Are you happy with your insurer? New research reveals home insurance tops complaints list

New research data released by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), has revealed that home building insurance was the most complained about insurance product in the second half of 2019.

According to the statistics released on Tuesday, a significant 1,445 complaints were made about home building insurance between July and December last year. In fact, during these months, this particular type of insurance complaint made up over 30% of all general insurance complaints in Australia.

The area with the highest number of complaints by postcode was the suburb of Thuringowa in Queensland’s coastal city of Townsville. Of course, if you call Townsville home or you kept on top of the news in 2019, then this won’t come as a surprise. Flooding hit the city hard early last year, leading to an estimated $1.243 billion worth of damage, according to the Insurance Council of Australia. 

RELATED: Home insurance traps to watch for after Australia’s bushfire crisis

Common home insurance complaints include incorrect premiums, misleading information about a product, a rejected claim or a claim that your insurance provider may have hemmed and hawed for too long before making a decision and, if you gave your instructions, that they failed to adhere to them.

How can you avoid having your claim rejected?

If you’ve ever found your home insurance policy confusing or you’ve ever had an insurance claim rejected, then it probably won’t come as a big surprise that a lot of complaints can come from confusion with premiums and rejected claims. 

Here are a few things you can do to try and protect yourself from being underinsured:

1. Take out underinsurance cover with your policy

It may be hard to believe, but underinsurance is so common that you can actually opt for ‘underinsurance cover’ to protect yourself against an incorrect premium. With this type of cover you can potentially make a claim higher than the amount that your home is insured for, should you need to.

2. Don’t leave anything out!

One reason you may be refused a claim, is if you do not disclose something important when you put in your home insurance application. For instance, if your roof is damaged and you fail to let your provider know and the unthinkable happens and it caves in, your provider may refuse your claim on the grounds that it was already damaged. 

So even though a detail may seem small and insignificant, it’s always worth mentioning, after all it’s better to be safe than to have your claim refused.

3. Be aware of what is excluded from your policy

Most home insurance policies will have a number of exclusions, meaning certain events or instances won’t be covered under your policy. Common exclusions include:

  • Flood damage
  • Storm damage
  • General wear and tear
  • Animal damage

So if you live near a lake or in a coastal area then you may want to make doubly sure that your current home building insurance policy covers you for flood or storm damage. Just be mindful that if you’re doing renovations and you do have flood or water damage cover, then your claim may still be refused if your home is exposed to the elements.

RELATED: Home insurance traps to watch for after Australia’s bushfire crisis

4. Keep your policy updated

One reason why your home may wind up being underinsured is if you make improvements and fail to update your policy. You might build a top-notch conservatory, but if you don’t update your home building insurance policy, it won’t be covered.

It might even be a good idea to tell your insurance provider about any changes you’re intending to make, before you make them. That way they may be able to advise you on how it will affect your policy and whether or not you will be covered while the renovations are ongoing.

Not happy with your current home insurance policy? If you’re looking to switch or you haven’t yet made the plunge into the world of insurance, why not check out Mozo’s home building insurance comparison page to see what policies are on offer in Australia.

Compare home building insurance - rates updated daily

Search promoted home insurance below. Advertiser disclosure.
  • Home Buildings Insurance

    Get award-winning Home and Contents Insurance at a price you can afford from Budget Direct. Save a huge 15% ^ on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new combined Home Buildings Insurance policy online.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
      Optional Extra
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    Optional ExtraUp To 25% Of Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacment
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details
  • Premier Care Residential

    Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online. Westpac Premier Care Home & Contents Insurance covers your home and belongings in case of storms, floods, fire, theft and more. Mozo Experts Choice Winner in 2020.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    No
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    YesUp To 30% Of Building Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacment
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details
  • Premier Care Residential

    Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online. St. George Premier Care Home & Contents Insurance covers your home and belongings in case of storms, floods, fire, theft and more. Mozo Experts Choice Winner in 2020.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    No
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    YesUp To 30% Of Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacment
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details
  • Home Insurance

    Making sure your home insurance is about where you’re at right now could save you lots. Start a quote with Youi today and see what you could save.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    No
    New for old
    replacment
    Replacement icon
    No
    Go to site
    Details
  • Home & Contents Insurance

    Virgin Money Home & Contents Insurance, winner of the Exceptional Value Home & Contents Insurance award in 2020.

    Main events covered
    • fire
      Fire
    • theft
      Theft
    • storm
      Storm
    • flood
      Flood
      Optional Extra
    Monthly payments
    cost extra
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Underinsurance protection
    Underinsurance protection icon
    Optional ExtraUp To 25% Of Sum Insured
    New for old
    replacment
    Replacement icon
    Yes
    Go to site
    Details

*Any information provided on this page should be considered a summary and general advice only. All information should be verified before purchase via the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Insurance Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.