How do I make a home insurance claim?
When making a claim on your Budget Direct home and/or contents policy, please follow these steps:
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimise further loss, damage or liability.
- Report any theft (or attempted theft), malicious damage or vehicle impact to the police as soon as possible.
Lodge a claim, providing us with the full details of the incident and any relevant supporting documents.
What happens in an emergency?
If there is an emergency in your home that requires urgent attention, a 'make safe ' can be completed. This is to make sure that any risk to occupants or further damage to the property is removed and the site is secure. In most cases, a ‘make safe’ is a temporary measure and not a final repair.
Am I covered for emergency repairs?
If an 'event' is threatening the safety of your household members or is continuing to cause damage, we ask (where it is safe to do so) that you take reasonable action to prevent further damage and secure your home where possible.
If you appoint a tradesperson for an emergency repair then you can submit your expenses for review as part of your claim. Make sure that you document the repair and save invoices, receipts, and photographs taken at the time of the incident.
What should I do with my flood-affected contents and carpet?
- Document the Damage
You can start cleaning up, but first take pictures or videos of damage to the property and possessions, and keep samples of damaged materials and fabrics as evidence for your claim (for carpet, around a square meter should be fine, if it is safe to keep).
- Remove Water and Mud-Damaged Contents
You are able to remove water or mud-damaged materials from your property that might pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings (if the item is damaged and may be repairable or you are retaining destroyed items, store them somewhere where they do not pose a health risk).
- Keep a Record of Items
You should make a list of all the damaged items and provide as much information as you can. This could include a description of the item, brand, model, and serial number.
- Purchase New Items
If you have to purchase new items immediately to get you back on your feet, like a washing machine, fridge, or essential items then you’re able to do so. Please keep your receipts and if your Contents Insurance provides cover for these items and your claim for these items is accepted, we’ll provide you with a cash settlement for the covered items instead of replacing them.
- Replacement of Non-Essential Items
If the replacement is not urgent, please make a list with a short description of the item and details such as brand, where the item was purchased and receipts/ proof of purchase if possible. Photos of the damaged items and replacement quotes may also help with the replacement process.
Will COVID-19 impact my claim?
COVID-19 restrictions can impact material availability, trade capacity, and repair timeframes. It can also limit access for non-emergency repairs depending on the government and state-based advice regarding attendances and requirements in your area.
When this occurs, we will keep you informed of amendments to repair schedules and other changes and will work to return your home to normal as soon as possible.
A water pipe in my home has burst - what do I do?
Turn the water off at the mains and/or contact an emergency plumber to stop the leak.
Then call us on 1800 069 336 and we’ll arrange for the water and any damaged flooring to be removed and send an assessor to your home.
A tree has fallen on my house - what do I do?
If anyone in your house has been seriously injured, dial 000.
If the fallen tree threatens your family’s health and safety, contact your state emergency service on 132 500.
If it’s not an emergency, call us on 1800 069 336; we’ll arrange to get the tree removed after assessing the damage to your home.
Is water damage covered?
Your home is covered for damage caused by a storm or from escaping liquid.
We also offer Optional Flood cover. Subject to our underwriting rules, flood cover can be added to a policy when it is first purchased, partway through the policy, or when the policy is renewing.
Am I covered for flood?
Only if you have opted to add flood cover to your home insurance policy. If you do get our Flood Cover, upon acceptance of any flood claim we’ll pay to repair or replace damage to your flooded home and/or contents, up to your sum insured.
It’s important to note that we will not cover any loss or damage caused by flood within within 72 hours of you purchasing your policy:
- Started immediately after another policy covering the same risk, with the same level of cover ended, without a break in cover; or
- Started on the same day you bought your home or moved to a new address.
This is designed to stop people from taking out cover immediately before anticipated floods and then making a claim.
Am I covered for trees falling?
You are covered for the cost of removing any part of a tree that has or is causing damage to your home. However, the cost of removing or disposing of tree stumps, 'at risk' trees, or branches of trees that have not damaged your home will not be covered.
If a tree or part of a tree from your property is impacting a neighbour’s home, then it would be up to your neighbour to lodge a claim with their insurer or arrange removal of that part of the tree themselves.
It is important to note that you are not covered for loss or damage caused by the lopping or felling of trees when this is performed or authorised by you, your family, or a household member, unless completed by a professional tree removal business.
If I am a landlord, what am I covered for?
When you insure your home building and/or contents as a landlord, then your investment property is protected against loss or damage from our insured events.
When you have home insurance as a landlord the policy also includes the landlord benefits of:
- Loss of Rent (due to an insured event) - We provide cover for lost rental income if your tenanted home is damaged by an insured event. We will pay up to 10% of your home sum insured, for up to 12 months from the date the damage occurred.
- Landlord’s Contents - We provide cover for damage to some contents if your tenanted home is damaged by an insured event. This includes up to 5% of the home sum insured for floor coverings, internal window coverings, and light fittings.
For an additional premium you may be eligible to customise your landlord insurance when you add optional landlord cover to your policy:
- Tenant theft and Malicious Damage - For loss or damage as a result of a fire maliciously lit by your tenant and their visitors, we will pay up to the sums insured stated on your Insurance Certificate. For all other loss or damage, when we insure your home, we will pay up to $150,000 and when we insure your contents, we will pay up to $20,000
- Tenant Default - We will cover for up to 15 weeks net rental income until your building is re-tenanted or rental payments start again.
Is my mobile phone covered by my home contents insurance?
Budget Direct Contents Insurance covers mobile phones, laptops, and other gadgets for loss or damage inside your home by an insured event. This includes events like theft and storms but excludes accidental damage (e.g. due to you dropping your phone on the floor at home).
If you insure your mobile phone, laptop or tablets under optional specified personal effects, they will be covered for accidental loss or damage anywhere in Australia and New Zealand, and anywhere else in the world for up to 90 days of your departure from Australia.
If I run a home business what am I covered for?
Business activity is defined as any registered business or any activity that derives an income. This does not include working remotely from a home office.
You need to let us know if you are running a business from your home and what sort of business it is. If we agree to cover your home business we will cover anything that is normally covered by your Home policy, subject to standard limits and exclusions.
Tools or equipment you use for any trade or profession that you perform, or that are used to make an income, are considered tools of the trade and are subject to a policy limit. You are not covered for stock used in connection with any business, trade, or profession.
What is not covered?
Your insurance policy does not cover you for every event or situation and this is why it’s important to make sure you have the correct cover.
There are specific exclusions that apply to different Insured Events and Optional Covers which are listed under each Insured Event and Optional Cover in the PDS. Keep in mind that these specific exclusions apply in addition to the general exclusions which apply to all parts of your policy.
What are specified contents?
There are two ways to increase the limit of contents items on your policy, these include:
- Specified Contents - Items that you wish to insure for an amount higher than the stated policy limit within the home. These are;
- Carpets and rugs
- Jewellery and watches
- Collections and collectibles
- Specified Personal Effects - Personal items you might take with you away from home that you want extra cover for. You can choose to insure items cover in the following categories:
- Medical aids
- Musical instruments
- Jewellery and watches,
- Photographic equipment
- Sporting equipment
- Mobile phones
How do I know if it’s worth making a claim?
The decision to lodge a claim is completely up to you. If need be, a claim can be lodged and then withdrawn at a later date.
By lodging a claim we can proceed with an assessment and determine any costs involved with your claim. We will always notify you if the costs associated with the claim fall below your excess and will arrange a refund of your excess where applicable.
If I make a claim will my premium increase?
We consider a range of factors (including if you make a claim) before determining your annual insurance premium.
If you’re looking to save on your premium you can elect to increase your excess. However, this also means that you will need to pay a higher excess in the event of a claim. Always choose an excess you’ll be comfortable to pay at claim time.
Is there a time limit for making a home insurance claim?
There’s no time limit for making a claim on your Budget Direct home insurance, however we recommend you lodge your claim as soon as possible.
(Even if you don’t lodge your claim straight away, you must take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimise further loss or damage – otherwise, it could affect your claim.)