Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.

Home and contents insurance, depending on your level of cover, is there to protect your home, inside and out when something unexpected happens. If you’re buying a new home, it may be ideal to arrange insurance before the settlement or once the contract has been signed.  

However, more often than not, important investments like home and contents insurance can end up being buried somewhere in a filing cabinet and don’t see the light of day until it’s time to make a claim.

The last thing you want to happen is for your claim to be denied on the basis that your policy is not up to date or that due to a change in your circumstances the policy coverage is no longer applicable. This is why we want to encourage you to get the most out of your cover by following these four simple steps.

Ensure your policy reflects your circumstances

Changes to your lifestyle must be reflected in your home and contents insurance and letting your insurer know about these changes is an important step in getting the most out of your policy.

For instance, you should contact your insurer before you renovate your property or start a home business. Make sure you check with your insurer because your policy may have some limits and exclusions that apply, and these may impact you during claim time.  Or your change in circumstances may fall outside of the insurers’ guidelines and you may need to arrange alternative cover.

Significant life events can also impact your policy. For example, if you’re leaving the property unoccupied for a period  of time, you must let your insurer know so that they have an accurate depiction of the insured address. This is so they can inform you of any changes in cover and additional conditions, etc.

Keep in mind that failing to disclose relevant information when you buy, vary, or renew a policy — or providing false or misleading information to the insurer regarding a claim — may impact your cover and ability to claim.

Consider optional extras

A good way to get the most out of your home and or contents insurance is to regularly review your cover and consider if it’s suited to your needs. This includes considering any optional extras that you can add to your policy.

Some of Budget Direct’s optional covers for home insurance and contents include:

It’s important that you have adequate cover to ensure that you are not left in a worse position by any unexpected events.

Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for more information.

Keep track of your assets and value new items

If you ever need to make a large claim, then having photos or videos of everything you own can help to remind you of items that you may have forgotten about over time. A good place to start is to evaluate each item and collect records so that you can provide proof of ownership to your insurer should you need to make a claim.

Proof of ownership can include: 

  • Sales receipts
  • Closeup photographs and videos
  • A certificate of authenticity
  • A valuation

Creating a home inventory will make it a lot easier to keep track of your belongings and provide extra peace of mind in the event of a claim.  It’s a great idea to give a copy of these to someone who doesn’t live at the same address, to help provide evidence of your belongings when you need them.

Budget Direct’s Home insurance calculator and Contents insurance calculator can estimate how much it will cost to replace your home or its contents based on the information you provide.

Keep security devices well maintained and activated

Unfortunately, there are places in Australia that have higher property crime rates than others, which is why many people invest in home security.

Whether that be alarms systems, cameras, door locks, or outside spotlights, home security is there to act as a deterrent and help protect you and your home and contents.

If you invest in security equipment, it must be regularly checked and in good working order. Footage from security cameras could potentially be used as evidence to support a home insurance claim and/or contents (should you ever need to make one).

Related article: Tips to improve home security

Keep your home and contents in good condition

It is important to keep your home and contents well maintained to ensure you are fulfilling the conditions of your policy.

As one of the conditions of your policy, keeping your home in good condition may impact your cover if it’s not upheld. For your general understanding, a house that’s in a good condition has no damage, defects, or faults that pose a risk to what’s included in your policy.

To help keep your house in a good condition we’d recommend having a regular maintenance calendar throughout the year. This will help you establish if you need to clear any debris or broken tiles from your roof, make sure that all alarms are in working order and when would be the best time to book a pest inspection.

Outside of that calendar, make sure you also address any unplanned maintenance promptly to avoid any unexpected damage that may affect your cover.

If you don’t fix any faults or damage to your home or contents (that you’re aware of) this means that your home may not be in good condition at the time of the loss, and it may affect your cover.

Remember, you should always put your safety first and don’t hesitate to hire a professional if the circumstances aren’t safe enough for you to complete a home maintenance task.

Protect your home with Australia’s most award-winning home insurer

Get the most from your home and contents cover by getting a combined 30%^ off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new policy online with Budget Direct.

Not only do we guarantee the quality of any authorised repairs, but we also provide affordable cover to help you still have enough left over for your home maintenance.

Voted Canstar’s national award for ‘Outstanding Value Home & Contents Insurance’ five years in a row, be confident in the cover you purchase.

See more of Budget Direct’s home buying guides.