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Vero Voice Blog


Richard Godman

By Richard Godman

Manager Technical Underwriting, Consumer Insurance

28 February 2020


Selling your house? Here are our 3 top tips to help you decide when to cancel your current house insurance, ongoing insurance for your contents and how to protect your belongings during open homes.   

1. Wait until settlement 

Don’t make the mistake of cancelling your house insurance too early. Remember, you are still the legal owner of the property until settlement is complete. If something were to happen to the property, such as damage from a natural disaster, between selling your home and settlement day, this could have implications for the sale of your house.

For your protection, you should keep your home insurance until the purchaser has become the legal owner. If your settlement date changes, be sure to let your insurance provider know. 

2. Look after your contents 

Sometimes when selling, you may need to temporarily shift some of your belongings to another location until you move into your new home. Contents insurance generally covers your insured belongings at the location you have insured it at – your home. So, whether it’s a relative’s house or a storage unit, it’s important to check whether your insurance policy covers your belongings at their new temporary location. 

Some contents policies will provide limited cover for contents in storage (limited by the amount of time in storage, the amount the insurer is prepared to pay in the event of a loss, as well as the type of cover the insurer is prepared to provide). It is always best to review your policy wording or refer to your adviser to confirm what you are covered for.

Getting your house professionally staged? Check that the staging company you are using insures the items while they are in your home. If the items aren’t insured, speak to your insurance company about whether your own contents policy covers these items.

Most contents policies will provide a level of cover for residential contents that aren’t owned by you but are in your care, custody and control. However if you are required to insure these items yourself, and you have already moved your contents out to another address (for which a contents policy has been arranged) you will need to take out another contents policy to cover the hired contents for the duration of the staging. Check with your insurance company or broker for more information. 

3. Protect your open home

It’s not often you have dozens of strangers walking through your home, so it’s important to understand that there are risks associated with open homes and find out whether you are covered in the event of accidental damage or theft during an open home.

Not all insurers will provide cover for loss or damage to your home or contents caused accidentally or intentionally by prospective buyers entering your home to view the property, so it’s always important to check your policy wording.

In most instances it’s still your responsibility to prevent loss or damage by being present during open homes or having a real estate agent control entry. It’s also your responsibility to safeguard your belongings from opportunist thieves. This includes removing valuables before your open homes or storing them in a secure (insured) location out of sight. 

The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. It is not personal advice and any description of an insurance product or service is not a complete description of all the terms and conditions applicable to the particular insurance product or service. You should consult a qualified adviser for advice on whether the information in this article is suitable for your personal situation and needs. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.

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