Finance

An Expert’s Guide: How To Find the Most Appropriate Home and Contents Insurance

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Here the experts reveal how to find the best home and content insurance policy for you.

By Nick Luxton, Insurance Adviser, Partners&

I’m sure you’ll agree that your home is not just the most expensive item you’ll ever own but also one of your most prized possessions, full or memories, things that you hold dear and much more. With insurers paying out £9m a day for domestic insurance claims (£1.8m of which are purely for ‘escape of water’ claims), it stands to reason you’ll want the most appropriate insurance policy in place to protect your home.

So how do you go about finding that elusive beast, the unicorn of the insurance world, the perfect home and contents insurance policy?

Well, you might be surprised to hear that I am not going to tell you to open your laptop and make haste with the internet. Unless of course you are an insurance expert with two to three years’ experience in the domestic insurance market. If you were an insurance expert, of course you’d understand all about the exclusions, the small print, you’d know what your single item limit was and how much you could spend on your building works prior to the works commencing. So, you know about those, right?

How to find the most appropriate home insurance: Speak to an insurance expert

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get expert advice before you choose a home insurance policy and here’s some reasons why, some of which I think may surprise you.

Non-Advised Sale vs Advised Sale

Did you know that deep in the small print of internet home insurance policies is a line that says ‘this is a non-advised sale’ which means, when you click the button saying ‘yes, I have read and agreed with the (60+ pages) of terms and conditions’, you take full responsibility for buying the policy, you have read all the exclusions and you are 100% sure that it is absolutely perfect for you and your home (and contents, as we recommend you take them out together).

On the unfortunate day that you need to make a claim after a fire, flood or gas explosion and you realise you were grossly underinsured or not covered for basic key elements, then sadly, the responsibility is yours, and you could be out of pocket for many thousands of pounds. There’s no point saying ‘but I didn’t know/understand…’ then. The lowest average claim on a home insurance policy is £1,250, the highest average is £11,250. How good is that internet policy looking now?

Risk advisers – your very own concierge insurance service

By opting to get your policy through an insurance broker, you can ensure you have adequate cover for your unique situation and don’t get caught out by any fine print. You wouldn’t try to do your own divorce or write your own Will, so why would you try to choose a policy that could literally be the difference between having your home rebuilt or not, after a catastrophic event? It really isn’t worth it.

Why not email Business Development Partner and Insurance Expert Nick Luxton at Partners& with questions about home and contents. You can contact him at nick.luxton@partnersand.com.

What happens when you work with an insurance adviser?

An adviser will get to know your circumstance and all your details

During an ‘in person’ or over the phone chat, your adviser will ask you about the property you are insuring and the contents inside. For instance, are you resident in your home all the time or do you spend long periods of time away at your home abroad? Do you have people in your house for work? Are you planning on doing any major works soon? Then they’ll go through the contents with you, listing everything of value– you’ll be amazed at how things add up. If you have large collections or art, antiques, or jewellery they’ll get specialist teams involved. Having gathered all the information together they’ll come back to you in a few days’ time with a couple of options. Be assured, they’ll avoid the less extensive policies that have stripped out so many essential parts that they’re barely worth the paper they’re written on and instead help you manage your risk with a recommended policy issued by an insurer with a reputation that they trust.

You will be given advice not a price

Your adviser can also suggest ways to reduce the price of your annual premium by either considering a higher excess and by undertaking a detailed risk review. Insurance brokers today see themselves as ‘risk advisers’ first and foremost, leading with advice rather than price, so they’ll go to great lengths to explain how you can reduce the likelihood of a problem in your home and therefore making a claim, be that through enhanced security systems or maybe even a system that detects water leaks and turns off taps automatically (remember those escape of water claim statistics?)

An adviser will ensure and easy and seamless renewals process

One great benefit for a busy person is that when renewal time comes around, your adviser will call you to see if anything has changed, update the policy if necessary and ensure you are protected for another year. If you have multiple policies with them – for example, car, house, artwork, travel, jewellery and so on – they can arrange for them all to be on one policy with one renewal date each year. What could be simpler? Be gone multiple reminder letters piling up on your desk. Life is complicated enough, treat yourself to the services of an insurance adviser so you can focus on what really matters in life... Pets (we will also accept ‘holidays’ as a correct answer).

10 things most people don’t know about home insurance

  1. It is recommended you have your home and contents on the same policy – when the pipe bursts and floods the downstairs of the house you’re only having to make one claim, deal with one loss adjustor and pay one excess
  2. If you are underinsured, you may have your claim refused or reduced – accuracy is key, so let us help you insure for the right sum
  3. If you are having any home improvements or building works done, you must inform your broker in accordance with the policy terms
  4. If your house is going to be empty (or “unoccupied”) for any length of time (e.g., building works, living abroad) you must tell your broker in accordance with the policy terms
  5. If you insure your jewellery on your contents policy, be aware that the price of gold has risen by a 1/3 in the last three years – make sure you have not gone over your ‘single item’ limit. Also, make sure you inform your broker of new items you have added to your policy as required by your policy terms
  6. Keep claims to a minimum – if you claim too often, it will be increasingly difficult for your broker to find a competitive offer. Keep claims for higher value items
  7. It’s important to understand any security conditions that are a requirement of your policy. Claims can be refused for a failure to follow set security protocols e.g., putting the alarm on at night
  8. ‘Fire and Explosion’ counts for 17% of all domestic insurance claims
  9. Making a ‘Flood’ claim could DOUBLE the cost of your home insurance
  10. It is estimated that leaks into policy holder’s homes from neighbouring properties cost £2.8m a year

Sources:

· https://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/uk-home-insurance-claim-statistics/

· www.abi.org.uk

· www.statista.com

· www.annualreview.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Partners& challenge the status quo by delivering insurance advice that makes a difference. Combining technical knowledge with service and intelligent use of technology, they offer clients the confidence and peace of mind that you are protected so with tailored recommendations that are right for you.

Get peace of mind and be confident that you are fully protected

Speak to an Adviser directly at Partners& Insurance

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