Making sure you are getting a good deal with your insurance means shopping around. Get several quotes, being careful you are comparing like with like. Like for like can be product related or policy conditions related. For example, make sure you are quoting on the same excess level. Does one insurer charge you extra for flood, electric motor burnout etc., while another insurer includes this in the total costs?
Ensure you are getting the very best policy for your particular circumstances, not just the cheapest deal you can find.
Make certain you are familiar with exactly what is covered. If you are underinsured in the event of an accident, you could find yourself a lot worse off than if you had bought the most appropriate policy for your circumstances in the first place.
Other options which may assist in keeping costs down include:
· Agreeing to pay a higher excess when making a claim
· Multi-policy discounts are offered by most insurers
· Ensuring you can demonstrate a high level of security i.e. window locks, alarms
· No-claim discounts are sometimes offered for drivers who have not made a claim for a particular period of time
· Restricting the age of those nominated to drive your car to over 25 years
Some insurers take into account how far on average you drive each year. Those who drive less can generally get a discount.
Underinsurance is when the sum insured on your policy will not cover the full cost of replacement if there is a loss. Unfortunately, many Australians are not aware that they are underinsured until it is too late. The 2005 Australian Securities and Investment Commission report into the problem of underinsurance found that anywhere from 27% to 81% of Australians are underinsured by 10% or more for the cost of rebuilding. Again, this figure may have increased in the wake of Black Saturday 2009. While many consumers are not aware they are underinsured, there is evidence to suggest there are others who choose to be so deliberately either because of being overly optimistic about their risks or in the belief that this is an effective way of keeping premiums down.
Ways to avoid being underinsured
Conduct a room-by-room inventory of your contents, remembering to calculate replacement costs. Your television may be 10 years old, but to replace it with a brand new version of the same size with today’s technology may cost somewhat more. Be sure to include things like books, CDs and manchester. Expensive jewellery may require separate coverage.
Talk to a professional valuer or builder about just what it would cost to rebuild your property including outbuildings
and fences. Even though most insurers cover this in addition to your sum insured, remember to take into account
the costs of demolition, council costs and debris removal.
· Be as familiar as possible with the product disclosure statement (PDS) in order to understand the details of your policy.
· When it comes time to renew your policies, take the time to review the sum insured, making sure it takes into account any new purchases, or any additions you’ve made to your home (even a garden shed or outdoor paving).
· Talk to your insurer. Apia staff are fully qualified to give you advice on the best cover and sum insured for you.
To speak to an Australian-based insurance professional today, call 13 50 50, visit www.apia.com.au or drop in to an Apia branch to find out more.