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A Guide to Home & Contents Insurance in Australia

Home and contents insurance is a type of insurance that offers financial protection in case of damage or destruction to your home, as well as covering the cost of damaged, lost, or stolen contents. The extent of the coverage can be tailored to your needs, ranging from specific listed events to broader protection against accidental damage.

“Residential property worth up to $63 billion is at risk (from climate change) – and we believe this is likely to be an underestimate.”

—— The Climate Institute, 2016

Who Should Consider Home & Contents Insurance?

If your home and its belongings were to be damaged or destroyed due to a natural disaster, accident, or if all of your valuables were stolen, would you have the financial means to replace them? If not, your home insurance could provide assistance. Home and contents insurance can also offer protection against legal liability in the event that someone is injured or killed on your property.

What Does Home & Contents Insurance Cover?

Home insurance offers comprehensive protection in the event of loss or damage to your home, along with several automatic additional benefits. There are multiple coverage options available, with varying levels of protection and inclusions. The specific coverage you receive will depend on the policy you select. However, here are some examples of the benefits that may be included in a home insurance policy, to give you an idea:


  • A safeguard feature that provides up to 30% extra coverage of your total sum insured, ensuring you won't be left short if you need to rebuild your home (excluding the base listed events policy).

  • Automatic coverage for flood and fire or explosion damage.

  • Coverage for earthquake, tsunami, lightning strikes, storm, rainwater, hail, wind, and water damage resulting from certain leaks.

  • Coverage for accidental breakages, damage caused by falling trees during a storm, or damage from a car impact.

  • Coverage for burglary, theft resulting from forced entry, vandalism, or malicious damage.

  • Liability coverage of up to $30 million for injury, loss of life, or property damage to a third party while on your owned or occupied property.

  • Additional 20% coverage of your total sum insured for accommodation costs if you need to move out while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

  • Catastrophe coverage of up to 30% of the building sum insured for declared natural disasters.

  • Automatic inflation adjustment to your buildings and contents sum insured.

  • Environmental upgrade coverage of up to $5,000 and additional rebuilding costs of up to $25,000 to meet statutory requirements.

What Is Typically Excluded From Coverage?

While every policy is unique, typically the following situations are not covered: If your home remains unoccupied for more than 100 consecutive days (90 days for the listed event and base listed event policies). Damage resulting from rust, corrosion, gradual deterioration, depreciation, or normal wear and tear. Damage caused by rats, mice, or insects. Your insurance broker can provide you with information on additional exclusions. Additionally, there is a deductible or excess that applies to the policy.

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Policy

To get the most out of your home & contents insurance policy:

  • Consider opting for a higher excess amount which will reduce your premiums. However make sure this figure is an amount that you can comfortably pay should a claim arise;

  • Ensure all valuables are accurately listed in order to receive full compensation if they become damaged;

  • Keep records/receipts for large purchases as these may need to be provided in order for claims to be processed efficiently;

  • Read all stipulations carefully before signing up so that you have full understanding of what is included in the policy;

  • Review your policy regularly to ensure it still meets your needs over time;

By following these tips, Australian homeowners can rest assured that their home & contents are adequately protected!

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