Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants
Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants

Tips to get the most from Home & Contents Insurance

Written by Tearne Madden
Though it seems like yesterday, 2012 was a very different time to today. Call Me Maybe was the most played song on our iPods. We were trying – and probably failing – to do that dance from Gangnam Style. We were ironically, but also a little seriously, scared that the world was going to end because of a Mayan calendar.

See? A lot has changed in 5 years. This was also the last time the average Australian updated their home & contents insurance, and just as we all (eventually) stopped saying “YOLO,” a lot about your life, home and lifestyle might have changed since 2012. You might have new possessions, a new partner, or new housemates.

With all of the ways your life might have changed, it’s important to take another look at your assets (an asset is anything of value) and your current policy to make sure your home & contents insurance has everything you need.

Valuing your assets
Over five years, it’s easy to lose track of how many possessions you have. When updating your policy you should value your current assets and check that your policy covers everything you own.

If you live with others, make it a team effort and allocate each member of your household a room to document the items in each.

Make a shared document with a program like Google Docs, which will allow all members of your house to contribute to it when they purchase a new item. The document will act as a living record for any items you want to keep track of.

When checking all of your items, nobody expects you to know the exact cost of your possessions off the top of your head. There are industry resources like The Insurance Council of Australia’s contents insurance calculator that can give you a heads up on the value.

There are also easier ways to keep track of your receipts. Apps like Smart Receipts allow you to snap a pic and store receipts digitally.

Assessing your coverage needs
What has changed in your life since 2012? New home upgrades or major purchases might fall outside of your current policy, meaning you will be underinsured and you might be out of pocket should an accident happen.

Have you started to travel more frequently? Some providers won’t cover events if your home is unoccupied for 60 days, so this is something you might want to see if your policy can accommodate. For instance, ING Insurance may provide cover while your home is unoccupied for an extended period (up to 180 days) if you advise beforehand and agree to certain conditions for the security and safekeeping of your home.

Have you recently gotten engaged, or received an extravagant gift? Some policies set a limit for valuable items like jewellery, so you may not be getting the coverage you need for them. ING does have jewellery as a default for Contents Insurance and there is an option to add specific items at a certain cost, but not all policies do.

So what do I do if I want to change?
If you decide your policy isn’t giving you the best cover anymore, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Have a clear idea of what you currently receive and what you would need to get from another provider.
2. Make sure all new items you have since your last policy will be covered by the new policy you’re considering.
3. Use ING’s online tool to get a quote in minutes and compare with your current policy.

Accidents are part of life. We saw that in 2012 when Call Me Maybe topped the charts. But before they happen, it’s important to know that you’re covered. Get an online quote for Home & Contents Insurance at ING and you could save up to 30%.

SOURCE: ING Bank (Australia) Limited

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