House contents and other insurances...

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We've had a couple of meetings with insurance companies this week. I'm quite surprised that neither offer accidental damage cover to home contents (with the exception of glass, including ceran hobb) and loss or damage to items taken out of the home (unless they are provably stolen). Does anyone know of any policies here that may include these factors? I'm quite keen to make sure all our computer, telephone etc are covered away from home. Maybe even a travel insurance?

 

Any suggestions would be gratefully received

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Here´s my take on this, emkay!

 

The insurance companies are right about the fact that accidental damage by yourself is not insured - because household contents insurance is for break-ins/theft from your home, vandalism after a break-in, fire etc. In this case it´s also wise to have a clause in your contract for " grob fahrlässig " ( extremely negligent ) behaviour ( eg you left a window open for 5 minutes to go shopping etc ). This is, however, usually limited eg up to 5,000 euros or so.

 

Out of your home: make sure your policy includes what´s called " Außenversicherung ". This refers to any personal property you take with you temporarily out of the home ( up to 3 months and worldwide) and, in a good policy, reimburses up to 20% of your insured sum. So if your Versicherungssumme is 50,000 euros, you could get up to 10,000 euros back.

 

When would this work? Depending on the insurance you have, it could be if your rented holiday apartment is broken into, stuff is stolen from your ( locked ) car or someone breaks into your hotel room/ship cabin or someone steals something from your bedside table while you´re in hospital.

 

When would this not work? Normally, for example, the insurer would not compensate you for damage due to a fire or storm at a camping site ( fire and storm are only insured within your home ) or if you are simply pickpocketed at a busy market place or on a train - the exception being if you are THREATENED with violence or actually ATTACKED - then you ARE covered through your Hausratversicherung.

 

Your solution? Well, difficult. Travel insurances here would probably also not cover simple negligence ( eg looking out the window on a train and your luggage is stolen 6 feet away or you leave your laptop unattended in a restaurant etc.

 

I´ve noticed, by the way, at my local bank, they are advertising mobile phone insurance/Handyversicherung. Haven´t asked what in includes but I might well do so and ask about other stuff.

 

Another possibility: sometimes I refer people to an insurance broker company in the UK to get a quote for multi-risk insurance (in-and-out-of-home ).

 

I would also recommend that people who have an old Hausratversicherung here revisit their policy and see if it Needs to be updated - there have been many imporvements over the past few years.

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Thank you so much for this Info John, its really very helpful. Seems strange in a land of wall to wall insurances that something that we took for granted as options in the UK just aren't available.

 

Thanks again :)

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I really wonder whether contents of home insurance does make sense at all. How do you prove that you possessed what you claim for n the first place? Or what was it's value? Even though I like being insured, I skipped that kind of insurance.

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Jeba, having been in the unfortunate position to deal with two break-ins and a house fire in the last five years I think I can answer this.

 

Break-ins: I simply listed what was missing and reported the items to the police as well as the insurance company. I had purchase receipts for the some of the larger items like computers, but for some photography equipment that I had purchased with cash from private sellers I had nothing. The insurance company accepted for various items as proof that I had actually owned these things: an empty box with the serial number, photos of me using the item or the item in the house, and an old shipping label with the content listed. They send a guy to sit down with me and evaluate my list and I was reimbursed for every single item with the replacement value. Considering that most of these items had been purchased in the US for a fraction of the cost and some of them used the replacement value far exceded the purchase price.

 

Fire: The only thing that actually burned down was the washing machine, but lots of toxic smoke traveled through the whole house and made many things unusable. The insurance company took everything away (furniture, clothes, photos, electrical equipment, dishes, simply everything) and had the items that were salvagable this way professionally cleaned somewhere. Many items were not safe to be returned and in the end even though an itemized list was made we simply received the maximum payout of the coverage.

 

Considering we pay 20€ a month for a combined liability and home content insurance on the break-ins alone we recouped that money for life. Not to have this insurance makes no sense to me.

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Good question jeba. I think the general principle is a "new for old" policy. Im assuming that we will keep all receipts for anything that we buy and photograph and catalogue everything else. Sightly odd how one chap explained how jewellery would be valued. He suggested I photograph everything myself and should a claim arise, they would then arrive at a value. I don't think so! Not that I have lots, but I think I will go to a jeweller and let them do a professional valuation. Interesting to know how much this would cost. In the uk, it was about 1-2% of the overall valuation.

 

A true minefield.

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It might be a good idea to keep copies of receipts etc in a bank vault, emkay. It can be a hassle if there´s a fire and your paperwork gets destroyed.

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Calibear. Yours sounds like an excellent insurance company. Do you mind if I ask which company? I must admit that I too have only had good experiences with insurance companies in the UK. I had my car stolen many moons ago. I had been on my way to the airport to go on holiday and therefore had luggage with me. I stopped off on the way briefly and car gone within minutes (yes it was locked). The insurance company replaced absolutely everything without any question. They told be to go shopping and just buy everything I had lost and send them the bill. Back at my uk house, a water leak had damaged the bathroom floor. During the floor repair, the workmen accidentally broke some wall tiles and cracked the bath. Within a week, they replaced the floor, the floor to ceiling tiles and the entire bathroom suite as a replacement bath wouldn't match the other items.

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Good point John. Sometimes with things like this, I scan documents and email them to myself. It's my crude form of back-up of important files - I haven't got very many.

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That is also a good idea, emkay. I have stuff scanned and on my girlfriend´s PC and vice versa. All very modern and clever, eh!!

 

By the way, a good insurance also includes theft of or damage to your stuff in a bank vault! Mind you, the bank also has an insurance for that! :D

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Hi emkay

Which insurance agency are you using? I've just moved here and am having trouble with the options.

Thanks in advance.

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Why not save that trouble with those options and look at the smaller, light grey letters in the posting above yours and consider who you could use?

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