Guide to reviewing your home insurance
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
Owning a home is possibly the largest investment you’ll ever make. So it’s important to ensure that your insurance cover will deliver on your expectations.
Here are 5 tips on what to look out for from the RAA.
What are you covered for?
Never assume that your home and contents policy is all inclusive. Check what events you are covered for including things like flood, fire (including bushfire), burglary, malicious damage and earthquakes.
Check the extent of the cover if these events occur, for example; temporary accommodation if your home can’t be lived in; damage while moving house; removing debris; spoiled food; legal costs; and replacement locks.
Make sure you know the limits of your cover for individual items like jewellery and bikes because you will not be covered for more than the cover limit unless you provide a valuation for each item.
When it comes to contents, remember you’ll need to replace old for new. You’ll need independent valuations on big ticket items, and remember to update them as market value for items like gold jewellery can change dramatically. Web calculators that estimate property replacement costs are useful but beware that they are entirely based on the figures you input and should act as a guide only.
Accidental damage protects you against unexpected mishaps such as accidentally dropping your mobile phone off a balcony. Many people assume they would be covered for this damage but it is commonly an additional option that incurs an extra fee as is Pet Cover. Make sure you explore the optional extras available.
In the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim, check the location of the person you are going to be dealing with. Are they in South Australia or will you be talking to someone interstate or overseas and are you confident they provide the level of customer service you require?
Review your sum insured each year. Don’t just insure your house for what it originally cost to build - think about what it will cost to replace it at today’s prices and include additions like solar panels, carpets, pergolas, sheds and paving.
Savvy consumers regularly review their insurance policies to make sure it compares favourably to others on the market.
Check whether your insurer annually adjusts your sum insured in line with inflation and let your renewal notice stand as a reminder to double check that your insurance company is acting in your best interests.
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