Aussie home insurance rates
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Learn more about home insurance
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.
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.
Type of home insurance do I need?
There are two types of house insurance policies, namely total replacement cover and sum insured cover. The former covers the total cost of rebuilding the house to the same standard before it was damaged. The latter home insurance type covers the cost of damages up to a predetermined limit, which is called the sum insured.
Different types of homeowners’ insurance may offer extra cover at an additional premium, including accidental damage, fire insurance, storm insurance, flood insurance, motor burnout insurance, home and contents insurance, and contents insurance. These extras are not classified as homeowners’ insurance types; include one or more based on your situation.
What is a home insurance premium?
Your home insurance premium is what you pay your insurance provider for covering your home under their home insurance policy. It is calculated based on the type of coverage you choose for your home as well as any additional coverage you buy for either your possessions or specific incidents. Your premium can either be paid annually or in smaller instalments.
Your home insurance policy may cover the total replacement cost, which is the actual expense of rebuilding your home from scratch. Alternatively, it can cover an insured sum, which is a predetermined estimate of what it might cost to rebuild your home. You’re more likely to pay a higher premium for total replacement cover than for insured sum coverage.
Apart from selecting your coverage, you’ll have to figure out your excess, which is the amount you pay out of your own pocket for each insurance claim. If you are okay with paying a higher excess, your insurance premium may be lower. Conversely, if you choose a lower excess, you may pay a higher premium.
Your insurance premium can also be higher if you live in an area prone to incidents like floods, bushfires, or theft, as insurers are more likely to receive a higher number of claims in such neighbourhoods.
If you also want to buy insurance for your belongings, a combined home and contents insurance policy may have a lower premium than paying premiums on separate policies for your home and your belongings.
How do you compare home insurance rates?
When you compare the home insurance quotes offered by various Australian insurers, consider looking at the type of coverage they offer as well as coverage limits and exclusions. You can choose an insurance policy which covers either the total replacement cost, which is the actual cost of rebuilding your home from scratch, or a fixed insured sum, which is an estimate of the cost to rebuild. The home insurance policy is likely to cost you more if you go for the total replacement cost coverage.
Your insurance policy’s exclusions and coverage limits usually depend on how exposed your home is to adverse events like floods and bushfires. It also tells you the maximum compensation that your insurer is likely to pay for damage caused to your home. If you live in an area with a greater incidence of crime or disasters, your insurance policy will likely cost you more.
The amount you actually pay for home insurance can be adjusted by agreeing to a higher excess, which is what you will pay over and above the insured amount from your own pocket. You should consider using the online calculators provided by various insurers to check how different coverage limits affect your insurance premium.
Does home insurance cover termite damage?
It is unlikely that the average home insurance policy will cover damage caused by termites, mice, or other vermin, which are typically the result of negligence. For instance, water may have seeped from a heater or washing machine and dampened the woodwork in your home, attracting termites. Since termites usually build colonies, you’ll need to deal with the existing infestation and also take preventative steps to prevent future termite damage.
Treating your home for termite damage can be quite expensive, and you’ll likely have to make significant repairs depending on the size of the infestation. You may want to check if your neighbours have also had termite damage issues, and consider taking more long-term measures to keep termites away. For example, you could install a chemically-treated soil barrier or baiting station, both of which may be effective for a few years.
Consider inspecting your home for any leakage or seepage from time to time, especially in the flooring or the outer edges of your home, as a precaution against damage by vermin. You may also want to consider hiring a pest control professional who can inspect and treat your home to protect against termites.
Does homeowners insurance cover blown-down fences?
Most insurers consider fences a permanent fixture on your property. They are ranked alongside your home, garages or sheds, swimming pools, and solar panels when it comes to your home insurance policy. Your policy, therefore, covers your fences for the same incidents that cover your home or other parts of your property. For example, if there’s a major storm in your area and fences get blown down, you can get your insurer to pay for the cost of repairing the fence. You can check your insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to confirm that your policy covers the incident before filing a claim. Also, if the fence that has been damaged or blown down divides your property from your neighbour’s, you both may file a shared fence damage claim with your respective insurers.
You should remember that there may be situations when your home insurance policy doesn’t cover damage to the fences on your property. Suppose you were working on or near the fence and cause some sort of damage to it you may not be able to claim compensation in this case. Wear and tear on a wooden fence from water-logging near the fence, can be considered negligence on your part and your insurer may deny your claim.
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.
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
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 home insurance cover accidental damage?
Home insurance offers cover for any damage to your house and most policies cover the main building, garage, permanent attachments, and other external buildings that can be locked.
Every insurance policy lists the defined events that will be covered, such as fires, floods, lightning strikes, theft, or falling trees. A few may also offer the option of accidental damage home insurance cover for other possible mishaps and unintentional damage around the home, such as when the dog knocks over the TV, or when red wine is spilled on the carpet.
The home insurance accidental damage cover is available only for the address provided at the time of buying the policy.
Can you claim home insurance on taxes?
In most instances, you cannot claim home insurance as an expense on your taxes, because homes are used for personal purposes. However, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), you may claim some portion of the home insurance expense if you use your residence to run your business. For example, if you have a home office, you can deduct the percentage of expenses that were allocated to the home office.
Remember that not every room that has a desk is considered as an office. Any office, garage, or other free-standing structure devoted to your business is eligible for the deduction as long as it is your primary place from where you operate your business.
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 [email protected]
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.
How can I cancel my Budget Direct home insurance policy?
You may have purchased a Budget Direct home insurance policy, but changed your mind and now wish to cancel it. You can do this at any time after your purchase, even if you’ve made a claim.
To cancel your Budget Direct home insurance policy, you can call 1800 182 310. If you cancel before the 21-day cooling off period, you’ll receive a full refund. If you pay annually and choose to cancel after the 21 day cooling off period, you will be charged an early exit fee of $40. However, you will also receive a pro-rata refund of your unused premium.
If you pay monthly or fortnightly, you won’t be refunded any of your previous payments, but you also won’t have to pay a cancellation fee when you cancel.
Does home insurance cover asbestos removal?
If you’ve inherited or purchased an old home, the house may have been built using asbestos. While it may not cause harm in sealed walls or ceilings, exposure to loose asbestos dust can cause serious health issues. Although the Australian government completely banned using asbestos-based building materials in 2003, houses built earlier may also have asbestos in the cladding or the ceiling for insulating and fireproofing.
Many home insurance policies do not cover asbestos removal. However, in some circumstances, insurers may still pay for its removal. For example, hail storms or falling trees can damage the roof or the walls of your home, causing the asbestos to become more likely to release fibres. If your home insurance covers hail storms or tree damage, your insurer may pay for asbestos removal. Having said that, a better option is to check with an insurance company to see if they cover asbestos removal before purchasing their home insurance policy.
In general, when living in an old home, you need to take precautions to make sure you don’t accidentally cause asbestos materials to crumble. You should also plan for regular maintenance to prevent wear and tear to any areas containing asbestos.