content insurance

There are insurance policies where you don't know exactly whether you really need them. This includes household contents insurance. This is because many people underestimate the value of their own household, especially when they are younger and do not yet have a large property. According to statistics, however, every average European owns around 10,000 items. If you had to replace all of these things at once, it could get pretty expensive. In such a case, household contents insurance can help.

Why do I need household contents insurance?

The TV stays black after a lightning strike; all the furniture is submerged because of a leaky washing machine, burning candles start a fire, or a burglar destroys the apartment. These are examples of situations you don't want but are more common than you think. In addition to a lot of trouble, you have one thing above all: high costs to replace the damaged, destroyed, or stolen equipment. Home contents insurance, which is tailored to the value of your property, is there to compensate for this financial loss. It replaces the replacement value of the insured items.

What do household goods include?

Household goods include all movable objects that are part of the furnishing, use, or consumption. This means, for example, furniture, curtains, carpets, lamps, pictures, books, dishes, household items, electronic devices, musical instruments, sports equipment, as well as clothing, shoes, jewelry, and watches. This even includes the supplies in your fridge. In principle, everything that you would pack when moving house that is not an integral part of the building. Interesting to know: Even small pets such as guinea pigs, fish, and birds are also insured. A special case is valuables such as cash, savings accounts, antiques, works of art, or even the stamp collection. In the event of loss, the costs are usually only reimbursed by the insurer up to a certain amount.

Checklist: Against which risks am I insured?

The causes of damage covered by the insurance are precisely defined in the respective contractual conditions. In principle, good household contents insurance covers the destruction, damage, or loss of your household contents as a result of the following events:

⦁ Fire

⦁ Lightning strike

⦁ Natural hazards such as hail and storms from wind force 8

⦁ Leakage of tap water

⦁ Burglary and vandalism

Which location does the insurance cover?

The household contents insurance applies to the privately used premises that are specified in the insurance certificate when the contract is concluded. Regardless of whether you live in it as the owner or renter, it can be an apartment or an entire house. The insurance cover also applies to every moveable item that is stored in annexes, on the terrace and balcony, in the basement, or in the garage.

Is household contents insurance worth it for me?

Home contents insurance is not compulsory. So everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to take out insurance. The following applies: If the possessions within your own four walls are quite expensive, it makes sense to protect yourself against their loss or destruction. As a rule, the standard of living only increases with increasing income, but household contents insurance can also be worthwhile for young people such as trainees and students – depending on their assets or their respective living situation.

What else should I watch out for?

In addition to the basic insured losses covered by home insurance, there are other additional options that you can agree upon when you take out a contract. As a rule, you will no longer get the insurance at a low price, but depending on the individual situation, it makes sense not to take any unnecessary risks.

A good example is the addition of "waiver of the objection of gross negligence in the event of an insured event." This clause protects you if gross negligence on your part has led to the damage. For example, an unattended candle leads to a fire.

The additional "natural damage insurance" is also useful. You should take out this if you live near a body of water or in the mountains, for example, because it protects your household contents against damage caused by natural disasters. These include flooding, backwater, earthquakes, subsidence, landslides, snow pressure, avalanches, and volcanic eruptions. Other additional services are, for example, glass insurance, insurance for bicycles, protection against theft when traveling, or an extension for valuables.

What to do in case of damage?

If there is a claim for which you want to claim the insurance, you must inform the insurer as soon as possible. You also have a duty to mitigate the damage so that the damage doesn't get worse – meaning, for example, turning off the main faucet in the event of a burst water pipe. You should never dispose of the damaged objects afterward, but keep them for an assessment. In addition, it makes sense to record any damage that has occurred in detail with photos.

The insurer will also ask you to prove the cause of the damage as part of the obligation to provide proof. In the case of a burglary, this is done, for example, by reporting it to the police. Stolen items are fully registered and presented to the police and insurer.

When does the insurance not pay?

Contents insurance does not pay if you intentionally destroy insured items. If an attempt is then also made to collect the monetary value from the insurance company by specifying a false cause of damage, it is actually insurance fraud. Damage caused by improper storage or handling, such as when an expensive mattress goes moldy in a damp basement or the television accidentally falls, is also excluded from household contents insurance. If your household effects are damaged by a visitor, the household contents insurance does not cover this either. The visitor can then claim the value of the broken object from his liability insurance.

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