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Priced out of protection: Thousands forced to alter home insurance coverage

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Home insurance is on the chopping block with many Australians feeling the pinch of rising expenses, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,071 respondents – 636 of whom have home insurance – revealed 1 in 5 (20%) have switched their home insurance policy in the past 2 years in a bid to save money.

A further 1 in 10 (9%) switched to seek out better coverage.

Worryingly, 3% ditched or downgraded their policy – equivalent to almost 370,000 Australians who would be left financially exposed if disaster strikes.

The research revealed almost half (47%) of policy holders auto-renewed their plan, potentially missing out on thousands of dollars in savings.

This comes as more than 2 in 3 (68%) Australians say their home and contents insurance premium has gone up in the past 12 months.

Tim Bennett, insurance expert at Finder, said Australians are facing the difficult decision as to whether they keep their coverage or prioritise other bills.

"Thousands have abandoned home insurance instead of facing more premium rises.

"Without insurance, an accident in the home or weather related damage could be financially devastating."

The median home and contents insurance premium surged by more than 19% in the last 12 months, reaching an all-time high of $2,434, according to new Finder analysis.

Bennett said while the cost can be a burden, home insurance offers peace of mind and financial protection.

"Home repairs or rebuilding after a fire, flood, or other disaster can be incredibly expensive.

"Without insurance, you'd be on the hook for these costs entirely, potentially leading to financial ruin."

Bennett urged Aussies not to skimp on insurance.

"Don't automatically renew with your insurer – loyalty doesn't pay, and you could find a better deal by shopping around and getting quotes from other insurers.

"We found a huge price difference of $2,865 when we compared the cheapest annual policy and the most expensive for buildings worth $600,000.

"The family home is the largest financial asset for many Australians, so insurance must not be overlooked," Bennett said.

Have you done any of the following with your home and contents insurance policy in the last 2 years?
Downgraded to building only cover1%
Cancelled because I couldn't afford it2%
Switched for better coverage9%
Switched to save money20%
Auto-renewed47%
I did not do any of the above30%
Source: Finder survey of 636 respondents who have home insurance, April 2024. Respondents could select all that apply except for "I did not do any of the above".

Methodology

  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 respondents.
  • Figures in this release are based on 1,071 respondents from April 2024, 636 of whom have a home insurance policy.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

Looking for tips to save on your home insurance? Look no further.

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