How to insure valuable items

Everyone wants to keep their belongings and valuable items safe, but knowing how to insure those items can be confusing. Everyday household items can easily be overlooked when it comes to choosing contents insurance and deciding on the sum insured, and the cost to replace them can add up if you need to make a claim and don’t have enough cover. Remember, even if it’s not a big-ticket item it can be valuable to you, which makes it worth consider what the best insurance will be for you to make sure you’re covered.

Overlooked and underinsured

When it comes to insurance, one of the biggest issues for policyholders is underinsurance: which is underestimating how much it will cost to replace your contents, including valuable or expensive items. There are plenty of common items people overlook, from specialist medical equipment such as hearing aids and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines right through to collectables and antiques.

Whether it’s a first edition of a famous book or collection of mint condition mid-century furniture, it’s worthwhile having these items professionally appraised to find out how much they should be insured for if you want them covered for their replacement cost. Also keep in mind that your insurer may only reimburse you the insured cost to replace the item, and may not replace the item itself for you.

There are a number of things in your home that commonly contribute to underinsurance. For example, the contents of your home office or gym, and things like power tools, whitegoods and even your coffee machines need to be considered when choosing a sum insured. Lastly, don’t forget costly items like clothing as replacing them can cost more than you anticipate.

Make an inventory of your valuables

When you start to think about what you need to insure, go room to room and make a list of items. First, consider what you have that is expensive to replace; second, what you need to live and lastly; what has sentimental value. This will give you a starting point for what you need to include in your policy. Next, document your valuables. This can be as simple as keeping your receipts, taking photos, noting down serial numbers and storing this information digitally so you have proof of ownership. Also, put this information on a USB as a backup and keep it somewhere safe. If you’re keen to know how to make a home inventory for contents insurance, you can find out more here.

Review your home safety measures

Another thing to be conscious of is that your home is secure. Not locking your house, for example, can potentially void your insurance. Also assess how you store your valuables. Do you need a fireproof safe for documents? Or a lock box for jewellery? Remember, one of the most critical things to do when arranging insurance is check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and if in doubt, confirm with your insurer to see if an item is covered under your policy.

What items go with you?

Many valuable items leave the home with us, some insurers call these specified portable valuable items. Consider what’s in your bag: wallet, prescription glasses, mobile phone and even the cost of replacing any identification. If you need to replace these items, it could be a few thousand dollars.

If you’re worried about theft, damage or loss, consider arranging specified portable valuables cover in your insurance policy. Available as an optional extra with your contents cover, it can include jewellery and watches, mobility aids and even cameras, so that when you’re out and about and accidents happen, you’re covered.  

Check your policy inclusions online

Peace of mind is everything when it comes to your home, contents and items special to you. But not every kind of belonging is automatically included in your policy, so it’s important to check what’s included in your insurance before it comes time to make a claim.

The easiest way to know what you’re covered for (or not covered) is to check your policy details online. You can do that by logging in to your account through GIO Online Services. Head there now for access to obtain your policy documents, update your details, or renew your policy.


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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Registered Office, Level 23, 80 Ann Street, Brisbane QLD 4000. Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available. The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.