Tag Archives: insurance

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.

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.