Homeowners in fear amid heavy rain and flooding
Severe wet weather remains in many parts of Australia, with some regions facing emergency evacuations.
The effects of La Niña are being felt once again this week as a number of weather warnings remain in place across Northern NSW and Queensland.
The summer, it seems, is going to be fraught with wild weather and worry for many homeowners. As always, home insurance is likely to pay a pivotal role in recovery and repair.
The right home insurance policy can protect homeowners from damage due to storms, rainwater, flooding and much more. It can even pay for emergency accommodation if damage renders your home unlivable - for example, if a tree falls on your home and destroys the roof.
Speaking at an industry forum last month, Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall reiterated the importance of home insurance for individuals and families.
"The family home is an Australian's great single economic asset," he said. "Insurance is a fundamental protection for that asset."
Despite that, many Australian homes remain underinsured, leaving owners in fear that one wild storm could put them out of pocket by tens of thousands of dollars - or more.
In fact, a 2019 assessment by MCG Quantity Surveyors found large numbers of Australian homes could be under-insured by up to 66% - or as much as $443,399.
Even more worryingly, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates about 1.8 million Australian homes (23 per cent) have no home and contents insurance at all.
So why are so many homeowners taking the risk? A report by the Australian National University's Centre of Law and Economics pointed to the obvious - an individual's financial position and affordability of cover.
While home insurance can be a significant investment, it's almost certainly worth it in the event something serious happens to your home.
Finder research shows that the average cost of home insurance is $1,344 a year, based on a suburban home worth $500,000 and contents of $100,000.
Comparing home insurance online can also shave serious cash off the cost of a home insurance premium. When Finder compared identical quotes from 11 different providers, there was an annual difference of $669.
Research from the NSW Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor also warned that consumers may be hit with a "loyalty penalty" of 25-30% on home insurance renewals, if they don't compare on an annual basis.
When was the last time you compared home insurance?
With storms likely all summer, home insurance is an essential line of defence - but there's no reason to be ripped off. Compare online and you could save hundreds of dollars.