Home is where the heart is – it’s not just a house, a few bricks and a bit of mortar. It’s the place you feel most comfortable, where you surround yourself with lovely things, some sentimental, some practical but all yours. Your home is filled with memories and belongings, some valuable and some less so – your son’s third place trophy for the under 10s kickboxing tournament or your great grandfather’s pocket watch.
Home and Contents insurance will help you protect your home and your belongings if they are lost, stolen or damaged due to fire, flood, burst pipes, storms, earthquakes and vandalism. (The cover will vary with provider so check your Product Disclosure Statement to be sure.) However, for added cover, you should consider some of the available ‘extras’ on home and contents insurance.
Optional extras, sometimes referred to as optional benefits, can help provide you with extra peace of mind and additional coverage for your home and belongings. They are optional, additional benefits that can be added to existing home and contents insurance policies, depending on your provider. If you are looking to switch or take out home and contents insurance for the first time, consider each providers optional extras in your decision.
Optional extras vary by provider but often include one or more of the following:
Accidental damage cover provides you with cover for belongings inside your home (including sheds, garages and outbuildings on some policies) that are accidentally damaged by you or your loved ones. For example, if your dog knocks over an expensive vase, you may be able to claim it on your insurance.
Many appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ceiling fans, vacuum cleaners, electric garage doors, water pumps, pool pumps and air conditioners all have motors in them. Motor burnout can be caused by a variety of things, including power-surges, and overuse. In addition to providing cover for the repair or replacement of the motored appliance, policies that offer motor burnout cover may also cover damage or loss related to motor burnout – for example, if your freezer motor burns out and you lose the contents of your freezer, the cost of replacing the frozen foodstuffs may be covered.
Cover for Items outside of Home
You may have valuable items that you regularly take outside your home, like your designer handbag, engagement rings or other jewellery, smartphone, tablet, camera, golf clubs or computer. Some providers offer optional Personal Effects/Valuables cover that will protect these types of items against loss or theft outside the home too! There are normally limits to the cover for these items so it’s a good idea to check the Product Disclosure Statement prior to signing up for insurance to make sure you’ll have enough coverage for these items.
Higher Item Value Limits
Standard home and contents insurance policies offer varying, capped value limits for the coverage of certain types of items like electronics, jewellery, furniture, appliances and clothing. If you have items that exceed the standard limit on an average policy, you may consider an extras policy with higher value limits per item group; for example, electronics will be capped at a blanket amount but if you lose all the electronics in your house (TV, computers, phones, DVD players, gaming systems, stereos etc.) the replacement cost may exceed the total ‘value’ amount covered by a standard policy.
Specified Item Cover
If you have special items of high value (jewellery, antiques, performance road bicycles, tools etc.), you may consider taking out specified item cover, which will allow you to insure a specific item beyond the limits of a standard or even high item value policy.
Not all policies include flood cover; if you live in an area prone to flooding be sure to check your policy details. If it is available, you may wish to consider purchasing flood cover as an optional extra on your home insurance to ensure your home and contents are fully covered.
The Final Word
When selecting Home and Contents Insurance extras, it’s important to consider your personal circumstances – the type of home you have, its location and the belongings you wish to protect. Protect your home and belongings against all of life’s unknowns: compare policies and select the one that best suits your unique needs and budget today.