to do a one-to-one comparison of cover. However, many home and contents policies provide limited-to-no cover for many of the benefits offered by ShareCover, which is highlighted in the table below.
|Type of cover||ShareCover||Normal H&C Policy|
|Portable & valuable contents||?|
|Strata property damage||?|
|Theft or attempted theft||?|
You should check your policy and see if there are any gaps that can be filled by a ShareCover policy.
What does ShareCover protect you from?
ShareCover covers the following risks when you invite paying guests into your home under a temporary residential accommodation arrangement.
- Fire. Loss or damage to your home or contents caused by fire is included in your ShareCover policy.
- Impact. Impact by aerials, animals, flagpoles, masts, satellite dishes, trees and branches, vehicles and watercraft.
- Explosion. If an explosion – or a landslide or subsidence that immediately follows an explosion – causes loss or damage to your home or contents, ShareCover will offer financial protection.
- Theft or attempted theft. Up to $25,000 of cover for your home and $25,000 for your contents is available for loss or damage you suffer as a result of theft or attempted theft by someone residing in your home under a temporary residential accommodation arrangement.
- A deliberate, intentional or malicious act. Up to $10,000 of cover is available for your home and for your contents, including for loss or damage caused by acts of vandalism.
- Bursting or leaking. Loss or damage caused by bursting, leaking, discharging or overflowing of a fixed apparatus or pipe.
- Riot or civil commotion. This benefit also covers the costs incurred due to noise complaints and neighbourhood disturbances.
- Identity theft. If a guest, their visitor or someone else who enters your home with the guest’s consent steals identity documents from your home in order to gain financial benefit, ShareCover offers financial protection.
- Accident. This benefit does not include cover for the misplacement of any item or for damage caused by inherent and structural defects.
- Accidental breakage. This benefit includes cover for the accidental breakage of items such as fixed glass, fixed shower bases, fixed basins and fixed baths.
- Loss of rental income cover. Up to three months of cover for loss of rental income is available from when the event occurs.
- Temporary accommodation cover. Cover is also available for your temporary accommodation costs following an insured event.
What doesn't ShareCover protect me from?
Your ShareCover Home and Contents Insurance claim will not be paid if:
- The temporary residential accommodation is not organised under a legal arrangement. For example, you won’t be covered if you failed to obtain written consent from your landlord or if the property is not recognised by the law as a habitable space.
- It involves a venue that is licensed for accommodation, such as a hotel or motel
- It arises due to natural perils or disaster, such as storm, lightning, earthquake, flood or cyclone
- It is for water that enters your home while you are renovating or altering your home
- It is for the cost of cleaning mud or debris out of tanks, pools or spas
- It arises due to rust, gradual deterioration or wear and tear
- It is caused by the actions of insects or vermin
- It arises due to the mechanical, electrical or electronic breakdown, failure or malfunction of any item
- The claim arises because your home is used for any business, trade or profession
- It is for any building work, repairs, renovation or alteration that exceeds $25,000 in value
- It is caused by the roots of trees, plants or shrubs
- It is caused by the lawful seizure, repossession or confiscation of your home
- The loss, damage or liability relates to an act of war, terrorism or revolution
- It arises due to the presence of asbestos
- It arises because you fail to maintain the home in good repair and condition
- It arises due to faulty design or workmanship you knew about or should have known about
- It is caused by repairs or attempted repairs carried out by the guest or anyone acting on their behalf
- It results from mildew, mould or wet or dry rot
How much does ShareCover home insurance cost?
There are several factors that impact the cost of your ShareCover home insurance premiums.
- The location of your home. Homes in certain areas are statistically more likely to experience certain insured events such as theft.
- The type and amount of cover you select. The higher your level of cover, the more expensive your premiums will be.
- The excess you select. Selecting a higher excess will lead to lower premiums.
- Your claims and insurance experience. ShareCover will take your claims history into account when determining your level of risk and therefore how much your premiums will cost.
- Compulsory government charges. These vary depending on where you live and could include stamp duty, GST and a fire services levy.
ShareCover home insurance excess
When you make a claim under your ShareCover home insurance policy, you’ll need to contribute a specific amount towards the cost of that claim. This amount is known as the excess. While an excess is payable for most claims, you do not have to pay any excess for claims under the policy’s liability cover. The amount of your excess will be shown on the certificate of insurance, and you can select a higher excess to lower your premiums or a reduced excess if you’re happy to pay a higher premium. Only one excess is payable per claim.
How to save on your ShareCover home insurance policy
- Choose a lower level of cover. The lower your sum insured, the less your ShareCover premiums will cost.
- Choose a higher excess. If you’re willing to pay a higher excess when you make a claim, your premium payments will be reduced.
Making a claim
If an event occurs that may lead to a claim, it’s essential that you take all reasonable steps to prevent any further loss, damage or liability. If a malicious, deliberate or criminal act occurred, report the matter to the police as soon as possible. It’s also vital that you contact the insurer as soon as possible and within 30 days of the event occurring. ShareCover will then let you know what details you have to supply surrounding the incident that led to your claim and may also dispatch representatives to inspect your home and quote for repairs or replacement. Finally, you’ll need to provide evidence of occupancy of your home by a guest including the guest’s contact details and any other supporting documentation. This may include receipts, police reports and any correspondence you receive in relation to an incident.
If you’re planning to list your property on an accommodation-sharing website like Airbnb or Stayz, make sure that you consider the potential risks first. ShareCover can offer an important financial safeguard in this situation, so check out the features and benefits of cover to work out if it’s right for you.