Tips for New House Buyers

Tips & how-to guides to give an insight into the property buying process.

Tips for New House Buyers

There are few feelings in life that can compare to buying a new home. Whether it's your first or your fifth, it's a huge investment in time, research and money to get the house of your dreams. In all the excitement it's easy to lose sight of some of the important practicalities – like making sure your Home and Contents are insured. Moving into a new house should be a positive experience, but you also need to think about how to protect this valuable asset.

Some easy ways to save money

Home and Contents Insurance can be bought separately, but there is often an advantage in doubling up and combining both into a single Home and Contents policy. These 'package deals' can result in considerable savings. For example, Budget Direct offers a 15% discount for customers who buy separate Home or Contents policies online, and an even bigger 30% savings if they opt for a combined Home and Contents policy purchased online. Depending on the cover you choose, this can amount to a savings of hundreds of dollars.

When in doubt, simply ask your insurer about ways you might be able to reduce the cost of your premium. Taking proactive steps to protect your home from theft may result in some savings, and you can also look into the pros and cons of raising your excess to reduce your premium. Insurance is a legal contract, so always be transparent and truthful when applying for your Home and Contents cover; disclosing all relevant details helps your insurer provide a more accurate risk assessment.

Do your homework to get the cover you need

Saving money is great, but you also need to find insurance that provides an appropriate level of cover for your personal circumstances. Being underinsured is a common problem in Australia1, so make sure you get policy benefits that are up to the task of protecting your house and its contents. There's no point in buying a policy that fails to cover you for what your need. For example, let's say your home is insured for $300,000 and is destroyed in a bushfire. If the cost of rebuilding your home is actually $520,000, this means you would have to come up with the remaining $220,000 yourself – not a pleasant thought. Not sure of the replacement costs of your home or its contents? Here are some handy Replacement Value Calculators that can help.

Each policy is different and comes with its own exclusions and limitations. Always read the Product Disclosure Statement so you know the terms and conditions of your policy. Failing to do so can come back to bite you if you have to make a claim. For homeowners, knowledge is power and little details matter.

What's the value of your Contents?

Do you know the total value of the items in your home? As of 2010, the average value of household contents in Australia was $61,000 and rising. Look at all the appliances, whitegoods, furniture, electronic gadgets, jewellery, art work, clothing and other possessions in your house, and then ask yourself this: if they were stolen or damaged, what would it cost to replace them? It's vital to know the value of what you own, and equally important to have a record – especially if you have to make a claim. Keep your purchase receipts. Go around the house and take photos of everything of value. Evidence of ownership (and purchase price) may be required by your insurer if your house is burgled or your possessions succumb to water or fire damage.

Shop around

Getting a great deal on Home and Contents Insurance is a simple matter of seeing what's on offer and then choosing the cover that makes the most sense for your particular situation. Look for features like a good range of optional benefits in case you need some extra cover for specific needs. See if the insurer offers a cooling-off period with a Money Back Guarantee. Do they have a 24-hour Claims Hotline, and is their call centre based in Australia or overseas? Check on how flexible they are in relation to their payment options – can you pay by direct debit, credit card or PayPal, and do you get a choice between monthly, fortnightly or annual payments? Ideally, a Home and Contents Insurer will have a handy online quote system, a reputation for quality customer service and a straightforward claims process. Have they won awards for their products? Also, check Home and Contents Insurance comparisons to see how they measure up against the rest of the industry.

Get a quote today!

The best way to find out if you can save money on Home and Contents Insurance is to grab a quick and easy Online Quote and see for yourself!