Types of Insurance for maximum protection
Buying a new home is one of the single biggest investments you can make in life, and the last thing you’ll want is for that property to be underinsured. There are a few types of home and home-related insurances available to cover a range of potential risks - here are the main ones you might want to consider when making your home purchase
Building or home insurance
Building insurance is a very good place to start when it comes to insuring your new home, because it provides peace of mind about the ‘bricks and mortar’ of your property. There are two types of home insurance to choose from, which are:
• Sum-insured cover, that provides cover to a set limit specified by you. Be careful to estimate the value of your home accurately, or you could be out of pocket if you have to claim.
• Total replacement cover, that provides enough cover to rebuild or replace your home to its original condition before the insured event occurred.
Tip: Home insurance might not automatically include any separate buildings like individual garages, patios or sheds, so be sure to speak to your insurer and check any Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) documents to be sure.
If you’re purchasing an apartment, townhouse or duplex, then chances are it will be a strata property. In this case you generally won’t need building insurance as the building structure is covered by the strata insurance that’s included in your strata levies. However – it’s important to check with your body corporate or owners corporation that there is adequate strata insurance in place.
Home and contents insurance are often bundled into one single policy, but you can also arrange these options separately to suit your needs. Contents insurance generally covers the objects that are in your home: things like clothes and shoes, jewellery, computers, cameras, furniture, furnishings and home entertainment systems.
Tip: While your phone, sunglasses and other portable valuables will typically be covered by your contents insurance while they’re in your home, you might want to check out Portable Valuables or Personal Effects cover if you want these items covered while you’re away from home.
What is title insurance
? This insurance type can provide cover against a range of home ownership risks: for example, if illegal structures have been built on your land by a previous owner; for boundary issues such as erroneously-placed fences; if rates or land tax have been incorrectly calculated; if you can’t live in your home because of undisclosed planning and zoning laws; or if someone tries to commit identity theft or fraud relating to your property. Unlike home and contents insurance which has ongoing payments on a fortnightly, monthly or annual basis, title insurance in Australia requires just one payment with no recurring premiums.
Tip: It’s easy to get a quick quote
to calculate the premium based on your property value, and to request cover
from First Title Insurance once you have the details from your property purchase.
Other home insurance policies and extras
These may be optional or area-specific insurance types, or extra options for your home and contents policy. It can be worth considering them as they relate to your circumstances:
• Landlord insurance provides cover if you’re planning to rent your property out to tenants.
• Fire insurance can provide cover for homes in bushfire-risk areas, but also for household-related fires.
• Flood insurance could be a key consideration if your home is in a flood risk zone or situated next to a body of water.
• Motor burnout insurance can provide cover if white goods or electrical appliances are damaged by events like a power surge or excessive current.
• Accidental damage insurance can cover loss or damage to your home and contents due to a number of events, such as lightning, theft, falling trees, vandalism and storm and rainwater.