Insurance Claims

Families on Summer holiday leave homes at risk

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Office for National Statistics shows that 42% burglaries in England & Wales have taken place when the occupants were not in their household.  And M&S Bank revealed that on average holidaymakers leave their home unoccupied for 10 days during the summer. 

With the summer at its peak most of us would be on holiday or at least planning to go soon. The issue is that many homeowners have not planned any  security precautions and is often overlooked.

Does my Insurance policy cover burglary?

Your home insurance should be covered by burglary but often the case there is many scenarios which could lead to your Insurance Claim being rejected by insurers. 

Long holidays

Your policy states that long extensive holidays where your home is left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days can lead to a repudiation.

Security

Most policies state that homes should be protected by a minimum level of security. This generally includes deadlocks on external doors and locks on accessible windows. Having security systems like burglar alarms and CCTV can often lower your insurance cost and also provide you with the extra security to prevent burglars. In the event of a claim you will have a higher chance of being paid out as you have shown adequate effort to secure your home.

Our thoughts 

Our advice is to be accurate with your insurance provider. If you have mentioned to them that you have a burglar alarm and is required in policy. Not doing so may lead to a repudiation in your claim. Always forget to set the alarm every time you leave your home. Never use a dummy alarm as this will not reduce your insurance premium. 

Check your policy that you are covered for high-value items. For certain high-value items, additional cover may be required to protect them in case of an incident.


Top 6 things you can do to deter burglars while you are away.

  • Motion Lights - Install affordable motion-activated security lights in your garden or front entrance.
  • Keep all windows and doors locked
  • Pretend you are home -   Install Energy Saving bulbs and keep one on or install timers 
  • Keeping Tabs - Ask a friend ,neighbor or relative to keep an eye or check your home every once in a while.
  • Keys - Don't leave any spare/hidden key
  • Social Media - Beware of social media, your privacy on the internet and can be observed by anyone. Next time, think when posting a nice picture of you on the beach or at the airport.

If you have had a recent home burglary and are looking to claim. call us on 0333 2101 999. 

Click here for more info on Domestic Burglary Claims

Insurance claims – 1 in 5 Claims Repudiated

Insurance claims – 1 in 5 Claims Repudiated

New statistics claim that one in five home insurance claims is repudiated (not paid) by Insurance companies. The Association of British Insurers published figures to promote transparency and understanding with consumers and the general public.

A Short guide to flood recovery

A Short guide to flood recovery

Recent storms have made us more aware of the effects that heavy can have on our communities. Making good damage to your home after flooding is tough. It doesn’t have to be too difficult with the right assistance. Maybe you reside in a high-risk flood area. The following will help you in the event of a flooding incident

Insurance Company Complaints on the Rise!

Insurance Company Complaints on the Rise!

According to a leading Insurance claims management company, about 2 in 10 of the claims they are assigned to end up with a complaint. These are valid claims that Insurers have accepted they will pay who have failed to meet with the policyholders expectations.

The hidden dangers of Mould from Water Damage Insurance claims

The hidden dangers of Mould from Water Damage Insurance claims

Mould growth within the indoor environment has long been linked with poor health and property damage. It is a likely consequence of water damage insurance claims that often ends up as an unrecognised issue by the insurance claims loss adjustor.

Darker Nights Mean Increase In Break-ins

Darker Nights Mean Increase In Break-ins

Theft Insurance Claims As the clocks go back for daylight saving, the darker evenings will mean a sharp increase in burglaries and theft related crime. A major Insurer has reported that last year Theft Insurance claims notified to them at this time of year saw an increase of over a third.

Scary – Halloween Insurance Claim Nightmares

Scary – Halloween Insurance Claim Nightmares

Frighteningly, Halloween & Bonfire season see a sharp spike in fires and theft related crime. Making a claim and dealing with an Insurance company can be scary, fire damage insurance claims are a nightmare. It is common for people let their guard down and open their properties up to welcome trick and treaters.

Smoke Damage After a Fire

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Unless you are in the industry, most will be unaware of the toxicity of smoke. It’s not just heat that causes damage. Temperatures in even the smallest of fires regularly exceeds 1000 degrees centigrade.  Smoke is insidious and remains a big problem long after a fire has been extinguished.

Fire and smoke damage is extremely destructive, and is one of the most unpleasant things you can experience

Fire and smoke damage is very complex, and this should be considered when it comes to fire and smoke repairs. As well as the smoke, you normally have to contend with water damage emanating from fire brigade hoses used to extinguish the flames. This can often cause more damage than a fire itself. The associated problems of fire and smoke damage may go beyond the surfaces, walls and ceilings to issues that are not detectable just by looking.

If the smoke or water has been absorbed into the building’s superstructure, these will require more than cleaning. Identifying this is critical and requires specialist knowledge and equipment.

Smoke will ruin furniture, textiles, upholstery and electrical items. Some items can be restored however more than likely anything damaged will usually have to be replaced. Smoke leaves an acidic film on surfaces. Very often a chemical reaction occurs when the smoke particles are airborne. Chlorides from plastics that have burnt mix with hydrogen in the air to become hydrogen chloride and we all know the corrosive potential of this compound. Any surfaces damaged by smoke that is left untreated will compromise the very integrity of your structure. Smoke damage causes discoloration and leaves an unpleasant odour.

Different types of materials burning release a multitude of toxins that become airborne. Spiders webs are a great way to see the particles as these stick to the webs and are jet black. The oily film you feel on all the surfaces is acidic and harmful. It may react your skin and can cause irritation.

A smoked property is unsafe. Let’s be clear, until it has been decontaminated the potential exists for serious harm. Most of the toxins present are known carcinogens. Smoke damage clean-ups must be undertaken by professionals and requires specialist knowledge and cleaning equipment.

Ventilate the property. Remove any radical particles that remain airborne/. Open your windows and doors.

This is the maximum you can do. The odour and contaminates will not get any better than this achieves.

Smoke damage cleaning products react with the smoke residue as they attack the soot, creating fumes that can be harmful to your respiratory system. The clean-up is arduous and a complicated process that involves a specific sequence of steps. It is impossible to remove 100% of the smoke particles and anything whereby the ability to clean is reduced, should be replaced.

Commercial Underinsurance – Expect Your Insurance Company To Be Ruthless

Commercial Underinsurance – Expect Your Insurance Company To Be Ruthless

Inadequate insurance cover when making a claim often results in serious financial problems could cripple a company where the amount claimed is more than the Insurance policy allows for. Most policyholders are fundamentally uneducated in the consequences of poor sums insured. 

Cyber Liability Insurance Claim

Cyber Liability Insurance Claim

Cyber Crime A relatively recent number of claims are appearing and in ever increasing numbers relating to cybercrime. Information technology is prevalent in both our personal and working environments, and we rely on the use of computers and the web to store data every single day.

Navigating Insurance Claims After Hurricane Irma

Navigating Insurance Claims After Hurricane Irma

According to the Association Of British Insurers, claims that need to be covered by UK based underwriters from Hurricane Irma could be as much as £10 to £20 billion. It is also estimated that only 12 percent of homeowners affected have adequate flood damage and storm damage insurance.

Making An Insurance Claim: Business Underinsurance & Valuing Plant or Machinery

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Many businesses make mistakes when trying to determine their plant and machinery sums insured. Setting the correct sum insured requires careful consideration of a number of factors, and a thorough knowledge of the policy terms. Brokers and Insurance Loss Assessors can play a key part in helping customers correctly value their assets, and avoid underinsurance.

For businesses that rely on key machinery, underinsurance can have severe consequences. Simply using the purchase cost for valuing assets is a mistake made by many, resulting in inaccurate sums insured and inadequate claim settlements. Valuing assets for insurance purposes requires a particular methodology, and assessors can play a key role in helping customers approach the issue.

What happens if I have a claim?

The basis of settlement determines how a policy is worded to calculate a claim. When setting the sum insured, different approaches must be taken, depending on which basis of settlement is specified. Insurance policies can specify different bases of settlement. It is therefore essential that the applicable basis is known before valuing assets.

In the UK, it is usually an indemnity or, more commonly, reinstatement basis for items of machinery. Other basis of settlement do exist, such as an agreed value basis, but are less common for most customers’ purposes.

Indemnity Settlement

An indemnity basis reflects the traditional principle of insurance: to return the insured to their position prior to the loss – no more, no less.

An indemnity basis will cover either:

  •  Cost of repair, less an allowance for wear, tear and depreciation • Cost of a similar machine, giving regard to its age and condition
  • A settlement on this basis is therefore unlikely to fund the full cost of a new replacement asset, so customers should be particularly conscious of overstating sums insured.
  • The purchase cost should be avoided, as the value of plant and machinery can rapidly depreciate once in operation. A reasonable starting point is the current market value of the asset, taking into account age and condition.
  • Difficulty arises where a current market value is not easily determinable, particularly if the asset is no longer being produced or actively bought and sold.
  • Valuations for an indemnity basis can therefore be a difficult task for customers to undertake alone, and both under- and over insurance are distinct risks.

Reinstatement Settlements

Reinstatement is the most common basis of settlement used in the UK insurance market. This departs from traditional principles, as a claim settlement will result in an improvement to the insured’s position.

Reinstatement will cover either:

  • Cost of repair, with no deductions made for wear, tear or depreciation • Cost of replacing the asset with a new item of similar type, capacity and utility (new for old)
  • The sum insured on a reinstatement basis should include the full cost of completely replacing an item of plant or machinery with a new item of similar type and capacity. In addition to the purchase cost, this sum should include factors such as fabrications, freight and installation costs.
  • If the item is readily available for purchase, then determining an appropriate sum insured should be relatively simple. However, difficulty arises if machinery is old or no longer in production. In those circumstances, the cost of an alternative piece of equipment of a similar nature and capacity must be identified.

Getting The Value Right

The approach taken to valuations will produce different results, with reinstatement sums insured being notably higher than those on an indemnity basis. Approaching a valuation from the wrong starting point is likely to result in either over- or underinsurance. Plant and machinery are also particularly susceptible to fluctuations in value, making it difficult for people to establish an accurate sum insured.

It should be stressed that there is no substitute for regular professional valuations to be undertaken for insurance purposes. It may be the difference between sinking or survival. You must seek an Insurance Assessor.