Finding a suitable policy to match a scaled-down lifestyle.
If you are living in an assisted living facility or a nursing home, you most likely brought with you a few cherished items of monetary value. With assisted living contents insurance, you can be sure that these items are covered should they be accidentally lost or damaged.
We’ve put together a guide to help you understand how assisted living contents insurance works and to help you get the level of cover that is right for you.
What is assisted living contents insurance?
Assisted living contents insurance is basically a scaled-down version of apartment cover. Like those in apartments, people in assisted living residences do not own the property itself, and therefore do not need building insurance. However, a number of people in assisted living establishments have fewer personal belongings than those in apartments, as many of the furnishings and fixtures are property belonging to the facility.
Assisted living contents insurance keeps things simple for you by focusing solely on the contents of your home.
What is covered under assisted living contents insurance?
At the moment, Apia is the only Australian brand that offers this specifically-tailored insurance subtype. According to their PDS, you are covered up to $1,000 per item for contents that you own and that are kept in your residence. These include:
- Furniture and furnishings
- Household goods, clothing, leisure/sporting equipment and other personal effects
- Medical equipment and motorised wheelchairs/mobility scooters that do not require registration
- Belongings that you normally wear or carry (but only when they are kept in your dwelling)
- Portable electronic, photographic and optical equipment and accessories
If you have items that you want covered when you carry them outside of your residence, you also have the option of insuring these one-by-one as add-ons to your assisted living contents cover. These items include:
- Handbags, wallets, jewellery and watches
- Phones, laptops and tablets
- Sporting equipment, but not while in use (although you will be covered for motorised 4-wheel golf carts and bicycles during use, if not used for racing)
Be sure to read the PDS for any limitations or allowances regarding any particular item.
What is not covered?
Assisted living contents insurance does not cover all types of belongings. Items that are not covered include:
- Cash, credit cards and vouchers
- Audio and video media, including hard copies
- Motor vehicles
There are also a number of general exclusions where your claim may be denied for items that would typically be covered under normal circumstances. Examples include situations where you’ve broken the law, destroyed an item while cleaning with chemicals or failed to install safety precautions (such as fire alarms and balconies) where required by law.
Be sure to consult the PDS belonging to any policy you are considering so that you are clear about any general exclusions that may prevent you from receiving a payout.
What is meant by accidental loss or damage?
Like most home and contents insurance policies, assisted living contents insurance will cover you under a wide variety of circumstances. The Apia policy will cover you for the following:
- Fire. If your contents are lost or damaged due to fire including bushfire, your assisted living contents insurance can provide financial protection.
- Storm. This insurance covers loss or damage caused by a storm, including violent winds, hail, snow, rain, thunderstorms, cyclones and tornadoes.
- Lightning. Your contents will be covered when damaged by lightning, or by a power surge caused by lightning.
- Flood. Assisted living contents insurance protects you against loss or damage caused by water that has escaped the normal confines of large bodies of water including lakes, rivers, creeks and dams.
- Earthquake and tsunami. This benefit ensures that you are covered against loss or damage from an earthquake or tsunami.
- Water and oil leaks. When water or oil leaks or overflows from appliances or other household items, assisted living contents insurance covers you for the resulting loss or damage.
- Theft or burglary. Assisted living contents insurance covers you against loss or damage caused by theft, attempted theft or burglary (except when you’ve invited the person into your home).
- Malicious acts and vandalism. You will be covered if your contents are damaged due to vandalism or a malicious act (except acts committed by you, another resident of your property or someone you’ve invited into your property).
- Riots or civil commotion. If a riot, civil commotion, or industrial or political disturbance results in loss or damage to your contents, you will be covered.
- Explosion. You will be covered for lost or damaged contents in the event of an explosion.
- Impact damage. Assisted living contents insurance covers you against impact from objects such as falling trees or power poles, and motor vehicles.
- Damage by an animal. Your contents will be protected in the event an animal destroys or damages your contents (excluding damage caused by insects, vermin and rodents).
How much does it cost?
Like most types of insurance, the policy costs depends on a wide range of factors. Some of the factors your insurer will take into account when calculating your premium include:
- The sum insured. The higher the value of your items insured, the higher your premiums will be.
- The options you select. Your premiums will increase if you choose to add extra options to your plan. For example, if you want your belongings covered when you wear them outside of your home, you can expect to see higher premiums.
- The excess you choose. Choosing a higher excess for your policy will often result in lower premiums.
- The residence. The construction of your residence helps insurers determine the likelihood your contents will become damaged should the unexpected occur.
- Where your home is located. The risk of crime and natural disasters differs based on location, which insurers will factor into the cost of your premiums.
- Security features. Insurers will consider your residential security features when calculating your premiums. Features they look out for include security on external doors, padlocks on windows, CCTV monitoring and security alarms.
- Your claims history. If you’ve previously made multiple claims on a home insurance policy, you can expect higher premiums when you take out a new policy.