January 24, 2013
An intelligent man once said, “Home and Contents Insurance is essential, not a luxury” and never before could this statement be more true. Paul Clitheroe, Chief Commentator of Money Magazine has certainly hit the nail on the head with this comment.
Over the past several years, Australian homes have been under threat by so many different variables that insuring against these losses should be viewed as necessity rather than an option. With recent events like bushfires, floods, drought, storms and the ever present “light fingered community member”, insurance has become one of the most talked about topics in the country.
We all saw the horrific scenes in Queensland with the floods and the bushfires that affected New South Wales and Victoria. Now take a step back, moving away from the human tragedies and think about the financial ones that arise when events like these occur. It’s sad to think that some families lost their homes, belongings and lifetime memories through such an event but, it’s far more distressing to think that some of these families didn’t take out home and contents insurance to protect them and their valuables. It’s an accurate statement that the majority of Australians insure their homes but another concerning statistic is that a large number of these homes are under insured.
The good news is that Insurance in this country has never been easier to purchase, nor has it provided more protection for consumers than right now. Recent legislative requirements have made it virtually impossible for Insurance Companies to confuse consumers with industry jargon. Every Home and Contents policy purchased within Australia is provided with a Product Disclosure Statement, (PDS) which outlines what is, and what isn’t covered. Australian consumers also have a massive advantage when it comes to buying insurance.
With so many Insurers operating here, they are all fighting for a “slice of the market” which quite simply put, translates into consumers being able to shop around between Insurers to get the best possible deal. Whilst we are all price conscious, the cheaper the policy is does not necessarily equate to the best policy. You need to consider whether the cover you are purchasing will be adequate in the event of a disaster. Here are a few tips to remember when you are purchasing or renewing your home and contents insurance policy;
- Always shop around. Aim to get alternative quotations every second year
- If money is tight, ask whether a discount can be provided to increase your policy excess
- Use online calculators on Insurers websites to help determine an adequate level of cover for your home
- Ask whether multi-policy discounts apply if you switch your home and car insurance to the one provider
- Ask your Insurer if they offer pay by the month premiums at no additional cost
And remember, saving a small amount on your premium is great but, if it’s the difference between being correctly insured and being under insured, it could end up costing substantially more.
by Justyn McTaggart Principal, JLM Insurance Group
For further information please contact:
Monica Van Riet 03 9681 8182 Monica.firstname.lastname@example.org www.mortgagechoice.com.au/monica.vanriet