Is it time to update your home insurance coverage to protect against flood, fire and theft?

Couple going over their home insurance policy

David Toscano

Posted January 25, 2023

Check whether your current home insurance coverage provides the level of protection you need to help protect you against financial loss from extreme weather events and opportunistic thieves.

Devastating floods, severe storms, summer bushfires, golf ball-sized hail and even earthquakes… if the past few years have taught Victorians anything, it’s that the next extreme weather event can happen at any time. 

While extreme weather poses health challenges and can even cause the loss of life, the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events also has implications for the way we protect the things we own and treasure the most, such as our homes, contents and motor vehicles.

In particular, the transformation of Victorian homes to places of work, education and entertainment in the wake of pandemic means that home insurance coverage for homeowners, landlords and renters should be strongly considered.

“Home insurance helps provide protection for what’s important such as your home and contents, in case of an insured event like fire, flood, storm or theft,” explains Kirsty Hayes, Head of Home & Business Insurance at RACV.

“It gives you peace of mind and confidence that if something unexpected does happen to you, like an extreme weather event, you’re able to get back on your feet.” 

woman working from home at her desk

New ways of living should prompt Victorians to reconsider their home insurance. Image: Getty

Don't forget the impact of milestones and renovations

Hayes points out that it’s important to reflect regularly on whether your current policy provides the level of protection you need, as the cumulative value of the things we own can quickly add up and even appreciate in value, such as personal collections.

You can get specialised insurance coverage for landlords, renters and even small businesses, in addition to building insurance, contents insurance and combined building and contents insurance for households.

“It’s important to ask yourself: Does my home insurance policy align with my current personal circumstances and living arrangements, the value of the things I own and their importance to my life?”, says Hayes. 
“It’s easy to forget the impact of life milestones such as getting engaged, undertaking a home renovation, taking a new job or participating in a new hobby or interest, and their effects on your home insurance.”

While sentimental and high-value items such as watches, jewellery and family heirlooms are usually top of mind when it comes to considering your home and contents insurance coverage, it’s everyday items, new purchases and even birthday or Christmas presents that we sometimes forget to account for. Common items that we use outside of the home, such as phones, laptops, surfboards, golf clubs and other holiday items may also require adding optional portable items insurance coverage.

“Many of us own more possessions than we did before the pandemic given we now spend more time at home working, studying, entertaining and exercising. It’s important that to check that new computers, tablets, home office equipment, home entertainment, exercise equipment, fitness wearables and kitchen appliances are all covered by your home insurance policy, as they may require optional portable contents cover,” Hayes says.

Items in hot demand with opportunistic thieves, such as bikes and tools, and other valuables stored in the garage, should also be protected. Thieves are also targeting unusual items that have grown in value or importance, such as building supplies.

More: Estimate the approximate cost to replace your home contents with the Home Contents Insurance calculator

hail on roof

Natural events like fire, flood or hail can cause a lot of damage. Image: Getty

Safeguarding against financial loss

With the frequency and severity of fires, storms and floods tipped to increase in the coming years, it's important to update your home and contents insurance coverage to cater for the threats you might be more likely to encounter, such as floods.^

“For most of us, our home is the biggest financial investment we make in life. As we’ve discovered over the past few years, our homes and contents have never been more central to our health, wellbeing and work lives,” Hayes says.

“The recent flood crisis was a reminder of how quickly severe weather events can occur in Victoria and the need to be prepared and vigilant, which includes having adequate home insurance coverage in place at all times.

“The start of a new year is a great opportunity to take stock of the things we own and the things we like to do, and ensure that these are properly covered in our home insurance policies for the year ahead,” Hayes concludes.

Are you protected in the event of something unexpected occurring?
Discover more about RACV Home Insurance →

Terms, conditions, exclusions and limits apply - see your PDS for details.  The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions, please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit  RACV Home Buildings and Contents Insurance, RACV Buildings Insurance, RACV Contents Insurance, RACV Landlord Insurance and RACV Renters Insurance are all issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678. As a distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed.

^ Unless you have chosen to remove Flood, Rainwater run-off or Storm Surge cover where we have identified your home at risk of flooding. Other conditions apply including that damage caused by actions of the sea is not covered.