Compare Home and Contents Insurance
Quickly and easily compare a wide range of home and contents insurance policies to help you choose cover that suits your needs. Canstar rates policies based on the premiums charged and the level of cover you get, helping you narrow down your options to the policies offering great value overall.
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Home insurance guides and resources
Canstar’s home insurance articles and guides can help you understand the cover options available for your property and its contents, whether you own or rent.
Types of home and contents insurance
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What is home and contents insurance?
Home and contents insurance is a type of cover designed to protect homeowners financially if their property and/or its contents are damaged, destroyed or stolen in certain circumstances. For example, if your home is destroyed by a fire and your claim is approved, a home and contents insurance policy may cover all or part of the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing its contents. There are several different types of cover available depending on what level of cover you need and whether you live in the property or rent it out.
What different home & contents products are available?
Home insurance provides cover if the main structure of your home is damaged or destroyed by certain insured events, which could include natural disasters like fire and storms. Home insurance may also provide cover for other permanent outbuildings or fixtures of your property, such as sheds and garages. This type of cover does not cover damage to any valuables contained within the home.
Contents insurance protects the policyholder financially if the belongings in their home (e.g. furniture, electrical appliances or jewellery) are damaged by an insured event and need to be repaired or replaced. This kind of cover is sometimes sold as ‘renters insurance’.
Home and contents insurance
A combined home and contents insurance policy provides cover for both the building and its contents.
Landlord insurance is designed to cover many of the same risks as building-only insurance, but also certain risks specific to those who rent out their property, such as the cost of repairing damage caused by a tenant. Bear in mind that there have been a few changes to the landlord insurance market since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, so before committing to a policy it could be worth checking in with your insurer to confirm what it will cover.
What does home and contents insurance typically cover?
Home and contents insurance typically covers the policyholder for financial loss if their property or the valuables in it are damaged or stolen. Insurance policies specify certain ‘insured events’ that are covered, but it’s important to note that not everything is covered and there can be limits and exclusions. Some risks may be covered as standard by a policy, while others can be added as optional cover. What’s covered will also depend on whether you have building-only cover, contents-only cover or a combined policy.
Some of the risks commonly covered by building-only insurance (including the home insurance component of a combined policy) include:
- Impact damage (e.g. from a car or a falling tree)
- Escape of water (e.g. from a burst pipe)
- Vandalism and riots
- Legal liability (e.g. if someone is killed or injured while at your home)
- Temporary accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event
Some of the risks that are commonly offered as additional cover with building-only or combined cover can include:
- Flood damage
- Accidental damage of property
- Damage caused by an animal
Contents insurance typically covers your valuables against the same kinds of risks, but depending on the policy may also cover risks, such as:
- Damage to home contents while in transit
- Damage to or theft of valuables belonging to guests or visitors to your home
Before taking out a policy, it’s important to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully or speak to your insurer so you understand what you’re covered for, what’s excluded and whether any limitations or waiting periods apply.
What’s the best home and contents insurance for me?
When looking for the best home and contents insurance for your property, you may want to consider a variety of factors to ensure the policy stacks up against the other options available to you. Here are examples of some of the factors you may want to keep in mind when comparing policies:
- What level of cover does the policy offer? For example, if your home is destroyed and you make a claim, will the payout be enough to replace the property to the necessary standard?
- Does the policy provide cover for any risks that may be particularly relevant based on your location (e.g. flood cover)?
- What’s your budget? Are you happy to pay extra for a higher level of cover, or would a basic policy be sufficient?
- Does the provider allow you to pay your premiums monthly at no extra cost?
- Are there any discounts on offer, such as a reduced premium if you take out the policy online or a multi-policy discount if you take out another kind of cover with the same provider.
- What is the excess payable if you need to make a claim?
- Do the premiums quoted offer good value compared to other providers?
- Does the policy provider ‘new for old cover’ for items that are damaged and cannot be repaired?
- Does the policy provide sufficient cover for any particularly valuable items in your home, such as a piece of art?
To help Australian homeowners find the best value home and contents insurance for their needs, Canstar rates a broad range of policies based on premiums and the level of cover on offer. In addition, Canstar’s Awards recognise the home and contents insurers that offer Outstanding Value to consumers overall.
How do I get a home insurance quote online?
To get a home insurance quote online, you can start by comparing a range of policy options with Canstar, based on your location, your age, the value of your property, and the type of cover you want. This will allow you to see at a glance the features and level of cover on offer from a wide variety of policies, as well as how they have been rated by Canstar’s experts. Once you have found some policies that you think may be suitable for your needs, you can proceed to the providers’ websites to get quotes to compare.
To provide an accurate quote, insurance providers typically ask for information about your property and how it was built, what security features have been installed, what level of cover you require and whether you have made any claims in the past few years.
How does Canstar compare home insurance policies?
Canstar researches and rates more than 100 home and contents, home-only and contents-only insurance policies from dozens of different providers. The policies found to offer the best value overall based on premiums charged and the level of cover and features on offer receive a 5-Star Rating. Canstar also gives Awards to the providers found to offer Outstanding Value overall, both nationally and in various states and territories.
Canstar’s Research team rates policies based on different locations and sums insured. This means you can see how a policy might perform in a situation like yours.
You can find more information about the factors considered by Canstar Research on our Home and Contents Insurance Star Ratings and Awards report page.
Looking for cheap home insurance?
If you’re looking to keep your household costs down, you might be looking for a cheap home insurance policy. Just be careful not to unintentionally sacrifice the level of protection you’re getting in the process. For example, a cheap home insurance policy may not always offer cover for certain risks that a more comprehensive policy would, such as accidental damage or certain kinds of flooding. Depending on the policy, a cheap home insurance premium might also mean paying a higher excess if you need to make a claim. For alternative ways to keep costs down, some insurers offer discounts if you take out your policy online rather than over the phone, or if you pay the premiums annually instead of each month. Just make sure the policy as a whole is suitable for your needs and you’re not signing up solely to take advantage of a discount.
How to save on home insurance in January 2022
If you’re one of the millions of Australians who’s been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and you have experienced a drop in income, you may be looking for ways to cut back on regular expenses, such as insurance premiums.
For example, if you are working from home, it may be worth speaking to your home insurance provider to let them know that your circumstances have changed. The fact that someone is now at home all day could mean there’s less risk of your home being burgled, and your provider may consider an adjustment to your premiums as a result. Each provider will have its own policy on this, so it’s best to contact yours to find out what is on offer. If you are struggling financially, you may also wish to contact your home insurance provider to find out if there is any temporary relief it can offer.
About our finance experts
As Canstar’s Ratings Manager, Josh Sale is responsible for the methodology and delivery of Canstar’s Home Insurance Star Ratings and Awards. With tertiary qualifications in economics and finance, Josh has worked behind the scenes for the last five years to develop Star Ratings and Awards that help connect consumers with the right home insurance policy for them. In his time at Canstar, he has analysed close to half a million home insurance quotes.
Having recently purchased a home in a riverside Brisbane suburb, Josh says he understands first-hand the importance of finding an insurer that offers appropriate cover for potential risks, such as flooding, at an affordable price. As one of Canstar’s spokespeople, Josh has been interviewed on a wide range of personal finance topics by media outlets such as the Australian Financial Review, news.com.au and Money Magazine.
As Canstar’s Editor-in-Chief, Nina heads up a team of talented journalists committed to helping empower consumers to take greater control of their finances. Previously Nina founded her own agency where she provided content and communications support to clients around Australia for eight years. She also spent four years as the PR Manager for American Express Australia, and has worked at a Brisbane communications agency where she supported dozens of clients, including Sunsuper and Suncorp.
Nina has ghostwritten dozens of opinion pieces for publications including The Australian and has been interviewed on finance topics by the Herald Sun and the Sydney Morning Herald. When she’s not dreaming up ways to put a fresh spin on finance, she’s taking her own advice by trying to pay her house off as quickly as possible and raising two money-savvy kids.
Nina has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Literature from the University of Queensland. She’s also an experienced presenter, and has hosted numerous events and YouTube series.
This content was reviewed by our Deputy Editor Sean Callery and Sub Editor Tom Letts before it was published as part of our fact-checking process. You can also read more about Canstar’s editorial team.
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