Category Archives: Top tips
Posted on 22 December, 2018
‘tis the season to be jolly…so make sure your home is safe, secure and you are adequately covered over the festive season by following Donnellys Christmas season top tips!
Travelling Overseas with Christmas presents
It is vital to ensure you are aware of the limitations within your travel insurance policy, particularly if you are taking presents abroad. Most insurers will cover presents under your personal baggage cover, providing the item you are claiming for falls within the policy limits/guidelines.
Many policies have restrictions so it is very important to read your policy documents before you travel with gifts to ensure you are adequately covered. For example, don’t leave your luggage unattended at airports particularly, as many travel policies will not cover theft of unattended luggage.
Cover Yourself while travelling
Medical costs in some countries such as USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe are extremely high, so you need to have the right cover for your travel destination. Not all hospitals are like the ones at home. Imagine being in hospital where appropriate medical facilities are not available. Medical staff that don’t speak English and equipment is limited to a stethoscope and a bandage.
That’s when it’s important that you have the best Travel GP available through your insurer who can give you calm and clear advice, as well as a guidance with medicine or a medical referral over the phone and connect you to an Australian based GP, if appropriate.
Donnellys will be announcing in the new year the choice of two market leading Travel policies offering special benefits for our clients – watch out for our next newsletter.
Leaving your home unattended over the holidays
Most policies would cover an unoccupied home for at least 30 days without the need to notify the insurer – but normal precautions would need to be taken as there is a duty of care on the policy holder to safeguard the premises. For example, if you have notified your insurer that you have a security system, it must be activated when a home is vacant for a period of time, otherwise the policy cover may be prejudiced if contents are stolen when the alarm is inactive.
If you have a bicycle you need to be aware that many policies have a limit on the value you can claim if it is stolen at home. And there may be no cover under a standard home policy if the bicycle is stolen and damaged in an accident away from home or in competition, unless you have the right policy.
You’re out and about at Christmas parties and events, not forgetting all that shopping that needs doing. If your home is left empty during the festive season, it could be an
easy target for burglars. Making sure your home is extra secure should be on your priority list. Ensure the exterior of your home is well-lit. Making sure your windows and doors are secure is essential all year round, not just during the festive season.
Ask your neighbours and friends to keep an eye on your property and arrange for mail and newspapers to be collected while you’re away. Try not to share photos on Social Media while you’re away, wait until you return.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The best way to keep presents already bought for Christmas is to keep them out of sight. The safest option is to keep them hidden away until closer to Christmas. Also, be sure to properly dispose of any packaging for new items in the house. You don’t want to advertise your valuables to any potential thieves. So break it down and bag it up, don’t just leave it for collection.
Avoid a Christmas Inferno
Make sure you turn off your Christmas lights, when you’re out of the house, and when you go to bed. Avoid overloading plug points as this can be a fire risk and remember Christmas trees and decorations can catch fire easily.
New Year is a good time to update your home and contents insurance
If you are planning a quiet summer break at home, this may be a good time to catch up on important things like checking you are fully covered by your home insurance policy. The best way is to use the ‘Valuation Guides’ for home and contents replacement costs, which are found on Donnellys website home page www.Donnellys.com.au. You need to know the size of your house and under-cover areas, half the value of fences, landscaping and paths. Once the festive season is over, it is important you update your policy with the valuable gifts you receive or other purchases.. Take an inventory of all non-fixed contents items, and take photographs of major items to be able to prove ownership in the event of a claim, should the worst happen.
We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We will be open every business day over the Christmas/New year period (excluding public holidays). We will have a reduced staff who will be in the office between 9 and 3pm.
We will be available to assist you with covering all your insurance needs including new purchases and assist with any claims you may have.
As a Donnellys client you also have access to a 24/7 FREE Emergency Home Service if you require it. Call Johns Lyng Group, our Emergency Home Service provider on 1300 218 992 and advise them that you are a Donnellys client. Also let them know who your insurance company is for your policy, if you know it from your insurance policy certificate from us. This is for emergency work to prevent further loss or damage to your property. (eg emergency plumbing or electrical, glass replacement, protective tarping, tree removal, locksmith services). This service is available to you throughout the year.
If you purchase a new vehicle (up to a value of $150,000) which will replace your traded in vehicle you will have automatic cover for the new vehicle for 21 days to provide us with its details and any premium adjustment to be paid.
Buying a house
Get your real estate agent to email a copy of your contract to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have cover for you from the fall of the auction hammer or the end of your cooling off period.
Posted on 27 June, 2018
This month, the Donnellys team delve deeper into our Car Insurance series, and detailing in greater detail exactly what may lie in the fine print of your car insurance policy.
Car left unlocked
When you fill your car up with petrol, do you ever leave your car unlocked or keys left in it while you go to pay the bill? What happens if someone steals your car while you are paying the bill. You would expect your Comprehensive Car policy would cover that eventuality – most do. However one high profile insurance agency has a special exclusion in their little red car branded policy to avoid claims like this.
Several high profile insurers or agencies have a special exclusion to avoid claims in case you accidentally use the wrong fuel at a petrol station so you need to be very careful as it is an expensive repair job to fix this mistake.
At Fault policy definition
Most Car policy insurers will not penalise your renewal premium for a claim made when you are not “at fault” and you can identify the other party involved in an accident so that they can recover your claims costs from them.
However, most policies do not define not “at fault “so therefore it is up to the insurer to decide whether they will penalise your premium or not. Usually the only time you are “not at fault” in a road accident is if another driver collides with the rear of your car. Intersection accidents are usually considered 75/25% blame between the parties so in that situation you would have some fault at least so your renewal premium may be penalised according to the policy wording.
A few insurers do define not “at fault” which means as long as you are not mainly to blame in an accident your renewal premium will not be penalised for that type of claim.
Passenger Liability cover
Bodily injury caused to another person through the use of a registered vehicle is covered by individual states’ compulsory third party injury legislation. However the legislation in some states excludes injury caused by a passenger alighting from a vehicle when unsafe to do so.
Some comprehensive car insurance policies have been extended to cover this gap in cover while others still exclude any bodily injury cover from any cause. It’s best to check your state’s legislation in this regard and your comprehensive policy conditions to ensure your passenger’s liability for injury to passers-by when opening a car door is covered one way or another.
Fine Print Exclusions
So it’s good to read the cover features of a policy but equally important is the need to be aware of cover exclusions or features missing when comparing policies so you know if you have the right policy for your circumstances.
Check the table below, which compares certain features of prominent direct insurers’ policies.
If you would like more information about any of the above articles, Donnellys would welcome your enquiry on (08) 8236 7789.
Note: This information is provided as general advice only to readers as a guide to Australian insurance policies. You should not rely solely on this information for your own situation and need to read the policy and PDS for any insurance that you are considering buying to ensure it suits your circumstances.
Posted on 05 March, 2018
In part one of our Car Insurance Tips and Traps series, we looked at total loss claims, new for old car replacement and loan interest gaps. This month, we’re delving into everything from passenger liability for injury to car insurance claim penalties.
Passenger Liability for Injury
In many comprehensive car insurance policies, injury to others caused by a passenger opening a car door when unsafe to do so is not covered. But, Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTP) insurance for injury caused in an accident also excludes this risk in some states. So, it’s best to check whether you have this cover, so you can protect your passengers in the event of this type of accident.
Loan Car Cover
What happens if you are loaned a car by a repairer while your car is being fixed or when your car is being serviced and you have an at-fault accident in that car? Your comprehensive car policy will cover your liability for damage as a substitute car if yours is not being used at the same time, but not damage to the loaned vehicle.
You will need to sign a document when taking delivery of the loan car which probably makes you responsible for accident damage either for the owner’s policy excess payable for a claim or maybe even the full damage cost or their loss of no claim bonus.
So, it’s best to read any loan car agreement to check your damage responsibility and whether you have this cover in your comprehensive car policy in the event of this type of accident.
Car Insurance Claim Penalties
Having a car accident and dealing with the stress that comes with it is bad enough, especially when you have to arrange repairs and pay your claim excess. When you receive your renewal notice and your premium has skyrocketed due to your at fault accident penalty, it almost feels like too much to handle.
Most policies don’t penalise your renewal premium in the following circumstances:
- Your car is damaged while parked and you can identify the person at fault;
- Whilst travelling your car is hit from behind by another driver’s car and you can identify the driver.
This is because your insurer can recover your damage costs in these instances from the person at fault, including your excess payable for your claim.
Most other types of accident involve some fault by the parties involved. Many insurance policies will apply an excess to your claim and penalise your renewal premium if you are at fault. So it’s best to have a policy that clearly defines what degree of fault will penalise you in an accident, e.g. greater than 50 per cent fault.
The best way to avoid a hefty increase in your renewal premium in the event of an at-fault accident like a collision is to buy a Protected No Claim Bonus policy option, which is available from many insurers but it would pay you to check if you have this extra cover now or not.
Donnelly Insurance Brokers can look after you in all the above-mentioned circumstances to ensure you get the right cover at the right premium for the best value coverage and assist you with claims for better insurance. Contact us today for more information!
Posted on 28 September, 2017
As we discussed in Insurance Traps and Tricks to Watch out For (Part One), insurance policies are sometimes marketed to sound better than they actually are. In the second instalment of this two-part series, we’re going to look at common tricks employed to make you think you’re saving money, as well as some common traps that can mislead bicycle owners.
Insurance Policy Prices
You know the old saying, “you get what you pay for”? Well, when it comes to insurance policies this is usually the case!
Cheaper premiums usually mean that the insurer is cutting costs somewhere. When you purchase a policy with premiums that are much cheaper than you originally expected, it usually means your policy will have more exclusions than other more expensive ones.
Another way an insurer can make the lower premiums justifiable to their bottom line is by increasing the cost of your excess in the event you need to make a claim. This means that despite the low premiums, you could end up spending more on your excess or paying for coverage gaps in your policy if you need to make a claim.
More often than not, when you see high profile insurance companies offering generous online discounts, these discounts are only applicable for the first 12 months of the policy. This means that once your first year is up, your premiums will automatically tick back over to the company’s standard, higher-cost rates.
When taking advantage of these discounts, you’re also taking the risk that the cover might not encompass as much as you might expect, which is why we recommend consulting with a broker before purchasing an insurance policy.
Changing your insurance to a different provider once your initial 12-month contract is up to save money creates extra work and stress for yourself. And if you discover you weren’t covered in the event of a claim, how are going to know next time you won’t fall for the same type of “fine print traps” contained in policies sold directly to unsuspecting customers. Checking policy covers and exclusions yourself can help if you have the time and know-how. But how do you check how good the cover is when you can only check what cover is included and excluded in the policy without having the skill and training to know what important coverage words are missing? Being your own insurance broker can be very costly in the long-run!
Insuring Your Bike
If you’re insuring your bicycle, make sure you’re aware that a lot of policies will have a limit on the value you can claim if your bike is stolen from your property. Standard home insurance policies also won’t offer coverage if the bike is damaged or stolen in an accident or a competition away from the home unless you pay extra for a policy extension.
Why Choose Donnellys?
Working with an insurance broker from Donnellys comes with a host of benefits, the most beneficial one being that we’ll be working with you, not for the insurance companies. This means we’re looking out for your best interests first and foremost. Another great part of working with an insurance broker is that we’ll take the stress out of making a claim, as we’ll handle all the nitty gritty and argue your case in disputes on your behalf.
We also offer easy monthly payments so don’t be persuaded by direct insurers to accept less cover for the convenience of their monthly payment offer online.
Want to learn more about how we can help find the best insurance coverage for your needs? Get in touch today!
Posted on 22 December, 2018
‘tis the season to be jolly…so make sure your home is safe, secure and you are adequately covered over...Read on
Posted on 27 November, 2018
If criminals in balaclavas and clichéd Hollywood computer hackers are among your greatest concerns for the cyber safety of your...Read on
Posted on 15 November, 2018
From typical property damage and liability risks like slip-and-fall and equipment breakdown to less common ones like food-borne illnesses,...Read on
Posted on 15 November, 2018
Generally, when you own your own home, taking out insurance on your property is something that is done without...Read on
Posted on 27 June, 2018
This month, the Donnellys team delve deeper into our Car Insurance series, and detailing in greater detail exactly what...Read on
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