Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to access and inclusion page Skip to search input

Do you need home insurance before settlement?

Congratulations on your journey towards buying a new home! It's an exciting time, but let's face it – it can also be a bit overwhelming. If you're reading this article you probably know one of the things you'll need to think about is home insurance. Whether you're stepping into the property market for the first time or you're a seasoned homeowner, getting your head around home insurance is really important. So, let's break it down together.

Understanding the property settlement period

First up, let's talk about the property settlement period. This is the time between signing the contract of sale and the day you get the keys. In Australia, settlement periods vary from state to state. The length of your settlement period is usually negotiated on your behalf by your solicitor or conveyancer and gives you time to check the accuracy of documentation and organise finance, if required.

Home insurance before settlement: a smart move or not?

Wondering if you need home insurance before settlement? The answer is... it depends.

There's no legal requirement to hold a home insurance policy before your settlement date but, in some cases, you could be liable for damages before you pop the champagne on settlement day. Each state and territory in Australia has different laws regarding property liability and it's important to understand these so you know what you could be on the hook for.

Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Tasmania

In the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania the buyer assumes responsibility for the property after exchanging contracts.

New South Wales and Victoria 

New South Wales and Victoria take a different approach, with the buyer responsible for damage to the property at property settlement.

Northern Territory and Western Australia

In the Northern Territory and Western Australia the buyer is responsible for damage to the property either on:

  • the date the full purchase price is paid or
  • the date the buyer is entitled to or is given possession of the property,

whichever date is first.


Queenslanders accept liability for any damage to the property from 5pm on the next business day after exchanging contracts.

The impact of your home and its location on your insurance

There are other ways your home's location can make a difference to your insurance. Luxury beachside property? Hideaway bush shack? Each location and house comes with its own set of risks. If you're planning on buying a house in a high-risk area it's worth understanding the impact your property’s location and the cost to rebuild will have on your insurance premiums when purchasing home insurance.

Is home insurance compulsory in Australia?

While home insurance isn't legally mandatory in Australia, most home loan providers require it. They may request a copy of your insurance policy schedule or a certificate of currency that includes details like your new property address and sum insured to make sure you have adequate insurance. 

What should your home insurance policy cover?

Navigating home insurance can seem daunting, but it's an essential part of the home-buying process. Understanding your responsibilities, choosing the right cover, and being aware of regional differences can save you from future headaches. If you're new to home insurance, you may like to read our article that answers five common home insurance questions.

Home insurance cover should consider your financial situation and particular objectives to make sure you have the right cover for your needs. In short, a good home insurance policy should:

  • cover various unexpected events, including natural disasters, theft, and vandalism.
  • combine building insurance (the physical structures and fixtures) and contents insurance (for your personal possessions) in a home and contents insurance policy for holistic coverage.
  • have a sum insured and excess tailored to your needs.

Buying a new home can come with a hefty price tag so it's wise to invest a bit of time in comparing quotes and doing your own research. You may consider researching tips to get value from your home insurance to make the most of your first year's premium.

Strata insurance

If you're buying a strata title apartment or a strata title home, you'll need to understand the role of residential strata insurance within the strata scheme. This insurance, usually managed by the body corporate, covers common property areas within the scheme, protecting against various risks. If your new property is part of a strata scheme with residential strata insurance, it won't include cover for the personal belongings inside your apartment or home. You'll need to take out a separate home contents insurance policy to make sure your contents are covered.


Are you getting the most value out of your home insurance policy?

Find out if Westpac Home Insurance provided by Allianz, could be a good choice for your circumstances.

You may also find these articles helpful

Answers to 5 common home insurance questions answered

Are you considering taking out home and contents insurance? We answer some of the most common insurance questions to help you make an informed decision.

6 tips to help you get more value from your home insurance

No one likes paying more for insurance than they have to – this article offers some simple strategies to understand and stay on top of your home insurance premium.

Home insurance for first home buyers

Buying your first home? Home insurance may be required as a condition of your home loan, so here's what you need to know about covering your biggest asset.

Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. The information is not advice, recommendation or opinion on any products or services provided by Westpac or third parties.  For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. For more information on any specific products or services distributed or provided by Westpac, you may wish to read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. To see some of the events covered and not covered, please refer to our Key Fact Sheets (KFS).

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (Allianz). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714 (the Bank) arranges the initial issue of the insurance under a distribution agreement with Allianz, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Before making a decision, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. For more information call 1300 650 255.

If you take out Home and Contents or Landlord Insurance with Allianz the Bank will receive a commission of up to 12% of the premium, excluding Government fees and charges, plus GST.

A target market determination has been made for this product. Please visit for the target market determination.

By selecting 'Get a quote' you will enter a third-party site hosted by Allianz. Any personal information you provide to Allianz’s hosted site will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with Allianz’s Privacy Statement and Privacy Policy.

Westpac's Privacy Statement is available at or by calling 132 032 8am – 8pm Sydney time, 7 days. It covers:

  • How you can access the personal information Westpac holds about you and ask for it to be corrected;
  • How you can complain about a breach of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or a registered Code by Westpac and how Westpac will deal with your complaint; and
  • How Westpac collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information in more detail.