Home buyers urged to ask the right questions

Queenslanders looking to buy a home have been urged to do their research and ask the right questions before signing a contract or risk unexpectedly high and potentially unaffordable insurance premiums.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said insurance premiums were determined based on a number of factors and knowing these before buying would help homeowners prepare for the annual bill. 

“Insurance is an important, annual cost and premiums, particularly in north Queensland, can vary significantly based off a number of factors,” Ms Ross said.

“The good news is there are questions you can ask when buying your home to help you determine the impact of these on your premiums in the years to come.” 

Questions to ask before buying a house:

  • What year was the home built? Houses built pre-1984 were not subject to current building standards and may be more susceptible to damage in a cyclone or storm
  • Is the home in a flood zone? Check with the local council if the home is in a flood zone
  • What height is the floor? If the home has been built on stumps or had the stumps or foundations raised, this could reduce your flood risk
  • If the home was built pre-1984 has anything been done to improve its resilience? For example, re-roofing or adding roof strapping will make it more secure
  • Are there any mitigation works in the area? Especially important for new developments. 

Ms Ross said when it came to the purchase of a new home, knowledge was power. 

“Homeowners who know exactly what they’re getting themselves into are less likely to be shocked when they receive their insurance premium,” she said. 

“Once you do make a purchase, be sure to tell your insurer if you make any changes to improve the resilience of the home.”  

RACQ Home and Contents insurance customers could receive up to a 20 percent discount on the cyclone portion of their premium by taking proactive steps to improve home resilience.