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.
Modern policies usually come with ‘new for old’ settlement as standard for contents and personal possessions, with no deduction for wear and tear and depreciation. The only exception being clothing and linen, which generally have a short life span. Great for the insuring public and beneficial for insurers, who don’t want to waste time and resources haggling over claim settlements.
To make the ‘new for old’ agreement between insurers and policyholders a fair one, the contents should be insured for the new replacement cost. Therefore when you are calculating a sum insured that is right for you, think of the new price for your contents. For guidance with your home contents sum insured try the home contents calculator
This 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.
Some insurance providers seem fixated on promoting new business introductory discounts and offers, exclusively for new customers. Fine, as each business needs a constant flow of new customers to stand still, let alone grow, but what happens at renewal when the premium increases substantially? Presumably a fair number of those new customers they’ve worked so hard to attract and no doubt spent a fair bit of money on advertising too, go elsewhere. A significant rise in costs is no incentive to stay with the same provider.
We at Ember JD Insurance Brokers feel that one off introductory discounts are short sighted, as we wish to keep our clients for the long term, by giving competitive premiums each and every year. For both valued new and existing clients. We also feel that constantly plugging short term offers solely for new customers is in some ways disrespectful to the loyal clients who already support us with their business.
Rest assured that we will work hard to find the right policy at a good price at new business and ensure that the premium we offer at renewal is equally competitive. No quick fix here, seeing clients come and go.
We specialise in non-standard Home Insurance and are able to offer quality cover at low prices for hard to place risks, as well as standard household insurance. For details of the types of insurances we offer please visit our What We Insure page, or call Steve Hayton or David Nash during office hours, 9pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Finally we also add that we don’t offer cuddly toys with a new insurance policy, just competitive premiums at new business and renewal.