What Is Home & Contents Insurance?
Home and Contents Insurance doesn't have to be complicated, but it pays to know the basics and make sure you understand that not all insurance companies and policies are the same, despite what some might tell you!
At its core, home and contents insurance covers your home property and the contents within, for loss and damage as a result of a number of prescribed perils. In the industry, we generally refer to the two main types of cover as Defined or Listed Events cover, and Accidental Damage cover.
Defined or Listed Events cover
This is usually the base level cover that an insurer offers, and provides cover for a list of insurable perils that occur at and/or to the insured property. They usually include fire, theft (from the insured property), impact, storm and water damage, and flood amongst a few other perils. This level of cover doesn't automatically include accidental loss or damage to your contents or building, however some insurers provide accidental damage or portables cover for certain items by listing them on the schedule. You will pay an additional premium for this.
Defined or Listed Events cover is usually a cheaper cover than Accidental Damage, however listing lots of items can quickly bring your premium up.
Accidental Damage cover
This cover is a more comprehensive level of cover as it includes the insured perils covered under the Defined or Listed Events policy, as well as accidental loss or damage to your building and/or contents and valuables. Think red wine on the carpet, or the kids dropped the iPad on the kitchen floor. These sorts of accidental damages are only covered under this level of policy (or if you have a Defined or Listed Events cover and the items are specified on the schedule).
An Accidental Damage policy allows for cover for contents and valuables away from your home and usually offers higher sub-limits for valuable items than the lower cover.
Understanding your cover
You can find the types of events that your insurance policy (or one you're considering taking out) in the insurer's Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). The PDS clearly sets out what you are and are not covered for under the policy. It will also state any additional benefits you may get under the cover, as well as optional covers you can select for an additional premium.
Working with a broker on your home insurance is a sure-fire way to make sure you're properly informed about your cover, aware of the options available to you and that you have an advocate in your corner at claim time.
This article originally appeared on MeyerInsure - Blog and has been published here with permission.