Top 10 home insurance forgets

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Surveys show that many Australians continue to underinsure their home and contents – that is, if a major event occurs, they don’t have enough insurance to rebuild and replace their home and contents to the same standards they have now.

Plenty of RACV members are in this camp. In the Wye River bushfires on Christmas Day 2015, 65 per cent of RACV members whose homes were destroyed were underinsured.

From talking to RACV members we believe two key reasons for underinsurance is that many forget to appropriately insure items around their home, and they also forget to update their insured values to reflect today’s full replacement values.

We’ve created this list to give you some ideas on the things you might be missing or need to re-evaluate when you next assess your home and contents insurance.

For more comprehensive advice on your specific situation, we recommend you use our online insurance calculator and speak to one of our insurance consultants by calling 13 72 28 – they will always be happy to help you.

Insure a single item. Or a few. Affordable, flexible and easy.

10 things people forget with their home insurance

1. Renovations and home improvements

Make sure they are included in your buildings insured value. In rural areas, check if there have been any changes in building regulations such as bushfire zoning that may have increased your cost of rebuilding. Many people end up underinsuring their home buildings because they have not reassessed their buildings insured value for some time to reflect today’s rebuilding costs.

2. List your jewellery in your home contents insurance

This is a biggie. If you don’t specifically list your jewellery items as ‘specified items’ or ‘specified portable valuables’, your entire jewellery collection is covered for $1000 in total. Listing a jewellery item as a ‘specified portable valuable’ means it is covered for loss inside and outside the home, which for things like wedding rings is important.

3. Do the same for watches and cameras

Watches are also covered up to $1000 in total under general contents, so you may need to list them too – as ‘specified portable valuables’ if you take them outside the home. Cameras can have some cover outside the home if you’ve taken out ‘unspecified portable valuables’ cover – up to 20 per cent of the amount taken – but watches don’t..

4. Think about adding optional cover for accidental damage

Ever dropped a glass of wine onto your laptop or ruined your carpet? Including optional accidental damage cover in your home contents policy means you are covered for this type of event as well as events such as if you dent a hole in a wall moving furniture (excess of $300).

5. Add optional cover for fusion of electric motors

This provides protection for if the electric motors in your home burn out from a surge in electric current. It doesn’t sound all that important until you think your fridge has one, your washing machine, your dryer, your chest freezer maybe, your air con, and possibly your outdoor pool if you have one.

6. Cover the things in your handbag or manbag

These days many of us take more than $1000 worth of technology with us every day when we leave home – things like your mobile phone, laptop, tablet and music player. Add in jewellery, a watch, perfume, maybe even a hearing aid, and that’s an expensive loss if it occurs. If you want insurance cover for these items outside the home, you’ll need to list them as ‘specified portable valuables’ and grab some ‘unspecified portable valuables’ cover for the rest – your cosmetics and toiletries, music player and the bag itself.

7. Carpets and blinds

These come under your home contents insurance not your buildings insurance. You need to include an amount in your contents sum insured to cover the full replacement of all your carpets and blinds.

8. Bicycles, golf clubs, outdoor furniture

Sporting items and the outdoor things many of us accumulate over time can add up to a considerable amount to replace should you suffer a loss – make sure you’ve included them in your contents insurance.

9. Electrical appliances

They’ve been going down in price over the years but we also have more of them than ever. Work out the new price to replace all the electrical appliances in your home and make sure you include this amount in your contents sum insured.

10. Clothes and shoes

The contents of most wardrobes will set you back a considerable amount to replace, and a lot of people forget this. Remember that you’ll need to buy them new, and you might not be able to wait for the next sale to get them.

RACV Home Insurance is issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying. For a copy call 13 RACV (13 7228).

Protect your home with Victoria’s most trusted insurance

Written by RACV
December 11, 2017

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