Thieves are opportunistic and look for weaknesses in your home and personal security. That’s why it’s important to also insure the valuables you carry around daily.

Give me the main points

  • You can get insurance that protects your valuables whether they’re in your home, or out and about with you.
  • You can get Specified Personal Effects cover, Unspecified Personal Effects cover or both.

Not all insurance policies are the same but you’ll find most use similar terms (and befuddling jargon).

In this article, Allianz, our general insurance underwriter, answers several questions around protecting valuables away from home.

What is personal effects cover?

Home and contents insurance is standard cover that most people choose to get when they buy a home.

In general, contents cover can protect you against theft of goods and damage to your property caused by events such as fire and flood at the insured address.

Personal effects cover protects your personal possessions against accidental loss or damage when you take them away from home.

Tip

This cover is only available when you have contents insurance.

How does personal effects cover work?

It can protect your video camera when you’re on holidays or your digital camera when you’re at the beach. It can also cover your sunnies when they break during a boisterous game of cricket at the park.

There are two types of Personal Effects cover: Unspecified and Specified.

What is Unspecified Personal Effects cover?

If you tend to carry around a number of valuables that may vary depending on the day, you may wish to consider Unspecified Personal Effects cover. This protects against accidental loss of or damage to a broad range of portable items such as handbags, clothing, glasses/sunglasses, cosmetics, musical instruments and sporting or photographic equipment. Under this cover, you don't have to list the items and their values specifically - instead, you can select an individual item limit and a total claim limit that suits you.

Tip

If you have portable values that aren't included in the list of items that can be covered under Unspecified Personal Effects or which are worth more than the individual item limits offered, you may wish to consider Specified Personal Effects Cover.

What is Specified Personal Effects cover?

You can insure your portable items and protect them individually for an agreed amount. For example you might want to insure your engagement ring worth $3,000 or your photographic equipment worth $10,000.

So you’ll be covered whether you lose your engagement ring, when you’re at the beach or if you drop your camera down the toilet when out and about.

Tip

In the event of a claim you’ll need evidence of value and ownership for any specified valuables, so remember to keep your receipts/valuations somewhere safe.

How much is the excess if I make a claim?

The excess is the amount you must pay towards any claim. The excess applied for a personal effects claim is $100 and is unrelated to your building and/or contents excess.

Tip

This $100 excess amount does not change regardless of the value of your items.

When am I covered?

You’ll be covered all year round, Australia-wide and up to 35 days overseas. You should consider this cover if you’re someone who gets out and about on weekends and wants to protect your valuables at all times.

Tip

Work out what it would cost to replace valuable items individually. Remember one item like a one-carat diamond ring could cost around $10,000.

When am I covered?

You’ll be covered all year round, Australia-wide and up to 35 days overseas.

Tip

Work out what it would cost to replace valuable items individually to help determine which cover you need.

What’s not covered?

You’ll need to check the policy to see what is and what isn’t covered, and what can be insured as unspecified personal effects. Generally and as examples, the following aren’t covered under unspecified personal effects:

  • Mobile phones.
  • No portable or handheld computers.

These are the most common item to lose or get stolen. Cover for these items are available under specified personal effects for the extra peace of mind.

Tip

This cover is only available when you have contents insurance and comes with an extra cost on top of your contents insurance.

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