Tips to help you avoid falling victim to motor theft

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Imagine walking outside to head off to work or drop the kids at school and your car wasn’t parked where you left it the day before – not a great feeling is it?

Not just the fact that someone has stolen your vehicle but the myriad of inconveniences that follow due to not having a car to go about your daily routine.

We have compiled a few tips to help hopefully protect yourself against ever having the misfortune of being a victim of car theft.

Secure Your Keys at All Times:

How many of us walk in the front door and throw the car keys on a table in the entry or on the kitchen bench and they stay there until you go to leave the house again? Most of us – that’s who!

As you should with handbags, wallets & purses – remove them out of plain sight of any intruders that may enter your home with ill intent.

Never Leave Your Car Running:

Get in the car and realise that you forgot your phone on the counter?

Turn the car off and take your keys inside to retrieve it. A running unattended car is an open invitation for a car thief.

Lock Your Vehicle:

Whether you are parked for the night or just ducking into a shop quickly, always lock your car. It makes it all the harder for a car thief to get inside your vehicle to get it running and drive away.

Have An Anti-Theft Device Installed:

Not only does an anti-theft device deter a great deal of theft attempts and make a thief’s job more difficult – most of the time you will get a discount on your insurance premium if you have one installed and who doesn’t want to save a few dollars when it comes to that?!

Consider Where You Park Your Vehicle:

Parking your car off the street on your property reduces the risk of not only theft but damage to your vehicle. Where possible use a garage, carport or driveway for parking.

Whilst almost all of us have at one stage had a random dent appear on our vehicles whilst parked in a cramped shopping centre carpark and that tempts us to want to park in the back corner away from the other vehicles – remember that isolated or dimly lit areas are easier for motor theft to occur.

Finally, make sure you have a Hire Vehicle After Theft inclusion on your Motor Insurance policy. Whilst this is not in relation to prevention it is however something that will make your life a lot easier in the time it takes to either recover your stolen vehicle or have a claim paid in order to purchase a new one.

Most policies have allowances to include hire vehicles in the event of a claim but you have to be careful and read your PDS as to the circumstances that a hire vehicle can be obtained.

If you would like some advice in relation to Motor Insurance or have any questions please give us a call on 0452 139 930 or email kate@geminiinsurance.com.au

 

Kate Koric

Director | Senior Broker

Credit:

Image - www.carsales.com.au

How much is enough?

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A common question we get as Insurance Brokers when chatting to clients about their domestic properties during the quote process is …

“How much do you think I should make my building/contents sum insured?”

Whilst we will do the best we can to find you the most suitable and competitive covers - we can’t tell you what to set your sum insureds at. What we will do however, is guide and advise you on the things you need to consider when you do calculate the value of your property for your insurance cover.

When you are calculating the sum insured on your Building Insurance there are more things to account for than just the actual house structure itself. Some additional items that you need to typically include when setting your building sum insured are:

  • Any additional structures such as garages, carports, sheds and patios
  • Items that are built-in such as in ground swimming pools and water tanks
  • Items that are fixed to the building such as awnings fitted externally
  • Fixed wall and floor coverings **
  • Ducted Air Conditioning
  • Fences, gates and retaining walls
  • Decks and pergolas

The same question arises with Contents Insurance – there are so many variables from one household to the next such as:

·         How big is the house? How many rooms are there? 

·         How many people live in the property?

·         Is your property furnished with high value designer items?

·         Do you have collections such as stamps, art etc

I find that clients often initially suggest a fairly 'light' value on their contents insurance. Once I ask a few extra questions the insured will generally revise the original amount as there are items that they have not thought of when calculating the figure. It’s easy to look around at your furniture and large appliances and ballpark an amount but there are commonly overlooked items such as:

  • Clothing & shoes
  • Accessories such as handbags, sunglasses & jewellery
  • Carpets, curtains and blinds**
  • Linen & bedding
  • Books & toys
  • Kitchenware
  • Ornaments, rugs and wall hangings
  • Computers, gaming consoles, TV's, stereos and their accessories
  • Pools and spas that are not permanently installed
  • Tools and gardening equipment
  • Recreational sporting equipment such as bicycles

 ** Carpets, curtains and internal blinds are generally considered contents so you should refer to your applicable PDS to clarify if you are uncertain

In the worst case scenario of a total loss such as a fire, your Home & Contents cover is designed to provide you with the ability to rebuild and restore your home, inside and out.  A major claim is already a traumatic experience for anyone – don’t be faced with the possibility of your insurance policy not providing the full scope of cover in this crucial situation due to inadequate sums insured.

Don’t put it off, take a look around your home today – walk through room to room, open cupboards & drawers, look through the shed and garage. You will be surprised how quickly it all adds up and then compare against your current insurance policy and action any changes straight away.

Below are 2 incredibly helpful calculators that can assist with taking some of the guesswork out of the process of setting your sum insureds on not only your Building but also your Contents.

** Whilst there has been a great deal of research involved in the construction of these calculator tools, they along with the above information are to be used ONLY as a general guide and you need to be confident in the final sum insured nominated on your policy based on your individual circumstances and covers provided. The above does not take into consideration any sub-limits or restrictions contained within certain products offered in the market.

Of course if at any time you are unsure of any details in relation to your insurance program you should contact your Broker or Insurer for clarification.

 

Kate Koric

Director | Senior Broker

Credit:

Building Calculator – Cordell

Contents Calculator – Sum Insured Pty Ltd

Image - CGTrader.com

Emergency Kit? Why would I need one?

How would you feel if you had to leave your home immediately and leave everything behind?

Are you able to access your important legal documentation away from your home?

It’s a very real possibility that at any time there could be a situation which results in us having to pick up and leave our home without notice in the event of an emergency. Some scenarios would result in us not being able to return to our home for an indefinite period.

It’s constantly advised by Emergency Services to keep a kit with basic items such as a torch, candles, a radio, batteries, bottled water etc. for when storm season rolls around each year to accommodate situations such as power loss.

However – we should also consider an “extended” Emergency Kit that holds additional items including copies of important documentation such as proof of identification, legal documents, insurance policies & medical records. These can be either in paper or saved on a USB - perhaps both!

Whilst it seems like a time consuming task to compile the kit – in the event of evacuation where you may not be able to return to your home for an uncertain period of time, this kit will help avoid many headaches and inconveniences.

The below is a link to an Emergency Kit Checklist which covers the “Essentials” as well as the extra items suggested for storm season.

In addition, I encourage you to also review the below "Prepare Your Emergency Plan" link and discuss with your family. Our workplaces will generally have a protocol in place for emergencies - so why don't we all have something similar for at home to protect our loved ones?

Everyone in your family should know where the kit is kept as you never know who will grab it in an emergency. Of course in the event of a fire emergency it is absolutely a priority to make sure everyone is safely out of the house beforehand.

Remember, preparing your family as best as you can in the event of one of these situations will be invaluable. So set aside some time to sit down and start putting your household Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit together … don’t put it off and wish you did.

 

Kate Koric

Director | Senior Broker

Image Credit: www.lifehack.org

Checklist Credit: www.getready.qld.gov.au

 

Winter Safety for Your Home

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With the mercury dropping as we head into the Winter months, it's timely for a reminder in regards to a few things to look out for as we start pulling out the heaters, electric blankets and lighting the fireplaces.

In 2015 there were more than 4000 home fires in NSW and 17 accidental fire deaths - this is a devastating statistic and unfortunately across the country there are equally disturbing numbers recorded.

We have listed below some items and processes for consideration in your home during the cooler months as well as others that require attention all year round:

  • Check your power cords for any signs of wear and fraying
  • Test your smoke detectors
  • Never leave children unattended around fires or any other heating devices
  • Clean the lint filter in your dryer regularly
  • Check that your chimney is clean
  • Ensure you always have a mesh screen in front of a fireplace
  • If you are using candles always remember to extinguish them before you go to bed or leave your home
  • Use heaters to warm your home and then turn them off when you go to bed
  • Never leave electric blankets on for more than half an hour and remember to turn them off when going to bed
  • Always ensure that heaters are at least a metre from anything that could be a potential burn hazard such as curtains and furniture
  • Avoid “piggybacking” cords via power boards & double adapters
  • Sit down with your family and discuss and practice an evacuation plan in the event of a fire or other emergency - children are never too young to discuss what to do in an emergency situation.

The QFES have compiled a "Room by Room" guide to help in fireproofing your home - inside & out - it is well worth the read as there may be some items overlooked previously or perhaps just a reminder that it's been a while since last checked.

For the full checklist you can visit the following page link:

www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/home/Pages/default.aspx

Remember there is no substitute for safety - so take the time to go through your home and be sure that you have done all you can proactively in protecting your family and property from any avoidable tragedy.

Stay safe!

 

Kate Koric

Director | Senior Broker

Image Credit: NSW Fire & Rescue