Home Insurance Comparison: How to Find the Best Policies in Australia
Home > Home Insurance > Home Insurance Comparison: How to Find the Best Policies in Australia

Home Insurance Comparison: How to Find the Best Policies in Australia

Katie Douglass

Katie Douglass

26/03/2021 • 10 minute read

The Oiyo team works hard to ensure the quality and accuracy of our articles. Learn about our editorial process.

Quality Checked

On this page:

Whether it’s your first time or your seventh, if you’ve just purchased a new home you’re probably weighing up which insurance cover might be right for you. Considering everyone’s situation is different, it can be tricky to get the facts and find the best policy for your circumstances. Fortunately, we’ve put together this home insurance comparison guide to help make things a little simpler.

What is home and contents insurance?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of home insurance comparison, let’s start with the basics. Home and contents insurance – also known as property insurance, house insurance, or homeowners insurance – helps cover the costs of repairing or replacing damage to your home and belongings. This insurance policy is designed to protect your property from damage caused by insured events or defined events. This includes, but is not limited to, floods, fire, and storm damage. Home insurance might also cover the cost of legal liability, should someone be injured while visiting your property.

Dramatic weather events like floods, cyclones, and bushfires, are on the rise in Australia as a result of climate change. Making it more important than ever to be financially prepared for the unexpected. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) addressed the impact of climate change on insurance in a public statement last year:

“The impacts of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions are becoming increasingly evident through the occurrence of more frequent and intense extreme weather events, sea-level rise and global mean temperature increase...climate change presents several concurrent pressures for the insurance industry and wider Australian community.

Whether it’s a major weather event, or even something as simple as a broken fridge, home insurance can prepare you for the worst.

What does home and contents insurance cover?

Home insurance

There are many things home insurance covers including insured events and accidental damage. These include but are not limited to:

  • Legal liability
  • Damage or loss caused by natural disasters (e.g. fire, flood, storm), theft, vandalism, etc.
  • Underinsurance gap cover
  • Emergency repairs
  • Demolition
  • Temporary accommodation in the event of your home being unlivable
  • Mortgage discharge fees
  • Accidental glass breakage
  • Fusion damage

You’ll find most insurance policies might include default flood cover, regardless of where your home is located. In fact, flood is an insured event that has a standard, industry-wide definition which is:

The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake, river, creek, or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified, or any reservoir, canal, or dam

However, actions of the sea – high tides, storm surges, and tidal waves – aren’t likely to be included in most insurance policies. If you live near the ocean, it’s important to check with your insurance provider if flood damage will be covered in your policy and to what extent.

The best home insurance policies will often include standard optional extra cover and other features. We’ve listed some common extras below.

Ancillary rebuilding costs Does it include an architect’s fee or the cost of complying with building regulations?
Debris removal and demolition Is removal of debris and trees included?
Environmental upgrades Do you have water tanks or solar panels that could be covered?
Electric motor burnout This could cover costs of faulty electrical appliances, such as a washing machine or fridge. Some policies even include food spoilage.
Cover while moving house This can cover your property in between moving addresses.
Guest contents This is in the event of your guests’ property being lost or damaged by an insured event in your home.
Temporary accommodation Is this provided in the event of not being able to live in your house temporarily after an insured event?

Contents insurance

Contents insurance covers the cost of items inside your home. It provides financial protection against damage, theft, or loss of personal possessions. Household items, including jewellery and home office equipment, are usually automatically covered under your policy. If you have particularly expensive items, such as fine jewellery and artwork, you may need to specifically list them in your policy. Some insurers may offer a policy that combines contents insurance with home insurance.

There are two types of contents insurance that may affect the cost of premiums — value of your belongings and new-for-old. Some contents insurance policies may cover the value of your belongings, however this could depreciate over time. This means the money you receive from your insurance provider may not cover the total loss of replacing or repairing your items.

The new-for-old type, usually a more expensive premium, means that the full cost of replacing your belongings is covered. A bonus with choosing this type of insurance  is that the cost may be even higher than what your items were originally valued at.

How much does home and contents insurance cost?

Home and contents insurance varies state by state in Australia and even between specific areas. For example, if your home is in an area prone to floods or bushfires, you might expect to pay more for premiums. To help give you an insight into how much your insurance may cost, here’s a breakdown of the average annual home and contents insurance premiums in Australia.

Please note, the information shown in the following table is based on quotes obtained from Canstar (September 2020). Premiums are based on sum insured values of $550,000 for buildings and $50,000 for contents. Actual prices may differ. Ensure you check upfront with your insurance provider to further understand if their product meets your needs.

State Average cost of cover
New South Wales $1,347
Queensland $4,349
Victoria $1,204
South Australia $1,091
Tasmania $1,047
Western Australia $1,328

*Prices are subject to change over time.

5 ways you could reduce your premiums

1. Purchase online

You’ll find many insurers may offer discounts if you buy their policy online. For example, as of August 2020, St George offers a discount of up to 15% if you purchase online, while Budget Direct offers 30% off.

2. Combine policies

You could also look into combining different types of insurance policies (eg; car insurance and home insurance) that are offered by the insurer together. While this is a clever way to save, make sure that all policies included are suitable for your needs.

3. Shop around

Consider shopping around and getting quotes from more than one insurer, as some may try to match or beat competitors premiums.

4. Increase your excess

If you want to save more on premiums, consider increasing your excess. Excess is the amount you pay towards each insurance claim you make on your policy. In a nutshell, the higher the excess you pay, the lower your premium may be.

5. Install security features

According to Allianz, some insurers may decrease the cost of premiums if you install safety and security features such as security screens, additional locks, and alarms.

How to compare policies

Now we know what home insurance is, let’s take a look at the types on offer, and how much it might cost for you. The next step in your home insurance comparison is to determine which policy could be the best one for you.

While there’s no one perfect policy for everyone, there are some key factors you can take into account. To help you find the right policy for your needs, you may wish to consider the following questions:

The type of cover you need
  • Choose the type of insurance cover you need — is it building cover or contents cover? Or both?
What is in the policy?
  • What are the defined events?
  • What is the claims process?
  • Is accidental breakage included?
  • Is storm cover included?
  • Are there building inclusions?
  • Does it include underinsurance gap cover?
  • What other benefits are included? Have a look at extra features such as debris removal and demolition, electric motor burnout, or temporary accommodation.
How much cover do you need?
  • First figure out what your sum insured amount should be to avoid underinsuring. A sum insured figure is the dollar value to completely repair, rebuild and replace everything.
  • Make sure to check if the cost of expenses is included or covered on top of your sum insured amount.
  • If you are combining home and contents insurance, you’ll need to list two sum insured figures.
  • Look at the insurer’s calculator to work out the sum insured figure you’ll need.
How much will the policy pay out?
  • It depends on the type of policy — is it a sum insured or safety net policy?
  • Sum insured policies provide cover up to the amount specified on the insurance certificate to repair or rebuild your home and contents.
  • Safety net policies will pay a specified percentage above the sum insured amount. This could be as much as 30%.

The best home and contents insurance policies in Australia

We’ve put together a table of the top home and contents insurance policies in Australia to help you with your home insurance comparison. Here, you’ll find what each insurance company covers, doesn’t cover, and the cost of claims.

Please note, the information shown in the following table reflects the current rates offered by insurance providers. Products are ranked by their legal liability cost as of August 2020. Ensure you check upfront with your insurer provider to further understand if their product meets your needs.

Insurer/Company Type of Cover Claim Costs
ANZ Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Underinsurance protection

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Contents temporarily removed from home

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✔ Full Building Replacement

✔ Cover for Strata Title Property

Legal Liability: $30,000,000

Food Spoilage: reasonable cost

Guests Contents: $7,500

Tools of Trade: $0

Jewellery: $3,000

Home Office Contents: reasonable cost

St George Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Underinsurance protection

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Contents temporarily removed from home

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✖ Full Building Replacement

✖ Cover for Strata Title Property

Legal Liability: $20,000,000

Food Spoilage: $2,000

Guests Contents: $5,000

Tools of Trade: $3,000

Jewellery: $20,000

Home Office Contents: $15,000

Budget Direct Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Underinsurance protection

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Contents temporarily removed from home

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✖ Full Building Replacement

✖ Cover for Strata Title Property

Legal Liability: $20,000,000

Food Spoilage: $500

Guests Contents: $500

Tools of Trade: $2,000

Jewellery: $5,000

Home Office Contents: $12,000

Westpac Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Underinsurance protection

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Contents temporarily removed from home

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✖ Full Building Replacement

✖ Cover for Strata Title Property

Legal Liability: $20,000,000

Food Spoilage: $2,000

Guests Contents: $5,000

Tools of Trade: $3,000

Jewellery: $20,000

Home Office Contents: $15,000

Real Top Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Contents temporarily removed from home

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✔ Cover for Strata Title Property

✖ Underinsurance protection

✖ Full Building Replacement

Legal Liability: $20,000,000

Food Spoilage: $1,000

Guests Contents: $1,000

Tools of Trade: $2,000

Jewellery: $5,000

Home Office Contents: $10,000

Virgin Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Underinsurance protection

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Contents temporarily removed from home

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✖ Full Building Replacement

✖ Cover for Strata Title Property

Legal Liability: $20,000,000

Food Spoilage: $500

Guests Contents: $500

Tools of Trade: $2,000

Jewellery: $5,000

Home Office Contents: $12,000

Coles Home and Contents Insurance ✔ Fire, storm, lightning, earthquake, and theft damage

✔ Rebuilding and repairs

✔ Accidental damage to home or belongings

✔ Flood cover

✔ Malicious damage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Removal of debris and trees

✔ Electrical motor burnout

✔ Outdoor contents

✖ Underinsurance protection

✖ Contents temporarily removed from home

✖ Full Building Replacement

✖ Cover for Strata Title Property

Legal Liability: $20,000,000

Food Spoilage: $500

Guests Contents: $1,000

Tools of Trade: $0

Jewellery: $5,000

Home Office Contents: $0

*Rates are subject to change over time.

Want to learn more?

Enjoyed this article on home insurance comparison? Here at Oiyo, we’re dedicated to empowering you with the knowledge and tools to make smart decisions with your money. If you enjoyed this article and want more information on other types of insurance, including life insurance and health insurance, check out our other articles and easy-to-read guides!

Oiyo is a consolidated online resource, we are not financial advisors. We work with a range of industry professionals and compliance check our articles to ensure factual accuracy. However, we do not provide professional financial advice. Consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented in this article relate to your unique circumstances.


Join our mailing list

Stay up to date with Oiyo’s financial tips and take control of your finances.

Finance can vary from state to state, so we ask for yours to ensure we're providing the right info.


Katie Douglass

Written by Katie Douglass

Katie Douglass is the Communications Manager at Oiyo and a writer. In recent years, Katie's work has appeared in publications such as Marie Claire, InStyle, and THE ICONIC. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Fashion Communication & Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology. At Oiyo, Katie is responsible for overseeing editorial strategy.

More about Katie Douglass