Best Home and Contents Insurance
While we can’t bring back our belongings if they get stolen or damaged, it is possible to help compensate for the financial loss of them through home and contents insurance. What are the different policies available and which is right for you?
- Award Winner 2021
Latest review: Did an online quote with them today to change insurers after unhappy with current insurer. Was told I could save up to 30% for an online quote which the eventual issued quote claimed was included.
- Transparency 4.6 (864)
- Customer Service4.7 (904)
- Value for Money4.6 (928)
- Claim ApprovedYes (34) · No (5)
Latest review: To sign up for home and contents insurance online is incredibly easy. You will get a call from friendly Youi customer service who is very knowledgeable and helpful to go through with the insurance.
- Transparency 3.9 (211)
- Customer Service4.2 (263)
- Value for Money4.0 (264)
- Claim ApprovedYes (24) · No (14)
Latest review: My old insurer couldn't match budget's price, in spite of the loyal customer discount. Setting up the policy was quick and easy. But I guess the real test will come if I need to make a
- Transparency 4.0 (578)
- Customer Service4.1 (617)
- Value for Money4.2 (660)
- Claim ApprovedYes (18) · No (32)
Latest review: The renewal was painless, the due date was communicated effectively and the new policy, while it was an increase it was acceptable. I also rate the company hence the reason why I remained with
Latest review: We joined Real Insurance and were with them for 12 months. During the insurance period we had some rain damage occur, it was the first time we’d ever made a claim. The claim was approved and the r
Latest review: We lost quite a lot in a recent robbery. Our specified amount for our content insurance for gold was changed in the renewals of the policy without informing us. We informed the insurance company
Latest review: It appears they have been taking money from you for years under false pretenses only to deny any valid claim. This is nothing more than legalized theft. I will be cancelling all of my policies with
Latest review: NRMA was set up as a membership organisation, to help other Australians during times of trouble. That heart has disappeared during the pandemic. They now have a policy that if you have been late
Latest review: Disappointed for my pensioner parents who lodged their first claim after being with APIA for 15 years - only to have the claim rejected due to ‘wear & tear’. Claim was for a timber fence that was blo
Latest review: Policy is easy to set up. Have insured with them for approx 10 yrs. One minor claim for hail damage was organised and repaired reasonably quickly. One more significant (but not particularly large)
Latest review: In 2020 rain water enter our home and damage one side of our downstairs floor and some furnitures. That time is peak time of covid in Victoria (I am living in Endeavourhills), its little bit delay
Latest review: This is twice. Unqualified yobbo comes in and looks for reason not to claim. He could tell me about the fall of a flat roof next door but couldn't answer simple questions about shower plumbing.
Latest review: Our membership has run for 18 years. Our spend is $6000 per year across all insurances with RACV. The wind storm that went through Ballan during those two days in June left vast destruction. If as
Latest review: I’ve been an RACQ member 8yrs, we recently contacted them regarding water escaping our main bathroom into a neighbouring bedroom. Initially RACQ seemed helpful, sending a leak detection team to our p
Latest review: My ceiling was leaking due to rain and storm and Coles is not approving my claim although I have all the damage report for the repairer but Coles insurance said there was not enough evidence what a
Latest review: The break and enter to our home was difficult enough to deal with. What transpired over the next three months was nothing less than appalling and way more traumatising than it ever needed to be, with
Latest review: Hi, It seems Iam not alone with getting bad service and complicated PDS, I read my PDS of June 2020 for Touring Caravan cover, On pg16 titled Liability Exclusions it states (1) will not cover an
Latest review: Lodged a claim for hail damage from a freak hailstorm in April 2020. Had Suncorp insurance for 25 years and also had a home loan for same time. Suncorp sent an assessor from Aizer Group to inspect
Latest review: If you are ever in a situation to make a claim, this is the worst insurance to have. Do not recommend at all. I was involved in a car accident over 4 weeks ago. My car was in the holding yard for 2
What's the difference between home insurance and contents insurance?
There are three main types of home insurance – building insurance which covers damage to building fixtures, contents insurance which covers your personal belongings and a combination of home and contents insurance which covers both. For homeowners who require both, it is usually cheaper to combine the policies and buy them as a bundle rather than separately, otherwise, you might end up paying two excesses for the same claim.
An excess is how much of the cost you will cover before the insurance company pays the rest. For instance, an excess of $100 will mean you will cover the first $100 of damage and the insurance company will cover the rest.
Home insurance covers physical structures and buildings in your home, including but not limited to, garages, carports, outbuildings, gates and fences. This also includes any permanently attached fixtures like solar panels, walls, ceilings, and floor coverings for loss or damage caused by a range of insured events.
Contents insurance can provide compensation for the loss of or damage to items in your home caused by insured events. These items include things like furniture, furnishings, clothing, unfixed electrical goods, jewellery, sporting equipment and appliances.
Types of content insurance
Content insurance is broken down into two main policy categories: policies that compensate for the value of your belongings and another type that replaces your possessions with new items - this is called new-for-old. This type of insurance is typically more expensive than the previous kind.
Value of your belongings
Some contents insurance policies will only cover the current value of your belongings, which naturally tend to depreciate over time. This means that the compensation you receive from your insurer in the event of a claim may not cover the cost of replacing your furnishings and you will have to pay the difference out of pocket.
On the flip side, a new-for-old policy will mean that your insurer covers the entire cost of replacing your damaged items with new items - even if they are retailing at a higher price now than they did originally. Naturally, the premium you pay for this insurance is higher than the other option.
You can add certain valuable items to your insurance for an additional premium. This can cover items that can be used outside the home such as jewellery, sports equipment or camera, laptops and mobile phones. Unlike the normal plan, these items can be insured for accidental damages and loss.
Furthermore, this is a good option for when the item's replacement cost goes above the general limit on most plans. For example, an engagement ring or an invaluable piece of art may be worth more than the maximum insurance coverage on basic plans which means an individual content insurance plan may be the way to go.
What does home insurance cover and not cover?
Each insurance company is different, therefore you should always read the terms and conditions in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully to avoid any misunderstandings and to get an outline of what the insurance covers. Included should also be details of any excess you may have to pay in the event of a claim.
While tempting to skip, it's extremely useful to read the PDS in detail before signing up for any insurance policy since it'll outline any exclusions that come with a chosen level of coverage. This will save you any nasty surprises later down the road.
You can get different levels of coverage plans from the same insurer. A basic 'defined events' policy will only cover your belongings damaged or lost through specific events.
Generally, insurable events include things such as:
- Impact damage (such as from a car or a falling tree)
- Escape of water (such as from a burst pipe)
- Vandalism and riot
Broader coverage plans can also accommodate for accidental damage or let you insure items that can be taken out of the home such as cameras, jewellery or sporting equipment.
Keep in mind that many home insurance policies come with exclusions as they may not cover intentional damage or loss, damage caused by vermin or blemishes due to general wear and tear. Contents insurance may not be valid for loss of property via theft if the house was not properly secured or if the thief was let into the property.
Since every home and its contents will be valued differently, you'll have to enter your specific details in order to get a quote. However, some companies, like , provide a base Essential and Top Cover option regardless of specificities.
On top of house insurance, there is such a thing as landlord insurance that covers potential damage to your property by tenants or covers the cost of rent in the case that your house becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event.
Those renting in a shared house can choose to buy a policy with their housemates as long as all of their names are on the policy. Choosing a policy with a higher excess and paying annually instead of monthly will lower the cost of the overall premium.
Is it worth getting home and contents insurance?
The age-old question remains: is getting home and contents insurance actually worth it? That answer depends on numerous factors such as how much you've invested into your property and contents and if you live in a high-risk area.
Even if we feel that our house is unlikely to get damaged or broken into, life is unpredictable and it's always a good idea to think about how best to financially deal in the worst-case scenarios. Getting basic coverage is advisable for every homeowner so you are not left stranded with no house or possessions in the case of an insured event or natural disaster.
In terms of forking out money for extra coverage and lower excess costs, that depends on how smoothly you want your claims process to go in the event of a claim. What you are essentially paying for is peace of mind that in the case that things do go wrong, you will be financially covered and the process will be efficient.
Here are some things you could consider when choosing an insurance policy for you:
Value of your home
How much is your contents or house worth? Would you be able to cover the cost of repairs yourself in case things do go wrong? If you feel that you don't have a ton of valuables and live in a safe area, then it could be more cost-efficient to choose a plan with a high excess and low premium rate.
Vulnerability of your home
Do you live in a bushfire-prone area or somewhere with a higher crime rate? In this case, you might want to consider choosing a more comprehensive policy that will provide more security and a better return on investment in the long run.
Accidents do happen, and even though they're difficult to predict, having an existing home and contents insurance policy could save you a lot of future stress and money. Essentially, insurance policies are safety nets, and with the wide varieties of policies available, you can always pick a level of coverage that best suits your budget.
Factors to consider when buying home and contents insurance
Value for money
It could be useful to compare the different policies and quotes available to see which policy provides the best value for money for your specific needs. You can also read reviews to see how people rate a particular insurance company in this category.
Another key factor you can scope out by reading trusted reviews is the transparency of your intended home insurance's policies.
Some companies may add sneaky charges or disclude common insured events in their PDS, preventing you from claiming the insurance when you need it.
Remember to read the policies carefully and speak to a representative for extra clarification should you require it. Be mindful to check for any exclusions and maximum claim limits.
If you need to make a claim, you'll likely already be under pressure from the loss of your property or damage to your infrastructure. The last thing you need on top of that is stressful customer service. Paying a little extra for a company with a stellar customer service reputation is likely to reward you in time and energy down the road when asking queries or dealing with claims.
Claim resolution time
The claims resolution time is an important factor that contributes to overall customer satisfaction.
After a crisis, dealing with a company with a very slow resolution time can be frustrating and redundant. Read up on some reviews to see how long others had to wait for their compensation to come through. Some companies offer temporary living arrangements until they are able to fix your house as part of their policy.
Claim approval rate
The best way to find out whether an insurance company usually approves most of its claims is to read reviews. If a company consistently doesn't pay policyholders for claims when they should be according to the PDS, then it's likely to crop up in the reviews. This is valuable information that you won't see on their official websites or leaflets.
You can read reviews on the best home and contents insurance companies in the market today by scrolling up.