Understanding your MHIA PDS: What it all means and how to get the most out of it | MHIA Insurance
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Understanding your MHIA PDS: What it all means and how to get the most out of it

5 minute read

Every insurance policy has a Product Disclosure Statement. More commonly known as a PDS, it’s surprising how many people have never actually sat down and read it.

And we get it. We really do. While reading your Home and Contents Insurance or Motor Vehicle Insurance PDS may not be the most exciting thing in the world, it is your insurance policy. And should you ever need to claim, it’s good to understand your PDS and know what is and is not covered by your insurance policy.

While this article will focus on our main PDS – Home and Contents Insurance Accidental Damage – we encourage you to read any MHIA policy documents relevant to your particular insurance policy. We’re also going to explore how it affects you and share tips on making the most of your coverage.

Understanding the basics: What is a PDS?

PDS stands for Product Disclosure Statement, a document insurance companies must give their customers when they take out an insurance policy. Think of it like a roadmap to understanding your insurance policy. It contains crucial information about your coverage, including what is and isn't covered, the terms and conditions and how to make a claim.

In short, the PDS is your insurance policy.

Why do insurance companies use a PDS?

In Australia, all financial service providers – including insurance companies – are regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and are legally required to provide a PDS for every financial services product they offer.

By providing this document, they aim to empower their customers. To give them the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage. It's a tool designed to protect both you, the policyholder, and the insurer.

How to read a PDS

PDS documents may seem intimidating because of all the legal language and complex terminology. But it’s important for you to know what it says so you can truly understand your coverage. This is one reason MHIA keeps our PDS as easy to read and jargon free as possible. Sometimes we have to use legal terms but, for the most part, the language is simple. We also use lots of headings and bullet points so you can get to the part of the PDS you need.

Here's a tip: Take a look at the table of contents. This is a short summary of your policy's most important details. In fact, if you right click on the PDS and type the keyword you’re searching for – for example fire, storm or water – you can go directly to the page you want to read.

Understanding your PDS

To make it even easier, think of your PDS as a user manual for your insurance policy. Just like you (should) read the instructions for a new gadget, the PDS helps you understand how your insurance policy works. It's like knowing how to operate all the items in your caravan or manufactured home. You wouldn't want to miss any of the good stuff!

Deciphering the MHIA PDS

Let’s take a look at the three main MHIA PDS, which are:

Each serves a different purpose in protecting your land lease home.

MHIA Home & Contents – Accidental Damage

This covers the structural aspects of your land lease home and your personal belongings. If your home suffers damage from unforeseen events like storms or fires, this policy has you covered. And this is the policy that also offers cover against accidental damage, which we define as ‘loss or damage caused unintentionally to your home and general contents.’

MHIA Home & Contents – Defined Events

Similar to the accidental damage policy, this covers both the structure of your home and your personal belongings. However, there’s no cover for accidental damage so it’s important to think about cover limits and exclusions.

MHIA Motor Vehicle – Comprehensive

As the name suggests, this policy covers your personal car. You are only eligible for this policy if you are already an MHIA home and contents policy holder which you can find here - Home & Contents – Accidental Damage.

Tips and tricks for getting the most from your insurance policy

Here’s some tips on how to maximise your insurance policy cover.

Review your policy annually

The needs of land lease homeowners can change over time. So it’s wise to review your policy at every renewal to ensure it still aligns with your needs.

Know your excess options

Your excess is the amount you pay when making a claim. Understanding your options and how they affect your premiums can help you find the right balance between cost and coverage.

Document your belongings

For contents insurance, create an inventory of your possessions and their value. This will help you accurately assess your coverage needs. You can also photograph or take a video of your home and contents on your phone. This may help as evidence of ownership should you ever need to make a claim.

Ask questions

If you're unsure about any part of your policy, don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you understand and make the most of your insurance policy.