Tag Archives: insurance brokers

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.

Business contents under home insurance

business contents included under home contents insuranceInsurers are usually good at keeping up with changes in lifestyles and are willing in adapt home insurance accordingly, provided the change is in keeping with a domestic policy and the risk isn’t significantly increased. Most standard policies now come with automatic cover for office contents owned or the legal responsibility of the policyholder. Limits generally apply, maybe £5,000 or 10% of the overall home contents sum insured, whichever is the lessor. Cover applies for own use and in connection with the policyholder’s business or occupation, although it is worth mentioning that any liabilities arising from business activities would be excluded. Office contents more specifically insured elsewhere, such as a business office policy, would also be excluded. If you need a wider scope of cover then a homeworkers insurance may be suitable, especially if you run your own business from home. Homeworkers policies are a combination of home and office insurance, where you can insure a full range of office equipment at home, cover laptops, cameras and mobile phones whilst away on business, employers and public liability, business interruption and business money. For details try searching online for homeworkers insurance or contact an insurance broker for advice.

As always the devil is in the detail. The policy wording relating to your home insurance will tell you if there is cover and if so the limits, terms, conditions and exclusions.

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.

The day the olympics came to town

Wednesday 1 August 2012 was an unforgettable day, as the Olympic cycling time trial route came through the Walton Road in East Molesey, Surrey where our insurance brokers office is based.

As you would expect insurance came first, but we did manage to catch a bit of the action, seeing Bradley Wiggins zooming by on his way to a well deserved Olympic gold. Sending the Union Jack waving masses home happy, who lined the route 6 or 7 rows deep down the Walton Road. Hopefully the hard pressed local traders also benefited from the influx.

Our David Nash is a keen cyclist, travelling 8 odd miles from home to the office each day. My journey is nearer to 60 miles round trip, so cycling to and from work is out of the question, but I’m seriously tempted in taking up road cycling.