Why it’s important to make sure you’re protected
Insurance policies are great because they provide the peace of mind that if something were to go wrong, you can replace the items covered.
You could just assume that all your valuables are covered in your contents insurance, but if your valuables are ever lost or stolen, it would come as a rude shock to discover that they weren’t.
So, what can you do? Well, here are some thoughts on how you can ensure that your insurance covers everything you need it to.
Create an inventory.
The first step is really to take stock of what you have. Writing it all down will give you a checklist to refer back to when you review your cover.
Think about what keeps you awake at night and put those items on your list. Whether its big ticket items like the house, car or furniture, or smaller things – just get them all down on paper.
List where they are stored or likely to be.
Consider where they are stored or likely to be if they are not locked up securely in your house. You might have valuables in a garden shed or storage unit. Also if items are regularly taken outside the home like a laptop or jewelry, are these covered?
Know the difference between value and sentimental value.
Your engagement ring is valuable. Nana’s old backgammon set probably isn’t, so do some research before you put it on your list.
If you think something is valuable, but you don’t know how much its worth, try searching online to see if you can find something similar, or for things like rings and jewelry, consider using sites like Washington Diamond to getan estimate of what it may be worth.
Understand the fine print.
I know it’s boring, I’d rather watch re-runs of Days of our Lives (and I hate that show) than read the fine print on an insurance policy.
But you’ve got to do it. Take the time to go through all the policy details and ask your provider to clarify points that don’t make sense. Chat to them with your list beside you and tick off each item as they are discussed. If anything is missing, ask it to be added to the policy.
Know what is covered and what is not.
In certain situations some items may not be covered or be too expensive to cover compared to what they are worth. You will need to make a call on whether to cover them or not, but at least you will know exactly where you stand and not just going along blissfully unaware until it is too late.
Depending on where you live and how mobile your items are you may need to consider having extra locks or security added to your home or outdoor sheds as well as having a safe place installed in your car to stop theft of items you may have to leave in it.
Know if there is a cap on the cost of personal items.
The average cover for personal items on most insurance policies is only $3000 which is unlikely to cover the cost of expensive items like wedding or engagement rings.
Make sure these high value personal items are named on your insurance policy, that way they will be covered for the full amount.