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The cost of underinsured properties

By Cameron Micallef · October 29 2019
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egg

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The cost of underinsured properties

By Cameron Micallef
October 29 2019
Reading:
egg
Under-insured properties

The cost of underinsured properties

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By Cameron Micallef · October 29 2019
Reading:
egg
Under-insured properties

Australian home owners are underinsured by up to 66 per cent, according to new research, which has the potential to cause devastating financial loss for individuals who find themselves needing to file a claim.

According to MCG Quantity Surveyors, Aussies are risking hundreds of thousands of dollars by underinsuring their property.

It has led to director Marty Sadlier raising the alarm about checking for insurance cover, especially as the bushfire and flood season approaches.

“This epidemic of underinsurance could prove totally shattering, and is due almost entirely to the ongoing use of web-based insurance calculators,” Mr Sadlier said. 

Not only are the calculators constantly making mistakes, but oversimplified tools exclude fundamental components of insurance that could amount to thousands more dollars being lost in the event of a claim. 

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Mr Sadlier said that “the problem is compounding after decades of being ignored, despite warnings across the insurance and construction industry”.

Using the example of a new build in Airds, NSW, the company said it had calculated the total cost of construction including demolition, removal of site debris, allowances for cost escalation and consultant fees to be $668,559.

Running the sums through five popular web-based calculators, the company found the lowest assessor gave an insurance value of $226,160. 

The highest was $535,000 — which would have left 20 per cent of the property’s value uninsured.  

In MCG Quantity Surveyors’ experience, this example is not an isolated one, with Mr Sadlier noting that if these results were extrapolated, the outcome would be devastating for home owners in need.

“Given the extreme results we’ve observed, any home owner relying on online calculators could be in dire financial straits after a major insurance event,” Mr Sadlier said.

MCG said the problem of underinsurance has been decades in the making, but there’s been minimal progress in remedying the situation.

“Unfortunately, little has been done to take these calculators to task and, in fact, customers are being increasingly advised to use them by insurance companies and even government departments,” Mr Sadlier concluded.

The cost of underinsured properties
Under-insured properties
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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leveraging their insights to grow your portfolio.

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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leveraging their insights to grow your portfolio.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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