‘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

Check Your Contents Insurance Covers Christmas Valuables

Imagine the scene…Your Christmas tree is looking resplendent; lights blink and tinsel glistens. The presents have been lovingly positioned under the pine branches look tempting. And they happen to be in full view of passersby. Including those looking for opportunities to break in and undo all of Santa’s hard work (not to mention hard-earned cash).

Perhaps now’s the time to look at updating your contents insurance for the festive season. If you’re buying expensive presents that’ll be in your home until you give them to the lucky recipients, or you’re expecting to receive a gift of value, check what’s covered by your policy.

Some insurers will automatically increase the value of your premium for a temporary period by around 10%. If there’s a ‘special event’ clause in the paperwork, you should be covered at no extra cost. With other insurers you’ll need to get in touch to extend the policy so the premium covers the extra value of goods at home.

Even if you think your property is burglar-proof, you need to take into account other risks such as accidental breakages, burst pipes in freezing weather, and other nasty things we’d rather not think about as we tuck into the first mince pies of the season.

And whatever you do, never leave presents in your car, keep receipts somewhere secure (and not with the presents), and break down boxes and hide them among the recycling to prevent giving possible burglars clues as to what’s in your home.

Make sure Christmas Day TV is the only bad thing this festive season – take steps now to prevent other disasters! Start by giving us a call.

Posted in General Insurance, Insurance