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Is my home covered while unoccupied?

By  AAMI

If you’re away from home for more than 60 continuous days, then your house is considered unoccupied and if you make a claim for an insured event, an unoccupied excess will apply to each incident. Here are some things you can consider, before going away, so that your home is not left unoccupied.      

Keeping your home occupied

Consider nominating a house sitter

If you go on a holiday, no stress! But if you make a claim for an event that happens while your home was unoccupied for more than 60 continuous days, what’s called an “unoccupied excess” will apply to your claim.

You don’t need to be the one home to avoid paying the unoccupied excess. If, for example, you nominate a house sitter to live in your home, for at least 2 consecutive nights or more, then the house will not be considered unoccupied under the terms of the policy. The “unoccupied excess” will only apply if the home has been unoccupied for another 60 continuous days and if you make a claim for an incident during that unoccupied period of insurance.

You can find more info about “unoccupied excess” on page 11 in  the AAMI Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

With AAMI, you can add a house sitter as a nominated representative to your policy, so if an incident occurs while you are away, they can make a claim on your behalf and get the ball rolling while you’re away. Just send us a message on the Contact Us page, or give us call on 13 22 44 to list them as a representative on your policy.

Keep track of your policy

Check whether your policy is up for renewal in the time you’ll be away. Be sure to contact us and update any contact details before you go away. AAMI customers can give us a call on 13 22 44 or visit AAMI Online Services.

Keeping your property safe and secure

Hide away your valuables

Think about hiding your valuables while you’re away. Get creative with your hiding spots! Have a think about what works for you and your house — an unwelcome intruder will check the typical spots, like a dresser in the master bedroom. So, consider storing items like jewellery and portable electronics in creative hiding spots of the house, or in a safe if you have one, so that if a forced entry occurs while you are away, they won’t be able to find them so easily. Just remember where you left them when you get back!

Turn off taps connected to appliances and fixtures if possible

In your home, many water-using fixtures have some type of shut-off valve. This allows you to stop the water supply at that fixture without shutting off the water to the entire house, if it isn’t practical to turn off your mains. If for example there was an unknown leak somewhere like a burst flexi hose under the kitchen sink, turning off your water main could potentially reduce any loss or damage occurring while you are away. But again, you need to consider whether it is practical for you and your home to do so.

Make a “house-to-do” checklist before you leave     

Consider the following things:

  • Check your home insurance policy to ensure it’s up to date and all the contact details are correct.
  • Think about whether a house sitter will work for you and your situation
  • Tell us about your travel dates if you’re away for more than 60 continuous days.  
  • Consider organising with your home insurer for your house sitter or another person you nominate to claim on your behalf.
  • If it is appropriate for you and your home, it can be a good idea to leave lights on inside the home, or security lighting, such as motion-sensor outdoor lights.
  • Turning off taps connected to appliances and fixtures, or the water mains, if appropriate to your particular home.
  • Hide away valuable home contents items.
  • Redirect your mail and pause newspapers or other deliveries, or organise for someone to collect your mail while you’re away.
  • Check all your windows and doors are secure.

You might be surprised to learn about some of the things AAMI Home and Contents Insurance covers. For example, when you’re away from home, you can still insure personal items, but there are conditions and exclusions that apply to this cover, so always read the PDS before taking out this additional cover. Call us on 13 22 44 to talk about adding AAMI’s Portable Valuables Cover to your policy as an Optional Extra.

Explore AAMI Portable Valuables Cover

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.

This material is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.