Gillian Bullock reports on the importance of understanding your insurance policy.
You're travelling overseas and taking your laptop with you. The item is already a listed portable valuable on your home contents insurance, so do you need to itemise it on your travel insurance policy too? And if it were stolen while you were away, which insurer would you go to in order to make your claim?
According to Rod Frail of the Insurance Council of Australia, you need to ask specific questions of your home contents insurer to see how comprehensively you are covered before making any decisions on your travel insurance.
For instance, just how portable is your valuable? Some insurers will cover you for loss outside your own home but only within Australia. Others stretch to Australasia, while others again are global.
NRMA Insurance, for example, will cover you anywhere in the world as long as the item is listed on your policy as a portable valuable.
If you were also covered in your travel insurance for the value of the laptop, then it might make some sense to make your claim there.
This is because travel insurance tends to be more of a one-off. Making a claim on your contents policy may impact on future premiums. Making a claim on your travel insurance may make less of a difference, particularly if the trip was a once in every five years event!
It is possible for you to make a claim on your travel insurance up to the upper limit offered and then seek recompense for the balance from your home contents policy.
This might be the way to go, as travel insurance policies often only cover you up to a certain amount even when there are specified items. As a result you may not get sufficient money to replace the item.
If you plan to make two claims, it is important that you advise your home contents insurer that you are also making a claim with your travel insurer. Whatever you do, you must not double dip, as it is illegal to claim twice for the same item.
"Cover is designed to help you restore the position that you originally enjoyed," says Chris Jackson of NRMA Insurance. "So you can combine the two policies but you cannot double dip."
However, if you do claim with both insurers, you might just find you are up for two lots of excess. The secret clearly is to research well before you act.
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