What is Home Insurance and What Does it Cover?


Take a look around your home — there’s the new flat screen TV you were so excited to show off to your mates. The lounge suite you bought after busting a gut at work. The white goods you could finally afford after scrubbing dishes by hand every night or making your weekly pilgrimage to the laundromat.

Those things aren’t just ‘stuff’ — they’re the direct result of your hard work. They make your home more comfortable, a place you love living in. At Youi, we get it, they’re important to you, and that means they’re important to us too.

But here’s the bad news. All of that stuff – your home and everything in it – could be taken away in an instant. Fires, floods, storms and other natural disasters can wreak unexpected havoc, causing everything from minor damage to total losses. Then there's the disasters of the human variety: thieves. In a single break-in, they can steal all the things you’ve spent a lifetime gathering.

It’s uncomfortable to think about, but risks like these exist everywhere. Even worse, they can’t be fully eliminated. They can, however, be mitigated – and that’s where home insurance comes in.

What is Home Insurance?

At the risk of stating the obvious, home insurance is insurance that protects, well … your home.

Most home insurance policies boil down to three types: building, contents and landlord.

Building insurance covers your home’s structure. Should you be unlucky enough to experience a theft, fire, earthquake, flood, storm or other disaster that physically damages your home, building insurance provides you the financial relief needed to rebuild and to seek temporary accommodation while doing so.

Youi’s home insurance, for example, covers for damage to your home’s structure due to:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Earthquake
  • Explosion
  • Riot
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Escaping Water
  • Impact
  • Intentional Damage

We also provide these benefits as standard with our building insurance policies:

  • Legal Liability
  • Emergency Repairs
  • Clean Up and Professional Fees
  • Temporary Accommodation
  • Burnout of Electric Motors
  • Building Modifications
  • Funeral Expenses
  • Broken Glass and Ceramics
  • Locks and Keys
  • Counselling Services

Optional cover is also available if you need additional insurance for accidental building damage.

Contents insurance covers all the goodies inside your home. It’s the yin to your building insurance’s yang (which is why the two are often sold together as ‘building and contents insurance’). Contents insurance won’t cover damage to your walls or roof. What it will do is reimburse you for damage caused to the items, such as your electronics, clothing and other personal effects.

Our contents cover offers cover for all of the following elements:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Earthquake
  • Explosion
  • Riot
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Escaping Water
  • Impact
  • Intentional Damage

We also provide these benefits as standard with our home contents insurance policies:

  • Legal Liability
  • Temporary Accommodation
  • Funeral Expenses
  • Contents Outside
  • Contents in Storage
  • Food Spoilage
  • Burnout of Electric Motors
  • Broken Glass and Ceramics
  • Locks and Keys
  • Contents in Transit
  • Cover While You Move
  • Sporting Awards
  • Multiple Births
  • Tenants Liability
  • Counselling Services

Again, optional cover can be purchased if you need additional insurance for accidental loss or damage, business items, a fixtures and fittings upgrade and contents in commercial storage.

Now, if you rent your property to others, it shouldn’t be a case of out of sight, out of mind when it comes to insurance. A landlord policy helps you protect your investment by covering damage to the property itself, as well as the income you’ll lose, should such damage occur.

Youi’s building policy can be tailored to provide landlord insurance, which provides cover for risks most commonly faced by property owners:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Earthquake
  • Explosion
  • Riot
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Escaping Water
  • Impact
  • Intentional Damage
  • Legal Liability
  • Emergency Repairs
  • Clean Up and Professional Fees
  • Burnout of Electric Motors
  • Broken Glass and Ceramics
  • Locks and Keys
  • Landlord's Loss of Rent
  • Landlord's Furnishings
  • Counselling Services

Available policy add-ons protect you in case your tenants cause damage, or if you lose money because they default on their payments.

To determine what type of home insurance policy will suit you best, you first need to understand how exactly it works. So, allow us to explain …

How Home Insurance Works

When you apply for a home insurance policy – whether you elect to quote building, contents, landlord policies or some combination of these three – you’ll be asked to provide information about the property you want to cover, including:

  • Details about your home’s construction
  • The estimated value to replace your home and/or its contents
  • The people who live in your home
  • Any security features built into your home
  • Your past insurance cover and claims history
  • Any optional coverage requests (such as an additional cover for jewellery)

So set aside some time, let's say half an hour, for a member of our sales team to take you through the process. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have to make sure you’re comfortable with the cover you’ve selected.

Once you’ve got your policy, it hangs out in the background, waiting to cover you in the unfortunate event that a disaster like the ones described above occurs. Should the worst happen, you’ll then lodge a claim with us, and we will determine if the claim fits within the terms of your policy. If it does, we’ll process your claim, keeping you updated along the way. In some cases, that might mean covering the cost of emergency repairs. In others, it could mean paying to replace your contents or repair any damage to your building.

Make sure you understand what kind of coverage you’re signing up for and how any covered losses will be handled when considering a new home insurance policy. At Youi, we take the time to get to know you, and because you have the benefit of being able to speak to a member of our sales team, you can make sure all of your questions are answered before signing on.

Choosing a Home Insurance Provider

Let’s get one thing straight: the most important thing is that you get building and/or contents coverage in place if you don’t have it already. Seriously, don’t go another day without some type of protection covering your home and all the items you’ve worked so hard to fill it with.

When it comes to home insurance, there’s no one size fits all approach. Who you choose to provide your policy is nearly as important as having one in the first place.

Some of the questions you may want to ask are:

What specifically do your policies cover?

The time to find out your policy doesn’t cover a risk is before you sign on the dotted line – not when you’re ready to lodge a claim.

Most home insurance providers cover similar risks: thefts, fires, earthquakes and storms are almost universally covered. But what if you have an exceptionally valuable jewellery or art collection? What if you’ll be storing your business’s inventory at your home? What if you’re planning to build an addition to your property?

Not all policies cover excess contents or home modifications. Before you begin applying for quotes, think through any unique circumstances that may influence your cover (or what you’ll pay for your policy).  You know you best, so it is up to you to consider whether the product you buy is appropriate for you.

How customised will my quote be?

Home insurers work out premiums based on their evaluations of risk. If you live in an older home, in a dodgy area, or if your home lacks important safety features, your risk of making a claim could be higher, and your premium could be higher as a result. Similarly, if you have a larger home or more valuable contents, you may pay more to cover them.

See the problem? If a provider uses classification criteria that are too broad, they’ll lump people into higher-risk categories – even if they themselves aren’t high-risk.

That’s why an insurance company that takes as many factors as possible into account when determining your premium amount may benefit you. The more questions they ask in the quoting process and the better tailored the quote they provide, the more likely it is that your premiums will reflect your actual risk – not just what’s decided by some arbitrary algorithm.

At Youi, we take your individual risk factors into consideration to quote a premium that’s uniquely yours.

Who will help me, if I have to lodge a claim?

Imagine that you need to lodge a building or contents insurance claim. You’ve just experienced a covered disaster. You’re likely feeling shaky, anxious, angry or scared. Basically, you’re in no frame of mind to navigate a giant insurance bureaucracy to get the help you need.

Here’s how the process of lodging a claim happens at Youi:

  • Step #1: Make sure you’re safe. Call any emergency services that are required, and take photos of damage, if you can do so safely.
  • Step #2: Gather documents relating to your policy and incident. Call Youi or use our online form to start the lodgment process.
  • Step #3: We’ll work behind the scenes to lodge your claim with you. That might mean asking for additional information or arranging an assessment. This will help us determine if your claim fits within the terms of your policy.
  • Step #4: If your claim does fit within the terms of your policy and it is accepted, we’ll work to settle your claim as quickly as possible. However fast it happens, we’ll keep you updated along the way.  If your claim does not fit within the terms of your policy, we will explain to you why it is declined.

Customer support may not seem like much of a priority when you’re weighing up quotes and policy features. But should a disaster occur, you’ll be glad you spent the extra time to find a provider that treats you well.

Getting Started with Home Insurance

Whether or not you’re thinking about using Youi for your home insurance needs (and we certainly hope you are!), take the information above to heart. Don’t wait until you’re facing a disaster that threatens your home and all of the items inside of it to think about purchasing home insurance. Take the time now to understand the specific coverage you need and to get quotes from providers who will take care of you in the event of a disaster.

Do you have home insurance? If so, share how you chose your current policy by leaving us a comment below:

 


 

 

 


 

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