Tag Archives: buildings insurance

Bathroom insurance

Bathroom insurance, you certainly cannot insure just the one room in your home. All of the bathroom fittings would be covered under a buildings insurance. We are blogging about a fitted bathroom paid for by the leaseholder in a flat or maisonette. Depending on the wording under the freeholders or management company’s buildings insurance the leaseholder’s bathroom may not be insured. kitchen insurance

When a leasehold takes the decision to replace the existing bathroom he or she is only thinking about the extra comfort this enhancement will bring, plus maybe more money on the selling price. It is unlikely they will realise that their investment may not be insured. Our advice is to check the block buildings insurance policy wording. If you kind yourselves in the situation where no cover applies then maybe we can help. We offer quotes and cover along with your contents insurance, with a variety of options for you to select.

Leaseholders for more details and a quote please follow the link: leaseholders improvements insurance

Home insurance storm damage or maintenance

Home insurance storm damage or maintenanceHome insurances usually include storm damage as a standard peril, on the basis that the policyholder can pinpoint the date when the damage occurred, so the insurer can check with the Met Office whether there was storm conditions at the time. The reason for this is that only damage and loss resulting from storm is insured. A home shouldn’t be damaged by general wet weather unless there is a need for maintenance, which is part and parcel of home ownership, not insured damage. Claims for storm damage are declined by insurers when it becomes clear that there was no storm conditions (high wind speeds and driving rain) in the locality at the time of the damage. No other insured peril requires such scrutiny as storm, to divide valid storm damage claims from wear and tear and home maintenance.

Unoccupied exclusions under home insurance

Unoccupied exclusions under a home insurance policyStandard home insurances are generally designed to insure the main occupied residence of the policyholder. Any variation, such as regular unoccupancy due to work commitments or an extended holiday would have to be specially agreed.

When a home becomes unoccupied, the definition would be detailed in the policy wording which could be 30 or 60 continuous days, then certain cover would be automatically excluded. Typically escape of water or oil, freezing and bursting of pipes, theft or attempted theft, malicious damage, accidental damage and additional cover extensions is excluded.

When you know the home will be unoccupied you should advise your insurer of the reason and length of unoccupancy if known or you can seek an insurance designed for unoccupied homes. We recommend the Ocaso Unoccupied Home Insurance, with a choice of 3, 6 or 9 month short-term policies.

Escape of water damage under home insurance

Escape of water damage under home insuranceMore claims arise from escape of water (or oil) than any other under home insurance, making the cover given and the terms applied an important issue when choosing a policy.

A home insurance will cover the damage caused by the escape of water from fixed domestic heating or water installations and domestic appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers. A buildings policy will cover the damage caused to the buildings and a contents insurance will cover the damage to the contents. One area which is not insured is the plumbing works to rectify the leak, as this is considered a maintenance, a general upkeep issue so the responsibility of the homeowner. Some more comprehensive home buildings insurances will cover the cost of tracing and accessing the leak by a tradesman, but not the leak repairs.

As always there are terms and conditions applying, escape of water damage is generally excluded when the home has been unoccupied for a set period detailed in the policy wording, which could be 30 or 60 days. Escape of water resulting in subsidence, ground heave and landslip is excluded. Finally it is common practice with insurers to have an increased compulsory excess for this peril of usually £250, with any voluntary excess on the policy added on top. Please check your insurance schedule and policy wording for details of your cover, terms and conditions.

Ocaso unoccupied home insurance review

Ocaso unoccupied home insurance reviewOcaso’s unoccupied home insurance is specifically designed for vacant homes and comes with a useful choice of policy periods of 3, 6 or 9 months. If required a further short term insurance could be taken out, if for example the home is unsold.

The policy comes with a wide range of perils insured, similar to that offer for a occupied home, with theft, attempted theft and malicious damage restricted violent and forcible entry into the home. Buildings insurance is compulsory, with property owners liability cover and personal legal expenses coming as standard. Contents cover for carpets, curtains and furniture can also be included, provided the sum insured does not exceed £20,000.

As you would expect with unoccupied insurances there is a strict acceptance criteria. All homes must be in sound condition and well maintained. A minimum level of security applies with 5-lever mortice deadlocks conforming to BS3621 or new UPVC doors with multi point locking system. All accessible windows must be fitted with purpose designed key operated locks or screwed down shut. The home must be inspected, both inside and out on a regular basis. During the colder months, October and March inclusive, the heating must be left on or the water system drained to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. Any refurbishment or maintenance works planned during the period of insurance would have to be disclosed during the quote stage, as could have a bearing on acceptance or the cover offered.

We have been recommending the Ocaso unoccupied home insurance policy for many years, as a purpose designed insurance to cater for empty homes with the flexibility of short-term cover periods, which have always been very popular as people do not want to be tied down to annual policies.

For a 3, 6 or 9 month short term Unoccupied House Insurance quote with Ocaso please click Request a Quote below.

Home insurance premiums and small claims

Home Insurance Premiums and claims One of the major factors in home insurance premiums is the claims record, with most policies giving a no claims discount or loading for claims. Both methods mean that a claim or claims affect premiums, so having a claims free history over the last 3 or 5 years is the best defence against rising premiums.

Making a claim is part and parcel of home insurance, the reason why people insure is to protect their property and possessions, but when claiming for a small amount it could be advantageous to see do some calculations first. The cost of the claim, verses the combination of the policy excess to be deducted from the settlement and the potential loss of no claims discount. Afterall the latter is important, as it could take 3 years of claim free home insurance to work your way up to a maximum no claims discount again. Therefore an allowance for a higher premium should be factored in for future years, not just at the next renewal date.

A number of small claims could also have a disastrous effect, going beyond premium increases. An insurer might impose a higher excess, restrict the cover especially if claims are made resulting from the same cause of damage or loss. In certain circumstances an insurer might decline cover, which then makes it difficult to obtain insurance elsewhere, as having home insurance declined or cancelled by an insurer is a material fact which must be disclosed to other cover providers.

Bottom line its a policyholders right to seek indemnity under the terms of a home insurance policy, when there is insured damage or loss, but sometimes consideration is needed before claiming for small amounts as to whether you’d be worse off.

Amlin home insurance review

Amlin home insurance reviewA review of the home insurance policy from Amlin, designed to cover the policyholders’ home buildings and/or contents at their main residence. The majority of UK standard home policies cover the same causes of damage and loss, regardless of the provider, so it’s the range of additional benefits that set insurers apart.

First the overall benefits included free of charge, whether you have building or contents. Family legal expenses tops the list, most insurers charge around £20 for this so it’s a useful add-on. The exceptions are policies covering more than one residence such as flats or shared homes with a number of co-policyholders. Helplines also come as standard as long as you have a policy in force, including domestic emergencies, medical information and counselling and legal and tax advice.

Additional covers under buildings included free of charge

The definition of buildings includes solar panels and fitted carpets in common parts of blocks of flats belonging to the insured. Useful extensions not usually included by other providers.

A range of accidental damage covers is included under the standard perils for fixed glass (windows), sanitary ware, ceramic hobs, underground services, septic tanks and drain inspection covers the responsibility of the homeowner. The full accidental damage extension can also be included for an extra premium, in case you put your foot through an unboarded loft or drill a hole in the wall and go through a water pipe. A brief list of the other extra benefits within the buildings policy are as follows:

  • Loss of rent payable to you and the cost of your temporary accommodation including domestic pets of up to 25% of the sum insured if the insured home becomes uninhabitable following insured damage, such as a fire or flood.
  • Additional costs and expenses in the event of a claim, such as architects and surveyors fees, shoring up, demolition and the removal of debris and the cost of compliance with government or local authority requirements.
  • Transfer of interest, available to the new purchaser of the home insured by Amlin from the date of exchange until the completion provided no other insurance is in force.
  • Emergency access, the damage caused by forced access into the home due to a medical emergency or to prevent damage to the home.
  • Up to £1,000 for the cost of restoring the gardens and clearing drains caused by the emergency services whilst attending the home due to insured damage, such as a fire.
  • The trace and access cover under the buildings section of up to £5,000, in the event of an internal water leak from a pipe and a tradesman has to search for the source of the leak by removing bathroom tiles or taking down part of a ceiling.

Additional covers under contents included free of charge

Again an element of accidental damage cover is included free of charge under the standard perils cover, such as televisions and home computers. The full accidental damage extension can be included for an extra premium to cover mishaps around the home, such as spilling things on carpets or dropping a vase. The other extensions under the contents section are as follows:

  • Up to 15% of the sum insured for contents temporarily removed from the home, but kept within the UK.
  • Up to £2,500 for contents at boarding school, college or university with a family member who resides at the insured home outside term time.
  • Cover for household removal within the UK whilst in transit, with conditions applied to china and other brittle items and scratching and bruising.
  • Like the buildings cover loss of rent payable to you and the cost of your temporary accommodation following major insured damage comes with the policy, up to 25% of the sum insured.
  • Tenants liability, a useful extension for those living in rented accommodation of up to 20% of the contents sum insured if you as a tenant are legally liable for damage to the building.
  • Loss of home keys and the replacement of locks of up to £500.
  • Spoilt freezer contents cover of up to £500 due to malfunction or a rise in the heat.
  • Loss of metred water and oil of up to £2,500 as a result of accidental damage to the water or heating system in the home.
  • Fatal death benefit of £10,000 for the policyholder and spouse caused by fire or thieves in the home.
  • Office contents of up to £5,000 or 10% of the contents sum insured, whatever is the lesser.
  • Emergency access, damage caused by forced access due to a medical emergency or to prevent damage to the contents.
  • visitors and domestic employees personal effects insured up to £1,000, unless already insured elsewhere.
  • Wedding, birthday, anniversary or religious celebration gifts of up to £5,000 in the home.

Overall the Amlin Home Insurance policy rates highly with us. If you would like a quote from us as an Amlin approved home insurance broker please visit our homepage to submit an online quote request or call us on 020 8941 2204 during office hours.

★ The review was based on the Amlin policy used by Ember JD Insurance Brokers, which offers enhanced cover in addition to the standard wording.

Remember home insurance on bonfire night

remember your home insurance on bonfire nightBonfire night is one of my favourite times of year, whether attending an organised firework display or a DIY job in the back garden. The latter being particularly hazardous as according to NHS statistics there are around 1,000 firework related injures a year on 5 November, with more than 50% happening at private parties at home.

If you decide to invite a few friends around to put on a show, then it is important that you check your home insurance includes personal liability cover, in the event that one of your guests is injured.

Home insurance claims increase by 25% on bonfire night compared with the daily average. Not only the odd stray firework causing havoc and liability incurred, the number of burglaries also goes up as more homes are left empty at night.

A few straight forward measures should be taken before the big night, prevention always being the best cure:

  • Check your home cover includes personal liability insurance and read the wording.
  • If going out make sure all the doors and windows are locked with keys removed.
  • Only buy fireworks from a legitimate retailer, check for damage before lighting.
  • Buy fireworks suitable for your size of garden to keep matters under control.
  • Fireworks should be stored in a safe place under the supervision of an adult.
  • Read the instructions carefully during daylight or with a torch.
  • Move fireworks well away from people and property.
  • Dispose of sparklers safely in a bucket of sand or water.
  • Keep pets indoors.

Take on board all the do’s and don’ts and above all have a good time.

Buildings sum insured calculator

calculating the cost of your home buildingsSelecting a rebuilding sum insured sufficient for full reinstatement of your home can be a challenging task. If you had a recent home buyers report or survey done, then the surveyor who is the expert in this field should advise of the rebuilding or reinstatement cost. If not, you could use the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors website http://abi.bcis.co.uk as guidance. This service is free to use after registering with an email address.

The buildings or rebuilding sum insured only relates to the cost of full reinstatement of your home should disaster strike resulting in the entire property needing to be rebuilt. The market value of a home has no connection with the rebuilding cost. A good example which I use for time to time is the difference in market value of two identical houses: one located near a motorway, the other a few miles away down a no through road. The purchase cost would be completely different, but exactly the same in terms of the rebuilding cost. Materials, processes of building and labour costs are the factors involved in the rebuild figure. The older the house, the more it costs to rebuild compared with a similar sized modern property, as the cost of materials and usually the processes involved in construction are more expensive. Listed buildings can cost even more to rebuild as there may be local authority and heritage body requirements to meet, which pushes up the cost.

You will need to find out the gross external floor area of your home. Measure the length and width of the external walls, then add together in feet or metres and multiply the figure by the number of stories in your home. Permanent fixtures and fittings should also be included, such as fitted kitchens, bathrooms and wardrobes. Garages, carports and outbuildings, such as sheds, garden and fuel stores, summerhouses and greenhouses should also be taken into account, along with terraces, patios, paths, walls, gates fences, hedges and if you’re lucky enough swimming pools.

Calculating the cost of a block of flats is far more tricky, as you have dividing walls and multiplies of kitchens and bathrooms to take into consideration. For flats seek professional advice from a building surveyor.

Please remember, even when you live in a house or bungalow, the BCIS website is a guide only. For accurate advice we recommend speaking to a building surveyor.

Some good news for homeowners and insurers

Home Insurance cheap Broker pricesThis summer has been a wash out as far as the weather is concerned. Rain, rain and yet more rain, causing localised flooding and disaster for all concerned. However with rain comes wet ground, reducing the need for trees and shrubs to extend their roots in search of moisture, which should result in fewer incidents of subsidence damage. Tree and shrub roots are a major cause of subsidence, especially in shrinkable soil areas.

We all enjoy a sunny day, but prolonged spells of hot weather results in a rise in subsidence damage. The summer of 2012 might be a low point for sun lovers, but it may be a season with fewer subsidence damage than usual. Subsidence is costly for insurers, so fewer claims may mean less of a squeeze on home insurance premiums, helping to lessen the effects as insurers compare premiums with claim payments.