Home insurance claims: Repair or replace?

GIO’s Home and Contents Insurance can help you worry a little less about your house and belongings. If your home or contents are damaged in an incident covered by your policy, GIO will either repair, replace or rebuild the item, or we may pay you, depending on the circumstances.

But how do you know what to expect? We spoke with Property and Specialist Claims Leader Jodi Johnson to understand more about how GIO settles your claim.

Repair or replace: How we settle your claim

“When a customer lodges a claim for an insured event and we accept it, we outline the scope of work with them. Then depending on the damages, we’ll either appoint our own vendors to attend the property to assess it or the customer will provide their own detailed report, photos and scope of work,” Jodi explains.

The GIO Claims team settles each claim by looking at its individual circumstances. Repairing an item or items is generally the first port of call. “However, if that’s not possible, we offer replacement through our vendors. And if that’s unsuitable, we offer a cash settlement,” she says.

Vendors are the organisations GIO works with to repair or replace the items in your claim, but working with the people we recommend isn’t always essential. For example, if your home has sustained damage and you’d rather work with your own builder, you may be able to. Jodi explains:

“If you’d prefer to use your own builder, you will be paid the amount of an assessed quote from a builder from our supplier network to repair or rebuild on a ‘new for old’ basis. Bear in mind that in this instance, once we have settled the claim, the repairs or any issues that arise as a result of them will be your responsibility. Whereas when we repair or rebuild your home, we offer a lifetime guarantee on workmanship.”

How To Make A Claim

When will GIO repair something after an insured event?

When you make a claim, we’ll assess whether repairing the item is the best option. The most common examples of claim types that are frequently repaired rather than replaced (provided they’re covered by your policy) are damage sustained to buildings and jewellery.

When will GIO replace something after an insured event?

Generally, GIO will opt to replace an item following an insured event if the cost to repair it is higher than replacing it. Think items like appliances and electronics, provided they’re covered by your policy.

GIO may also offer a cash settlement if the item is shared with a neighbour, such as a fence.

Jodi says, “When you lodge a claim for damage to a shared fence, we’ll normally offer a cash settlement and not offer to repair. The reason for this is that your policy will only cover fifty per cent of the shared fence. We may ask you to provide us with a report and quote or we’ll send our builders out and offer a settlement based on their figures.”

What if an item can’t be repaired or replaced?

Some valuable items, such as antique furniture, memorabilia or an artwork, may not easily be repaired or replaced.

Jodi says, “If you’re claiming an item that cannot be repaired or replaced, we’ll offer to pay you what it would cost to replace it just before the loss or damage, up to the limits of your cover. We may rely on an expert report to validate the cost of replacement or ask you to provide us with a quote.”

If you have valuable items like these at home, you might want to have them specified on your policy. If you do specify valuable items above the limit of cover provided by the policy, it will affect your premiums, but you’ll avoid being underinsured if anything happens. You’ll also need to check you have an up-to-date valuation and proof of ownership documentation.

The best way to understand what is and isn’t covered by GIO Home and Contents Insurance is to compare the three levels of cover and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.

This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.