Having a break-in or theft at your home is traumatic enough without the added stress of your home and contents insurance provider rejecting your claim.
Consumers are risking voiding their home and content insurance by making some common mistakes.
A recent survey of 3300 Australians found that more than 20% of Australians chose to hide their spare key in less than secure locations, such as in their gardens, under doormats or in letterboxes.
While no insurance policy will have instructions on where your spare key needs to be kept, reasonable care is needed when securing your property and that’s what can catch people out.
Forgetting to lock a door or window may still mean you’re covered but it is doubtful leaving a spare key under a pot plant in the garden will be seen as taking reasonable care.
Other situations where people may void their home and contents insurance unwittingly is failing to fix broken alarms, leaving a home open during renovations and theft by someone who was invited into your home.
Incorrect disclosure to your insurers can also result in a claim being rejected. Any change in the use of the property needs to be communicated with the insurance provider. An example of this is using the home for short term holiday rentals, such as AirBNB, or if the home is unoccupied for extended periods.
Being honest with your insurer is the best policy, omitting information in the hope of getting a better price may result in you not being covered in the case of a claim as you have misled the insurer.
Finally, always read the Product Disclosure Statement so you are aware of the policy inclusions and exclusions and use online building and contents calculators to accurately value your property and belongings. Research shows that 8 in 10 homeowners and renters in Australia are underinsured for home and contents.