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20% of People Don’t Insure Their Contents

MEDIA RELEASE

17 December 2013

20% of People Don’t Insure Their Contents - Tips For Protection Over the Holiday Period

The Insurance Council of New Zealand has today provided householders with some important tips to assist with the protection of their assets over the holiday period.

“The Christmas holiday period is the time of year when many burglaries occur. It is extremely important for householders to check the security of their car, home and the contents of their home and avoid becoming a burglary statistic this holiday period,” Chief Executive Tim Grafton said.

“We know that one in five Kiwis don’t bother to take out insurance to cover their house contents.  These people should consider taking out cover for any possible loss that may occur through theft or natural disaster like flooding,” he said.

“Even if you have insurance, it would pay to check it doesn’t run out over the holiday period.”

Some simple steps will help with peace of mind over the holiday period:

•          Ensure your home and contents policy is up to date and that you are adequately insured.
•          Make a detailed list of your possessions, including serial numbers and model numbers.
•          Mark all ‘big ticket’ items with a code or name to prove your ownership.
•          Register your valuable possessions on the Police website www.snap.org.nz – it will make it easier for Police to track down goods and assist with your contents claims.
•          Ask your neighbours, friends or family to pick-up any newspapers or mail that builds up while you are away from home.
•          Take photos of special items and jewellery and keep them with a copy of your insurance policy.
•          Review your cover after Christmas to include any valuable items you may receive.

In relation to motor vehicle insurance, owners should:

•          Check their vehicle is properly insured and the insurance policy is current.
•          Report any accidents to their insurance company immediately.
•          Always lock their vehicle and ensure personal belongings are not exposed.

In addition, it is important to check with your insurer what you are, or are not, covered for under your home and contents policy if:

•          you are away from your home for a longer period
•          friends are staying in your home while you are away.
•          you are planning to make your home available for a house swap.

If travelling overseas, take out travel insurance even if you are going to Australia or the Pacific Islands, especially to cover medical treatment costs or the costs of repatriation to New Zealand. Remember:

•          foreign medical costs and repatriation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
•          disclose to your insurer any pre-existing medical conditions otherwise you may find your cover excluded – you may still be able to get cover but at a higher premium.
•          read your policy as many exclude cover for higher-risk activities and if you don’t understand what the policy says ask your insurer to explain it.

“Updating your insurance policies should be first and foremost in the minds of homeowners during the Christmas period, particularly if you are planning to travel or if you live in a flood-prone area,” said Mr Grafton.

ENDS

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