Let’s face it, life’s unpredictable. Sometimes we’re prepared for the curveballs, and sometimes we’re not. And while we try to do the best we can with what we have, having protection in place for times like this is not just a good idea, it’s the kind of backup plan families need to avoid a major setback.
So who’s with me on this one? Hands up who hates paying insurance?? NOTE: My hand is WAY UP in the air. I hate paying insurance. It just seems like such a waste. All that money, disappearing into what seems like thin air. WHY? Why do I have pay home insurance?
Because that’s what grown-ups do. Because grown-ups know about sh*t. They know it happens, that it can hit the fan and they know that if you’re going to be up the proverbial creek, you’ll need a paddle.
Insurance IS the paddle.
“But I don’t NEED insurance! What would I need to insurance for?” I hear you say?
Well for a start – your home. Your beautiful home that you saved up for and scoured the weekend papers to find and entered into a mortgage for the rest of your natural life with a financial institution to purchase. It’s pretty important and it’s incredibly valuable – regardless of its actual value.
Memories are made here. You are warm here and safe and secure. Your home is where you live and often where you love. It also holds those things most valuable to you – your family, your pets and your possessions and because of that, you go to great lengths to make sure it is secure. Locks on the doors and windows. Monitored alarm systems. Outdoor sensor lights. Security gates. Smoke detectors.
The truth is that no matter how much or well we may invest in preventative insurance we KNOW that shit still happens. Yet even with all that grown-up ‘knowing’ so many of us STILL think “It won’t happen to me.”
So you may think that takes care of fire and theft. But what about life’s OTHER surprises? Like your two year-old giving your camera a bath in the toilet. Or perhaps a passing car losing control and landing in your lounge room. Or a neighbouring tree crashing through your family room. Or losing your roof in a freak storm. Or your toddler’s best efforts at redecorating your lounge with a permanent marker.
It’s a cliché but life really IS unpredictable.
Stop and think about the horrific events that have marred our nation and it all starts to become very real (and VERY close to home!) The bushfires that tore through Victoria on Black Saturday in 2009 took over 2,000 homes in its path, the Blue Mountains in 2012 claimed over 200 homes and the most recent Sampson Flat and WA Bushfires in 2014 all add to the impact these unforseen events can have on our lives. The devastation of the Queensland Floods and most recent Sydney Storms will remain with so many Australians for a lifetime, with so many sadly underinsured, or even worse, not insured at all.
I know many of you are saying you can’t afford the whole box and dice, and I get that. What I love is that you can mix and match your insurance dependant on your budget and your lifestyle and know at least you’re covered for the unexpected. HOW covered is then up to you.
Allianz offer a choice of three home and contents insurance packages dependant on your needs so it doesn’t cost a fortune to have cover.
I’ve leaned on my insurance for ‘events’ out of my control, from a burst water pipe to a storm damaged roof. Look, I’m a pretty careful person, but no matter how careful WE are, there’s always other contributing factors of family life! Here’s what happened to me:
- Only 6 weeks after buying a $2700 MacBook Pro, my 1yo knocked a can of soft drink on the coffee table which fell onto my laptop, spilling a lovely sugary sweet residue all over my laptop (and seeping deep into my keyboard!)
- Not 3 months later, (yeah right hey!) master 3 put his water bottle into my handbag (as they do!) however he didn’t close the lid properly did he?! Unfortunately for me I also had my VERY new (and expensive) digital SLR camera in there. I suddenly heard a rather agitated clicking sound to discover my camera was taking a bath and needed some serious mouth to mouth at the Camera Store.
These two instances alone would have cost me almost $4,000 to replace these two items, had it not been for the Accidental Damage cover on my policy. That’s just been the last two years! So touch wood, that’s going to be the last claim for a while!
You may be thinking I’m not in a flood or bushfire zone so that will never happen to me. But it COULD and the only way to protect ourselves from loss, damage and subsequent hardship is to be adequately insured.
Wait. What does ‘adequately insured’ mean?
Basically, it means that you should take care not to under-insure. When a policy does not fully cover the cost of replacing your home and contents you are underinsured. Research shows that one in five Australian homes are underinsured by as much as 30% for home building costs and one in three Australian homes are underinsured by as much as 30% for contents. One reason that can cause this is if you inaccurately calculate the replacement cost of your home and contents or perhaps the sum insured was sufficient when the policy was taken out but rebuilding costs have changed at a greater rate than annual increases. This will obviously result in the consumer becoming underinsured over time.
But what sort of things should be insured?
As a guide, you should consider how much it would cost you to replace things such as your personal items, books, music, crockery, manchester, sporting equipment, garden tools, artwork, clothes, furniture and electrical goods. You should also get some help to assess what it would cost you to re-build, re-paint, re-roof or re-landscape your property should it be damaged by fire, storm or impact.
Not sure where to start?
Allianz has two super easy online calculators HERE http://bit.ly/1F0TSta and which will give you an idea of what you should be insuring your home and contents for. It literally only takes minutes and asks very simple questions to calculate what your valuables are worth. I was amazed at how much it would cost to rebuild my house!
So if it’s been a while since you revalued your home or contents, or are just slightly curious how affordable cover would be, jump online and do the exercise for yourself. We bet you’ll be surprised at just how easy and affordable it is for one of life’s little luxuries – peace of mind.
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