Home Insurance Guidance

Will home insurance cover broken steps and railing?

Ethan Brinkworth

Ethan Brinkworth

Will home insurance cover broken steps and railing?

Unveiling The Myths: When Your Porch Takes A Tumble

As I sat on my front porch the other day, sipping a cold one and looking at my beagle Charlie chase his tail in the yard, I found myself scrutinizing the worn steps and loose railing. With a little chuckle, I mused how easily a small fixer-upper job can turn into one proper kerfuffle. This led me back to a significant query many homeowners in Australia share—does home insurance cover broken steps and railings? Let's plunge headfirst into this titillating conundrum, only after donning our metaphorical safety helmets, of course!

Bit By Bit: The Honeycomb of Home Insurance

Purchasing a home is like diving into an ice-cold pool, adventures, all-encompassing, and laden with hidden surprises. Although I'm sure we'd all prefer those surprises to be more along the lines of finding a hidden treasure chest in the garden rather than discovering a mouldy patch under the sink or a broken step. Now, on these surprise occasions, one immediately thinks about home insurance. Logically, your house is insured, so your stairs and railings should be covered too, right? It isn’t so plain sailing, my folks.

One day, as Holly and I were preparing a picnic lunch for Isla, we noticed that one of the porch steps had a severe jagged crack. It looked like a mishap waiting to happen. Naturally, here's where my knowledge of insurance policies kicks in. Your typical home insurance policy covers incidents that are accidental and sudden. A misjudged leg on the BQQ table isn't going to qualify unless it led to a havoc-wrecking fire. But, if your steps or railing broke due to an unexpected accident like that, you're pretty much covered.

Exclusions That May Trip You Up

However, the plot thickens, like a proper mystery stew. If the damage is due to wear and tear or maintenance-related issue, a standard home insurance policy doesn't cover that. These policies typically exclude coverage for damages caused by erosion, general ageing, or even failing to fix that dodgy screw when you should have. It’s the equivalent of looking away when Charlie steals a sausage from the BBQ – you can't pretend you didn't know!

The Claims Conundrum: To Claim or Not To Claim?

Now, let's say you've had a rather disagreeable visit from a blustery storm that's taken out your railing and steps. Voila! This is a scenario where your home insurance comes into its element. But be aware, dear folks, triggering a claim is not always your best strategy. It's like when Holly asks me if she looks good in her new dress, and I've learnt that 'I've seen you look better' is not an appropriate response.

Just because your insurance policy might cover the damage, it doesn't necessarily mean you should rush to file a claim. It’s prudent to consider the cost of rebuilding or repairing the damaged steps and railings against the impact of a claim on your future premiums. You’d be surprised how much an innocent claim today can increase your future cost. It’s a balancing act, much like trying to carry a cup of tea and a biscuit in the same hand while preventing Charlie from having another sausage.

Top Tips For Navigating Your Policy Like a Pro

Deciphering your home insurance policy might feel like learning a foreign language at times, but don’t worry, you're not alone. Here are some pro-tips that can help you understand the confusing insurance industry jargon:

  • Always read between lines of your insurance policy. It's the equivalent of reading Isla her favourite bedtime story, you need to understand the giant's motive before the beanstalk can grow.

  • Please keep an eye on the exclusions listed in your policy. It could be the difference between a simple claim and a 'why-is-this-so-complicated' situation.

  • Maintain your home regularly. Just as you clean out Charlie's kennel or go to a dentist, regular upkeep can keep big damages away.

  • Ask questions! Your insurance agent is there to help clarify any issues you might have. It's better to ask loads of questions upfront, like a curious Isla, than face an uphill battle at claim time.

In a nutshell, it's the unpredicted adventure of owning your own house that makes life exciting, but understanding your home insurance is the life-jacket you need before leaping into the pool. Hope this guide - and my story - helps you avid home-owning Aussies out there navigate those murky insurance waters a little better!

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