Many home owners and renters may overlook contents insurance because they do not know what contents insurance protects them from. While we may think our personal belongings are worth a certain amount, its likely there’s much more value sitting within our homes than we think.
So, let’s take a look behind the scenes of contents insurance to learn about what it covers, how to value your possessions and how to claim on your insurance.
What is contents insurance, and do I need it?
Contents insurance is exactly what it sounds like – cover for contents such as your TV, computer, electrical appliances and furniture items including your valuables in or around your home. In case your valuables are damaged in an unexpected event, or your home is broken into and your precious possessions get stolen, contents insurance steps in to cover you financially for your loss.
What’s covered by contents insurance?
Depending on the level of cover you have, your policy can cover you for incidents such as the more common fire and theft, as well as accidental damage and loss of items. You can also adjust the limit of how much you can claim up to. Generally, the more you’re insured for and the more comprehensive your cover, the higher your premium will be.
Your policy type will depend on your circumstances, but basic policies are common with renters or those who don’t have very many expensive possessions. If you have a lot of possessions, you may prefer the peace of mind which an accidental damage policy will cover.
Always ensure you’re fully covered for what you own because underinsurance can pose a real risk. To help determine the best level of cover, you should assess the replacement value of your contents. The best way to do this is to create an inventory of your possessions.
Simply go from room to room within your home and document all your valuables being sure to jot down any important info like the model, production date, serial number, value and purchase price of any electronics or larger goods. Don’t forget everyday items such as clothing, shoes, linen or kitchen appliances, as well as the irreplaceable items like artwork or jewellery - you may be surprised at just how much it’ll cost to replace these all at once. Most importantly, be sure to list particularly expensive items on your policy to make sure they’re adequately covered.
What do I do to make a claim?
The main way to prove you owned items that have been stolen, lost or damaged is by providing your insurer with information to help process your claim, such as:
- Purchase receipts
- Photos or video footage
- Credit card or bank statements
- Police reports and incident information
It’s best to get into the good practice of taking photos of your valuables as soon as you purchase them and document your assets for insurance purposes, so it helps you understand the value of your “stuff”. It also opens your eyes to whether or not you have the right kind of insurance to suit your needs and helps you be better prepared in case something unfortunate were to happen, allowing you to make a claim quickly – which in turn – gets your claim settled sooner rather than later.
Last but not least, always remember to read the Product Disclosure Statement for any insurance policy so that you know what you are and aren’t covered for.
Standard underwriting criteria and policy terms and conditions apply. Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722, AFSL 227681 trading as CGU Insurance (CGU). In arranging this insurance, Victoria Teachers Limited ABN 44 087 651 769 AFSL 240960 trading as Bank First (Bank First), acts under its own AFSL and under an agreement with CGU, not as your agent. Bank First receives commission when selling CGU insurance products. Please refer to Bank First’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for details of these commissions. Any advice is general only. This information does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should firstly consider the appropriateness of this information and refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before acquiring a product, available by calling 1300 654 166, visiting a branch or by visiting Bank First’s website.