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5 Reasons your contents insurance may be invalid

  • Emily Doran
  • 13th of December 2017


Before the unexpected time comes when you need to make a claim, you’ll want to make sure none of these apply to you.

  1. You haven’t got proof of ownership

When you come to claim insurance, you have to be able to prove that you owned the items you’re claiming for. Take photos or videos of jewellery, art, and other high value portable items which are the most likely things to be stolen.

Keep receipts, valuations, or warranties, and record serial numbers in a safe place. You can create an online list of serial numbers on the SNAP website which can assist your insurance claim, and police, if your property is stolen.

As a preventative measure the NZ Police website also encourages people to engrave valuable items with your driver licence number, car registration number, or phone number, because permanently marked items are difficult to sell meaning burglars aren’t likely to steal them.

  1. You underestimated the amount of cover needed

There are plenty of contents insurance calculators online to help you estimate how much cover your household should have. You should also specify your most valuable possessions in your policy like jewellery, art, expensive bikes, or cameras.

  1. You don’t know what you’re covered for

Is your laptop covered if it’s lost outside your home, or while moving house? Do you have the right to make a claim if you had property stolen by someone you’d invited inside your home? Read your policy, and if you don’t understand something, call your insurer.

  1. You didn’t take ‘reasonable care’

If you leave your house unlocked and you’re burgled while on holiday, or your handbag was stolen while it was left unattended, you may find you’re not covered. It’s a basic obligation on every insurance policy to take ‘reasonable care’ with the property you’re insuring.

  1. You haven’t told the insurer something important

Failure to advise your insurance company of certain information (throughout the term of your policy, not just at the beginning) could make your policy void. Some things that are deemed ‘important’ to disclose include past insurance policies or claims that have been declined, or any criminal convictions.


Make sure you’re properly insured by reading your policies, and make a habit of having an annual review of your insurance policies with your consultant. A few minutes spent each year reviewing and understanding your cover could make all the difference when the time comes to make a claim.


The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL).


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Emily Doran
  • Emily Doran Author