CHOICE membership

Home and contents insurance review


Yes just looking at some previous comments Brendan. There is never enough information when getting a quote… AAMI’s renewal for the building is $989000. I got quotes based on a new customer - If you use their calculation tool it comes up with $840000. So got a quote for $840,000, then a quote for full replacement and the full replacement amount was actually cheaper than the $840000. Which tells me the $840,000 is above what full replacement would be (and I know this would be the case because if we doubled what it cost us to build our home 5 years ago it still wouldn’t be $840000) It’s frustrating because it scares you into over insuring… RACV’s calculation came in at $665,000.


Hi @kathy2

I went through the hoops when trying to insure our home, and this is what I found out.

Guides are not accurate. Neither are the templates they provide. They are just memory joggers, guides, and indicators.

If you want to know the true value of your home get a certified valuer (prices vary, so get quotes) to do a valuation of your building (& contents if you are doing that too). The certified valuation is a very good baseline, and accepted by all insurers. The cost is worth it, because then the insurer can not take issue with whether you were correctly insured. Also, then there is no argument about what quality level fittings were

Once you have a certified valuation for your building then on top of that you & and the insurer need to add provision for costs (assuming the home is a write off) for things like:
. access for heavy construction equipment/vehicles to the home may entail removal & clearance of undamaged fencing, structures, etc.
. demolition and clearance of the existing building & building materials
. accessing or re-doing surveys and architectural plans
. cost of building material and building (including all trades) to meet current building codes
. inspection fees etc.
. fit out at current costs
. accommodation costs for you and the family while all this is going on
. a small amount of emergency clothing, bathroom products, etc. to keep you going after home is destroyed
. Council fees
. etc.

So you will see that the insurance value will need to be well above the valuation figure for your home.

Of course don’t forget to insure your home’s contents which are not fixtures and fittings such as curtains & tracks, kitchen appliances. etc. The valuation will also help with whether you had cheap run-of-the-mill kitchen appliances vs expensive ones.

Hope that helps.


Some advice to help manage your home insurance if you go away on holidays for 60 days or more:


Could you also review policies for people who rent their whole home out on Airbnb for a few days to a few weeks please? I had policy with NRMA 2 years ago and they said I was covered when I was not there when I purchased the policy…and then when I rang to ask about claiming for new wash basin to replace the one that melted when guest put her heat wand on it & forgot about it, needless to say, they said I was not covered. NRMA have ShareCover now which requires separate policy for each lot of visitors @ approx $5 per day and duplicate some of the Body Corporate public liability. So now I have separate home & contents for me (Coles or Woolworths offer best value) plus the additional cost of ShareCover. Airbnb are not much help as if I just rented room out ( and stayed home), the Coles or Woolworths house and contents policy would cover me


I’ll be happy to pass on this request @gwenhigg :+1:


I have always placed all my insurances through an insurance broker. They are acting FOR you, and remunerated by a tradition within the insurance industry out of a small charge paid by the insurance company. They aren’t dependent on the insurers - they act in your interests - and it costs you nothing.
When I was a kid, one of the Australian majors dudded my mother, after Adelaide’s first recorded earthquake. Their pathetic excuse for refusing payment was so utterly ridiculous that it left a very negative impression in my mind, about insurance companies. When I left university and joined the workforce, several well known insurers went bust, leaving policy holders by the thousand with no means of recovering their claims. Over the years I have seen a succession of similar negative performances by supposedly respectable insurers.
So to deal with them, blind, as a consumer, without professional advice, has always struck me as utter nonsense.
The experiences I have had over the past 50 years, dealing with insurers through my broker, has been the exact opposite. I have needed to make several claims during that period, and the insurers’ performance has been quite extraordinarily good. I have needed advice on security, and it was instantly and comprehensively given. I have needed extensions for various reasons, and they were granted on the spot - the additional premium for the last one I requested was a fraction of normal travel insurance charges!
Frankly, I think it’s a mug’s game, dealing direct with insurance companies, without the advice and assistance of a reputable insurance broker.