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Compare home and contents insurance policies

Search and compare home and contents insurance policies from numerous providers. Use filters to refine your options and find a policy that offers excellent value.

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Our team of home insurance research experts evaluates home insurance for value (including price and features), offering detailed ratings to aid your comparison.

  • Dedicated experts

Our seasoned editorial team has extensive experience in financial comparisons, aiming to simplify complex terms into useful information for Australians.

  • A variety of providers

We review and rate home insurance from various providers, offering a wide selection of home insurance for informed decision making.

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What is home insurance?

Home insurance is an insurance policy that covers one of your most important assets – your home. If disaster strikes and your property is damaged or destroyed, you may be financially covered, allowing you to more easily make a fresh start. For example, if you were to lose your house in a fire, home insurance may cover some or all of the cost of rebuilding, as well as other expenses such as temporary accommodation for you and your family.

A home insurance policy typically covers your entire property, including permanent structures such as fences, in-ground swimming pools, garages, tool sheds, and walk-in wardrobes. 

It’s worthwhile regularly reviewing your home insurance policy to make sure your house is adequately covered - particularly if you have renovated or extended your home.

What is contents insurance?

Home insurance is understandably valuable if the worst were to occur However, it only covers the structures of your home, so unless you also had contents insurance, you’d have to pay for replacing your treasured possessions yourself.

Home insurance does not cover the personal belongings that your home contains, such as furniture, white goods, electrical appliances, computers, jewellery, and artworks. To protect these items, you’ll need contents insurance - a policy that offers repairs or new-for-old replacements of goods in your home that are damaged or destroyed in an insured event. 

You can also purchase additional insurance coverage, called "personal effects cover" for portable contents that you may carry outside the home, such as laptops. Insurers may also offer optional extra coverage for any individual high-value items you may own.

What is home and contents insurance?

Home and contents insurance covers both the physical structure of the dwelling (home) and the personal possessions (contents) within it. This may be a single combined policy that covers both your home and its contents (combined home and contents insurance), or separate policies covering each.

In the event of an adverse event, such as fire, theft, vandalism and more, this insurance policy may offer financial support by covering repair or rebuilding costs for the property itself, as well as the replacement or repair of personal belongings. 

Home and contents insurance may also help cover a wider range of options than home insurance alone. If your home experienced a break-in, your home insurance may only cover the cost of broken windows or busted locks, while the contents insurance may allow you to replace your stolen possessions, new for old. This invaluable safeguard may help to ensure that you won't be left out of pocket when you need it the most.

How does home insurance differ from home and contents insurance?

What your home insurance policy covers and what it excludes can vary based on your policy and your provider. 

Some of the common events that may be covered under home insurance include:

  • Accidental damage
  • Breakage of glass and ceramics
  • Earthquakes
  • Escape of liquid e.g. burst pipes
  • Explosions
  • Fallen trees
  • Fires
  • Floods (varies depending on property location)
  • Lightning strikes
  • Malicious damage
  • Rainwater
  • Storms
  • Vandalism

It’s essential to note that insurance policies vary, and not every policy offers the same level or type of cover. While some common events may be covered under different home insurance policies, it's worth checking your specific policy for details on coverage limits and any specific exclusions. 

How does home insurance cover your home and contents?

There are two main ways that a home and/or contents insurance policy can offer cover: 

Total replacement cover 

Refers to the actual cost of replacing your house entirely, be it through rebuilding, renovating, or repairing after significant damage. These policies may cost more, and could require extended negotiations with the insurer. 

Sum-insured cover

Provides a maximum predetermined payout by the insurer if your home suffers damage. The challenge lies in accurately setting the insured sum. If set too high, your insurance premiums may unnecessarily increase; too low, and you risk being underinsured, potentially leading to out-of-pocket expenses for repairs. 

What types of home insurance are there?

Some of the main types of home insurance policies you can compare include: 

Home-only insurance

Also known as house insurance, this only covers the physical structure of your property.  

Contents-only insurance

Only covers the movable possessions kept in your home

Home and contents insurance

A combined policy that covers both the structure of your home and the possessions kept inside, often at a discounted combined premium.

Landlord insurance

A type of home-only insurance that also covers risks specific to landlords, such as damage caused by tenants

Renters Insurance

A type of contents-only insurance that also covers risks specific to tenants, such as temporary accommodation and storage if you lose access to your property.

How much does home insurance cost?

Your insurer will calculate the premium you’ll pay on your home and/or contents insurance policy based on several factors. 

The type of cover you choose will significantly influence your insurance costs. Total replacement cover, reflecting the actual cost of rebuilding, typically results in higher premiums. Sum insured cover may mean lower premiums, especially if you choose a lower insured sum amount, though you could risk finding yourself underinsured when you need it most. 

Your home insurance excess will also affect your premiums. This is how much you’ll pay out of your own pocket when making a home insurance claim, with the insurer covering damages in excess of this amount. The higher your excess, the lower your home insurance premiums may cost, and vice versa.  

Homes in high-risk areas, such as areas with high crime rates, or areas prone to natural disasters like floods or bushfires, may have substantially higher premiums. 

Most insurers will give you a choice of whether to pay for your home insurance monthly, quarterly or yearly. Making smaller, more regular payments may be less stressful on your wallet than making one lump sum payment. However, the annual total cost of your insurance may turn out cheaper by making a single payment rather than a larger number of smaller payments.

Some of the other factors that affect the cost of home insurance include:

  • The age of your home
  • The type of property
  • The size of your home
  • The features of your property
  • Whether you’re an owner occupier or a property investor
  • What extras or add-ons you want included in your home insurance policy
  • Your claims history
  • Your level of home security

To get an accurate estimate, it's worthwhile comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers.

Do I need home insurance to get a home loan?

If you’re applying for a home loan, the lender may require that you take out home insurance on the property. Home insurance is often a requirement for full mortgage approval, so your bank or broker may advise you to purchase home insurance for the property ahead of settlement. Also, if you are considering refinancing and you currently do not have home insurance, you may need to purchase a policy to gain approval from a new lender that requires it.

If you’re purchasing a unit, townhouse, or similar property, the strata corporation that manages the complex may already have insurance in place covering damage to the structure, partially paid for by your strata fees. This may be enough to satisfy your bank or mortgage lender, so you may not need to take out a separate home insurance policy to get a home loan on a strata property. Of course, you may still choose to take out a contents insurance policy to protect the possessions in your strata property, as this likely won’t be covered by your strata’s insurance over the complex.

If you are building your home, keep in mind that your builder is also required to take out a home warranty insurance policy for significant construction projects. It’s known by different names in different states and territories, and its exact requirements may also vary. While it’s your builder who will take out and pay for home warranty insurance cover, the cost may be passed on to you in some instances.

Do renters or landlords need home and contents insurance?

Neither renters nor landlords are owner occupiers, so they may require non-traditional home and contents insurance policies. This is where renters insurance and landlord insurance options come in handy, as they may be able to cover the risks specific to these customers. 

Home renters insurance is a type of contents-only insurance for tenants to consider, as it is designed to protect belongings from theft or vandalism even if the tenant does not own their home. It does not cover the home itself, as this is the landlord’s responsibility to insure. 

Landlords may be able to benefit from landlord insurance, which is similar to home-only insurance for their rental property but also covers risks that specifically relate to property investment, such as defaulting tenants, and may also provide some legal liability. 

What’s the best home and contents insurance for me?

There is no one 'best' home insurance provider as different policies and different levels of coverage will suit different households.

You can instead find the best insurance provider and policy for your needs by carefully comparing your options (including factors like premiums, excess and exclusions) against your needs and budget.

Using online tools such as comparison tables to compare home insurance, can simplify the process, allowing you to make informed decisions about protecting your home and belongings.

How to compare home insurance

To ensure you're making an informed decision, engage in a thorough home insurance comparison. Look into various household insurance companies and compare the house insurance offerings to identify the best fit for your needs. By conducting an extensive home insurance search, you'll be better positioned to find a home and contents insurance policy that offers ample protection without overpaying. 

When comparing home and contents insurance policies, consider the following questions:

  • What will it cost you to rebuild or renovate your home, and replace all your valuables?
  • What percentage of this cost are you comfortable paying on your own as an excess?
  • Which of the insurance policies that you are comparing adequately covers the difference?
  • Of the shortlisted policies, which ones are most specific in detailing the coverage limits for specific items?
  • Which policies offer you protection against the most common risks in your neighbourhood?
  • Does the policy cover conditions specific to you? For example, do these policies have any restrictions regarding the presence of pets in the house?
  • Does the policy cover emergency support, such as temporary relocation while your house is being renovated?
  • What optional coverage is available? Even if the policy you choose seems to offer thoroughly adequate protection, you may miss out on some optional cover. 

Always read the insurance provider’s product disclosure statement (PDS) or confirm with the insurance company about any limits, conditions, or exclusions before making a decision to purchase a policy.

How does RateCity simplify the process of home insurance comparison?

RateCity makes home insurance comparison easier by allowing you to compare offers from multiple insurers side-by-side. You can choose between home and contents, home-only, and contents-only insurance from various providers, tailoring your search using filters to focus on the features and benefits you need. The table shows all the extras in the policy at a glance. 

Once you have a shortlist, you can contact the insurers directly for quotes, which you can then compare to determine the best home insurance deals for you and your household’s needs. 

How to find cheap home insurance

Home insurance can be a costly ongoing expense. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help potentially save you money on your insurance premiums.

Avoid automatic renewals 

There’s no guarantee that your current insurance provider or policy will be the most competitive option for you after a year. Consider putting a reminder in your diary a few weeks out from when your insurance is set to renew, to give you time to compare a range of new options and quotes instead of automatically re-signing. 

New customer discounts 

Many insurance companies offer sign-up discounts to new customers, such as 20% off of your premium in the first year.

Add safety features

Your insurance provider will base your premium on a range of risk factors, including the security measures of your home. Consider boosting your home's security, such as installing alarms, to potentially nab a lower insurance premium.

Higher excess 

Generally, the higher your home insurance excess amount, the lower your premium. But keep in mind that if you were to make a claim, you may end up more out of pocket than if you had paid the standard premium.

How do I get a home insurance quote online?

Getting a home insurance quote online is as simple as filling out an application form. Most insurers offer an online home insurance application option, often with an online discount. 

Different insurers may require different information from you, but some common requirements include:

  • Personal details - your name and contact details
  • Property details - the address of the property being insured, long with its size, age, construction materials
  • Estimated value of your home and/or its contents. Useful for setting your sum insured amount to rebuild or replace your home and contents. A free property report could be useful here.
  • If you’re the property’s owner, landlord, or tenant
  • Your choice of policy type, including any optional extras
  • Proof of ownership for specific valuable contents
  • Details of any security measures at your home e.g. locks, alarms, cameras

Using this information, the insurer should be able to offer a free quote with your estimated premium, including the cost difference between paying as an upfront lump sum or monthly. 

By comparing quotes from different insurers, you can get a better idea of which insurers may offer the best deal for you.

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Peter Terlato before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.