Prevention is always better than cure. So why not take some simple steps to protect your home and belongings, and avoid the trouble of an insurance claim down the track.
Even if you have adequate home and contents insurance, you still want to avoid the stress of your home being robbed, damaged or maybe destroyed completely. Here is what Choice magazine says are the five most common claims made on home and contents insurance1 – and some ways you can help prevent them.
1. Severe weather
Extreme weather events are on the rise in Australia. So be prepared, and have a safety plan for your home and possessions before the storm rolls in:
- Clear your gutters and downpipes regularly, and secure any loose roof tiles.
- Keep trees trimmed and ask your council to remove any branches near power lines.
- Prepare a small bag of irreplaceable items that you can grab quickly if you have to leave.
If you know you’re in for a severe storm, make sure you:
- Secure any loose items outside.
- Tape up windows.
- Unplug computers and other electrical items to protect them from power surges.
- Have emergency supplies on hand, including torches, canned food and a first aid kit.
2. Accidental glass breakage
A shattered window leaves your home vulnerable to break-ins, while glass splinters can cause injuries. Installing shutters or using toughened or laminated glass can help prevent window breakages.
3. Burst pipes
A burst pipe can destroy possessions, cause structural damage and leave you without water for days. A common reason that pipes burst is due to pressure caused by clogging; for example, from a blocked toilet or water pump. Routine plumbing maintenance can help prevent this. You should also check the condition of your pipes regularly and replace damaged ones straight away.
4. Appliance motor burnout
A motor burnout in a fridge or freezer can do more than cause your food to spoil – it could even start a fire. If you notice your fridge is getting really hot on the outside or that it isn’t keeping food cold enough, call a repairperson at once.
Your contents insurance might replace your possessions, but it’s hard to restore your peace of mind and sense of security if your home is burgled. So to help keep thieves at bay:
- Lock up whenever you go out.
- Don’t leave a spare key hidden outside – give it to someone you trust who lives nearby.
- Consider getting an alarm system installed.
- Don’t leave valuables in sight through windows.
And if you have to make a claim for theft, remember that it helps if you have photographs of all your jewellery and other valuable items.
Get the right protection
No matter how careful we are, things can still go wrong. So if you’re in the market for house insurance, it’s worth making sure your policy will cover you against these and other common risks. By doing a home insurance comparison, you’ll be sure to find the right level of cover to suit your needs and budget.