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Top 5 common questions about contents insurance

Protect your purchases with contents insurance 171 62761 0 14099319 300

If you've decided to take the important step of choosing to insure your possessions through a contents insurance policy, you might have some lingering questions about how this service works.

Here are some of the commonly asked questions you might have.

Can I purchase contents insurance if I am renting?

While many insurers offer a joint home and contents insurance package, if you are renting it is still a good idea to invest in the peace of mind contents insurance will provide.

This level of insurance will cover you in the instance of theft or natural disaster, so this means you can make a claim to compensate for any items you may need to replace.

Some insurance agencies may even let you insure special items individually such as jewellery, expensive paintings or any other valuable items. You can set an amount that allows you to replace the object in question and this is an important step you can take to avoid being underinsured.

If you do own your own real estate, home and contents insurance is a great option as can cover you for the cost it would take to rebuild your house using the same materials, fittings and fixtures as your current property.

Contents insurance can cover you for "new for old replacement value" if you choose. This means your personal items, furnishings, appliances and valuables can be replaced with newer models rather than the actual market value of the items.

Some insurers offer this while under other insurance companies you will receive a the value the goods are worth on the market, rather than what it would cost to replace them with newer models.

Is it safe to purchase contents insurance online?

As with any purchases you make online, there are certain steps you can take to avoid putting yourself at risk of any dangers.

When looking at your options, make sure you are looking at reputable agencies whose names you recognise. When it comes to giving any personal details away, ensure the site you are using is secure so your sensitive data can be safely encrypted.

Avoid making these kinds of transactions on public computers if you can and where possible check to see that the computer has been protected with the most up-to-date virus protection and security systems.

Purchasing online makes it easier to compare different providers as you can check their websites to ensure you are getting the best deal. Plus, some insurers offer a reduced rate for those who purchase online. This can be as much as $50 off your premium, so it is worth comparing the rates between insurers.

If you purchase online there is no worry that you will not be covered under the same policy you would have been if you'd bought the same service in store - if you need to make a claim, you have the same rights as anyone else with insurance set up.

How often should I reevaluate my contents insurance?

It is important to give an honest appraisal to ensure you have an adequate level of cover set up. This means you should reevaluate your contents insurance regularly - around once a year - to ensure all new purchases are accounted for as many people find themselves underinsured in an emergency.

Make sure you have an inventory detailing all your household items as this can make it easier should you need to submit a claim.

Another time you should reevaluate is when you purchase any big ticket items such as engagement rings, new TVs or any other pricey equipment.

Will rented items such as TVs and DVD players be covered by contents insurance?

You might need to check the conditions of your particular policy, but some insurers will compensate for this loss if they deem you legally responsible for the items.

If you regularly rent these items out and are looking at your contents insurance options, it could pay to shop around and ask questions as to what the individual policies cover.

Will my contents insurance cover me if I am away on holiday?

As long as your trip away does not span more than 60 days, you will most likely be covered. However, this can depend on the insurer, so this is another thing to check before you sign any legal documents if you have an extended holiday away.

If your home is unoccupied for more than 60 days you could be subject to an additional excess.

How can I save on my home and contents insurance?

There are a few simple changes you can make to your home to reduce your premiums, such as securing your locks.

Any additions you include to make your house more secure, such as installing alarms or security locks on doors and windows, can make a difference on your premiums.

This can reduce the likelihood of someone breaking into your home. There will be a lower risk that payment will be required and your insurer may lower your premiums as a result.

Posted by Richard West.