Home and Contents
For most people their house and contents are probably some of the largest assets that they own. It makes sense then to insure them correctly to ensure that if an unfortunate event occurs you can avoid a financial disaster.
31% of Australian homes are uninsured
43% are severely under insured
In Australia it is estimated that a staggering 31% of homes are uninsured and of those with insurance approximately 43% are severely underinsured. The unfortunate reality is that most people with inadequate cover do not realise it until it’s too late.
If you work from home you may need a separate business cover for public liability insurance and also for the contents used for business purposes.
There are generally two levels of cover available:
Defined Events Cover
These policies are generally cheaper (as they provide less cover). The cover is usually restricted to the insured situation (no cover away from the premises) and covers for events such as;
- Fire or Explosion
- Storm, Lightning or Thunderbolt
- Malicious Acts
- Riot or Civil Commotion
- Bursting, Leaking, Discharging or Overflowing of basins, tanks, pipes etc
- Impact (by car, tree etc)
- Breakage of Glass
- Fusion of Electric Motors
- Spoilage of Food (due to breakdown of fridge or freezer)
Accidental Loss or Damage Cover
This cover provides all of the cover noted in the defined events policy PLUS cover for ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE or LOSS of items that cannot be found. This cover will generally provide an automatic cover for items taken away from the premises (within Australia).
There are three sections to a house and contents policy:
Most policies cover the main dwelling plus any other domestic use garage, outbuildings, walls, gates, fences, driveways, verandas, patios, in-ground swimming pools and for tenanted properties, any landlords fixtures and fittings such as stoves, built in air conditioning, light fittings, kitchens, etc.. Ensure that your sum insured covers the cost of the current rebuilding value, plus costs associated with removal and dumping of the damaged property and any other professional costs associated with rebuilding (such as architects, soil tests, application fees etc..)
Covering the cost of replacing furniture, carpets, clothes and personal possessions. Items such as artwork, antiques, collections and jewellery can have cover limited to a certain value unless they are specified individually on the policy.
Cover for items being taken away from the insured property (within Australia) is not provided by all policies automatically, these items can be insured by specifying them and paying an additional premium.
If you’re intending on travelling overseas check with your broker, as most house and contents policies will not cover outside of Australia and New Zealand (travel insurance is usually the best cover option).
Personal Liability Insurance
Most contents insurance policies automatically include personal liability insurance. This covers you should you be responsible for another person being injured or if they have any of their property damaged while on your property. It does NOT cover other people who work in or on your home, such as cleaners, gardeners, builders or plumbers. These people should have their own business liability insurance policy to protect them for the damage they may do to you or your property.
In the event of a claim
Contact your insurance broker as soon as practical. You will be asked to;
- Complete a claim form - See our Claims Section
- Provide proof of ownership in the form of receipts, manuals, pictures
- Obtain a quote to repair (if possible) or replace the items. If the items are unrepairable this should be confirmed in writing by a repairer
Here are some other points to consider....
Establish what is defined as buildings and contents under your cover. For example, policies will generally consider carpets, curtains and light fittings as contents items.
Consider your contents to be everything you would take with you if you moved out, excluding carpets, curtains and light fittings.
An especially grey area sometimes exists regarding whitegoods (washing machines, dryers and dishwashers). We find most policies deem these to be contents, however, some policies may consider them part of the building (if built in).
The major items of value will generally be curtains, carpets and light fittings. Consider these aspects when calculating your replacement values and also consider a few of the other following important areas:
Contents generally settle new for old so, when calculating, use the new replacement cost.
Check if your policy has limits for jewellery, artwork, antiques or collections. If the replacement item exceeds the policy limit, contact your broker to specify the item(s).
Please refer to your policy wording or contact your broker if you have any questions.
If you would like to know more about home and contents insurance contact us or get the process started by filling out our enquiry form for a speedy reply.