A happy homecoming – choose the right insurance

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We think you’ll agree that a house is not just a house; it’s a home and is made up of so much more than the four walls. So you’ll be surprised to learn that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 1.8 million Australian households have no house and contents insurance – that is 23 per cent of all Australian homes. Sometimes things happen in our lives that are not in our control – think damage from natural disasters like storms and bush fires.

It’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst and protect yourself against these incidences that are all too common in Australia with a home and contents insurance. With Home and Contents Insurance, you can tailor your home insurance to suit your unique needs and budget so you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that the things you hold near and dear are protected. Ahead of choosing a new policy (or if you’re considering changing policies) here’s what you need to know:

What do you want covered?

Home and content insurance are actually two different products. You can buy insurance for just your building, or just for your contents (belongings in your home). You can also combine both.

Building: Protects the house and its fixtures. If the building is damaged or destroyed, this should cover the cost of repair or replacement. This is essential for homeowners but not renters as this is the landlord’s responsibility.

Contents: Protects possessions within the home. This is recommended for both homeowners and renters.

What are the types of cover available?

There are generally two different cover available:

Defined events (also called insured events): All policies will offer you cover if your property is damaged or destroyed by events like: fire, theft, storm, explosions, flood, earthquake, tsunami, storms, lightning strike, vandalism, or water damage from burst plumbing. Any event not mentioned on your policy is not covered.

Accidental damage: On top of defined events, some policies will cover you if your home or contents are damaged by accident. This is a more comprehensive cover option as it insures a much wider range of circumstances.

Sum-insured cover: provides for rebuilding, repairing or replacing a damaged home or its contents at their replacement value. It is your responsibility to nominate a sum insured that is sufficient to replace them. For your home this includes any improvements to the home that may contribute to the costs of rebuilding, and any additional costs associated with rebuilding, such as site works and access restrictions. The services of a professional valuer or building contractor may assist you to determine your home rebuilding cost.

Many policies also offer a safety net option in case you under-insure your home and contents. A safety net policy will pay a specified percentage above the sum insured amount. 

How much do I insure for?

Many insurers have online calculators to help you work out how much it would cost to replace your home and contents (your “sum insured” amount).

Contents: Go through all the items in your home and estimate how much it would be to replace each item you want to insure. Commonly overlooked items include clothing, shoes, crockery, cutlery, and linen.

Home: Estimate the cost of rebuilding home today, rather than when the home was originally built. Consider the costs of professionals you’ll need to use to rebuild a home as well. Are these expenses included in your sum insured amount? 

What else should I look out for?

While you should shop around and compare policies, don’t just compare price. The cheapest policy is not always the best option. Look at what is included (and what’s excluded) in the policies. When considering what policy is best for your home, only you know what your personal circumstances are as well as what’s important to you. Look for a policy that covers what you want to cover. 

Remember all home insurance policies will have exclusions, caps and limits. These will vary between insurers so read the Product Disclosure Statements and ask questions if there are any terms you don’t understand.  and ask questions if there are any terms you don’t understand.

With Over60 Home & Contents Insurance, you can tailor your home insurance to suit your unique needs and budget so you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that the things you hold near and dear are protected. Find out how you can get up to 35 per cent off Over60 home insurance products now, click here.

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