Category : Home Insurance

Insurance Business

What is insurance?

What is insurance?

Almost every adult in the UK has taken out some kind of insurance policy – whether it’s to protect themselves, their home, their car, their possessions, or their beloved pets. But what is it?

An insurance policy is essentially a contract taken out with an insurer which pays out an agreed sum of money (in the form of an income or lump sum) on a valid claim. You can buy insurance to cover many aspects of life including your income, health, your business, your car etc… Read More

Home Insurance

Shining a light on home insurance

Shining a light on home insurance

Home and contents insurance seems to be a mystery to many households according to research by the Co-Op, which found more than five million have no cover despite the average value of contents reaching almost £40,000.

On the face of it, this type of insurance seems straightforward. It covers you for the loss of, or damage to, personal possessions in your home; ranging from laptops, TVs and furniture to clothing and jewellery. It’s perhaps when you get to the small print that the problems start. Read More

Social

Could your status update affect your claim?

Could your status update affect your claim?

Given the nature of social media and the millions of us who use it every day, you probably weren’t alone in posting pictures, videos and status updates showing off your recent Christmas presents and festive celebrations.

But did you stop to think that posting information like this on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat could be advertising your property, your whereabouts and your latest expensive Christmas gadget to criminals, and potentially void your home insurance?

Counting the cost of burglary
There were 650,000 domestic burglaries in the 12 months to March 2017, costing, on average, £2,267 in stolen valuables and £566 worth of damage.

Figures also show that the number of claims relating to domestic burglary increases by a whopping 36% from November to March. This could be down to the longer nights providing more opportunities for criminal activity, and the likelihood of burglars finding expensive purchases and presents following the Christmas period.

Take a break from social media
If you suffer a break-in shortly after publishing your latest holiday snaps on social media, it could lead to your home insurance provider deciding you are partly at fault for advertising an empty property and this could affect your claim.

Are you vulnerable?
When assessing an application for home insurance, insurers are reportedly considering asking homeowners if they use social media, as the risk of over-sharing becomes more and more common. If you use social media and think it could affect your home insurance, consider taking the following steps to reduce your risk:

  1. Turn off location-based services on the social media accounts you use
  2. Never share your home address on social media
  3. Make your posts private so that only your friends and connections can see them

It also makes sense to review your home insurance cover, especially after Christmas or birthdays when you may have bought or received expensive items.

If you’re concerned you may not have the right type of cover, or you think you might be underinsured, please talk to us.

home-insurance-fire

Bonfires and fireworks

Bonfires and fireworks

Autumn has arrived, the days are getting shorter and the nights longer. You may be preparing the garden for winter and arranging any rubbish for a seasonal bonfire. And, at this time of year, where there’s a bonfire there could be fireworks.

Keep your distance
Bonfires and fireworks can be a good excuse to bring together family and friends to enjoy the autumn nights, but they do require a bit of caution as many people, including children, are at risk of injury. In fact, in 2015-16, there were over 5,200 injuries caused by fireworks.

Often the best way to enjoy fireworks and bonfires is at larger public displays, where ‘official’ health and safety precautions are in place. With private displays, you might be tempted to ignore basic rules like making sure people are a safe distance from where you’re launching the rockets or setting off the Catherine Wheels.

Take sparklers, for instance. They could be seen as harmless, given you can hold them when lit, but be warned! Sparklers can burn at temperatures similar to a welding torch, upward of 1000°C so it’s important to take precautions by wearing gloves and supervising youngsters.
.
Are you covered?
One thing you should also check before you organise this sort of event is whether your home insurance covers you for any accidental damage. This could be caused by things like stray fireworks or bonfires spreading to a shed, or worse, your house.

Safety first
If you decide to have a bonfire, or put on your own fireworks display with sparklers, consider
these safety tips to make it safe and enjoyable.

  • Keep spectators at a safe distance.
  • Always light your fireworks at arm’s length and never return to it once it’s been lit.
  • Have one person in charge of the bonfire, making sure it can’t spread and always have a bucket of water or sand nearby as a precaution.
  • Supervise children at all times around fireworks and bonfires.
  • Wear gloves when using sparklers, and don’t hold them near your face.

If you’re not sure what your home insurance covers or you’d like to review your cover, please get in touch

Home Insurance

Don’t pay for your DIY disasters

The cost of a burglary

Don’t pay for your DIY disasters

The warmer weather might prompt you to finally get those home improvement projects underway, but are you covered if your DIY goes awry?

With a free supply of hints, tips and video guides available at the click of a button, you might feel confident about saving a bit of money and tackling tasks that you would otherwise leave to an expert. Before you get started though, it’s worth bearing in mind that British property owners pay out a massive £4.4 billion to repair the damage done by DIY.

If you’re diving into a project remember to take care, make sure you have the tools and knowledge for the job you’re undertaking – and, just as importantly, check your insurance cover before
you begin.

Are you covered for Accidental Damage?
Despite our best intentions, accidents do happen. Having the correct home insurance in place before you begin a DIY project could cover the cost to repair or replace broken or damaged items.

You might assume that a home insurance policy will cover your DIY disasters, but Accidental Damage cover can be additional cover with some policies, rather than automatically included. Standard home insurance tends to provide only limited cover for accidental damage to things like windows and bathroom fittings, rather than the effects of a stray drill, spilled paint or blown electrics.

In fact, full Accidental Damage would cover you for the following:
Buildings
• Repair of a burst pipe caused by drilling through the wall to put up a shelf
• Putting your electrics back in working order after a botched rewiring job
• Repairing your ceiling after a foot has gone through the loft floor
Contents
• Replacing your carpet after spilling a tin of paint
• Covering the cost of valuable ornaments damaged by the failure of TV wall mountings
• Replacing garden furniture damaged by falling tree branches

As with every type of insurance cover, there are exclusions and excesses that will apply, so it’s important that you check your cover meets your needs and expectations.

Leave it to the experts
If you’re hapless with a hammer or dodgy with a drill it might be time to admit defeat, accept the limits of your DIY skills and pay for a professional. Some jobs, like those listed below, have a higher risk of going wrong – along with more costly consequences:
• Electrical work
• Plumbing
• Structural renovations
• Roof repair

And when you consider that one in 10 DIY attempts result in the need of a professional after the initial attempt fails, you might actually save yourself time, money and hassle by hiring a qualified tradesman from the outset.

It’s important to make sure your home and contents insurance meets your needs and expectations. Talk to us to find out what you’re covered for – and what you aren’t.

Home Insurance

The cost of a burglary

The cost of a burglary

Figures have revealed that burglary costs the average homeowner over £2,800 in stolen valuables and almost £600 to pay for damage caused by the break-in. There were 713,000 domestic burglaries in 2015, and while you may see many of these reported in local newspapers you rarely hear about the cost to victims.

Fixing the damage
The damage burglars can cause during a break-in results in costs to repair doors, broken locks and windows, and damage to furniture.

Then there’s the cost of replacing stolen items – particularly jewellery, money and wallets, which tend to be the most desirable items to burglars. But it’s not just the intrinsic cost of these items; sadly the sentimental value can never be replaced.

Computers, cameras, watches and mobile phones are also desirable to thieves. Generally speaking a flagship phone will cost between £500 and £600 to replace and a digital camera between £100 and £250. But again it can be hard to account for the emotional cost of lost pictures and videos.

Protecting your home
Adding security devices to your home will help reduce the chances of your treasured possessions being stolen and give you and your family peace of mind. Installing a burglar alarm or external lights can help deter would-be thieves and you can buy timer switches that turn internal lights on and off while you’re away.

You could also consider upgrading to more secure locks on doors, windows, garages and sheds.

Getting the right cover
According to research carried out by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), one in five households could be underinsured because they don’t know how much their home contents are worth. If you’re unlucky enough to have to make a claim, having insufficient cover could leave you facing an unnecessary bill at a time when you and your family are struggling to deal with the disruption and worry caused by a break-in.

Here’s how to calculate the value of your contents:

  •  go through each room (include your attic, basement, shed and garage) and make an inventory of all your possessions
  •  file your receipts, or go online to work out the cost of each item
  •  tell your insurer about any expensive items you own to make sure they are covered
  •  contact your insurer to make sure new purchases are covered

Review your cover
Your home and contents insurance should be sufficient to repair any damage and cover the cost of stolen items. It makes sense to review your cover, especially after Christmas or birthdays when you may have bought or received expensive items.

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you’re concerned you may not have the right type of contents cover, or you think you might be under-insured, please talk to us.[/gem_quote]
Home Insurance

Are your contents underinsured?

Are your contents underinsured?

When it comes to insuring your home and contents, many people take out far less cover than they need, risking potential upset if it comes to making a claim.

The average UK home contains around £55,000 worth of possessions, but an average insurance policy covers just £35,000, leaving a huge £20,000 worth of uninsured valuables per household.

Why are people undervaluing their possessions?
One reason could simply be a lack of awareness – both in terms of the real value of possessions and the items we should be thinking about insuring. When you’re reviewing your contents insurance, don’t just think about your jewellery and electronic equipment or other high-value items. Make sure you consider things like clothing, shoes, books, furniture – and contents in your garage, garden shed or other outbuildings.

Another reason why people underinsure could be a desire to keep insurance premiums down – but this really misses the point of taking out cover in the first place. If you’re in the unfortunate situation where you need to claim and you haven’t included certain items in your policy, you won’t be covered and this could leave you even more out of pocket.

Ask us to review your cover
By seeking our professional guidance, you may find you’re able to reduce your outgoings, identify instances where your protection could be improved or uncover gaps in your insurance.

We can help you understand what you’re covered for – and what you aren’t. While buying home insurance may feel like an expensive chore, it’s critical to ensure it meets your needs and expectations. If you don’t fully understand your policy excesses (the contribution you are required
to pay towards a claim) and policy exclusions (such as accidental damage), your insurance could end up letting you down when you need it most.

Alternatively you may not even realise you actually require specialist insurance. If your home is classed as a ‘non-standard construction’, or you have high-value contents in the home, it may be appropriate to call in a specialist insurance provider that can meet your needs.

It can be easy to question the value of insurance – until the day you need it most. If you’ve ever been unfortunate to make an insurance claim, you’ll know just how valuable it can be.

[gem_quote style=”5″]For more information about protecting your home and contents, please get in touch.
[/gem_quote]
Home Insurance

Is your home winter-proof?

Is your home winter-proof?

With the year coming to an end and winter just around the corner we can start to expect colder, wetter, stormier weather conditions instead of the brighter, warmer days of summer.

This makes it a good time of year to assess how well protected your home and possessions are against the potential damage winter may cause. Take action now and ensure you have the relevant home insurance, check your property over and make a plan to protect it against bad weather.

The following preventative measures can go a long way towards avoiding the misery and inconvenience that damage to your home can bring:

• To protect your pipes and water tank
– Check the lagging, including in the loft
– Leave your central heating running at a constant temperature (the coldest time is between 1am and 3am). If possible, leave it running in all rooms.
• Use draft excluders and seal around window and door frames to block out cold air and keep hot air in, helping to maintain the temperature through the coldest periods.
• Tie down or safely store any outdoor furniture to avoid damage from high winds. You can also check roof tiles and any dead or broken branches on nearby trees which could cause damage.

Check your current insurance

Dig out those certificates of cover and policy documents and check your cover levels. You should review your cover at least once a year, to check it still meets your needs. We can help you understand what you’re covered for – and what you aren’t. While buying home insurance may feel like an expensive chore, it’s critical to ensure it meets your needs and expectations. If you don’t fully understand your policy exclusions (such as accidental damage), you may find that you are not fully covered.

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you’d like to review your existing buildings and contents insurance, please get in touch.[/gem_quote]