No doubt about it. 2020, the year of the pandemic, has seen some major blowouts.
We all took up baking, and our waistlines blew out. Then we all started working from home and preparing our houses
for 24/7 occupation, and our home improvement plans blew out, too.
According to CBA Gareth Aird, there has been a 25% increase in credit card and debit card spending on
household furnishings and equipment, including gardening, home renovations and home office fit outs, this year.
(Yeah, that figure doesn’t even include toilet paper. Imagine if it did.)
So, Australians have been spending up big, turning our homes into all-in-one castles for work and play. Here’s
where we’ve spent on our blowouts (and what it means for your home and contents insurance).
Working from home and the new home office
Analytics firm AlphaBeta have confirmed what all those empty boxes from OfficeWorks and Ikea left out for recycling
at the start of lockdown had suggested — Australians spent up big on office furniture and equipment.
They found a 114% increase in normal spending in that area since
the pandemic started.
We’ve actually spent more on setting up home offices than any other spending category — which,
let’s be honest, is the least fun way to spend money on new stuff for the house. (Find more consumer spending
category figures in this handy COVID-19 Economic Impact Real Time Tracking
But we’re not dumb, either. Google Trends shows searches for “home office” spiked in March and
interest is still hovering at around 70% of that peak, with lots of ongoing interest in related searches for
“depreciation” and “tax rate”. So, there’s no doubt Australians want to know
what sort of tax breaks are available for
Here’s the kicker though: Even if your company reimbursed you for equipment, furnishings and office supplies,
you might not be adequately insured to cover them under your current building and contents cover.
Stimulating home renovations
How good is a government stimulus package?
The $25,000 HomeBuilder grant is just the incentive needed
for owner-occupiers to start tearing down walls and putting new ones up.
If you’ve made changes to your house or apartment, with or without a grant, you may want to make sure your
building cover is sufficient to cover the new additions.
Working off the pandemic pounds
While a fascination for comfort baking got us through the early days of lockdown, it seems we got a bad case of
calorie guilt. There has been a record increase in home exercise equipment sales since
the pandemic hit.
The first wave came as soon as gyms closed, but retailers quickly sold out. Now that businesses have restocked,
they’re still seeing strong demand from consumers who are keen to stay in shape or regain their pre-pandemic
This equipment can be really expensive, so make sure
it’s adequately insured.
Go out and play
Australians have also been investing in pandemic projects, like new swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and
saunas, sheds and garages.
Factor in the normal wear and tear of kids playing in the garden, and it’s probably a great time to think about
Accidental Damage Home Insurance to help
keep the whole place looking better for longer, both inside and out.
Calculating what you need
Whether you popped for that gourmet oven you’ve always wanted, took the plunge on home exercise equipment, or
went all out and built an addition for a new home office, it’s worth looking into whether your current plan
gives you sufficient coverage.
HBF has two handy building and contents
calculators to help you determine whether your new purchases and investments will have an impact on your
2020 is the year our homes became not just our castles, but our offices, our gyms and, well, our everything. If
you’ve made new purchases or home improvements, make sure you’re adequately covered with building and
Get a quote for home insurance from HBF
Compare the different levels of home contents cover available or give us a call on 133 423. You
never know when an accident might happen, and you’ll want to be covered at home when it
Compare your cover
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(PDS), Accidental Damage Product Disclosure
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obtained by calling HBF on 133 423. This is general advice only and does not take into account your personal
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