Defence Service Homes Insurance

DSH logo

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is a provider of home and contents insurance through its Defence Service Homes Insurance Scheme (DSHIS).

What do Defence Service Homes Insurance policies cover?

Defence Service Homes (also known as DHS Insurance) offers the following policies for home and contents insurance on behalf of the DVA to eligible Australians under the DSHIS:

Building Insurance

According to Defence Service Homes, its building insurance policies provide cover for the replacement cost of your home or rental property for a range of reasons, including flooding and storm damage. It may also help with the costs of accidental damage (upt to a monetary limit of $5,000 at the time of writing), as well as provide some cover for extra expenses that you may incur, including temporary accommodation, demolition costs and other costs related to rebuilding.

Home Contents Insurance

According to Defence Service Homes, its contents insurance covers a range of household goods, items of special value and furniture, among other things. Some exclusions listed include photographic equipment, musical instruments and caravans or trailers.

Some additional bonuses that you get with DHS contents insurance include:

  • Change of site – If you are moving into a new home within Australia, DHS will insure your contents at both sites for a maximum of sixty days
  • Loss or damage to contents caused by theft from the vehicle or flood, fire or collision of the vehicle – DHS will insure your contents while they are in transit by land in a vehicle to your new, principal place of residence or a storage facility
  • Hole in one – If you score a hole in one while playing golf, DSH will pay $100
  • Veterinary expenses  – If your domestic pet is injured in a road accident, DHS will cover up to $1,000 in vet bills for cats and dogs that are registered and micro-chipped as required by law
  • Taxation Audit – Reimbursement of accountants fees as a result of your personal taxation affairs being audited by the Australian Taxation Office
  • Modification to your Home – If you permanently become a paraplegic as a result of an insured event, DHS may pay up to $20,000 for the cost of modifying your home to a suitable home
  • War medals and decorations – DHS will cover the accidental loss or damage of war medals and decorations anywhere in Australia while they are being worn or carried by you when you are attending or traveling to or from any official military or commemorative function or service, including ANZAC Day.  The maximum amount in total for all war medals and decorations is the lesser of $10,000 or 25%.

For a complete list of inclusions and exclusions, make sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available on the Defence Service Homes Insurance website.

Defence Service Homes home and contents insurance FAQs

The Defence Service Home Insurance Scheme provides home and contents insurance to eligible current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). On 1 January 2020, the eligibility criteria were extended to include all members with at least one day of full-time ADF service of any kind.

This includes:

  • Officers
  • Sailors
  • Soldiers
  • Airmen
  • Reservists
  • Peacekeepers (any person who has served with an Australian Peacekeeping Force outside Australia)
  • Widows and widowers of ADF members

As a renter, you generally don’t need home insurance because your landlord should have insurance for the building you live in, and if you live in a unit, apartment or townhouse, the body corporate is legally required to have building insurance for the building. But you may want to consider getting contents insurance to protect your own possessions, as these typically won’t be covered by any insurance the landlord or body corporate takes out.

For landlords, you can consider home and contents or landlord insurance. Landlord insurance is designed to cover you for many of the same things as a home and contents insurance policy, but with several additions to cover you against risks related to having tenants occupying your property.

Defence Service Homes landlord insurance policies cover you for a range of insured events that DHS home insurance covers (such as fire and flood), as well as covering you for loss of rent, malicious damage by tenants and legal liability, among other things.

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If you have a recent and accurate estimate of the value of your home and contents, then you could consider insuring your property up to that particular sum.

If you don’t have an accurate idea of the above value, then you could consider insuring for a complete replacement.

You can lodge a claim with Defence Service Homes Insurance by calling the emergency number on its website, lodging a claims form online or via email. You will likely need your name, policy number and an outline of the damages when making a claim.

The Defence Service Homes Insurance Scheme (DSHIS) was established in 1918 as the War Service Homes Insurance Scheme (WSHIS) to provide a range of insurance products to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Defence Service Home Insurance was renamed to DSHIS in 1972 and began offering contents insurance in 1990.

Compare Home & Contents Insurance

This article was reviewed by our Sub-editor Tom Letts before it was published as part of our fact-checking process.

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Written by: Eliza Parry-Okeden | Last updated: November 24, 2020