Frequently asked questions on home and contents insurance
Home and contents insurance is designed to protect your most valuable assets. Here we answer the frequently asked questions about home and contents insurance including what it covers, how your premium is calculated and whether you're insured while travelling.
What is home and contents insurance?
This is insurance that covers both the building you live in and what's inside it.
It's possible just to get one or the other forms of insurance – for example, just contents insurance if you rent, or just building cover. But most homeowners take out a bundled policy.
What does home and contents insurance cover?
There are different types of home and contents insurance policies. But, as a general rule, home insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home should a 'defined' event occur.
A defined event can include natural disasters such as fire, flood, earthquakes, storms, and human-related damage such as accidental breakages, theft and vandalism.
Contents insurance works much the same way, although it covers the cost of replacing what's inside your home if it is damaged or stolen. An item may be repaired or replaced, or the cost of the repair or replacement paid to you.
Examples of things covered under ANZ's contents insurance are:
- computer software
- furniture or furnishings that are not built in
- hearing aids
- media bought online, such as music, software and videos
- rugs and antiques
- sporting equipment such as surfboards, sailboards and kayaks.
Can I be covered for my contents while I am away from home?
Check with your insurer on your individual policy. Under ANZ's home and contents insurance you can be covered for contents outside of your home, anywhere in the world.
This includes bikes, laptops and mobile phones.
What's not covered by home and contents insurance?
Some events, such as someone stealing a lawnmower you've left unattended in the front yard or damage caused by a retaining wall collapsing, may not be covered.
Make sure to read your policy carefully so you're aware of what's excluded.
Some common exclusions include:
- glassware, crystal, crockery, mirrors or china while in transit
- loss or damage caused by vermin, insects or birds
- sporting equipment while it's in use
- fixtures, fittings and other contents in a strata property that are insured by the body corporate
Are carpets covered?
Check with your policy. ANZ contents insurance covers carpets and items that can be moved to another location, such as a fridge or television. Contents insurance can include permanent fixtures and fittings that are not covered by a body corporate. ANZ Home Insurance covers both the structure of the building you live in and any permanent fixtures and fittings in it, such as baths and fitted kitchens.
How much is home and contents insurance?
Premiums are calculated by a number of factors including the type, location, occupancy, construction and age of your buildings or contents and the total value of your contents that are insured.
Other factors may include the:
- cost to rebuild your buildings
- type and frequency of claims you have made
- excess you have chosen
- discounts you may be eligible to receive
How can I reduce my premium?
There are several ways to lower your premium. Ask your insurer about any discounts you are eligible for, or opt for fortnightly or monthly payments to help manage your cash flow.
Some common options to lower your premium include:
- paying a higher excess
- taking out multiple policies or combined cover
- discounts for seniors (also known as the over-50s discount)
- removing optional benefits, such as contents cover away from home
What is the maximum sum insured for a specified valuable?
This varies from policy to policy, but under ANZ's cover, individual specified valuable items can be insured up to a maximum of $40,000. These valuables are also covered away from home unless the customer has opted out of “contents cover away from home”.
Specified valuables include those valued at more than $3,000 such as:
- items containing gold or silver: ornamental pieces, bars of gold or silver
- collectibles/collections: stamps, model toy cars, money, statues etc
What's the difference between 'total replacement' and 'sum insured' cover?
Sum insured is the cheaper and more common type of home insurance. With this type of policy, your insurer provides the amount of cover you nominate. So, for example, if you've selected $450,000 worth of cover but it costs $500,000 to rebuild your home, you'll have to cover that last $50,000 out of your own pocket.
If you want to avoid that happening, you can opt for a more comprehensive 'total replacement' policy. With this policy, your insurer covers the total cost of rebuilding or repairing your home, however much that ends up costing. ANZ Home Insurance offers 'full building replacement'disclaimer as a standard feature on the policy.
Why have I got such different quotes to insure the same home and contents?
Insurers offer policies that range from the no-frills to the very comprehensive. One home and contents policy might cover expenses arising from what's known as 'accidental damage' (for example, your children breaking a window playing backyard cricket) while another won't.
As with any insurance policy, you should compare features and prices of different policies then make a decision about which provides the best-value cover.
Am I insured when I am moving house or away from home on a long trip?
Again, check with your insurer, but for ANZ customers, contents in transit to your home or commercial storage facility are covered up to $10,000. This is to protect your contents from theft following violent or forcible entry, fire, collision or overturning of the vehicle transporting your contents.
Update your address details beforehand so your existing policy covers your new address.
ANZ will cover your home if you are on a vacation up to 120 consecutive days. However, if your property is left vacant for more than 120 consecutive days, the property will be under limited cover during this time or attract a higher premium.
Am I insured during construction, renovations, alterations or repairs?
This can vary from policy to policy. If you have an ANZ Home Insurance policy you will need to first disclose the details of any construction, renovation, alterations or repairs to your buildings where the estimated value of that work is more than $100,000. Unless the insurer agrees in writing, you won't be covered during the course of any such work of this scale and your policy may be cancelled.
How do I make a home and contents claim?
To avoid delays, make sure you've got all the necessary supporting information before submitting your claim.
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