Introducing a new Shannons Home Insurance Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for policies renewing from 23 March 2021. The PDS is an important legal document that contains details of the product you purchase so you need to read it carefully.

The purpose of this page is to advise you of some changes that we have made to our Home Insurance PDS.

We've changed the layout of the PDS to help make it easier to understand. We have also updated some of the wording to make it clearer and we have added and changed some covers, conditions and exclusions.

For full details, please refer to your PDS.

Download Home & Contents Insurance PDS

General Information

New section - Extra support

Sometimes your circumstances might mean you need additional support or assistance in dealing with us. If you are comfortable, you can tell us about your situation and we will work with you to arrange support.

Joint policyholders

During the period of insurance, we might ask all joint policyholders first before we action a request or direction in relation to your policy (e.g. before we cancel your policy, reduce your cover or remove another policyholder). This way we can help protect the interests of all policyholders.

New section - Conduct of others

When we consider a claim, we will have regard to prejudice suffered by you due to conduct of others and may meet the claim when we are not legally required to do so.

When you need to contact us

Additional requirements for when you must contact Shannons have been included. New requirements include if:

  • you start farming, manufacturing or undertaking repair work at or from the insured address;
  • you start to use or let all or part of the home to tenants under any short-term rental, holiday letting or house sharing arrangement;
  • your home will be unoccupied for 60 consecutive days or more.

Your responsibilities

We have changed the responsibility for you to 'take reasonable care' to prevent theft, loss, damage or legal liability with the responsibility to 'take steps' prevent theft, loss, damage or legal liability. We have also included an example of a step you can take '(e.g. ensuring that there are working smoke detectors in the home or unit)'.

Things We Don't Cover

'General Exclusions' is now called 'Things we don´t cover'. 'Things we don´t cover' has been updated, with both new exclusions to be aware of as well as changes to existing exclusions.

Asbestos

This exclusion has been amended for clarity. We do not cover the cost to remove asbestos or its derivatives from the insured address, unless the cost is incurred in order to undertake repairs or rebuilding in connection with a claim for loss or damage to your home that is covered and only to the extent removal is necessary in order to repair insured home damage.

New - Communicable disease

We do not cover any loss, damage, claim, cost, expense, legal liability or other sum, directly or indirectly arising out of, or attributable to, a Communicable disease or the fear or threat (whether actual or perceived) of a Communicable disease.

Home, unit or contents that are not in good condition

The 'Failure to Take Care' and 'Well maintained and in good condition' sections have been combined and is now known as 'Home, unit or contents not being in good condition'. Additions have been made to this exclusion including:

  • the roof leaks when it rains
  • the home or unit (including all sheds, outbuildings and any other structural improvements at the insured address) is not structurally sound or is unsafe to live in

Not complying with building laws or regulations

We have updated the exclusion 'Not complying with building laws or regulations'. Examples have been added of what is considered a 'Non-complying building component'.

Biological, chemical, other pollutant or contaminant

This exclusion now encompasses the 'use, existence or release' of any biological, bacterial, viral, germ, chemical or poisonous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

Deliberate or reckless action

We do not cover an act or omission by you, your family, anyone living at the insured address or any owner or part owner of your home or contents, or anyone acting with your given or implied consent, which:

  • is deliberate or reckless;
  • is a deliberate or reckless lack of action;
  • demonstrates a reckless disregard for the consequences of that action or omission.

New - Illegal drugs or other chemical or poisonous substance

We do not cover any unintentional or intentional use, existence or contamination by, of or due to:

  • illegal drugs including but not limited to the manufacture, storage, use, possession, consumption or distribution of any illegal drugs (or illegal drug precursors);
  • any other chemical or poisonous substance.

Short term paying guests and tenants

We don't cover any loss, damage, cost, expense or liability when anyone is staying at the home or unit under a short-term rental, holiday letting or house sharing arrangement including an arrangement booked through an online booking platform.

Summary of Changes to Cover

What we cover as your home

There have been changes in the definition of what we cover as the home. E.g.

  • Outdoor walls, gates, fences.

What we don't cover as your home

Your home does not include:

  • any building or part of the home used for farming of any description (including buildings used for hobby farms) such as, but not limited to, a barn, dairy, shearing shed, silo or stable. This limitation does not include any building which could be used for farming, but is not used for that purpose;
  • any temporary or mobile structures, including caravans, houseboats, watercraft or motorised vehicles or craft of any type;
  • loose or compacted soil, sand, lawn, grass, artificial grass, gravel (including on roads, driveways and tracks), pebbles, rocks or granular rubber.

Accidental breakage of glass

Accidental breakage of glass is now an Additional cover rather than an insured event. Several changes have been made to further clarify our cover.

Extra costs cover in the event of a bushfire

If there is a bushfire in your area, we cover the following costs up to $1,000 per incident even if there is no actual physical loss or damage to the home or contents:

  • the cost of replacing water that has been used to limit the spread of bushfire at the insured address; or has been contaminated due to the use of fire retardant at the insured address;
  • the cost of cleaning fire retardant off the home.

Impact

Loss or damage caused by impact at the insured address. Now includes power surge caused by impact.

Accidental loss or damage (Optional Cover)

A new exclusion has been added to Accidental loss or damage cover. What is not covered - Damage to the home caused by earthworks or construction undertaken by a neighbour. We have also updated the wording of other exclusions to make them clearer.

What we cover as your contents

Contents that are vehicles, watercraft or aircraft are limited to:

  • a golf cart or buggy, wheelchairs, mobility scooters or medical aids designed to assist with physical disabilities or the elderly;
  • personal transportation vehicles (this has a specific meaning in the PDS).

What we don't cover as your contents

Contents does not include:

  • floating wooden floors unless covered under 'If contents are insured in a unit';
  • electronic files for which you do not have a licence;
  • any contents in a vehicle designed for the temporary accommodation of people and/or conveyance of animals, including contents in a caravan, motorhome, camper trailer, slide-on camper, mobile home, trailer or horse float.

Changes to temporary accommodation limits

The most we will pay for temporary accommodation for tenants or strata title owners (contents cover only) under this cover is now 10% of your contents sum insured. There is no longer a 52 week limit.

The most we will pay for temporary accommodation when you have home cover is now 10% of your home sum insured. There is no longer a 52 week limit.

Paraplegia or quadriplegia assistance

Limit has increased from $10,000 to $25,000.

Matching undamaged parts

When a claim for loss or damage to your home or contents is covered and new materials cannot be matched to undamaged parts, we will pay the extra costs to repair, replace or rebuild certain undamaged parts of the home or contents in order to achieve a uniform appearance where the loss or damage occurred. Some examples are e.g. we will replace undamaged wall tiles in the same room, stairs, hallway or passageway where the damage occurred so they match or complement new tiles used for repairs. The most we will pay is $1,000 if your claim is for home cover and $1,000 if your claim is for contents cover.

Legal liability

We exclude legal liability for or caused by, connected with or arising from:

  • copyright;
  • erection or demolition: erection or demolition of the home or structures;
  • drones: aerial devices, drones and other autonomously piloted aircraft (see definition).

Changes to the Making a Claim Section

Changes have been made to the Claims section including introducing or changing:

Excesses

We have removed any requirement for you to pay your excess in full upfront when you lodge a claim.

How we settle home claims

We've made a range of changes to this section. The PDS explains in detail your settlement options and what we will do when a member of our supplier network is able to complete the repair or rebuild, and when they cannot. We will always aim to use a member of our supplier network to repair or rebuild the home.

Lifetime guarantee on home repairs

We have removed a guarantee on the quality of materials - we continue to offer a guarantee on the quality of workmanship.

Our right to recover from those who are responsible

We have the right and you permit us to take recovery action against a party responsible for your loss. We have added examples of the assistance that may be required if we take action against a party for the recovery of your loss.

How we settle contents (including personal effects) claims

We've made a range of changes to this section. How we can settle a claim depends on the circumstances of the claim including the cost of repair or replacement, your sum insured and any lower policy limits.

How we deal with defects

We've made a range of changes to help explain how we deal with defects, faults and poor workmanship. We don't cover the cost to fix the defect. If a defect or fault (or poor workmanship) causes or contributes to loss or damage to the home, that resultant damage is not covered but only if you knew about the defect or fault or should have reasonably known about it. Otherwise we will cover the resultant damage.

The information above is not a complete list of the changes to your Home and Contents Insurance. For full details of what is and isn't covered, please read the Shannons Home and Contents Insurance Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available. These changes apply to policies renewing on or after 23 March 2021.