January 17, 2024
There have already been a lot of natural disasters in Australia this year, and unfortunately, as climate change marches on, we are only going to see more. And when these disasters strike, the safety and shelter of your family become paramount. But what about your pets? In recent years, there’s been a growing recognition of the need to protect our furry family members too. This is where emergency accommodation coverage in home insurance comes into play.
Emergency Accommodation in Home Insurance
Emergency accommodation coverage is a feature in many home insurance policies that provides temporary housing for you and your family if your home is severely damaged or uninhabitable due to a covered event, like a bushfire, flood, or storm. This coverage is not just a roof over your head; it’s about ensuring a safe haven during the most stressful times.
But here’s something you might not know – this coverage often extends to your pets as well. With the rise in pet ownership and the acknowledgment of pets as family members, insurers have begun to recognise the importance of providing for the entire family, pets included, in times of crisis. This means if you’re displaced due to a natural disaster, your policy may cover the cost of boarding your pets at a safe facility while you’re in temporary accommodation.
Understanding the specifics of this coverage is crucial, especially in a country like Australia, where natural disasters are unfortunately common. When reviewing your policy, pay attention to the details of emergency accommodation coverage, including the types of events covered, the duration of the coverage, and the amount allocated for pet care.
What to Look for in a Policy
Choosing the right home insurance policy is more than just comparing premiums and coverage limits; it’s about ensuring that your entire family, including your pets, is protected in times of need. Here are some key features to look for in a pet-inclusive home insurance policy:
Coverage Limits: Check the maximum amount the policy will pay for emergency accommodation. This should be sufficient to cover both your family and your pets for a reasonable period until your home is repaired or rebuilt.
Types of Disasters Covered: Ensure that the policy covers a wide range of natural disasters. In Australia, this should ideally include bushfires, floods, storms, and other region-specific risks.
Pet Accommodation Details: Look for specific mentions of pet accommodation in the policy. How are pets defined? Are there any restrictions on the type of pets covered? What kind of pet accommodation is included (e.g., kennels, pet hotels)?
Claim Process: Understand the process for claiming emergency accommodation expenses. Check if there are any pre-approvals required for pet accommodation expenses and how quickly claims are typically processed and paid.
Additional Benefits: Some policies may offer additional benefits like pet injury cover or vet expense cover in case of an accident during the disaster. These can be valuable add-ons.
Exclusions and Limits: Be aware of any exclusions or specific conditions under which pet accommodation would not be covered.
By carefully reviewing these aspects, you can choose a home insurance policy that not only provides peace of mind for your property but also ensures that your beloved pets are taken care of during difficult times. Remember, the right insurance policy is one that aligns with your lifestyle and values, particularly when it comes to family and pets.
In response to the increasing need for comprehensive family protection, including pets, several Australian insurers have stepped up to offer pet-inclusive emergency accommodation coverage. Each of these insurers has recognised the importance of pets as part of the family and included provisions for their accommodation in emergency situations. However, the coverage details, including limits, exclusions, and conditions, vary between insurers and also could have changed since we wrote this blog, so you should carefully review each insurer’s policy documentation before making any decisions. Always consult a professional.
Here’s a look at what some of the major insurers provide:
CommBank Home Insurance:
– CommBank’s policy covers alternative accommodation costs if your home becomes unlivable due to an insured event, including coverage for pets.
– The policy provides up to 12 months of temporary accommodation for your family, plus $3,000 in pet accommodation cover.
– It also includes a 15% combined policy discount and automatic flood cover.
AAMI Home Insurance:
– AAMI covers the cost of temporary accommodation for your household and pets if your home is damaged by an insured event and the claim is accepted.
– The policy includes limits and exclusions, which are detailed in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
– AAMI’s policy also covers emergency repairs and offers a new-for-old replacement of contents.
Westpac Home Insurance:
– Westpac’s policy, underwritten by Allianz, provides coverage for pet accommodation in cases where the home is damaged by an insured event.
– The policy includes legal liability cover up to $20 million and new-for-old replacement cover for contents.
– It also offers a range of optional covers, including motor burnout and accidental damage cover.
CGU Home Insurance:
– CGU’s policy includes emergency accommodation for pets as part of an alternative accommodation provision up to 10% of the sum insured, when the insured home is damaged.
– The policy offers three levels of cover: Premium, Quality, and Basic, each with different benefits and limits.
– Premium cover includes accidental damage and up to 90 days of worldwide cover, while Basic cover offers fundamental protection against events like floods and fires.
QBE Home Insurance:
– QBE’s policy covers temporary emergency repairs, accommodation costs, and temporary storage of contents.
– Temporary accommodation is available for up to 24 months or 20% of your building’s sum insured, whichever is less, including coverage for pets.
– The policy also offers a 30% ‘buildings sum insured safeguard’ for eligible claims.
RACV Home & Contents Insurance:
– RACV Home and Contents Insurance covers both your home and its contents, including temporary accommodation for you and your pets.
– The policy provides comprehensive fire and flood damage coverage.
– It also offers theft coverage, even when you forget to lock your door.
Suncorp Home Insurance:
– Suncorp covers reasonable and necessary temporary accommodation costs for you and your domestic pets if your home is damaged by an insured event.
– The coverage limit for temporary accommodation under Suncorp Home Insurance varies based on the policy type, with up to 15% of the home sum insured for Classic Advantages policyholders.
– The policy does not cover temporary accommodation costs if the home was not your principal place of residence or if you had planned to demolish the home before the loss or damage occurred.
Allianz Home & Contents Insurance:
– Allianz’s policy covers veterinary expenses (up to $500), lock replacement (up to $1,000), and legal liability (up to $20 million).
– Temporary accommodation for pets is covered for up to 12 months, up to $500.
– The policy does not cover underinsurance, boats, trailers, and other vehicles on your property, lawns, pebbled paths, or buildings under construction.
NRMA Home Insurance:
– NRMA Insurance covers the reasonable costs of temporary accommodation for you, your family, and your pets if your home is uninhabitable.
– If you’re a tenant with a Home Contents policy, NRMA will cover reasonable extra rent costs for your temporary accommodation.
– The policy details, including any limits on coverage for pet accommodation, can be found in NRMA’s policy documentation.
The Importance of Professional Pet Care Providers
In situations where emergency accommodation is necessary, often the best option for your pets is a professional pet care provider. These facilities offer specialised care and a safe environment, ensuring your pets are well looked after during stressful times. A prime example of such a provider is Pet Resorts Australia.
Pet Resorts Australia – A Premier Pet Care Facility:
Pet Resorts Australia is renowned for its high-quality pet care services, providing a safe and nurturing environment for pets during emergencies or when you’re away.
We offer a range of services, including comfortable accommodations, professional pet care, grooming, doggy daycare, and training.
Locations of Pet Resorts Australia:
Pet Resorts Australia has several locations, making it accessible for pet owners in various regions. Our facilities are located at:
Utilising Insurance Coverage at Pet Resorts Australia
– When your home insurance policy includes coverage for emergency pet accommodation, facilities like Pet Resorts Australia can be utilised.
– This means that in the event of a natural disaster or other insured situations where your home is uninhabitable, your insurance can cover the costs of boarding your pets at these resorts.
– It’s important to check with your insurance provider regarding the specifics of claiming these expenses and whether they have any preferred provider arrangements or specific processes.
Choosing a professional pet care provider like Pet Resorts Australia ensures that your pets receive the best possible care in times of emergency. With our multiple locations and range of services, we strive to stand as a testament to the quality care your pets deserve. Be sure to review your insurance policy for pet accommodation coverage and understand how you can leverage these benefits in times of need.