The National Retail Association (NRA) has predicted consumers are on track to drop a hefty $48 billion on festive cheer during the lead up to Christmas. Many families around the country are beginning to put up Christmas trees and stocking up with gifts, big and small.

Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, but experiencing the trauma of being burgled and then discovering you’re not covered by your home & contents insurance, is something we could all do without. However, this is exactly what happens to thousands of Australians every year.

An Understand Insurance (link) survey of more than 900 Australians – found nearly 4 in 10 people (39%) do not update their home & contents insurance after they buy a new significant purchase. This leaves many Australians vulnerable this summer if they neglect to keep their insurance updated.

Ensuring your home is safe from thieves should be just as much of a priority as decorating the tree. Alongside your belongings, you should look at how much the gifts are worth and how much you’ll get back from insurance in the unfortunate event that they are stolen.

Your level of cover will, of course, depend on the policy you choose to take out. Typically, you can expect a home & contents insurance policy to provide cover for belongings like:

  • Electricals
  • Jewelry
  • Toys
  • Ornaments & antiques
  • Furniture
  • Free-standing appliances (fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.)
  • Soft furnishings (cushions, curtains, rugs, etc.)

In the event of theft, fire or natural damage (like that caused by a flood) your contents insurance should cover the cost of repairing or replacing broken or destroyed items.

With Christmas fast approaching, now is a good time to double-check what exactly your home & contents policy covers with your insurance broker. This is particularly important if you plan to travel over the festive period. Christmas gifts can increase the value of your possessions, so it’s important to review your home & contents insurance to make sure your sum insured is sufficient.

To prevent any unexpected setbacks, make yourself familiar with any exclusion’s which are on your policy and check your contents cover is high enough to cover the value of new gifts. Different insurers will offer different levels of cover, which is why it is important you weigh up your options your insurance broker has provided you with.

Tips to help protect yourself and your items over the holidays:

  • Don’t overshare on social media – You don’t know who is looking at your social media pages and what their intentions are. Be careful about what information you choose to share online such as what could be sitting in your house and upcoming holiday plans.
  • Keep new presents out of sight – Make sure your new gifts are not visible when looking through a window or sitting out clear view.
  • Breakdown and dispose of packaging from gifts – Don’t advertise what is inside your house, if possible place rubbish in black bags.
  • Keep an inventory of contents – Ensure you notify your broker of your gifts and ensure your insurance covers the cost of replacement.
  • Set up home security – Make sure your home security is top notch over Christmas.
  • Check up on your home while away – Have a friend or neighbour check on your home while you are away and empty your letterbox.
  • Secure your valuables – Many insurance companies will not pay out if you fail to secure your valuables.

Check what your policy says about limits on individual items and consider listing these separately. If in doubt, contact your insurance broker. Crimes such as burglaries are known to spike over the summer holidays, so we encourage homeowners to check their insurance is up-to-date, along with taking sensible precautions to ensure homes are secure.

If you need to speak to us at East West Insurance Brokers or have any enquiries leading up to Christmas, make sure you contact your broker as soon as possible on 1800 809 132 or email hello@ewib.com.au

Please note that our office will also be closed between Christmas and New Year’s. Please see our Christmas Trading Hours below:

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