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Don't be stung by pricey home and contents insurance

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Your home is probably the most expensive thing you'll ever own and so it should be adequately protected against whatever life throws at you.

However, choosing the right home and contents insurance can be difficult, with hundreds of policies offering different levels of cover and exclusions.

Here are some handy hints to help you get the most out of your policy and avoid common pitfalls.

home-and-contents-insurance

It's best to choose your policy based on how it fits your needs as opposed to the price.

Don't just be tempted by the cheapest premium; spend some time weighing up what you need from your policy and whether additional extras (for example, accidental damage and motor burnout) are necessary.

Make the most of insurance calculators to accurately assess the value of your assets. If you decide to round up or guess, then this may leave you out of pocket, whether it's through higher-than-necessary premiums or a lower-than-expected payout when you make a claim.

Many policies have caps on the amount of cover for valuable items. Read your product disclosure statement carefully to find out your sub-limits, and then consider insuring valuable items separately if necessary.

Set your excess at a level you can realistically afford in a monthly pay cycle. A mid-range excess keeps your premiums down and means you avoid a large lump-sum expense should you make a claim.

If you have a minor issue that is inexpensive to cover, then you should consider using your own cash rather than turning to your insurance, as some insurers may increase your premiums at renewal following a claim.

Some insurers entice customers with low-price deals and then increase the premiums after the first year. Beat the system by making the most of comparison websites and shopping around rather than just accepting your renewal premium.

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Abigail Koch is spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au.
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