8 April 2014

Thieves on the hop for your valuables this Easter

With Easter just a short time away, thieves are turning their thoughts to empty homes packed with valuable possessions rather than chocolate eggs.

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) CEO Rob Whelan said: “Families are looking forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny, but their visitor might actually be someone more sinister – an opportunistic thief.

“Countless families are already setting off on their Easter holiday, and the short gap to the Anzac Day long weekend after Easter means many will be away for more than a week or even a fortnight.

“But thieves don’t take holidays. Insurers usually see a spike in home burglaries over Easter, and unfortunately many households have either not insured their contents or are underinsured.

“Your visitors won’t be leaving chocolate eggs – they might be walking off with your home entertainment system, flat screen TV or PlayStation. If you’re not insured, or don’t have enough insurance to replace what’s been stolen, you could be coming home to a huge financial headache.

“If you live in a high crime area, you’re at an even greater risk. Almost a quarter of homeowners and renters who live in areas with high crime rates don’t have contents insurance.”

An Understand Insurance survey of more than 900 people shows renters are particularly exposed.

Two- thirds of Australian renters do not have contents insurance, while four in five homeowners underinsure their home and contents. The most commonly underinsured items are jewellery and artwork.

“Before you leave, check your home and contents policies and make sure your sum insured is up to date,” Mr Whelan said. “If you need to change it, contact your insurer. You might also wish to consider domestic travel insurance, which can cover emergency accommodation, hire car excesses and cancellations.”

Understand Insurance’s Holiday Checklist offers handy tips for holidaymakers. It can be downloaded here: http://understandinsurance.com.au/resource/download?file=%2Fassets%2FChecklists%2FHoliday+Checklist.pdf

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