10 questions about home insurance answered
My Saint Bernard, Bruno tore apart and ruined my friend’s lounge.
My kids accidentally smashed our TV screen.
Is that covered by my home and contents insurance?
Knowing exactly what’s covered and what’s not in a home insurance policy is crucial before making the purchase.
Understanding what is and isn’t covered will help you make an informed decision on purchasing the right policy for you and your needs, according to QBE Householders National Product Manager, Angelo Colosimo.
”You also need to take the right preventative steps to avoid damage to your home or belongings that may not be covered,” he said.
We’ve compiled the answers to some of the most common things people want to know about home insurance*.
It depends on how the roof was damaged.
The purpose of home insurance is to cover people if they experience loss or damage due to an insured event which generally is an unexpected major event like a fire or storm.
Therefore, you may not be covered if the damage or loss could have been prevented if you had maintained your home.
Angelo says it’s key to be wary when damage occurs due to an event and there’s been a lack of maintenance on your property. You could find you may not be covered.
“If a storm rolls in and damages your roof which also leads to water damage internally, then you may be covered for the repair of the roof and the resultant damage inside your property.
“However, if your roof was not properly maintained, for example it’s weathered and suffered a leak from deterioration or wear or tear, then your insurance may not cover the roof repair,” he says.
Yes, an engagement ring can be covered as part of your Contents insurance.
Under QBE’s standard Home Cover policy, jewellery is covered up to $1,500 per item as part of your Contents policy, but can also be specified as a high valuable item on your policy and you can opt to increase your required limit of coverage.
“You can also elect for coverage for your jewellery, such as an engagement ring, outside of your home. Known as portable contents, it’s an optional benefit you can take out as part of your Contents cover,” says Angelo.
Unfortunately, home insurance will not cover damage caused by termites and other pests such as insects, mice or other animals considered as vermin.
Home insurance also won’t cover the costs to remove termites or other pests.
“It’s important to note that damage from mould, mildew, rot or another inherent defect will not be covered by your home insurance,” Angelo adds.
Legal liability or public liability is when you must pay damages for a person – be it a friend, neighbour, colleague or stranger - if they’re injured on your property.
But it’s not commonly known that your home and contents insurance provides cover for your legal liability.
“Common liability claims include trips and falls or trees or branches falling and causing damage, for example, hitting your neighbour’s garage.
“Another frequent claim is dog bites. If your dog bites another person or harms their pet, you may be liable for the vet and medical bills.
“However, you may be covered under your home insurance, if this occurred at your home, or under Contents insurance if away from your home,” Angelo says.
“By the same token, if your dog wreaks havoc in someone else’s house and damages their property, your contents insurance could cover the costs of that too.”
QBE’s home insurance policy offers a large amount of cover up to around $30 million.
If your window has been broken by accident, you can claim the cost of replacement or repair on your home insurance.
Home insurance will also cover accidentally broken glass that forms part of shower screens, permanent lighting fixtures, doors, pool fences or balcony surrounds and cooking surfaces like oven doors.
If your fence or gate is damaged by severe storm or flood, QBE will cover up to $10,000 towards the cost of loss or damage.
“But it’s important to note that if your fence or gate was in a poor and already damaged condition immediately prior to the incident, then you may not be covered,” Angelo warns.
If you share the fence with your neighbour, QBE will pay half of the cost to repair or replace a dividing fence.
“QBE will cover the cost of an accidentally broken TV screen only if you’ve chosen the Accidental Damage optional benefit as part of your Contents cover. Other similar items that would be covered as part of these Contents optional benefits include glassware, ornaments or vases,” Angelo says.
When a premium is calculated, there’s a range of variables at play that are taken into consideration.
Some of these factors include:
A mobile phone will be covered under your Contents policy if it’s damaged by an insured event such as being stolen or damaged by fire within your home.
Phones can also be specified as part of general portable contents for protection when you’re not at home.
Yes, according to Angelo.
“Home insurance can cover temporary accommodation if your home is destroyed after an insured incident and it’s unsafe or uninhabitable to live in.
“We’ll also look after your pets too by putting them up in a professional animal boarding home at the same time,” he says.
If you'd like to know more about what you're covered for under your policy, contact us on 13 25 77 or visit us in branch.
This article was originally published on the QBE website as https://www.qbe.com/au/news/am-i-covered-for-that-10-questions-about.
*The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. You should ensure you obtain and consider the policy wording or Product Disclosure Statement for the policy before you make any decision to buy it.
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