How many movies have you seen where the spare key to a home is retrieved from under the front door mat, under a potted plant, or along the top of a door frame?
Well there are people in the real world that do this too, i.e. hide a key where not only your friend or family member can find it, but also others who plan to help themselves to your belongings when you’re not there.
According to a study conducted by Canstar, 22% of the 3,300 Australians surveyed hid their spare key somewhere around the house. Most home and contents insurance policies specify that you should exercise “reasonable care” when securing your property. If your spare key is so easily accessible, you stand the risk of voiding your policy, which means you won’t be covered for any losses. If you need to leave a spare key for someone to collect, using a lock box that opens with a pin code is a simple and effective solution.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported 168,031 victims of “unlawful entry with intent” in 2018, of which 65% had property stolen from them. Of the reported cases, 72% were at residential locations. The good news is that the number of victims was the lowest recorded number since the study started in 2010.
Take smart steps
This is a cautionary tale that just because you have insurance, it doesn’t mean you will be covered for all losses. We advise you to read through the policy wording carefully and to ask questions if anything is not clear. If there are any conditions that you need to fulfil for the policy to be valid, e.g. taking reasonable care when securing your home, make sure that you adhere to them. Our experienced brokers will be able to assist if you need any help and to make sure that you have the insurance cover suited to your specific needs.
It’s a good idea to itemise everything that you want to cover, which may sound much too time-consuming, but will be entirely worth the effort if you are ever burgled. You may want to have valuations done for valuable items such as jewellery or artwork. By itemising your possessions you can make sure everything is covered in your policy and at accurate values. We often don’t realise how much we have in our homes and may not even realise something is missing until it’s too late to claim. If you have a list to refer to, claiming will also be much easier.
Experiencing a burglary is traumatic enough without finding out that you are not covered due to something you could have addressed. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so make a cup of coffee and pull out your policy wording and get acquainted with your policy.
If you have any questions about home and contents cover, please get in touch with us. We look forward to helping you to protect your home and everything you’ve worked so hard for.
Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.