The holiday season is here and those Grinch’s are just waiting to take what’s not theirs.
Imagine coming home and realising that not only has someone broken in, they’ve taken nearly everything that wasn’t nailed down.
Would you at least have a sense of comfort that you were protected? If you have contents insurance the answer is yes.
Fidelity’s Business Development Executive Richard Scrivens says theft protection is standard in most policies providing financial coverage for damaged or stolen clothes, jewellery, electronics, and pictures, all valuables inside your home not permanently attached to the structure.
Who needs it?
A valuable and necessary tool in the fight against crime, contents insurance is a necessity everyone needs to invest in according to Mr. Scrivens.
“You don’t have to package content and home insurance together, policies can be purchased separately,” he said.
Stand alone policies are ideal for people who rent.
Landlords only cover their belongings inside a home, “its important tenants have a policy in their own name” said Mr. Scrivens. Adding if they don’t and something happens the possessions they carried into the rented property will not be protected against loss or damage.
Homeowners who have home insurance and or pay strata fees still need contents insurance. Mr. Scrivens says many people make the mistake of thinking this is all the coverage they need, but in reality they are only covered for damage to windows, doors or structural damage outside he says typically inside contents are not covered.
What to look for
Policies differ by company according to Mr. Scrivens it’s important to take a look at what’s offered and ask questions.
“Be aware of the deductible” he said. “A person hoping to be reimbursed for a stolen IPod or DVD player may not realise there’s a 250 dollar deductible until a claim is filed.”
Also check out if items stored in garages, sheds, or placed in your yard are garden are covered. Mr. Scrivens says sometimes additional fees are required to insure those items.
He says “All Risks”, coverage for items taken outside the home, is available to customers who want to protect their possessions from street theft but you will have to pay extra, so compare the price and make sure it’s worth your while.
Mr. Scrivens says practically all policies offer “new for old” coverage meaning no matter how old or condition the item was before it was damaged or went missing, the payout will be sufficient enough to purchase a new one.
And finally the most important tip to remember when purchasing contents insurance, make sure the entire value of your possessions is covered to avoid being underinsured said Mr. Scrivens.
“Fidelity sends out a checklist to customers allowing them to go room by room and determine what items they want covered are worth.”
Filing a claim
So how long do you have to wait before you receive payment once you file a claim?
According to Mr. Scrivens the more detail you provide the quicker the process is.
“Take pictures of unique, very valuable items, photos of jewellery are helpful; provide assessments, receipts, invoices, with claim forms”.
He says reporting a robbery or burglary quickly and providing them with the serial numbers of items stolen will also speed the process along.