By: Richard Hargreaves
Due to COVID, this year kiwis will be holidaying in New Zealand, not overseas. It might not be the most festive thing to think about before you head off for the summer, but try to make time to consider your insurance.  Here are four quick tips, specially selected for NZ staycations:

1. Your contents policy needs updating

When you fly off overseas, normally you get travel insurance, which covers possessions and travel cancellations etc. Because the borders are closed, you’ll likely be holidaying in NZ, so it’s your contents policy that will respond if you lose something. You should check your policy.

Budget contents policies only cover your belongings when you’re at home. Those policies obviously won’t respond if you lose your phone while tramping in the bush. Check that you’re covered anywhere in the country.

Check sub-limits in your policy too; most contents policies have financial limits on things like laptops, cameras, bikes etc – all things you’ll probably be taking away with you. Ask your insurer for a copy of your policy and read it!

2. Don’t wear your bling to the beach

One of the most common reasons that insurance claims are declined is due to a lack of care. We have heard of plenty of watches being stolen from underneath towels while their owners are swimming. It’s much better to leave valuables at home, or at least, in the boot of your car.

The case decisions we read show that not everyone is as careful as they should be. If you are lucky enough to own a $30,000 diamond ring, consider taking it off before you go to the beach! (Complaint No: 00205623) Mistakes happen, however, and the least you can do is ensure that you have some proof of ownership, like photos of you wearing the item, or a receipt. Spend two minutes taking a photos of all of your possessions worth more than, say $2,000. The more expensive your stuff is, the more proof of ownership your insurer will need when you lose it in the sea.
 
3. If you are going on a road trip, check your car before you set off

Car insurance policies require that a car has a warrant of fitness and is up to a warrantable standard. However, just because a car has a warrant doesn’t mean it’s roadworthy - the IFSO complaints service has recently ruled that an insurer could decline a claim for a car which had a warrant, but was not roadworthy. (Complaint No: 112531)

Before you set off for a road trip, check the basics yourself – tyre tread, wiper blades, headlights etc. This applies whether you’re driving a late model Mercedes or a 1990s Corolla.

4. Always tell the truth, however stupid you might look

However stupid you might look or how ridiculous the truth might be, do not be tempted to twist the truth when you report a claim to your insurer. Even slight exaggerations to make your claim appear more favourable have a habit of coming unravelled. At the end of the day, you’re covered for mistakes in even the weirdest situations; rest assured that insurers have seen it all when it comes to silliness. If you decide to change the facts of the claim, and the insurer finds out, chances are the claim will be declined and you will struggle to get insurance for the rest of your life.

Have a brilliant holiday, wherever you’re heading.
 
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