Five benefits of home insurance that not all policies offer

Five benefits of home insurance that not all policies offer

Many Aussies would know that buying a home insurance policy can minimise stress about paying for potential home damage, especially after a major disaster.

However, there are other benefits - and potential risks - that may not be as well known. That’s why it’s important to look at the Key Facts Sheet or the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) put together by your insurer for the policy you’re buying.

You may find other things home and contents insurance can cover beyond renovation, rebuilding, or replacement.

What are the typical advantages of home insurance?

Before plunging into the lesser-known aspects of a home and contents insurance policy, it may be useful to recap some of the key terms you’ll likely read in product documents. 

  • Insured events: These are the incidents which can cause damage to your property and are covered by the policy. Many home and contents insurance policies include coverage for fires, storms, lightning, hail, theft, vandalism, riots, and accidental leakage. You can often buy extra coverage for floods and accidental damage.
  • Rebuilding your home after a disaster: Home insurance policies may cover either an insured sum -  which you and your insurer agree is the cost of replacing your home -  or the actual cost of rebuilding your home if it is damaged in an insured event. Damage to fences, solar panels, garages and sheds, and swimming pools will often also be covered.
  • Replacing your valuables: If you’ve purchased contents insurance, either separately or as a combined policy with home insurance, replacing your precious belongings may be covered. However, you may need a separate policy for expensive items, or for items you carry with you out of the house.
  • Excess and Premium: The excess is the portion you agree to pay out of pocket when you file an insurance compensation claim. While you’ll need to set aside savings for the excess, choosing a higher excess can bring down the premium, which is the cost of your home and contents insurance policy.

Does your insurer offer these benefits of home insurance?

The difference between home insurance or home and contents insurance offered by different insurers may boil down to the sweeteners of the policy’s coverage. Consider checking how your insurer addresses the following aspects of a home and contents insurance policy.

  • Rebuilding costs: Some insurance providers may cover all the costs associated with rebuilding your home, which includes not just the cost of materials but also the fees you need to pay to an architect or a building contractor. If you need to use green materials or comply with green building regulations, any associated costs may also be covered by your policy.
  • Removal of debris: Suppose a storm partially damaged your home and dumped a pile of wreckage on your property. Your insurance policy may compensate you for removing the damaged material - the debris - from your property.
  • Temporary accommodation: Did you know that, depending on your insurer, up to a year of temporary accommodation may be covered in case your home needs to be rebuilt? What’s more, you could also get compensation for the cost of temporary housing arrangements for your pets. Check your insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for details.
  • Legal Liability Coverage: Your home will probably see many visitors over the years, and you may be liable if they are injured in your home. As long as the injuries weren’t caused deliberately, your home insurance policy may cover your legal responsibility for others’ injuries in your home.
  • Electrical appliances and electronics: If an insured event, such as a lightning storm or fire, causes a power surge or power outage, you may be able to claim compensation for damage to electrical items. Note that you’ll need to add on coverage for motor burnouts, which are also called fusion damage. Your LED TV, mobile phones and laptops may also be covered by your home and contents insurance policy, although you may need to check the limit of this coverage.

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Learn more about home insurance

Does home insurance cover temporary accommodation?

Seeing your home damaged by a natural disaster such as a bushfire or a hail storm can be traumatic. Unfortunately, sometimes your house may become uninhabitable after such an incident and require major renovation or even rebuilding. In such circumstances, your home insurance policy should cover the cost of temporary or emergency accommodation. 

It's worth checking with your insurer on the coverage limit, as different insurance providers may cover the cost of renting another home for a number of months, though this will vary between coverage cost and insurance provider. However, the maximum coverage will probably run for 12 months. Upon filing a claim, most insurers will likely first ask an inspector to confirm that your home is too damaged to live in, and subsequently cover the cost of temporary accommodation after that. 

You could also need temporary accommodation because the local council or other governing authority may order an evacuation in anticipation of a problem or disaster. In that instance, you should check if your insurance provider will cover the cost of accommodation at such a time and, if so, how you can file a claim in such cases. If you are a pet owner, check if your home insurance policy covers the cost of temporarily housing your pets elsewhere.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover electrical problems?

Every home has a range of electrical fittings,appliances and wiring running through the structure of the house. You can face many kinds of electrical problems but, unfortunately, your home insurance policy may not cover all of them. Damage accidentally caused by natural accidents may be covered, as might the repair of motors if you have opted for fusion damage cover. For example, if there’s a lightning storm and your home suffers a power surge which causes a short circuit, any repairs needed may be covered if your homeowner’s insurance contains lightning damage.

However, if any electrical appliances stop working, even a home and contents insurance policy may not cover the cost of repairing the appliance. Also, you should check with your insurer about making any electrical repairs inside your home as that may affect your coverage. 

Usually, in Australia, you need to hire a professional electrician to carry out any inspections or repairs to the electrical system in your home. This can include conducting periodic checks to make sure the electrical wirings are not exposed to seepage, flooding, or attacks by rodents. Consider asking your insurance provider about optional coverage for fixed electrical appliances such as air-conditioners and washing machines.  

Do I need home insurance for a home loan?

While home insurance isn’t necessarily a requirement for a home purchase per se, it’s likely that if you’re purchasing a home with the help of a home loan, you’ll need to take out home insurance on the property. Home insurance can be one of the factors required in the pre-settlement documentation for a home purchase, and you may be advised by either the bank or a broker (or both) ahead of settlement.  

What does home insurance cover?

What home insurance specifically covers and the extent of the coverage depends on the insurance provider and the individual policy. However, home insurance typically covers the property and other permanent structures found on or in the property, such as fences, in-ground swimming pools, garages, and dishwashers, to name a few.

There are usually two types of homeowner's insurance you can choose from, with "total replacement cover" or "sum-insured cover". 

If you’re not sure which option to take, it may be worthwhile to speak to a professional valuer to understand how much it might cost to rebuild your home and replace what's inside.

Are bikes covered under home insurance?

Ordinarily, home insurance only covers damage to your house, which can include additional buildings such as garages, sheds, and fences, as well as permanent fixtures. 

However, to protect the items located in your home or in any of these other buildings, you will likely need to purchase home and contents insurance. Even so, your bike would only be covered if it does not require separate vehicle registration, as is the case for bicycles and 50cc minibikes, but not motorcycles, and only when located on your property, parked or otherwise. 

Depending on the cost of your bicycle or minibike, you can have it listed in your home and contents insurance as a high-value item. You'll want to check your insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to know the normal coverage limit for a bike included as part of your home and contents insurance, as well as the incidents which are covered. 

Insuring your bicycle can be distinct to insuring any personal effects on your bike at the time, or even using the bike when you're out and about. If you want to cover those, such as something in a basket or a camera equipped to the bicycle, or the bike itself as you travel, you will likely need to purchase additional personal effects insurance. You can also read about any additional coverage available under the personal effects policy, though for full coverage, an ideal option will likely be a separate bike insurance policy.

How to file a Youi home insurance claim

Dealing with a disaster is never a pleasant experience, but it can be worse if your home is extensively damaged. At some point, you’ll have to estimate the damage to your home and file the necessary insurance claim. 

If you’ve bought a Youi home insurance policy, you can contact them regarding an insurance claim either by calling 13 9684 or through the Youi website. If you don’t remember your policy number, you can identify yourself and provide your address when speaking to a Youi member to grant yourself access to your policy details, handy if you’ve had to leave home in a rush and may not have had the time to collect any of your belongings, let alone insurance policy documents. 

You may not need to fill out any claim forms right away, but you’ll need to describe the incident and the damage caused to your home. Once you’ve contacted Youi, an inspector will visit your home and verify the damage before your claim is accepted and processed. Insurers usually expect you to contact them at your earliest possible convenience after a damaging incident, or within 30 days at the latest, as is the case with Youi

Do I need legal cover on home insurance?

Besides protecting your home and your possessions from damage and theft, many home insurance policies also cover unfortunate accidents that sometimes result in legal action. This is called home insurance legal cover.

What does it cover?

This type of insurance cover protects you and your family members from liability if someone gets injured on your property. You can also get coverage for scenarios such as you or a family member accidentally injuring someone else outside your home or accidentally damaging someone else’s property. 

Typical liability claims include slips and falls in your home and the ensuing medical expenses, or falling trees or branches that cause  damage to your neighbour’s home or parked car.

Dog bites are another claim often covered. If your dog bites someone and you’re found liable, you’ll be covered for the vet and medical bills. Similarly, if your dog damages someone else’s property, home insurance legal cover will often take care of your liability.

Every member of your family is usually automatically included in home insurance legal cover provided they live with you.

How to make an ANZ home and contents insurance claim?

Making a home and contents insurance claim for the very first time can surely be a daunting task, especially in the event of a major loss incurred by a catastrophic event such as storms or floods. Moreover, your claims history can impact your premium rate, so it’s important to carry out the process as efficiently as you can. Fortunately, the process of raising an ANZ home and contents insurance claim is fairly simple.  

The very first step you should undertake is contacting your insurance provider online or over the phone as soon as you can. The ANZ home insurance claim contact number is 13 16 14 and is available weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm AEST. Be sure to have your policy number ready when you make the call, though. If you don’t remember your policy number, you’ll need to confirm a few of your personal details, following which the insurer will be able to locate your policy and proceed with lodging the claim. 

Your insurer will then ask you a series of questions regarding the event and the loss you incurred. As a note, it’s a good practice to submit photos of the damages while lodging your ANZ home insurance claim. Contact the police in the event of theft and provide the report number to your insurer when lodging the claim. 


ANZ may send an assessor or representative to inspect the damages onsite, and may even arrange for qualified or experienced replacement specialists to inspect the losses and provide quotes for repairs. As such, it’s ideal to conduct repairs or replacements to your home and contents only after your insurer has agreed to them. 

What is home insurance?

For homeowners, home insurance can provide some financial protection to your property when things don’t go as planned. If you have home insurance and your property is damaged (or even the permanent fixtures inside), you could make a claim to your insurer to cover the costs of getting it fixed, replaced or rebuilt.

The idea behind property insurance is that you pay insurance providers to take on the risk of loss or damage to your property that you would otherwise be carrying. 

How much is home insurance?

How much your home insurance could cost and the amount of premiums you pay will depend on many factors, including the amount you need to cover, the excess you're willing to pay, and what type of cover you want to take. 

It's important not to base your insurance policy decision solely on the premiums being charged, reviewing what the policy covers, its features, claim exclusions, and caps when deciding which home insurance policy is the right one for you.

Can you withdraw a home insurance claim?

If your home is damaged, say due to a fire or a storm, your first thought may be to file a claim for the repair costs. 

You may later realise that the claim is too small and not worth the effort of filling in the paperwork and losing any no-claim bonus. Instead, you may think ‘I’d like to withdraw the claim’. 

In this scenario, you can simply tell your insurer that you wish to cancel your claim. Keep in mind when you withdraw the claim, it often continues to remain on the insurer’s records, but with no payout recorded.

You may wish to withdraw your home insurance claim for several reasons. You may realise the damage is minor and the repair cost is close to or less than the excess. The excess is the amount you agreed to pay on top of your insurance payout.

Before making a claim, it’s important to understand it may increase future premiums and also affect your ability to get insurance later. 

So in summary, when asking “can I withdraw my home insurance claim?”, the answer is yes. However, before making a claim, it may be worth looking at if it is worth it.

Do I need home insurance?

While homeowners' insurance is not legally required, it’s an option for those who want financial protection for their property. Some mortgage lenders may even require borrowers to take out home insurance.

Does homeowners insurance cover structural damage?

The most common causes of structural damage to a property include foundation issues such as settling or ground shifting, hidden structural damage, such as caused by termites, or weather-related damage, like by a tornado or hurricane.

If you’re wondering if structural damage is covered by homeowners insurance, you’re probably not going to like the answer. Most insurance providers don’t include structural damage in home insurance policies because they build the polices to offer protection from loss due to sudden, accidental events, such as fire, burglary or weather-related damage. It can take months or even years for you to discover most foundational or structural damage to your property, and by that time, they become rather costly to repair.

Since it takes a long time to detect, most structural damage is considered a maintenance issue and therefore, your home insurance policy won’t cover it. However, all is not lost. Once you locate the damage and take the necessary steps to not only repair it but also prevent further harm, your insurance policy might cover any subsequent loss. For example, if the foundation has cracks, and it lets water into your home, the water damage could be covered by insurance, but the cracks themselves would not be.

How do I make a Budget Direct home insurance claim?

You can make a Budget Direct claim either online or over the phone by calling 1800 069 336.

Before you make your Budget Direct home insurance claim, it’s recommended you: 

  • Take action to prevent or minimise any further loss or damage.
  • Inform the police about any theft (or attempted theft), malicious damage or vehicle impact.
  • Collect the relevant documentation to support your claim. You can email documents to homeclaims@BudgetDirect.com.au.

While there is no limit on when you can claim, the general rule is the earlier, the better. Once you’ve submitted your claim, you should receive a call within two business days to let you know what the next steps will be. In some cases, the insurer may ask for a bit more information. After that, a decision will be made. If your claim is accepted, you’ll receive details about your repair, replacement or payment.