When it comes to insurance, it’s important to know what’s covered and what’s not. Some cover will be included as standard, and often there will be options to increase your cover.
While cover can differ from one policy to the next, here are nine common home insurance exclusions to be aware of.
1. Empty homes
Homes that are left unoccupied for extended periods may be excluded from cover. Check with your insurer should you be planning on being away for a while.
Usually, only people named on your policy are covered – which means house-swapping or some rental agreements can be risky. If you’re using a service like Airbnb, check whether they offer insurance to help fill the gap.
3. Lack of maintenance
It’s important to keep your home and contents well maintained and in good condition. Home insurance does not cover general wear and tear or lack of maintenance.
4. Existing damage
If your home has any existing problems that contributed to the damage, your policy is unlikely to cover you.
5. Weather damage
While some policies cover floods and storms, it’s not unusual for special conditions or exclusions to apply. Some policies will allow you to opt out of flood cover completely. So if you live in an area prone to floods and storms, you should check the policy coverage to help decide whether it’s right for you.
6. Animal damage
Damage caused by dogs, cats or other animals kept in your home typically isn’t covered under a standard home insurance policy.
7. Acts of war
Any damage or costs incurred by an act of war usually won’t be covered by an insurer.
If you’re renovating your home you may need to let your insurer know, especially if the value or extent of the renovations is significant. Most insurers won’t cover damage caused by or connected with the renovations. You may need to take out a specialised policy or see what’s covered by your builder’s insurance.
9. Home businesses
If you run a business from your home, any stock you keep at home may not be covered.
Other things to know
Keep in mind this isn’t a complete list of exclusions. What’s not covered can vary from one policy to another.
An insurance policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS) provides a complete picture of what you will and won’t be covered for. Make sure you read it carefully before taking out any policy.