Why using an adviser for insurance cover is worth the investment.

It is very common for people to turn to comparison sites to research life cover and home insurances.  It’s easy and convenient, but you may be unaware of the consequences of getting the wrong type of cover. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll usually be offered fairly generic polices.

If you want a policy that meets your individual circumstances, it is always a sensible idea to seek expert advice. An independent adviser can give you guidance on the products that best suit your needs and discuss options within your budget.

Here are a few reasons why going to an adviser for your protection is a smart decision:

  • Understand your options better: Insurers won’t always offer you every type of cover when you go directly to them. Advisers can help point out the types of cover available from the insurers and help you to work out what you need.
  • Obtain the correct cover: An adviser will ask you about your personal circumstances to find you the right policy. They will also be able to tell you if you’re already covered by your existing insurance policies so your covers do not overlap, and they will often get you a good deal by comparing prices and product features.
  • Receive specialist advice: On comparison sites you might not find cover for an area you need cover for – like income protection – that needs to be tailored to suit your needs, or a critical illness policy if you have a specific medical condition.
  • More easily complete the medical underwriting process: Everyone is medically underwritten for insurance. This means that on application you’ll be asked a series of medical questions to determine your health and the level of risk you present to the insurer; and sometimes insurers require further medical evidence in the form of a GP report or a medical exam. This is where having an adviser is useful, as they can guide you on the best provider for you given your disclosures. An adviser can also manage your expectations on time frames and the potential outcome if it is something that may affect what you are offered (an exclusion, or an increased premium for example).
Posted in Insurance

‘Generation Rent’ Must Protect Its Belongings Too

Compared to 10 years ago the number of young people (aged between 24 and 34) renting homes has shot up. In 2004, almost 60% owned their own home. These days, it’s just 36%.

Rises in house prices are the main culprit in causing this trend, with nearly half of this age group, known as ‘generation rent’, renting from private landlords.

Although I’m sure many of these renters would prefer to own their own place, they still need to treat their accommodation like any other long-term abode.

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Posted in General Insurance, Insurance

Watercourses, Insurance & Avoiding Higher Costs

Recently I’ve had to help clients who both live next to watercourses. That in itself isn’t a major issue, but the conversations reminded me that people can get caught out when it comes to home insurance.

If for some reason the watercourse isn’t included on an insurance application, it can lead to problems come renewal time. Whether it’s intentional or genuine error, if you fail to mention this vital detail on your application, the insurer will deem it to be non-disclosure.

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Posted in General Insurance, Insurance

Delays to Pension Reforms? Use the Extra Time to Research B2L

Changes to pensions are due in just five weeks’ time. But despite being announced a year ago, it seems that many insurers aren’t going to be ready in April, potentially delaying over-55s dipping into their pensions. Some providers are apparently not setting up new schemes at all.

This could be frustrating. Especially if you plan to use your pension pot to invest in B2L – a good alternative to investing money in shares that remain volatile, investments that are risky and falling annuity rates. Understandably, you would probably prefer to push on with plans than wait for the industry to sort itself out.

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Posted in Buy-to-let, General Insurance, Insurance, Mortgages

Think Your Insurance Covers Burst Pipes? It’s Worth Double-Checking.

So far this winter we haven’t been hit too harshly by the weather. Apart from a few dips into sub-zero temperatures and expected snowy conditions, we’re doing all right…so far.

But don’t rest on your laurels – polar conditions could descend upon as at any time. This is Britain after all.

This is particularly important when it comes to looking after your property during winter. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst or leak, potentially causing serious water damage. So, if you haven’t done so already, check that your home insurance covers damage caused by freezing pipes. You’d probably expect it to be included, but, sometimes, it isn’t.

Insurers handle policies differently, with some including a so-called ‘thermostat clause’ in the small print. A policy might require you to leave the thermostat set at a minimum temperature if you leave the property for five or more days, for example.  So, keeping your heating on a timer for an hour in the morning and evening or relying on the thermostat frost setting might not be enough should the worst happen and you need to make a claim.

With one in five claims originating from burst pipes and escaping water during the winter, and the average claim for related damage ranging from £6,500 to £7,000, you’re best advised to make sure you’re covered as soon as possible.

If you’re in any doubt, give us a ring or call your insurer.


Posted in General Insurance, Insurance