We moved house in June. When we bought the new place, we knew it would need some work. Just how quickly that work was required was not obvious to me at the time of purchase but in spite of many dramas including a small flood in the first week I have been impressed beyond expectation with the service that the parade of tradies have provided.

Not so with the insurer.

When we bought the house, hubby was on the ball with the insurance. Rang them on the day to arrange cover for the new home as well as increase contents for the existing home given that we hadn’t done that for a while.

When the flood happened our insurer, GIO, told us we were not covered for the damage to carpets.

When you buy a property in NSW the carpet is a fixture but when you insure the property the carpet is a content, I have learned. But no, it was not a technical glitch about the definition of contents. We were told that in fact we were not insured for contents AT ALL!?!


We’ve had a “Home & Contents” insurance policy for over 13 years and luckily not needed it until now. Surely this thing does what it says on the top of the page?

Apparently not. Somehow they had managed to change the policy when we covered the new house to an ‘only building’ insurance and were quite happy to ignore that we had now moved into said building with our contents.

It’s taken weeks and quite a lot of our time and energy to finally get the money out of them. We have had to go all the way through the ridiculous internal dispute resolution processes and wait until it got escalated to the financial ombudsman to finally get to a human with the right level of authority to be able to resolve it (i.e. pay us the amount of the claim).

Every single person that we have dealt with in this process has made comment on the fact that we have been a customer of the company for many years. So what do you get for being a loyal (maybe lazy) customer?

Not much it seems.

It’s human nature to become used to a certain way of being. An insurance policy once decided on can easily be relegated to the drawer and forgotten about; to me, insurance is such a dry and dull topic that I am not super motivated about reviewing/ changing it very often.

Am I motivated now? Absolutely.

Will I be staying with this provider? Would you?

Post Script

9 Jan 2014

The flood happened in June 2013. 1 Oct 2013 GIO sent a letter saying they would FINALLY honour the claim; we waited for the cheque to arrive. 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks…. After 21 days you can follow up.

Guess what?

That’s right. They sent the cheque to the old address. In spite of the phone calls, letters and emails indicating that we had moved.

The week before Christmas the money finally appeared in my account. My thoughts really do go out to those who are in need of an insurance payment to be able to rebuild their homes or replace a critical item.

I will just be grateful that I have been lucky enough to not need it until now…