House & Content Insurance FAQs Answered - Insuring your Home
Whether you’re a new homeowner looking to insure their house, or a renter wanting to cover their possessions, house and contents insurance is crucial for protecting your home. But with so many policies on offer, understanding the ins-and-outs of each can be enough to cause a headache. This is why we sat down with our Compare and Connect experts to answer the top house and content insurance FAQs.
What Does House & Contents Insurance Cover?
House and Contents insurance can differ greatly from insurer to insurer, so it’s important to understand the basics before choosing your provider. Let’s distinguish between house insurance, and contents insurance.
House insurance will typically cover you for any costs associated with repairing or rebuilding your home following a ‘defined event’. This can include your house, and any permanent fixtures on your property such as fences, pools or dishwashers. Defined events, also called insured events, can include theft, vandalism, and natural disasters (flood, fire storms, etc.). Home insurance will also generally include some level of public liability cover. This covers the cost of an injury or even death that may occur on your property.
Contents Insurance will cover the cost of replacing possessions inside the home if they become damaged or stolen. There are a few options with how this works, but in most cases your cover will replace your damaged/stolen item or pay you out the cost of it.
What is Not Covered by House & Contents Insurance?
Of course, it depends on the cover you select, but there are some common exclusions under basic house and contents insurance policies. These can include:
- Expensive precious valuables – most insurers will have a limit on how much they insure specific individual items for.
- Outdoor possessions – items that reside outside your house, such as the BBQ or trampoline, are not usually covered under your contents insurance.
- Portable items – think phones, laptops or anything you regularly take to and from the home. These will usually need to be added on as an optional extra.
- Empty homes – most policies will have a vacancy clause that voids your cover if your home is uninhabited for over 60 days.
- Animal damage – damage caused by dogs scratching or cats clawing will not be covered under the standard home insurance policy.
How Much Does Home and Contents Insurance Cost?
The cost of a home and contents insurance policy can vary hugely depending on the optional extras you include. Your premium will also be determined by certain factors including:
- Whether you choose sum insured or total replacement cover
- Your excess amount
- Your claims history
- If your area is prone to natural disasters or crime
- Your home security features
What is Total Replacement vs Sum Insured Cover?
Sum insured policies will provide cover up to a set amount, nominated by you. For example, if your cover limit is set at $350,000 and your damage costs $380,000, you will be $30,000 out of pocket to repair the damage.
Total replacement cover is much less common than sum insured cover, and more expensive. Under total replacement cover you’ll be covered for the full cost required to repair or rebuild your home to its original standard.