Your home and belongings are some of your most important assets. And it only takes something like a flooded pipe to ruin your carpets and furniture, or a break-in to lose valuable items. So it pays to get the right protection. Here are five simple ways to help you choose home and contents insurance that will be there when you need it most.

  1. Make sure you’re covered for whatever happens

    You’ve probably heard the stories about people who thought they were fully insured. But when a flood or bushfire destroyed their home, they found out that they weren’t covered for those events. Some insurers exclude certain events to offer cheaper insurance rates. But make sure that your insurance will be there when you need it — including for accidental damage, hailstorms, fire and flood.

  2. Make sure you have enough to completely rebuild

    Some insurers ask you to estimate the cost of rebuilding your home, and that’s all they’ll pay you for. For most of us this is a hard thing to do — and could see you being left short of what you really need. To make sure you’re fully covered, look for insurance that pays the full cost of rebuilding, including clearing debris from the site before you build, plus architect and surveyor fees.

  3. Insist on new for old replacement

    If your belongings are damaged or stolen, you want to be sure that you can afford to replace them. So it’s important to get new for old replacement on your policy. So, if your old television is damaged in a power surge, you can replace it with a new one. Without new for old replacement, you’ll only get the value of your old television, which could be far less.

  4. Understand when your policy won’t pay out

    All insurance policies have exclusions — the things for which they won’t pay a claim. This isn’t to be tricky — it’s to help keep the costs of insurance down. It’s important to understand these exclusions up-front, so you know what you’re paying for. And they’re easy to find — just check the Product Disclosure Statement.