Ensure you've got the best home & contents insurance
Finding the best home insurance policy is easy when you follow our top tips.
Believe us when we say there is a whole lot of information to absorb when it comes to your home and its contents cover. The average home insurance policy document is around 100 pages long! With so many options to choose from, we understand getting the right policy can seem like a daunting task.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help with some handy tips. The best home insurance for you will be the one at the right price you can afford, which provides enough cover to protect your home and all its contents.
Here’s 10 tips to help you get the best home insurance policy:
Duty of disclosure
First things first, be honest with your insurer. If you’ve installed security alarms, deadlocks or smoke alarms, these might very well reduce your premium so remember to tell your insurer all relevant details. On the other hand, if you said you did have deadlocks on your house and you didn’t, your insurance could be void.
Remember only the named policy holder’s belongings are insured
Most policies will only cover the person named on the insurance policy and family members living in the house. If you live in shared accommodation everybody in the house needs to get their own insurance for their things.
Don’t forget the contents!
Don’t assume all the contents in your house are protected just because you’ve bought a building insurance policy. This may sound really obvious, but people often forget to insurer their contents, assuming they are covered in their house insurance policy, when they are not!
Specific item limits
All contents insured will have set limits and a maximum pay out. These limits can be found within the Product Disclosure Statement by the way! You’ve usually got the option to either insure items within a specified limit e.g. home office equipment limited to $10,000. Or you can get contents cover with flexible limits e.g. jewellery from $1000 - $4000. Alternatively you can increase the limit for specific high value items by paying an additional premium. Within your policy, paintings and artwork might have a specific item limit of $20,000. However you might have had your painting valued at $25,000. If you do not provide your insurer with this information you will only be paid the amount specified for that items category, not the true value.
Cover for items away from home
Look for a policy that covers your personal items when you travel outside of Australia. As above, specified item limits will apply.
New for old replacement items
Look for policies with new for old replacement of items with no allowance for depreciation. E.g. A leather couch purchased 5 years ago for $5000 which is now worth $2000 will be replaced with a brand new couch equivalent to your old couch when it was new.
Increase your excess
Looking to decrease your premiums? If you can afford it, choose a higher excess. Generally, the higher the excess, the lower the premium but remember, it’s not worth having cheap insurance if you can’t afford to make a claim.
Get flood cover
Do you live in a flood prone area? If you do, make sure you get a policy that covers for floods from rivers, lakes, dams etc as a lot of policies do not. See what else isn't included in a typical home insurance policy.
Compare and save
You compare flights, energy bills and travel insurance. Why not compare your home insurance too!? Don’t just pay your renewal. Shop around and see if you can get the same cover (or more) at a better price.
Don’t under-insure yourself!
A major cause of under-insurance in Australia is because we remember to take out insurance when we first purchase a home, but then forget about updating it. If you’re having renovations (which could mean your home is now worth more), or you purchase an expensive TV surround sound system for example – remember to tell your insurer, or it won’t be insured.
- Regularly go around your house room-by-room and make a list of all your items and their value.
- Know how much your house is worth at all times. If it goes up in value then you need to update your insurance too!
Need some more advice? Read our ultimate guide to home insurance for heaps more tips.
Highly recommendedWhat does home insurance not cover?
Home insurance policies come in all shapes and sizes and all have slightly different benefits and exclusions to pay attention to.... Read more.
Highly recommendedHow to save on your home insurance
There are many factors that influence the cost of your premiums. The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep costs down.... Read more.
Highly recommendedEnsure you've got the best home & contents insurance
The best home insurance for you will be the one at the right price you can afford, which provides enough cover to protect your home and all its contents.... Read more.
Highly recommendedHome insurance and floods: the word on wet weather cover
... Read more.
Avoid winter woes by making sure you understand your home and contents policy, and especially where you stand with floods, and claiming for damages.