Australians are no strangers to major weather events. There have been three officially declared natural catastrophes since December last year, all of which have caused wide-scale damage to properties.
The Sydney hailstorm in December 2018 alone brought about a whopping $1.236 billion damage bill and more than 139,000 insurance claims, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). In February, a monsoonal deluge in North Queensland saw almost 30,000 claims made against insurance policies, worth more than $1.2 billion. And in March, devastating fires that ripped through country Victoria’s Bunyip State Park area resulted in almost $32 million in insurance claims.
With stats such as these, it’s no surprise that the ICA counts major weather events at the top of its most common insurance claims list.
The next big hitters when it comes to insurance claims are damage and loss caused by burst pipes, theft and glass breakage, as well as damage to flexible hoses in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.
Whether you could be exposed to flooding waterways, fire-prone bushland or an unexpected burglary, it can be a good idea to consider whether you may need to insure your home and valuable items. And if so, finding an insurer that is renowned for providing outstanding value to its customers could be worth your while.
Canstar’s Research team has assessed 135 policies from 52 providers this year over the three main categories of home, contents, and home and contents insurance. Each category has three national Award winners, with ANZ the only provider to score a hat-trick by delivering Outstanding Value in each category, and CommInsure taking home the national Award for Outstanding Value Home and Contents Insurance for 12 years running.
Outstanding Value Home Insurance
ANZ, CommInsure and Guild Insurance received the national Award for Outstanding Value Home Insurance.
The Research team found ANZ offers protection for a full rebuild and allows its customers to choose their repairer, plus giving them the flexibility to rebuild at a different site if necessary, without a cash settlement. CommInsure’s home insurance provides customers gap cover up to an additional 25% of your sum insured when it isn’t enough to cover your loss or damage and allows monthly premium payments at no additional cost. For the environmentally conscious homeowner, Guild Insurance provides cover for rainwater tanks and solar panels and a safety net of 20% more than what you’re insured for.
The difference between choosing a 5-Star Rated home insurance policy against the market average could significantly reduce the amount you spend on insurance premiums for the same level of cover. Not only could you potentially get a better-value policy overall, but home insurance on an insured sum of $550,000 in New South Wales alone, for example, could see you around $288 a year better off.
Outstanding Value Contents Insurance
ANZ, Guild Insurance and Westpac Group – which includes Westpac’s subsidiaries Bank of Melbourne, St. George Bank and BankSA – received the national Award for Outstanding Value Contents Insurance.
The Research team found ANZ’s contents insurance policies cover replacement of old items with new ones, regardless of the age of the original items, and gives customers the option to cover their contents away from home. Guild Insurance also has new for old replacement cover, and Canstar Research also commended the fact that it provides protection for your visitors’ belongings. The Westpac Group has three levels of cover to choose from, so you can choose the one that suits your insurance needs and keep to your budget. It also has 24/7 claims support and allows customers to pay their premiums by the month with no extra fee.
Just like in home insurance, the difference between 5-Star Rated contents insurance premiums against the market average proved significant. For example, contents insured to a sum of $50,000 in New South Wales on a 5-Star Rated policy could save you around 30%, or $128 per year.
Outstanding Value Home and Contents Insurance
ANZ, Budget Direct and CommInsure received the national Award for Outstanding Value Home and Contents Insurance.
The Research team found ANZ gives customers the option to choose higher excess options to reduce the premiums they pay, a 10% discount for holding a combined home and contents policy, plus additional discounts for over-50s and the bank’s package home loan customers. ANZ policyholders can also choose to pay fortnightly or monthly at no extra cost.
The Research team was impressed by Budget Direct’s offering of a 30% online discount when you take out a bundled home and contents policy. The insurer will also guarantee repairs following successful claims, has optional flood cover and covers new-for-old replacement of valuable belongings.
CommInsure impressed the Research team with its cover for items anywhere, anytime in Australia and New Zealand, and for the first 30 days of travel per trip anywhere else in the world. Discounts are also available, with 10% off for taking out a policy online and 15% off if you purchase a combined home and contents insurance policy.
The difference between 5-Star Rated home and contents insurance policy premiums against the market average was noted by our Research Analysts. Take, for example, home and contents insured for a sum of $550,000 for the building and $50,000 for the contents in North Queensland. A 5-Star Rated policy in this scenario could potentially save you more than $1,000 in annual premiums compared to the market average.
State Winners of Outstanding Value Home and Contents Insurance Awards
In addition to the national Awards, Canstar Research also recognised the same five insurers for the Outstanding Value home, contents and home & contents insurance policies they offered across a range of locations within Australia. Full details of the state Award winners in each category are listed below.
|NSW – Contents||Guild Insurance|
|NSW – Home||Guild Insurance|
|NSW – Home and Contents||Budget Direct|
|Vic – Contents||ANZ|
|Vic – Home||CommInsure|
|Vic – Home and Contents||ANZ|
|Qld – Contents||Guild Insurance|
|Qld – Home||Westpac Group|
|Qld – Home and Contents||Budget Direct|
|North Qld – Contents||ANZ|
|North Qld – Home||ANZ|
|North Qld – Home and Contents||ANZ|
|WA – Contents||Guild Insurance|
|WA – Home||Guild Insurance|
|WA – Home and Contents||CommInsure|
|SA – Contents||ANZ|
|SA – Home||CommInsure|
|SA – Home and Contents||Budget Direct|
|Tas – Contents||Guild Insurance|
|Tas – Home||CommInsure|
|Tas – Home and Contents||CommInsure|
For more information about the 2019 Home and Contents Insurance Star Ratings and Awards and how they were calculated, please view the ratings methodology.
Image source: 2M media