Learn here what is important in insurance contracts
In the last year, we have all been forced to spend much more time within our own four walls and we have also learned to appreciate this. The protection of the household and home is an essential part of the risk analysis of Putz & Putz GmbH, as it is the most valuable material possession for most people. As is so often the case, the devil is in the details. In this report we want to list the most important points of your insurance contract and explain their importance for your coverage. However, a comprehensive personal risk analysis is recommended to everyone and is essential for creating the right insurance concept.
Lorenz Putz will be glad to advise you in a free consultation and show you what your existing contract includes and where it may have gaps in coverage.
1) Insurance sum
The sum insured determines the maximum amount of compensation in the event of a loss; in most cases, it also serves as the basis for calculating the insurance premium. Make sure that the area sizes and other details specified in the insurance policy correspond to the actual circumstances and that the sum insured covers the actual value of the house or apartment contents.
If the agreed sum insured is less than the actual value, this is referred to as underinsurance. Underinsurance is so disadvantageous for you as the policyholder because the insurance benefit is then only paid proportionally from each claim.
In case of underinsurance, the indemnity is calculated according to the following formula:
Indemnity = Damage * Sum insured / Insured value
►Example for illustration:
In Max M.’s apartment, water damage causes damage to the contents of the apartment to the value of € 25.000. In the insurance contract, a sum insured of 60.000 € was stipulated. During the appraisal, however, it is determined that the actual value of the apartment’s furnishings amounts to €100.000.
Max is therefore underinsured and in this case will not be reimbursed the entire € 25.000, but only € 15.000. (25.000 * 60.000 / 100.000 = 15.000 €)
Note that the value of buildings and apartment contents can change over the years. The actual value of the house or apartment contents increases due to renovations and additions, higher-quality furniture, installation of a sauna, a pool in the garden, etc. We advise you to check your policy to see whether the currently agreed sum insured still corresponds to reality and to adjust it if necessary.
Obligations are requirements of the insurance company that you, as the policyholder, must comply with in order to receive the agreed benefits in the event of a claim.
Examples of common obligations:
- 72-hour clause: If all persons leave the house or apartment continuously for 72 hours, all water pipes must be shut off. In winter, you must also take the necessary measures for frost protection.
- Before a storm, all doors and windows must be locked.
- Contractually agreed security measures – e.g. an alarm system – must be activated when leaving the insured premises.
- When leaving the apartment / house, all entrance doors must be locked and windows closed.
3) Slight and gross negligence
It can happen that damage occurs because you were briefly distracted or careless. The insurance company will then speak of slight negligence. However, anyone who behaves in a conspicuously careless manner and thus accepts or must know that damage will occur is acting with gross negligence.
Slight negligence is always insured, gross negligence is not automatically included in all policies. The difficulty often lies in distinguishing between simple and gross negligence, which can then cost insurance coverage.
You turn on your dishwasher and then go shopping. In the meantime, the water runs out and floods the apartment. => (rather) slight negligence
However, if you have a very old dishwasher that is not yet equipped with an aquastop, leaving the apartment could be considered gross negligence.
Other examples of grossly negligent conduct:
- You heat oil in a pan and then go to the basement to hang laundry. Meanwhile, the oil in the pan catches fire.
- You light the candles on the Advent wreath and then leave it unattended – the curtain starts to burn.
- You put dinner on the stove to warm up, but then fall asleep on the couch, a fire breaks out in the kitchen.
If you would like to have the certainty that such damages will be paid, we can look together with you at whether your contract already includes gross negligence, or whether this can be included.
Attention: Even if you include gross negligence in your contract, you still have to fulfill the obligations of your contract!
If you agree on a deductible for your insurance, this means that you have to pay part of the costs yourself in the event of a claim. This can be a percentage or a fixed amount. If a claim is below this limit, the insurance pays nothing. The advantage of the deductible: the premium savings. Since not every small claim is handled by the insurance company, the premium to be paid is lower.
During a non-binding and free consultation with Putz & Putz GmbH, we will show you what your existing contract includes and where it may have gaps in coverage. By analyzing your situation, we create a comparison on the Austrian market, which is tailor-made for your belongings and in most cases we also save you a nice sum of money on insurance premiums.