Why You Can’t Afford to Under-Insure Your Home These Holidays

dangers of underinsuring your home and contents

Last year, a survey by finder.com.au found total spending over the festive season was projected to hit $25 billion*, with each Aussie spending an average of $1,325. That’s a lot of expensive gifts under the Christmas tree! Gifts you probably won’t want to part with.

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, more than 200,000** Aussie homes are broken into annually. Sadly, the possibility of this theft increases over the holiday season. Research has revealed the most burgled items in Australia^ over the last decade have changed, to reflect our growing penchant for technology. These ‘hot items’ include things like laptops, phones, video game consoles, cameras, TVs, jewellery, and watches – gifts you might typically receive or give a family member. This is because they’re not just valuable; they’re more portable and easier for a burglar to sell.

It is important for homeowners and renters not to be complacent. Investing in home and contents insurance before Christmas, is simply a smart move. It is also important to make sure you have the right cover, as some items such as mobile phones and jewellery will need to be listed on the policy to be insured for their full value. Also, if you’re going on holidays over Christmas, it is a good time to review your current policy coverage. If you’re going to be away for a particularly long time, check what your insurance policy is for the maximum number of days covered.

As for additional measures you can take to safeguard your home and possessions, don’t leave expensive gifts like technology, jewellery, or cash vulnerable to thieving eyes. Since thieves might attempt to peer into your home, keep shopping bags or Christmas wrapping out of sight before you head out – this will reduce the potential lure of a luxury present.

If your family is giving each other large gifts this year, consider asking the giver to take a photo of the receipt with their mobile. When you receive the gift, note down any serial numbers. Should the worst happen, it’ll make it easier to track down stolen items and be reimbursed.

Burglars also don’t want to spend long in your home, preferring to quickly swipe items they can easily spot and carry – like car keys. According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, a car is stolen every 12 minutes in Australia^^. Either they’ll swipe the keys and immediately drive off with it, or they’ll return later to do so. Make sure to store car keys in a difficult place to find, to help reduce your chances of losing them to theft.

As good as your hiding spots may be, you might want to consider installing a home security system. An effective one should feature door and window sensors, glass-break detectors, motion sensors, and for an additional layer of protection, consider video surveillance. Doing so will mean that in the event of a break-in, police are more likely to identify the offender.

 

 

Any advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available on this website.

* https://www.finder.com.au/press-release-nov-2018-christmas-cracker-aussies-to-spend-25-billion-this-festive-season

**https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4530.0~2017-18~Main%20Features~Break-in%20and%20Attempted%20break-in~9

^https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2014/jan/19/burglaries-australia-statistics-interactive

^^https://carsafe.com.au/motorists