Accidental Damage Insurance: What Does it Cover?

Author: Shay Waraker

It’s a fact of life that accidents happen, often resulting in damage. So, is there a way to get a level of cover to offset some of the costs of repairing or replacing your home and contents if things don’t go to plan?

What is accidental damage insurance?

A home or contents insurance policy protects you against loss or damage from certain events, such as storm, fire and theft. But it doesn’t normally cover you for items you lose, or those that you accidentally damage. This is where accidental damage insurance comes in.

Is accidental damage insurance an add-on, or standard with some home and contents policies?

Accidental damage is generally an optional extra on home or contents insurance policies. Insurers offer different levels of cover, and more expensive products often include it as standard. But, it’s always a good idea to check your policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS). Check to see what you’re covered for, and whether accidental damage insurance is available as an optional extra.

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What does accidental damage insurance cover?

Accidental damage insurance is designed to cover accidental loss or damage to your building or contents. Depending on the insurer, this can include your possessions while they are not on your property. Examples include:

For buildings:

  • A wall is damaged while moving furniture
  • Someone from the household slips while on the roof cleaning gutters, damaging the roof and/or guttering
  • A child forgets to turn off a tap while running a bath, causing water damage

For contents:

  • While playing video games, the remote control slips and cracks the TV screen
  • A child draws in permanent marker all over the couch, entertainment unit and carpet
  • The policy holder loses their wedding ring at home (or away from the premises, depending on the policy)
  • A laptop is dropped and needs replacing

If you have a home or contents policy that includes accidental damage insurance, be sure to check with your insurer. Determine what’s covered, and any terms, conditions and excesses that apply.

What exclusions may apply with accidental damage insurance?

Exclusions will vary depending on your policy and insurer. Some common exclusions include:

  • Any acts that are done deliberately by you
  • Damage caused by tenants in a property owned by you (this cover is often available as tenant damage, under landlord insurance, instead)
  • Damage while renovating
  • Cigarette burns
  • General wear and tear

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What belongings may be covered by accidental damage insurance?

Different insurance policies from different insurers will cover different possessions. Normally, most items that are included in the general definition of buildings or contents are covered.

However, specific high-value items, such as jewellery and electronics, will usually need separate cover. For example, a maximum of $1000 may be paid out for a claim on any one item, such as jewellery, unless you insure them individually.

What belongings might not be covered by accidental damage insurance?

As above, different insurers and policies will have different exceptions. But some examples of items that are unlikely to be covered, include: swimming pools or covers, cash, mobile phones, items used for business, and sporting equipment that’s damaged while in use.

As with any insurance policy, it’s a good idea to read the PDS carefully before deciding if it’s right for you. You may also consider weighing up the differences between opting for a higher level of cover in your home and contents policy, and adding additional accidental damage to a lower-level cover.

Always speak with your insurer if you have any questions, or are not sure what’s covered by your policy.

Canstar makes it easier for you to quickly check how home and contents insurance providers stack up across a range of categories, including: Value for Money, Process, Speed of Response, Ease of Claim, Quality of Service and Communication. Check out the results of our latest research, below.

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