Insurance for Your Home and Contents
For many people, their home is the biggest and most important investment they will ever make. Not only does the home represent a huge financial investment, it also carries great emotional value. Therefore it makes sense to insure properly to prevent unexpected and unavoidable financial disasters caused by things like fire, storm or burglary. In Australia an estimated 31% of homes are uninsured. Of those with insurance, 43% are severely underinsured. The tragedy is that most people who have insufficient cover don't realise it until after disaster has struck.
If you work from home, you may need separate or special cover for your business, because risks related to your business are not usually covered by home policies.
If you consult a broker you will get good advice about how to decide which of the various products on the market are most suited to your needs. Select Home and Contents in the specialities list.
Home insurance includes:
Builiding policies are designed for the main dwelling, garage and other outbuildings and gates, fences, drives, in-ground swimming pools and landlord's fittings and fixtures. Check whether you have "reinstatement and replacement cover", meaning "new for old". Also check whether you have “accidental damage” cover, or “defined events” cover. Accidental damage cover is usually more expensive because it provides a broader cover.
Contents insurance can be included with Building insurance or purchased separately depending on who owns the building and whose contents are in it. The same options for type of cover as for building insurance need to be considered. Some policies provide replacement cost as new for all contents. Others involve some contribution to the claim by you, to account for the fact you are getting a new item but some allowance should be made for age, wear and tear. The cost of replacing furniture, carpets, personal possessions, etc, can be substantial and care should be taken when deciding on what to insure and for how much. Items like jewellery, electronics equipment, artworks, antiques, collections have policy limits on how much can be claimed unless otherwise arranged. There is usually an option to cover valuables and list expensive personal items such as jewellery and furs.
If you’re travelling overseas you should always consider purchasing travel insurance to cover baggage, clothing, etc, and other things like medical expenses - very important!
Most building insurance automatically includes property owners liability insurance. This protects you should you be sued by another person who has been injured or has their property damaged whilst on your property in circumstances for which you are responsible . For example, someone (not your residing family) in your house falls down the stairs because the handrail gave way. The policy does not usually cover people who work in your home, such as cleaners or contractors.
Most contents policies automatically provide this cover. A third party could sue you for committing a negligent act that causes personal injury or damage to property. The protection includes immediate family members and extents Australia wide. An example is an injury to a swimmer who is struck by your child on a boogie board.