Australia is a diverse country as the largest island in the world and covering many regions with varying climates and geography. The range of Australian housing is similarly diverse from brick veneer in Victoria and South Australia, double brick across Western Australia and the ‘Old Queenslanders ‘ common to Queensland.
The majority of homes are unfortunately insured under mass marketed ‘one size fits all’ products which do not provide the appropriate coverage in the event of a claim.
Four broad categories of Home Insurance products and coverage exist:
- Limited Defined Events
- Commonly occurring events listed but limited additional benefits
- Defined Events
- Defined events listed and higher limits and additional benefits
- Accidental Loss or Damage
- Any loss or damage not excluded under the policy
- Far fewer coverage gaps and less likelihood of claim rejection
- Typically large range of additional benefits such as worldwide cover for valuables
- High Value Accidental Loss or Damage
- The broadest possible cover
- For high value properties in risky locations (eg near water, on sloping land) or where a large buildings or contents sum insured with few restrictions is required
- Additional benefits such as free building replacement valuations, cover for identity fraud and guaranteed building replacement regardless of the sum insured
The cover provided varies by insurer creating significant confusion and frustration in the event of a claim. For example most insurers do not include flood cover and amongst those that do, there is no standard flood definition.
Prior to Home Insurance purchase, by understanding the four basic categories, considering the range of risks relevant for your needs and by asking the right questions appropriate insurance selection can be ensured.