Contents insurance: what to expect at claim time

The contents of a home affected by flooding

Making a contents insurance claim can be daunting. We’ve laid out each step of the journey so you know what you can expect from the process.

Why get contents insurance?

Insurance is all about making sure your stuff is covered in case something goes wrong. Contents insurance is designed to protect your belongings and provide legal liability, giving you peace of mind should something happen. Because, even if you’re really careful, you can’t control unexpected events like extreme weather, a burglary or a fire.

When should I claim?

You can lodge a claim with your insurance company when your belongings are accidentally damaged or stolen. What you're covered for will depend on the type of cover and policy you have. AA Insurance offers two levels of cover:

  • Contents - cover your personal belongings with our most comprehensive cover. We’ll cover your contents if they are lost or damaged by a sudden, accidental and unforeseen event at home and around New Zealand.

  • Limited Contents - cover your personal belongings against burglary, fire, storm, flood or natural disaster at home or around New Zealand. While there is no accidental damage cover, you can choose to include our mobile phone cover and/or laptop and tablet cover for an additional cost to protect them against theft and accidental loss or damage.

First things first

  1. Assess the situation: confirm your item(s) have been damaged, lost or stolen and that their value exceeds your excess. If you are unsure of your voluntary excess amount or the value of your item(s), we‘re here to help.

  2. Take photos: if your belongings have been damaged, either from an accidental event or fire, storm or flood, please document the damage via photos or videos.

The claims journey

  1. When you’re ready, give us a call on 0800 500 216 or start your claim online. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can help. We may need your policy number or personal details to locate your relevant policy.

  2. You’ll be given a claim number and a Customer Manager who will review your claim, answer any questions you may have and keep you informed about the progress of your claim.

  3. Once the claim has been accepted, in most instances we’ll ask you to pay your excess. For every insurance claim, you pay a contribution towards the cost and your insurer pays the rest.

  4. If your items were damaged, we’ll ask for a photo or video of the damage, where possible. In some instances, we’ll ask you to mail or drop off the damaged item at an approved supplier to be assessed.

  5. In the event of theft, accidental loss or damage, being able to show proof of ownership of your items will make your contents claim much easier. Proof of ownership may include purchase receipts or valuations. Other evidence such as instruction manuals, photos of the item, financial statements or records kept by the shop where you bought the item may also be helpful.

  6. Depending on the age and state of your item(s), we’ll either replace them new for old, that is with a new, like-for-like item, or the nearest available equivalent, or pay you the market value. The market value is the reasonable retail value of your asset immediately before it was lost or damaged.

  7. Once we’ve replaced your item or paid you the replacement cost, we’ll close your claim and may ask for feedback on your experience.

  8. If you’ve experienced a large-scale loss due to burglary, fire, storm, flood or natural disaster, it’s a good idea to review your policy to make sure you’re covered for the right amount. We can get this sorted over the phone or via our website.

Want to learn more?

If you’re looking for further information about our claims process or would like to find out more on simplifying insurance, check out our other blogs.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.

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