What is a home insurance excess?

A home insurance excess is the amount you pay towards each claim you make on your home and/or contents insurance policy.

For example, if your home insurance excess was $500 and your damage bill was $10,000, you’d pay $500 and we’d pay $9,500. If the damage was $500 or less, you’d pay the entire bill.

In some circumstances, additional excesses may also apply.

What’s the purpose of the excess?

The excess is designed mainly to eliminate small claims that have a high administrative cost relative to the value of the claim. This in turn helps to keep your premiums down.

If I make a home and/or contents claim, what will my excess be?

If you make a claim on your Budget Direct home and/or contents insurance, you’ll be required to pay a Basic Excess and any additional excesses that apply (see table below).

Excess Amount
Basic $100 to $5,0001
Based on perceived risk; may not apply to your policy
Subject to underwriting criteria
Tenant default2 4 weeks rent
Theft and malicious damage by tenants2 4 weeks rent
Earthquake or tsunami $500
  1. You’ll be asked to nominate an excess within this range when you get a quote and buy a policy.
  2. This excess applies only if your policy includes these optional landlord covers.

Your certificate of insurance shows you the amount and types of excess that apply to your cover; they can also be viewed in your online account.

If I make a claim for loss or damage to my home and contents, will I have to pay two excesses?

No – you’ll be required to pay only the higher of the two Basic excesses you have selected.

When do I pay excess on home insurance?

We’ll ask you to pay the excess before we repair and/or replace your home and/or contents.

Can I change my home insurance excess?

Yes – Budget Direct home and/or contents insurance policyholders can change their Basic Excess at any time; Choose an excess between $100 and $5,000; by increasing your excess, you could lower your premium. Always choose an excess you’ll be comfortable to pay at claim time.

To change your excess, contact us or log into your online account and edit your policy.

Can I pay my home or contents insurance excess in instalments?

Normally, a home or contents insurance excess is paid as a lump sum, not in instalments.  If you can’t pay it as a lump sum due to financial hardship, you can ask us whether you might be entitled to assistance. If you are, we may give you longer to pay the excess or allow you to pay it in instalments, for example.

Get a home contents insurance quote online