Home owners: how to avoid underinsurance
Don’t get caught out with home and contents cover that falls short when you need it most.
You know how important it is to insure your home and belongings, but are you sure you’ve got enough cover? A high percentage of Australians are underinsured according to a study conducted by the Insurance Council of Australia1. It’s likely a large part of this is because they’ve underestimated the cost of rebuilding their property or replacing their belongings.
We don’t want you to find out the hard way that your insurance doesn’t cover your rebuild, repair or replacement costs, so we provide online insurance calculators to help you figure out how much cover you need (your ‘sum insured’).
A home insurance estimate calculator reflects where you live, the size of your home, and the materials and labour needed to rebuild it. It will also factor in costs that are often overlooked, such as architect and surveyors’ fees and debris removal.
If your Certificate of Insurance confirms you qualify for our Buildings Sum Insured Safeguard benefit and you make a claim that exceeds your buildings sum insured, we’ll pay up to 30% more if it falls short.
If you’re uncertain, get a second opinion. Independent professionals such as a quantity surveyor or valuer can provide you with an accurate valuation.
Using the contents insurance estimate calculator can make getting the right level of cover for your belongings just as easy. It factors in the quality and quantity of your possessions as well as the value of prized personal items.
Be aware that valuables, such as artworks and jewellery, may not be fully covered by standard contents insurance. You may need to boost your cover to get maximum protection for those items. And if you want to ensure they’re covered when you take them out and about, you’ll need to think about adding the portable contents cover to your policy.
Our top tips
When you’re insuring your home and belongings, keep these points in mind:
- Costs vary over time, so review your sum insured every year
- Re-evaluate your sum insured when you renovate or make new purchases
- The cost of rebuilding your home isn’t the same as its real estate value.
For help with insuring your home and contents, contact us on 133 723.
This article was originally published in December 2015 and was updated in November 2020.