Westpac Building Only Insurance Review
When it’s probably your biggest asset, you want to be sure you can get things back to normal if the unexpected happens. That’s where Westpac building insurance can help.
Levels of Cover offered under Westpac Building Only Insurance
When incidents like fire, theft, storms, floods, explosions and malicious acts damage your building, this policy will cover the cost of the removal of debris. Emergency accommodation up to $10,000 is provided to help you find somewhere to stay until you get back on your feet, while there’s a Safety net of up to 10% of the sum insured for your building when repair costs are greater than your sum insured.
Removal of debris is once again covered, while protection against electrical motor burnout and accidental glass breakage are both added to the list of policy features. The Safety net for when repair costs are more than the sum insured rises to 20%, while emergency accommodation is covered up to 10% of the sum insured or for 12 months (whichever is less).
Removal of debris, electrical motor burnout and accidental glass breakage are all once again covered, while accidental loss or damage is also added to the list of features. Emergency accommodation is covered up to 10% of the sum insured or for 12 months (whichever is less), while the Safety net for when repairs cost more than the sum insured rises to 30%.
What is considered a building?
In order to assess what is covered under the policy, it’s important to ascertain what Westpac defines as a building. Under a Westpac Building Only Insurance policy, a building or home is a residential building including structural improvements, fixtures and fittings. This definition includes cover for:
- Gates and fences
- Decks, patios and balconies
- Paths and driveways
- Dishwashers installed in cabinets
- Wall mounted air conditioners
- Fixed floor and wall coverings (but not carpets)
- Fixed external blinds, screens and awnings
- Light fittings, alarm systems, kitchen and bathroom fixtures
- Solar panels
- Home offices
- Garages, carports, sheds
- Fixed swimming pools, saunas, spas, tennis courts
- Wharves, pontoons and jetties
- Water tanks
What additional benefits should I consider?
Westpac insurance also includes the following benefits on their Building Only Insurance policy:
- Unsecured renovation materials. This benefit is available up to a $1,000 limit on a Quality Care policy, and a $2,000 limit on a Premier Care policy. Whenever you are renovating your building, this benefit ensures that any unsecured fixtures or fittings and materials due to be fitted to your building will be covered against loss or damage as a result of an insured event. However, materials like sand, gravel and soil are not covered.
- Locks and keys. This benefit is also available up to a $1,000 limit on a Quality Care policy, and a $2,000 limit on a Premier Care policy. In the event that your keys are stolen, Westpac will cover the cost of replacing or modifying your building's external locks. Note that this also includes cover for any electronic keys and garage door openers.
- Sum insured automatic indexation. Whenever your Building Only Insurance policy is renewed, Westpac will automatically adjust your sum insured to make sure that it keeps pace with inflation and increased costs against the increased costs of construction materials and goods. It's designed to reduce your risk of being underinsured.
How can I save more cash?
- No claim bonus. If you do not make any claims on your policy for one year or more, you'll be able to take advantage of a no claim bonus.
- If you select a higher excess on your policy, you can reduce the cost of your premium. Excess options you can choose from are $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000 or $5,000.
- Choosing a lower level of cover from Westpac will obviously also result in cheaper premiums. For example, you may choose to downgrade from Premier Care to Quality Care in order to save money.
- You may also qualify for a discount if you are aged between 50 and 59 years, or if you are 60 years or older.
- If you hold a Westpac Premier Advantage Package home loan, you will also be eligible for a discount on your Westpac Building Only Insurance premium.
How do I make a claim with Westpac?
The first thing you should do when making a claim is to ensure your property is safe and take any reasonable steps to prevent further loss or damage. If you need to call the police to report a break-in, malicious damage or theft, do so as soon as possible.
Once that has been taken care of, call Westpac and provide them with all the details of your claim. Westpac’s claims team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has an impressive reputation for dealing with issues.
Westpac will require access to the site and a reasonable amount of time to inspect and assess the loss or damage for which you are making a claim. This needs to be done before you allow anyone to attempt to fix or interfere with the contents. You may also need to provide proof of ownership, evidence of the value of the contents in question, and supporting documentation of the costs involved in rectifying the loss or damage.
Westpac will then accept or deny your claim, though in some cases further information or investigation may be required before a claim is approved.