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What does household contents insurance cover?

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Does household contents insurance also cover my damaged smartphone, stolen handbag or crashed drone? Household contents insurance often covers more than you think. We’ll show you what claims are covered and where supplementary insurance makes sense. 

Imagine turning your apartment or house upside down and giving it a good shake: Everything that falls out is covered by household contents insurance. That means that all “movable” property in your household is insured – but not against every kind of damage. The insurance distinguishes between whether your household contents were damaged by fire, whether something was stolen and whether you yourself caused the loss or damage. 

Basis: protection against existential risks

As a general rule, household contents insurance is there to protect you against existential risks. You are covered up to the agreed sum insured, for example, if your home burns down, if burglars break in and steal your valuables, or if flooding or water from a burst pipe inundates your home. If you don’t have household contents insurance, events like these can threaten your very existence.

 

Imagine your home is completely gutted by fire: What would it cost you to refurnish it?

It makes sense to review your insured sum regularly.

Insured sum: How do I calculate it?

Imagine someone calls you to say that your home has been completely gutted by fire. How much money would it take to replace all your furnishings and personal effects? You can use this “shopping list” to work out your insured sum – it is often much higher than you would think: From the dishes in the kitchen and the clothes in the wardrobe to the living-room sofa, from the computer and desk chair to the bicycle in the garage or the ski equipment in the cellar, the value of your belongings can quickly reach a five- or even six-digit figure. 

Theft: How much is reimbursed?

If your handbag is stolen on the tram or you lose your mobile phone while on vacation, you are covered under your household contents insurance policy with “Theft away from home” supplementary insurance. But there is a limit: In Switzerland, standard cover in such cases is capped at 2000 francs. While that may be sufficient to pay for the lost handbag or mobile phone, it won’t be enough to replace an expensive e-bike, scuba equipment or a valuable piece of jewelery. Of course, you could just increase the sum insured for “Theft away from home,” but that can quickly become expensive. A better bet is to take out separate insurance cover for the items of value you frequently take with you. For example, the 7000-franc triathlon bike that is often at risk during training camps and competitions. “All-round protection” from AXA offers supplementary insurance for just such cases.  

What if I caused the loss or damage myself?

Things are clear in cases of fire, flooding, burglary and theft: Household contents insurance covers the damage. But what if you yourself are responsible? Like when you drop your mobile and the display is shattered, or you sit on your glasses by mistake, or lose an heirloom diamond-studded chain? Cases like these happen again and again – and can be easily insured. “All-round protection” replaces any favorite object of yours that is lost or damaged. 

AXA offers “all-round protection” for the following groups of items:

  • Smartphones, tablets and consumer electronics: for example, if your laptop is dropped or broken.
  • Bicycles, e-bikes and sports equipment: for example, if your e-bike is damaged during a fall.
  • Jewelry, watches and musical instruments: for example, if you lose your wedding ring while scuba-diving in the South Pacific.
  • Glasses, hearing aids and medical equipment: for example, if you inadvertently sit on and damage your glasses. 

Device insurance covers the electronic equipment of all the people in your household – whether family members, partners or flatmates.

Insurance cover for smartphones, laptops, etc.

Limited belongings: Is household contents insurance a sensible option for young people?

Secondhand furniture, cheap clothes and only the bare necessities – if you’re sharing a flat with others or have just moved into your very first own apartment, household contents insurance probably won’t be at the top of your agenda. If you have only a few belongings, replacing them after a fire won’t be a big financial burden. But there are still individual items that are worth insuring – for example, a racing bike, an expensive laptop, or a brand-new smartphone. That’s why AXA offers you the option of taking out insurance solely for particular groups of items: 

  • Consumer electronics (mobiles, laptops, digital cameras, etc.) 
  • Sports equipment (bicycles, e-bikes, mountain bikes, skis, snowboards, scuba-diving equipment, etc.)Medical aids such as hearing aids and glasses

Unlike with conventional insurance cover for mobiles or bikes, device insurance covers more than just a single item: All such items belonging to any person in the household – whether a family member, partner or flatmate – are insured. The insurance covers claims due to theft, loss or damage, whether caused by an insured person or a third party.   

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