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Home Building Insurance - Premium Rates FAQs

When calculating your premium for home building insurance, DSH Insurance takes a range of factors into account. These factors and the degree to which they affect your premium will depend on the information you provide us.

The following factors may have an impact on the calculation of your premium:

  • The location of the home – if the home is located in a region that presents a higher risk, the premium will be higher. Locations that present higher risks include those in regions which are prone to natural perils such as bushfires, floods and cyclones.
  • The Sum Insured value – the higher the sum insured, the higher the premium.
  • Your past claims experience – your premium may be lower if you have a good claims history under similar policies. If you have made a number of claims in the past, your premium could be higher.
  • The construction of the home – if the home is constructed of materials that are at greater risk to damage from natural perils, the premium may be higher.
  • The age of the home and its general condition – if the home is in good condition and is well maintained, the premium may be lower.
  • The age of the policyholder – your premium may be lower or higher than other age groups.
  • Whether your property is strata title and subject to body corporate insurance – if your body corporate also insures the building, the premium may be lower.

Our approach to premium pricing ensures each policyholder is charged a premium which is in line with the level of risk of the policy holder and their property.

A portion of your home building insurance premium is calculated on the Sum Insured value of the home. The Sum Insured value is an estimate of what it would cost to replace or rebuild your home to the same or similar standard / specifications should your home be badly damaged or destroyed. The Sum Insured value is not what you could sell your home for. As such, it does not reflect the market value of your home.

DSH Insurance uses a Building Cost Calculator to calculate the estimated replacement cost of the home using new, but similar, materials at today’s prices. This reduces the risk of being underinsured (not having adequate insurance to cover the cost of loss or damage) and provides you with peace of mind. We can also base the Sum Insured value of the home on an estimate provided by an architect, builder, quantity surveyor, valuer or other suitably qualified professional as long as the estimate has been calculated recently.

The Sum Insured value of your home includes the cost of replacing all your fixed domestic improvements. This includes garages, domestic outbuildings, pergolas, fences, swimming pools, concrete paths and paving. We also include costs associated with temporary accommodation for up to one year if your home becomes unfit to live in, fees associated with plans and permits, taxes such as GST and removal of debris following a major loss. If applicable, the Sum Insured value also includes loss of rent and landlord’s fittings and fixtures.

The Sum Insured value does not include the value of the land.

The Sum Insured value is reviewed each year when your insurance is due for renewal. Adjustments may be made as a result of home improvements (e.g. extensions) and increased costs of materials for example.

You are able to use our Building Cost Calculator should you wish to check your Sum Insured value.

In addition to the Sum Insured value, a range of other factors can influence your insurance premium including:

  • Who occupies the home
  • Resilience or mitigation efforts
  • Government fees and charges
  • Reinsurance costs due to perils and disasters that may have been paid locally in Australia or globally
  • Ensuring annual revenue derived from premiums generates sufficient capital for DSH Insurance to pay claims

DSH Insurance offers resilience discounts to policyholders where their home is located in a region that is prone to specific perils such as cyclones, floods or bushfires and where measures have been taken on the property to reduce the home’s exposure risk to such perils. These measures may include home alterations such as:

  • installing cyclone tie downs
  • roof replacement (if your home was built before 1981)
  • installing storm shutters on all windows and doors, and
  • bushfire mitigation.

In addition, if the ground floor of your property is elevated at least 1.5 metres above ground level with no living area underneath, you may also be eligible for a resilience discount if you are located in a region that is prone to flooding.

Contact us at dsh@dva.gov.au or call us on 1300 552 662 to find out more.

When you receive your insurance renewal notice, check all the details to ensure DSH Insurance has accurate and up to date information about your property including any recent resilience or mitigation measures you have taken.

If you need to make changes to your policy details contact us at dsh@dva.gov.au or call 1300 552 662.

Remember:

You have a legal duty (under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984) to tell us everything that you know that might influence our decision whether to insure you and anyone else to be insured under the policy, and on what terms. This is called your duty of disclosure.

Your policy is based on what you tell us, so you must be honest. You have a duty to tell us anything known to you, and which a reasonable person in the circumstances would tell us.

If you fail in your duty, we may reduce or refuse to pay a claim, or cancel the policy. If you have provided false or fraudulent information, we may refuse to pay a claim and treat the policy as never having existed.

 

The following steps will help ensure you are being charged the right premium for your home building insurance.

  1. Check your Sum Insured value by using our Building Cost Calculator
  2. Review your policy to make sure DSH Insurance has accurate and up to date information about your property including any recent resilience or mitigation measures you have taken.
  3. Contact DSH Insurance at dsh@dva.gov.au or call 1300 552 662 if you need to make any changes to your policy details.

The information provided above is specific to home building insurance provided by DSH Insurance.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is the peak body for the general insurance industry. Their website “Understand Insurance” provides useful information to help individuals make decisions about their insurance needs. This includes general information about how premiums are calculated.

Calculate adequacy of your sum insured via Building Cost Calculator available through our independent insurance partner Core Logic.