DOG ate your homework? You’re on your own. But if it knocked over the laptop carrying your homework, you may get reimbursed, even if you can’t get out of detention.
Comparethemarket.com.au has put together a list of unusual reimbursements for some contents insurance policy holders and while pets themselves are not covered, the damage they cause often is, Comparethemarket.com.au spokeswoman Abigail Koch said.
“No policies will cover things that bite, chew, claw or scratch, so it won’t help a chewed up sofa,” she said. “But it may be covered under accidental damage if they break something.”
Shattered glass is included in certain policies, meaning your seven years of bad luck from breaking a mirror may be offset by compensation; while water damage, caused by sudden leaks from fridges, baths, sinks and even aquariums can be insured events.
A burnt out fridge motor could mean reimbursement for spoiled food, while even credit card fraud can be covered if your card is stolen from the letterbox or inside the home.
“These examples are not covered in basic insurance policies but in medium to comprehensive ones,” Ms Koch said. “It’s crucial to read and understand the product disclosure statement before purchasing a policy. These statements usually outline the limitations of what you can and can’t claim under a basic policy (and) offer additional benefits and extras to enable households to claim against a range of other incidents.”
Premium policies and certain add-on features mean some items are covered even when outside the home, said Karl Sullivan, general manager risk, at the Insurance Council of Australia.
“Portable items such as jewellery and electronics, used in and out of the house can be covered,” Mr Sullivan said. “This could include a phone stolen while overseas.”
Mr Sullivan said when looking for contents insurance it was important to identify your needs, what your possessions are worth and how much you want to protect.
“The worst position to be in after a disaster is having nothing left and only 25 per cent of the funds needed to start replacing things,” he said, adding that most people underestimated the value of their contents.
“If you went room by room and were realistic about calculating, most people would be deeply shocked by how much they had accumulated,” he said. “Not only on the realistic cost of replacing everything, but even just the critical items.”