What is home and contents insurance?

Last updated on January 30, 2024
Confused about what’s covered under your home and contents insurance? Here’s what a typical home and contents policy may cover, along with tips to get the most out of your policy.
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Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, your home and personal belongings are precious. Life can be unpredictable at times and the cost of repairing or replacing your important assets can be financially and emotionally distressing. Having the right home and contents insurance can help cover you against financial costs from unexpected events.

Home and contents insurance helps cover you financially in case something happens to the property you own and reside in (known as the building), or your personal belongings inside your home (known as the contents). There are two main types of home insurance:

Building insurance

Building insurance covers the physical structures that make up your home building. This includes the house itself, along with your garage, fences, paved driveways, and even fixtures like dishwashers, hot water systems and air conditioners. Learn more about building insurance.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance covers the belongings you have in your home. This includes your furniture, curtains, internal blinds and carpets, as well as electrical appliances, and even your clothes, shoes and handbags. Learn more about contents insurance.

Most insurers have the ability to combine home and contents cover under one policy. With Allianz, you can save up to 10% when you buy both Building and Contents cover and combine them on the one policy.1,2

Home and contents insurance covers loss or damage caused by ‘insured events’, sometimes also called ‘defined events’). The list of insured events varies among insurers and policies. That's why it’s important to check your policy so you know what you’re covered for. 

Generally, most home insurance policies cover insured events such as:  

  • Fire or smoke
  • Theft or burglary
  • Storm and cyclone, rainwater or runoff
  • Lightning
  • Water or other liquid damage
  • Impact damage
  • Earthquake or tsunami
  • Accidental breakage of glass or ceramic items
  • Vandalism or malicious damage
  • Explosion
  • Riots or civil commotion

Your home may or may not be covered by flood damage under your policy, so it’s important to check this with your insurer. You can also check whether there are any exclusion periods for certain insured events.

If you're an Allianz customer, you can find a list of everything we cover in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Here are some of the lesser-known Allianz Home and Contents Insurance and Allianz Contents Insurance inclusions, or details:

  • If you can’t live in your home because it's been damaged by an insured event like bushfires,3 we’ll cover the cost of your temporary accommodation. This will be for up to 12 months, covering up to 10% of the buildings or contents sum insured, as applicable. We'll also pay up to $500 for your pets to stay in commercial boarding.4
  • If your keys are stolen, or you believe they've been copied, we’ll pay up to $1,000 to replace your locks or cylinders on any external doors or windows.
  • Up to $20 million legal liability cover. This provides cover if you’re found liable to pay compensation to someone because you’ve accidently injured them or damaged their property.

Under our Home Building Insurance if your home is totally destroyed by an insured event such as a bushfire3:

  • You can choose to rebuild in a different location, or not to rebuild at all, if we agree to cover the cost of rebuilding.
  • We’ll help with the cost of environmental upgrades such as installing rainwater tanks and solar power systems. If your building needs to be rebuilt,5 we'll pay up to $5,000 after the deduction of any government or council rebates.

Under our Home Contents Insurance:

  • If you can’t live in your home because of damage caused by an insured event, such as a storm, we'll pay to move and store your undamaged contents. This will be for the time necessary to repair or rebuild your home building, up to a maximum of 12 months. The most we’ll pay is the remaining balance of your contents sum insured after we've paid your claim.
  • If your cat or dog is injured in a road accident, we’ll pay up to $500 in any one period of insurance for related veterinary expenses.
  • If your fridge or freezer breaks down and you lose your perishable food or medicine, we’ll cover the cost to replace it. If the spoilage is due to a natural disaster (declared by Allianz, the government or the Insurance Council of Australia), we’ll pay up to $500.
  • We’ll also cover property belonging to your guests, visitors or domestic helpers if it’s lost or damaged in the same insured event that you’re claiming for. We’ll pay up to $5,000.

This is a summary only of some of the features and benefits available on Allianz Home Insurance, as well as some of the exclusions. Before deciding on a policy, carefully consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Supplementary PDS (where applicable) which set out the standard terms, conditions, limits and exclusions.

If a standard home insurance policy doesn’t quite meet your needs, you can customise your cover by adding optional covers for an additional cost. Check the Product Disclosure Statement for what's available to be added as an optional cover.

Here are some of our optional covers:

Flood cover3

If you're eligible, this covers your building and contents for loss or damage caused by:

  • Flood
  • Flood water, combined with runoff and rainwater

It also covers loss or damage caused by the following, if it’s caused directly by and occurs within 72 hours of a flood:

  • Soil movement, including erosion
  • Landslide
  • Mudslide
  • Subsidence

Portable Contents cover

This covers your portable items, e.g. wallets, glasses, jewellery, cameras and mobile phones,6 from loss or damage outside your home. They may be lost due to theft or an accident. This is valid Australia-wide or for up to 120 days worldwide when you’re temporarily outside Australia.

Accidental Damage

This covers you for accidental damage caused by sudden, unforeseen and unintended events. This isn’t limited to specified insured events and automatically includes motor burnout.

Motor Burnout

This covers you if an electrical current damages your domestic household electrical motors, such as your fridge, freezer or washing machine, up to 10 years old.

If you’re renting the property you live in, you won’t need building insurance, but you can insure your belongings with contents insurance for renters. Home Contents insurance covers the cost of replacing your contents, such as your furniture, electrical appliances, and even your clothing, if they're lost or damaged in an insured event. Learn more about Contents insurance for renters.

Buying a property as an investment rather than a place to live is a great way to meet personal financial goals. Landlord insurance can help reduce the risks that come with owning an investment property.

If your property is damaged by an insured event, landlord insurance covers the costs of replacement or repairs to the building, and any contents you provide for your tenants to use. Learn more about the specific features of landlord insurance.

When you take out a new home insurance policy, calculating the ‘sum insured’ - the cost to rebuild your property and replace its contents - can be beneficial. It’s important to be as accurate as possible, factoring in the actual cost to repair, replace or rebuild at today’s prices. This can help you avoid underinsurance, i.e. not having enough cover, and overinsurance, i.e., too much cover or cover that doesn’t suit your needs.
“If your estimate is too low, you may be underinsured, meaning you’ll need to pay for any shortfall out of your own pocket. On the other hand, being overinsured means you could be spending money on cover that doesn’t suit your needs.”

Keeping receipts, photos and even serial numbers of your belongings, and storing them somewhere safe, e.g. digitally, is a great habit to get into. They can help you work out how much to insure for and may also come in handy if you need to make a claim.

You can also use a home insurance calculator to help you estimate how much insurance you need. Using the latest replacement cost information, a good home insurance calculator will help you conveniently estimate the value of your home and contents.

Home and contents insurance can sometimes be tricky. Thankfully at Allianz, our team is available to help make the process simpler. Contact us or get a quick home insurance online quote online.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

1. Combined Discounts

A discount of up to 10% is applied to your premium when you combine Buildings and Contents on one Home Insurance policy, including for the following optional covers if selected: Motor Burnout and Accidental Damage cover. The combined discount doesn't apply to Landlord policies, Flood or Portable Contents optional cover.

2. Minimum premiums may apply

Any discounts may be subject to rounding and only apply to the extent that any minimum premium isn't reached. If you’re eligible for more than one discount, Allianz applies them in a predetermined order. This means the effect of applying any subsequent discount will be reduced.

For example, the aggregate effect of applying two discounts consecutively means that you won't see the full benefit of both these discounts.

Discounts don't apply to taxes or government charges. No discounts are applied to the optional cover: Domestic Workers' Compensation (if available and selected).

3. 72-hour exclusion period may apply

We don’t provide cover for any loss of or damage to your property caused by cyclone, flood, grassfires and bushfires, during the first 72 hours after you first purchase a policy or increase your cover under an existing policy. For full details of conditions and exclusions please refer to the relevant PDS.

4. Alternative accommodation

Covers weekly equivalent rent. Up to 10% of Building or Contents sum insured, up to a maximum of 12 months and up to $500 for your pets.

This is an extra benefit we pay in addition to your building sum insured. We don’t pay additional alternative accommodation costs under the contents section if we’ve paid it under the buildings section. No excess applies to this benefit.

5. Making your home building environmentally friendly

These are extra benefits we pay in addition to your building sum insured. No excess applies to these benefits.

6. Portable Contents

Some portable contents must be specified on your policy schedule as Listed Portable Contents to be covered.

Allianz acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work across Australia. We pay our respect to First Nations Elders past and present.

Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website. We do not provide any form of advice if you call us to enquire about or purchase a product.

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 is the insurer of any general insurance products offered, and Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited ABN 27 076 033 782 AFS Licence No. 296559 is the insurer of any life insurance products offered. Each entity is responsible for any statements and representations made about its products, on this website.