Tag Archives: Home insurance

  • Our top tips for Christmas

    Posted on 16 December, 2016

    ‘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!

    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.

    Cover Yourself While Travelling

    8% of Australians travelled without Travel Insurance on their last overseas trip, according to a survey commissioned by the Australian Government and the ICA 2016. That’s 850,000 visits by Australians overseas without Insurance! Do not expose yourself to such risks and get yourself covered.

    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 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 or in competition away from home, unless you pay extra for a policy extension.

    Security Measures

    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.

    The 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 leading insurer or broker websites. 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. 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.

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  • Guide to choosing the right Home Insurance

    Posted on 27 March, 2013

    Many home purchasers are encouraged to arrange home and contents insurance through the financial institution providing their mortgage finance. Finance institutions act as authorised representatives of a nominated insurance company and earn a commission for the sale of insurance products. These Institutions cannot legally provide advice about the most suitable policy for their borrower as they are not licensed insurance brokers. So it might be convenient to arrange cover through the financier but at what cost if a major claim is excluded because they have the wrong policy!

    Direct insurers advertise strongly in the media promoting cheap Home Insurance products online or through call centres relying on the ignorance of consumers about the complexity of insurance contracts to sell them products which offer cut down coverage to reduce the premium cost of policies. For example, Temporary Accommodation Costs cover following major damage to a home building can vary from No cover to usually 10% of Contents sum insured. Good policies provide up to 20% of Contents cover. Jewellery cover at home is often limited to $1,000 or $2,000 whereas good policies cover unspecified items of jewellery up to $5,000 each. Money cover is often limited to $200 to $500 but good policies cover money up to $1,000 at home.

    There are two types of home and contents insurance policies available – the standard Defined Events cover which only insures the events listed in the policy and excludes everything else and the Accidental Damage policy which covers all accidental loss, damage or theft incidents unless specifically excluded in the policy. Direct insurers, if they offer an Accidental Damage policy at all, usually limit the coverage provided to the home premises whereas good policies provide worldwide coverage for all contents temporarily removed from home – subject to some cover limitations.

    Before you change to a new insurer offering premium savings, make sure you check their Product Disclosure Statement to ensure it provides the same coverage as your current policy. Also you would be wise to check with your current insurer whether they have alternative products available which might suit you better.

    Unlike most insurance brokers, Donnellys welcome enquiries about home and contents insurance and provide free professional advice about our exclusive policies underwritten by a range of major insurers which provide over 30 additional coverage benefits.

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