07.Insurance tips and tricks
The following tips and tricks may help you find better insurance or save on costs. We’ve collected these tips over years of covering home and contents insurance, and if you have one to add, leave a comment on this article so we can add it in.
- If possible, keep any email or phone records of your insurer confirming what different definitions and covers mean, in case of any future dispute.
- Before you purchase or build a home, get a few quotes from insurers – premiums may be unaffordable for flood-prone areas as insurers have sophisticated knowledge about the risks to your intended home. Check with the local council to see if flood maps are available.
- Do not automatically renew your policy. Get a few quotes, even from your existing insurer and ask as a new customer as there are often discounts. Other common discounts are for buying your policy online and for seniors. You may also get a discount for seniors, for being a member of an auto club or for installing an alarm
- Do your own insurance evaluation. Are there any dangers around the home waiting to cause damage or an accident? Leaky roofs were a common cause for claims-denial according to our member survey, so this is a good place to start.
- Take a few photos now and again proving how spick and span your building and contents are in the event you need to make a claim.
Another option to consider when searching for home and contents insurance is to go through an insurance broker. Brokers have some potential downsides – they typically only sell from a limited suite of products for commissions or fees – but there can be advantages to using a broker too.
Good brokers have a solid understanding of products on the market, which they can put into plain English for you. They may be able to customise a policy to your individual needs, and because they want your business, they are usually prepared to negotiate on your behalf and possibly advise in the event of a claim.
We mainly looked at retail (or direct market) products for this review and not broker-based products, as prices and policy details can vary with each individual situation (the exception was AMP). However, there’s no reason you can’t approach a broker as an additional avenue to finding the right insurance.