Yearly Archives: 2012

Ho Ho Ho-Home insurance

The dreaded season is approaching us, and generally it’s a stressful time of year for anyone. Except of course, for those of us who still believe that the brunt of the work is taken up by a fat bloke and his team of interns.

Once you’re at home though, and most of the wrapping is complete, there is some relaxing to be done. And here at Dovetail, I can assure you all of the team hope you are looking forward to those moments; snuggling down with a glass of port, a mince pie and a moment of peace. More than all of this though, we hope that you are safe. Whilst it can be a relaxing time, some high net worth insurers automatically up their clients’ home contents by 25% at Christmas. This is because in order to think like a good insurer, you need to think like a good thief. Sadly, there seems no easier gig than a whole load of valuable items left unattended under a well lit evergreen. Wrapped up and ready to go. Even this year there have been around a hundred incidents reported already of crimes where thieves have run off with Christmas presents left unguarded. It’s horrible, and it’s cruel, and we’d rather it didn’t happen, but rarely is insurance at the forefront of anyone’s mind at this chaotic time of year.

For some high value contents insurance households, there may even be some very special items lying under the tree. At any other time of year, we would see it as crazy behaviour to leave a gold necklace thrown on the floor, yet at Christmas, this seems totally acceptable. I don’t want to seem like Scrooge, but if there’s something flash waiting for Christmas day, then keep it well under wraps until the big morning itself. The benefit of keeping jewellery hidden is twofold; firstly, it reduces the chances of it getting lost or stolen, and secondly, you’ll be preventing the recipient guessing their gift early by sniffing, shaking, squeezing, or peeling back a corner for a quick glance.

The other thing you need to consider is that your once peaceful home may now have been invaded by hoards of cousins, siblings, and relatives young and old. To speak from personal experience, this is the peak time for bumbling pets to knock over children and/or glasses of mulled wine. An old family labrador once did exactly that, and out of all the presents that the booze soaked through, it was of course Aunt Lizzie’s cream cashmere cardigan that got the full force of the damage. On top of this there are scented candles, festive lights being taken out of damp lofts, dodgy ladders on icy ground, and heaps and heaps of paper everywhere.

So, my top tip this Christmas; is deck the halls, be jolly, drink, eat and rest, but please, remember to take care of yourself and the loved ones around you. Be cautious of those who are out to ruin your Christmas (I’m talking about burglars and not The Grinch), and be mindful of your actions.

And before you ask, the answer is no. We don’t do ‘Elf insurance….

A weekend at reduced speed

What a weekend for slowing down! I managed to escape London, and grab a lift out to Rutland, for a relaxed weekend in the sticks. As we made our way off the motorway and onto the country lanes, the radio (along with the more major headlines) seemed to have a heavy insurance theme to it, starting with The BBC picking up on stories of high street insurers such as Elephant and Admiral quietly upping premiums to attendees of speed awareness days.

Councils are able to charge more for these awareness  days, and it’s proving to be a popular way of getting off the points as well as avoiding a fine. Obviously, these points will raise the premium on your motor insurance, so in the long run, it looks like it’s going to be a cheaper option for the driver. No points for stating the obvious here, but statistics show that those who commit a speeding offence are more likely to be at risk than those who are not. That’s what the underwriters are claiming too, disregarding the statements made by police officers and the local councils, who encourage the attendance of these courses by declaring that your premium will not increase if you opt to take the course over standard points.

This immediately caused controversy in the car I was in at the time. The driver was a friend and also a good, cautious driver. If she ever were to be caught speeding it would be a rare occasion, and she would certainly opt for the course. Sneakily upping the premiums would be a way to discourage drivers from taking the course, which she felt was a more pro active way of discouraging drivers from careless driving. Another friend in my car pointed out, that regardless of the circumstances, speeding is speeding, and if you speed once, in the eyes of an underwriter, you are a less careful driver than they would like you to be. I however, had a bit of ‘inside information’. I knew for a fact that Admiral’s profits had risen by 7% in the first 6 months of 2012. It was therefore of my opinion, that if a client did not think their insurer was taking these courses into consideration, and if the client did not like it, then the solution is simple. Change policies. Get a new quote and find a policy that suits you, and that makes you feel you are being treated fairly. After all, you’re the one paying for it!

The mini-debate resulted in the driver pointing out that her premium was quite low anyway. She was a female, and therefore considered by most underwriters to be a safer driver than our male friend in the car with us. (Girls in front – we made him sit in the back) . That was again, a hot topic, due to the recent European Court of Justice ruling on equality, that has declared that women are no longer able to receive discounts that relate to their gender. She had had her motor insurance thrown in with her high value contents insurance, having just purchased a lovely studio flat in Notting Hill. Alright for some!

This November is shaping out to be an interesting one for motor insurance, and with winter weather just around the corner, it seems like it’s going to get even more prominent in the papers. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Martin Clunes has been dropped from Churchill’s advertising campaign for getting points on his license for speeding this weekend. Let’s just hope they don’t up his premium too…

Revealed! The hidden costs of cheap home insurance and free cuddly toys

At Dovetail we are continually amazed how many times we come across uninsured homes, even those that should have high value home insurance. There are those beautiful comparative websites that ensure you can get an ‘off-the-shelf” product; the price is competitive, the marketing campaign colourful, and the online forms are a dream.  Now, whilst I’m not here to make slanderous comments about policies that come with free meerkats,  you might not feel so cuddly in the event you have to make a claim. Some high street policies are fine, and provide adequate cover for the client, as long as the client is fully aware of the exclusions and clauses in the policy they are purchasing.

Whilst reading the terms and conditions is the buyer’s responsibility, an honest seller wants you to know exactly what you’re buying, which is what you would expect. Unfortunately, it is only after a claim is made that a policy is revealed in its true light, which is of course too late. Often a cheap policy is cheap for a reason, and it cuts the corners that a fully comprehensive policy would not. For example, one of the most common exclusions found that causes trouble is exclusion of drains and sewage problems. You can imagine the nightmare that this scenario might cause! And then with that, there’s the customer service. Making a claim should be the easiest task in the world. After all, this is what you have paid for. With the cheaper providers, this can at times seem impossible. Whilst nobody wants to make a claim, when an accident happens, rarely does it occur Monday to Friday between 9-5.  Hiscox Insurance, in comparison, prides itself on having a superb claims service team, which means an instant response and no call centres on the other side of the world.

Then there is the problem of underinsurance. A recent survey has suggested that on average, every household in Britain, including the typical high value home, is inadvertently underinsured by 30 per cent.  This causes a problem with less water-tight policies, which often contain a clause called “condition of average”, meaning that a claimant is highly unlikely to get the full amount of settlement stated on their policy if they have misjudged how much their belongings are worth. When the loss adjusters step in they carefully calculate the amount you are owed, taking into account what you have paid for your insurance, regardless of the value of what you are claiming for.

Whilst it’s tempting to buy a cheap policy that offers you blanket cover for your home contents, it is ultimately down to you to take everything into account, especially if you need high value home insurance. With the amount of apps and online calculators now available to evaluate everything you own, there’s no excuse when it comes to putting down the right figure.

For mid-net worth clients, there is the option of finding a broker. Often favoured by high value home insurance clients, they are sometimes thought of as being uncompetitive on pricing. But for those who have little time to do their own investigations, in the long-run, a broker could prove to be an efficient and cost-effective  solution.  To have a professional at the end of the phone to deal with the paperwork is always an advantage, as well having the added benefit of being presented with the options that take into account your lifestyle and assets. The mid-net worth clients that are having problems with those instant supermarket home insurance policies are turning to an alternative, and whilst there is no fluffy toy, the long term qualities of a portfolio package are somewhat more appealing in a world that needs to be ever weary of a “bargain”.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Protecting Your Treasured Home and Possessions

You’ve likely worked hard to make a comfortable life for yourself and your family. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to protect what you have by taking out insurance? This is particularly true if you own a high value home, which is likely to be your most valuable asset. What is a high value home? Generally, it’s one in which the building is valued over £500,000 and the contents valued over £75,000. If your home falls into this category, and you don’t have the right home insurance, the consequences can be dire. Read on to learn why it’s important to obtain a high value home insurance quote.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Why You Should Consider It

Standard homeowners insurance is likely not to offer the comprehensive cover needed for a high value home, particularly if you have items like expensive jewellery, fine art, or antiques. Providers of standard homeowners cover simply are unable to supply the level of flexibility you require. When you obtain a high value home insurance quote from a reputable provider, you’re choosing someone who readily understands the specialised cover you require, and who then can find the most appropriate policy for your particular needs. Such companies even can arrange a valuation of your home’s contents, if needed, along with a free survey. What’s most important is for customers like you to have peace of mind, and no surprises when you make a claim. It’s also important that you don’t buy more cover than you need.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Getting Started

To find the best insurance for your particular needs, you’ll work closely with a company that can customise just the right cover. In order to do this, you’re likely to be asked a series of questions that will allow the provider to set up cover specifically designed to meet your needs. It’s likely that the process of obtaining high value home insurance will be a bit more detailed than for standard insurance, so it’s important to have all relevant information at hand when making your application. For example, an insurer will need to know the year your home was built and what the roof and walls are made from. Also, you’ll need to advise your insurer how the property is heated, and particularly if you have any wood burners or if the central heating is oil fired. Also typically required is the date of the home’s last electrical inspection.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: More Required Information

If this insurance is for a holiday or second home, you’ll need to let the insurer know the length of time the property is left unoccupied. If your property is near a body of water, you’ll be required to provide the height and proximity of the property to it. This is so an insurer can locate your property on a map. It’s also helpful to provide any previous flooding history, local background, and whether any defence work has occurred. Tall trees with extensive root systems can be a major cause of subsidence, especially if you own a period home or one with non-standard construction. For that reason it’s essential that you advise your insurer of any trees located within about 25 metres of your property.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: About Home Security and Thatched Buildings

Depending on the value of your home’s contents and its location, an insurer may require you to have a minimum level of security installed. Minimum security usually involves seeing to it that all windows and doors have appropriate locks to help prevent burglaries. Those who live in thatched homes usually need to disclose whether all the chimneys are lined and insulated, and also when the roof was last replaced. Finally, you’ll need to advise the insurance provider about the method by which the home is heated, including any multi fuel stoves and wood burners. Following are some suggestions and measures you can take to make your home safer and more secure.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Ensuring Your Safety

Fire is a major hazard in most homes. For that reason, it’s recommended that you fit a highly sensitive, good quality smoke detection system, preferably mains wired with a battery back up. Early fire detection can not only save your life, but also help to keep reinstatement costs as low as possible. We also recommend you fit the home with fire fighting equipment such as extinguishers and fire blankets. Being proactive is your best approach. In regard to security, it’s wise to consider installing measures like outside lighting, intruder alarms, and surveillance cameras. Upgrading all windows and exterior doors to deadlocks is a good strategy as well. For more information, consult with your local police or a security professional, who can advise you on the most effective and appropriate methods.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Other Important Activities

If you have a loss, it’s important to provide accurate information in your claim. For that reason, you should have the contents of your home valued every three to five years. In addition, on an annual basis, be sure to take into account any major purchases or improvements you’ve made. This is especially true if you have valuable antiques, collectibles, jewellery or fine art. Don’t overlook the value of items like expensive designer clothing, or even an extensive wine collection. It’s important to inform your insurer of any recent major purchases or possessions that have increased in value. Another step you can take is to join your neighbourhood watch organisation. Ultra-valuable items should be kept in safe deposit. Items stored outdoors, such as tools, bicycles and ladders, should be secured with locks. Take the time to secure your outbuildings as well. You should know where the main stopcock is, and have your heating system regularly serviced. Smoke detectors should be fitted, along with a burglar alarm. Keep chimneys swept, have guards for open fires, and make sure pipes are properly lagged.

So, while obtaining a high value home insurance quote is essential, it’s only part of a proactive strategy for protecting your property and its contents.

High Value Home Insurance: About Over 50s Cover

Older people sometimes feel that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get comprehensive, affordable high value home insurance. The truth is that due to the intense competition in the insurance industry, over 50s cover is surprisingly available and affordable for these people. Many of the best insurance providers in the UK offer high quality cover for both home and contents. This cover is extensive, while the premiums fit just about anyone’s budget. There are 3 options available in high value insurance: the home itself, the contents, or both. Over 50s insurance covers all the usual occurrences, such as fire, theft, storm damage, flood, or escape of water. In addition there may be specialised features not found in other cover.

High Value Home Insurance: Typical Limits

Although a high value home insurance quote can vary considerably amongst providers, and everyone’s situation is unique, there often are coverage limits for this type of insurance.

For example, buildings insurance may have a £1,000,000 limit. Contents insurance can have a lower limit, often up to £75,000. In either case, additional cover is available on request. One attractive feature of contents cover is protection for personal possessions, up to about £10,000. In some cases, the first £1000 of this sum is provided free of charge. Another feature to look for in contents cover is automatic protection for the contents of a freezer, which might amount to hundreds. In addition, a good contents policy will cover both the loss of both credit cards and cash.

High Value Home Insurance: More About Limits

Since many people have extensive gardens and grounds, it’s wise to enquire whether the contents cover of a high value policy includes shrubs and garden plants, ornaments and statues. Many insurers provide cover (up to £1000 – delete) automatically, and free of charge. Water leaks can be a major headache for homeowners who don’t have trace and access cover that’s designed to find and stop water escaping. Another key feature is accidental damage cover. Be sure both your buildings and contents cover includes this. There’s also legal expense cover available in excess of £50,000. Some insurers will allow you to spread the cost of your premiums over a set period of months, such as 10 or 12, although sometimes this may incur an additional surcharge.  All this means that excellent cover is available for over 50s, provided they meet the insurer’s underwriting criteria. According to Wikipedia, underwriting is a process used by a financial entity to assess the eligibility of a prospective policyholder to receive its products. The historical term “underwriting” comes from how Lloyd’s of London handled financial backers who wished to invest in risky activities. In exchange for a premium, Lloyd’s literally would write their name under the risk information that appeared on a special Lloyd’s document designed for this express purpose.

High Value Home Insurance: Why You Need Buildings Insurance

Buildings cover is designed to protect the actual structure of your home. Also included are outlying buildings and fitted fixtures. Generally, anything that’s permanently attached to a home is covered by buildings insurance, including plumbing pipes and plumbing fixtures like sinks and toilets. Buildings insurance usually is required by mortgage lenders who wish to secure the asset against which they’ve loaned money.  Although buildings insurance isn’t required by law in the UK, the fact is that it’s very difficult to obtain a mortgage without it. If you rent, rather than own, then the buildings insurance is the landlord’s responsibility. It’s a good idea for renters to contact their landlord to find out exactly what’s covered. Also, you should obtain renter’s insurance to cover your contents which will, in turn, provide you with liability cover for damage you may cause to the buildings.  When deciding how much cover to buy, it’s essential to have an accurate inventory of your possessions. Many high value property insurance providers will send an appraiser to your home, if you meet a minimum premium requirement,  who will complete the inventory for you. The appraiser also will help you determine the replacement cost of your home and its features.

High Value Home Insurance: About Replacement Value

Many people over 50 have a difficult time determining how much cover they should buy. Some make the mistake of buying insurance based on the market value of their property. Unfortunately, the replacement value (the cost to reinstate the property) is almost always no relation to its market value. A home’s replacement value is the amount of money needed to rebuild the property completely. This figure generally includes all labour and materials. On the other hand, a home’s market value is the amount your home is worth, or the price you would ask if you elected to sell the property. It’s important not to underestimate the replacement value because later claims you might make might not be covered in full, leaving you to pay the balance out of pocket, which could amount to thousands.

High Value Home Insurance: Who Should Have It?

There is a set of shared characteristics for those who typically have need of home insurance with high value limits. A large proportion of them are people over 50. These people often are professionals, such as physicians or solicitors, and also can be business executives. Another trait that identifies the need for high value insurance is that the home has a replacement value that exceeds the limits of standard homeowners cover. People who own high value homes often also have new or high value cars and high value recreational vehicles like boats. If you own a valuable collection or any type, including fine art and jewellery, it’s wise to protect it with this type of cover. Other high value items include antiques, a wine collection and collectible classic cars. People who should consider high value cover have an increased need for identity protection and monitoring.  They also tend to travel extensively in the UK or abroad. If you’re looking for personal liability cover with a limit about £1,000,000 or more, high value insurance is worth a serious look.

As you can see, over 50s cover shares many key features with standard high value home insurance.

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers” – Pablo Picasso

They can also give you a headache if you are of a certain age, like me, trying to keep up with the modern business and personal communication world. Picasso died in 1973 which makes one wonder what he might be saying nearly 40 years later. I, for one, would certainly be interested to know.

Whatever one personally thinks, the business world is moving so fast, embracing new technology, and it is paramount that a dynamic business looks at the opportunities that this revolution offers. Dovetail is doing just that.

As a specialist broker of high value home insurance we are finding that more and more of our clients wish to communicate with us electronically. They have valuable assets to protect but are often time poor, needing to liaise with us whilst on the move or having a spare moment on the train home. I am currently communicating with one client on holiday in the Far East and another on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

They also seek information via the internet or social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. They use this to identify specialist brokers for the insurance of their high value home as it gives them an opportunity to make a key choice of who might offer the best advice for their home insurance, prior to making that call to introduce themselves

In short, high value home owners and the lifestyle they enjoy have turned the niche market of high value home insurance upside down. A mere few years ago a broker would need to advertise their skills in the traditional way, forge links other businesses to share contacts and services, or resort to a dreaded mail shot. This strategy still exists and if you are good at it, can be a fruitful new business stream. Indeed, Dovetail Insurance Services prides itself on the working relationships it has with high net worth wealth management companies, Independent Financial Advisors and client referrals.

At the same time, however, we have developed a strong internet presence so that prospective high value home insurance customers can find us, and if they like what they see/read, get in contact with us for a discussion about their high value home insurance needs.

If Pablo Picasso were a high value home insurance broker rather than a cubist painter of fine art (Okay, I know I am using artistic licence here!) he might be saying “Computers are great. They can only give you customers”.

High Value Home Insurance: How to Determine the Amount of Cover You Need

There’s no doubt that their home is most people’s biggest investment. As such, you should take all necessary steps to secure and protect it. Further, if you own a high value home, the risk might be much greater than you’d think. Think about how you would reinstate your home if disaster strikes. Also, consider the value of the home’s contents, including personal items such as jewellery. When it all adds up, it can be a substantial sum. So, doesn’t it make sense to insure your home and contents? Here’s some information about accurately determining the amount of high value home insurance to buy.

High Value Home Insurance: Understanding Your Home’s Value

When shopping for high value home insurance, it’s important to make certain that your home is protected for at least 100% of the amount it would cost to replace it. This calculation is the starting point for deciding how much cover to buy. Because your home’s replacement value might be more than its market value, experts recommend using the replacement cost as a guide when considering insurance for your high value home. In fact, the estimated replacement cost of your home may determine the sort of cover that’s available for you to purchase. Finally, it’s crucial to have enough cover for unforeseen events that might occur.

High Value Home Insurance: Market Value Versus  Replacement Cost

If having the right level of cover for your high value home is important to you, then you need to understand the distinction between market value and replacement cost. Market value is the amount a buyer would pay for a home, including the land. It does not take into consideration what the cost would be to rebuild it. Replacement cost includes the rebuilding cost for replacing or repairing the entire home. Replacement cost is not the home’s market value. In addition, its isn’t influenced by the amount of any outstanding mortgage loans. The home’s purchase price or the cost of the land on which it sits normally aren’t factors for setting replacement cost.

High Value Home Insurance: Doing the Mathematics

When you’re buying a home, a survey usually is indicated. So, when engaging a surveyor, be sure they create a replacement cost estimate as part of the process. Or, you can contact a registered chartered surveyor for a calculation. When figuring replacement cost, there are a number of factors to include, such as specific architectural details or specialised building materials used in the home’s construction. If you’ve upgraded or renovated your bathrooms and kitchen (including cabinets), be sure to include them in the estimate. Another influential factor is a basement that’s finished or partially finished. If you’ve added rooms or additional living space, or if your home features custom features like moulding or  windows with arches, these should be a part of the estimate as well. To get the number right, it’s wise to engage an appraiser or surveyor, both of whom are good sources for providing accurate cost information.

High Value Home Insurance: An Annual Review is Essential

These days, things change rapidly, and home insurance is no exception. So, it’s important to take a detailed look at your cover every year to account for any increase or decrease in your home’s value. For example, home improvements such as remodelling may increase the home’s value. Some home insurance requires you to inform the insurer of any up grade in the property’s re-instatement value. In some cases, there’s a time limit, such as 90 days, for providing this information to the insurance company. There usually is an amount set, and if your improvements exceed it, you’re required to notify your insurer.

High Value Home Insurance: About Index Linking

When choosing cover for your home, be sure that it allows for automatic annual adjustment linked to the re building cost index provided to the industry by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The index reflects the changing costs of construction of all types of homes  and is calculated each month but only usually applied to your policy once a year at renewal. For example, occurrences such as severe weather or floods, for example, can increase the demand for labour and materials, with the effect that these costs will exceed the normal inflation rate given to the general economy. It is important to understand the difference and to update your high value insurance, because it’s essential that the cover amount keeps pace with the changing construction costs.

High Value Home Insurance: About Building Costs

A related issue is the factors that influence building costs in your area. Market conditions almost always influence the amount it will cost to rebuild a home. For example, replacement cost estimates can fluctuate based on the cost of construction materials, the demand for labour and the labour supply in any given area. For this reason, it’s key for you to keep up with the current market conditions in your local area. Be sure to adjust your cover accordingly, and remember that the amount should be at least 100% of the estimated replacement cost of your home.

High Value Home Insurance: Facts and Figures

It’s been estimated that there are at least 660,000 high value insurance policies in effect in the UK. Of these, at least 530,000 are for people with mid net worth, and about 58,000 were for people with high net worth. So, it’s important to understand that high value insurance isn’t just for the very rich. Another factor to consider is how the weather or an escape of water influences the rate of insurance. In fact, escape of water accounts for about 35% of the total claims bill. A recurrent issue to be aware of is that homeowners with less complex risks tend to buy cover directly, such as on the Internet. Those with complex  coverage needs are likely to be better served by using an agent who can custom tailor a bespoke policy for their particular needs. It’s also key to realise how the distribution of high value insurance cover is very fluid when clients’ differing purchasing patterns are considered.

Finally, remember that high value home insurance cover is subject to the conditions, terms, provisions and exclusions in the policy document. So, read it carefully before buying.

Reasons Why You Should Get a High Value Home Insurance Quote

If you own a high value home, then you don’t have the insurance needs of people who have more modest dwellings. The replacement value of a high value home is much higher because very often reinstatement requires specialist materials and highly skilled artisans. Many people who own these homes make the mistake of assuming, wrongly, that standard homeowners cover will suffice. The fact is that standard home insurance often places low limits on both payouts and the amount of cover you can obtain. A better choice for high value home owners is an insurance product designed to meet their unique and specific needs. Here’s some information about why you need to get a high value home insurance quote.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: What Sort of Home Qualifies?

This cover is meant for homeowners whose property and possessions exceed a certain value. Although in this article we’re not discussing a specific insurance product or provider, we can talk in general terms that will help you get a high value home insurance quote. Companies who specialise in this type of cover usually recommend it if the rebuild cost of the home exceeds £350,000. One major difference between traditional home insurance and the high value variety is that while all home insurance covers events such as storms, fires and floods, high value home insurance offers additional features that, for example, cover accidental damage cover. Such features often can’t be found elsewhere.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: What Are Some of the Features?

Specialised cover for a high value home also should include protection for contents and personal possessions. To be sure you get the right amount of cover, though, it’s wise to do a thorough inventory of your home’s contents. You’d be surprised at how quickly the value adds up. Although cover can vary amongst insurers, it’s a good idea to look for a policy that includes accidental damage to your home’s contents. Other features to look for are cover for a broad range of possessions, and also cover that includes items that you may take away from home, such as a camera you want to use whilst on holiday abroad. A high value policy also should cover antiques, fine art and jewellery, protecting them against loss or damage, either intentional or accidental. In this case, the payout should cover any restoration work, as well as for any loss in value the damage is likely to have caused.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Customised Cover and Superior Service

Companies who offer this type of cover tend to have a higher level of both customer service and protection. In fact, most high value insurance tends to be highly customised to meet the needs of each policyholder. Such cover takes into account a wide range of personal requirements and lifestyles. It’s also possible to opt for additional cover, such as protection for outdoor items like statues and ornaments. Most major insurers in the UK provide comprehensive cover for high value homes.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Are You Under-insured?

The fact is that the wealthier homeowner is often are more likely to be underinsured. It’s thought that 1 in 5 homes in the UK are under-insured. In this context, it’s interesting to note that those who are more likely to be at risk are those with higher incomes. These people, unfortunately, often are not aware of the situation until they place a claim. Problems like this develop over a period of years. Over time, people amass highly valuable possessions that have values that exceed the limits found in typical homeowners cover. In addition the replacement value of possessions understandably increases over time, something many homeowners fail to consider until it’s too late. Here are some questions to consider when thinking about high value home insurance.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Important Questions

To help determine how much cover you need, first walk through your home and estimate home much it would cost to replace as the new your carpets, curtains, furniture and your other general possessions such as TVs, computers and other electrical equipment. If this exceeds £75,000 you are probably not adequately insured by a standard home insurance policy. Next, do you know the present value of your jewellery, antiques, fine art and other high value possessions? You may find that it all quickly mounts up and that you need to consider obtaining home insurance that, while it meets all the terms of standard homeowners cover, also can be tailored to meet your particular specialised and complex needs. Why not choose cover that has been specifically designed to protect your most important possessions should something unforeseen occur?

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Typical Features

Another feature to look for is unlimited cover for replacing the locks and keys for your home if they are damaged, lost or stolen. Also available is cover for students’ possessions up to about £5,000. If you operate a business from home, be sure to enquire whether cover for it is included. A typical coverage amount is about £10,000. Family legal protection is something else to opt for. This often pays as much as £100,000 in legal costs. Finally, identity theft cover is becoming very popular, so be sure to ask about it. You may be able to obtain cover up to £50.000. Regardless of the type and amount of cover you choose, be sure to obtain a copy of the policy and read it carefully before buying a policy. Most cover runs for a specific length of time, such as one year. Something else to consider is cover that’s offered on a warranty free basis without security restrictions. This cover is provided at the discretion of the insurer. You don’t have to buy buildings and contents cover together, either can be bought separately, but it is good advice to place both with the same insurer if possible. Finally, be sure that the insurer you choose offers 24 hour service for emergency assistance and legal matters.

Regardless of your specific needs, obtaining a high value home insurance quote can help  secure your home and its contents.

High Value Contents Insurance: Why You Need Adequate Cover

When your home contents insurance comes due every year, it should be a signal to review your cover and adjust it accordingly. Also, it’s wise to obtain several quotes from insurance providers because this will demonstrate whether your current premium is too high. In addition, it may be that the contents of your home have changed because you took up coin collecting or acquired some valuable fine art or antiques. Whatever the reason, if your home’s contents have significantly increased in value, then perhaps it’s time to consider dedicated high value contents insurance to protect them. Read on for some reasons to get it.

High Value Contents Insurance: Protect Your Valuables

Many people believe that a standard homeowner’s policy protects the full value of their home’s contents. In most cases, this is not true, especially for high value items. Typical insurance places limits on the sum for which an item is insured, or on the entire contents of a home. This can be a real problem if the value of your possessions exceeds these limits. In some cases homeowner’s cover actually excludes certain high value items like antiques and fine art, which in turn might have a negative effect on a claim. Now is the time to act to protect those items you’ve spent a lifetime acquiring so that you’ll be adequately compensated should they be lost, stolen or damaged.

High Value Contents Insurance: The First Step

It’s essential to get an accurate assessment of your home’s high value contents. This may mean engaging a professional to perform a bespoke analysis of what you have and what it’s worth.  Delete – This is the only way to find out how much cover you should buy. It’s especially important if you are a collector — regardless of what you collect. Most serious collections have a significant value that needs to be protected. Once the assessment  is done, the insurer can accurately tailor cover for your particular needs. Such cover is designed to protect the true value of your possessions, and won’t leave you with out-of-pocket expenses should a loss occur.

High Value Contents Insurance: About the Cost

Many people don’t realise that obtaining this type of cover from a specialist provider may very well save them money on their insurance premiums. This is because it’s always better to base cover on an accurate assessment than on the one-size-fits-all approach many non-specialists take. Your collection isn’t average, so why should you settle for average cover?  The truth is that you’re likely to end up with protection for your possessions that’s highly customised, and that doesn’t have any unnecessary, and sometimes expensive features. When assessing the cost of cover, it’s important to be aware that the value of high value contents generally increases over time. So, it’s important to keep your cover up to date. Although some insurers offer bespoke valuation services, it’s a good idea to have it performed by an impartial third party.

High Value Contents Insurance: More Important Features

High value insurers tend to offer more comprehensive cover than standard homeowner’s policies. For example, high value insurance that covers items like jewellery when you’re away from home is an important feature to those who travel a great deal. Under such cover, it’s often possible to extend it to protect your children’s possessions when they are away at school or university. In addition, cover is available for any items that are damaged or stolen from outdoor areas like sheds and barns. Also, if you work from home, high value contents insurance will cover your home office equipment, something most standard policies do not.

High Value Contents Insurance: Why You Should Get It

The definition of “contents” can vary amongst insurance companies, but in general it usually describes anything that’s added to a home other than the structure itself. Such items include carpets, furniture, curtains and other ornaments. It’s important to understand that fixtures like bathroom suites and kitchen units don’t fall under the purview of contents insurance. Rather, they are covered by buildings insurance. Because accidents and events such as theft and vandalism are part of everyday life, you should protect your valuable possessions with adequate insurance that you pay for monthly or annually. Such insurance is a hedge against circumstances that might affect your possessions’ functionality or overall quality and condition. One good example of this would be water damage that’s causes by faulty plumbing or burst pipes. Water damage can devastate fine art and antiques, so you should have cover in place to handle such a loss.

High Value Contents Insurance: Other Risks to Consider

Another common cause of damage to a home and its contents is fire. Since it’s not just the fire itself, but also the associated smoke and water damage, it’s vitally important to have the right type and level of insurance cover. In most cases, the amount of the payout will far exceed the amount of premiums that have been paid into to high value insurance on a home’s contents.

High Value Contents Insurance: About Theft

Although everyone wants to think the best about their fellow-men, crimes, unfortunately, do occur. Theft is a very common crime that many homeowners take measures to protect against. When you apply for home contents insurance, the insurer might ask you to take theft deterrent measures, such as investing in a security system. Such a system generally includes house alarms and outdoor security lights. In addition, be sure that your home contents insurance covers the theft of high value items. In some cases, it might be necessary to buy bespoke cover, because a standard policy’s cover might prove inadequate.

In summary, obtaining comprehensive high value contents insurance should be viewed as a necessity rather than a luxury.

High Value Home Insurance: About the Claims Process

When you take out high value home insurance, it’s important to read your policy carefully, because it will disclose the procedure for making a claim. Typically, a telephone number is provided as well. Many of these numbers can be called any day and any time. It’s important to telephone the insurer’s claim number as soon as it becomes evident you’ll be making a claim and also notify your specialist home insurance broker, who will manage the claim on your behalf. You’ll be able to find the number in the policy booklet you receive when the insurance goes into effect. Here’s what to expect.

High Value Home Insurance: The Initial Call

When you call the insurer, you’ll get the opportunity to report the loss and discuss the claim with a customer service advisor or claims specialist who’s familiar with the claims process. Be sure to ask whatever questions you need to at this time. It helps to have written down your questions before making the call. Once you’ve explained the situation, the advisor will answer your questions and then tell you whether you have a valid claim. During the call, you’ll need to provide specific information, such as your policy number, an estimate of the amount of the claim and a crime reference number, if applicable. A small claim may be settled immediately. For larger claims, the insurer will send a representative, also called a loss adjuster, to inspect the damage. This is done to allow the insurer to confirm the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs required. Most insurance companies have a number of loss adjusters on standby, so there’s almost never a long delay, provided you’ve supplied complete and honest information to the insurer on both your initial application and when making the claim. If it’s discovered that you’ve omitted to disclose important information at the policy outset or provided false information, the insurer may cancel your policy and invalidate the claim.

High Value Home Insurance: Relevant Details

Before settling a claim, the insurer will require you to pay the excess, if any, that’s stated in your policy document. The excess is the portion of the claim that you’ve agree to pay out-of-pocket. The excess is a set amount, but can vary depending on the coverage and the insurance provider. Usually, the excess is in the range of £50 to £500. If your claim is determined to be a valid one, i.e., that the damage is a covered event, the insurer will pay the remaining cost of replacing, repairing or rebuilding the parts of the property that have been damaged. Other settlement options include offering you a cash payment that’s equal to the cost of the repair, paying the cost of replacing an item as new, replacing the item as new or paying the cost of repairing the item. In some cases, it’s possible to replace an item with an upgraded model. If this occurs, you’ll need to pay the difference in cost between the lost or damaged item and the new, upgraded one.

High Value Home Insurance: More About the Claims Process

Follow the process outlined in your policy document when making a claim. It’s important to adhere to the process exactly, because this will allow the insurer to process the claim as efficiently and quickly as possible. As an example, the process might involve having to provide proof of an item’s value in the form of photos, receipts or valuations. The insurer usually asks for additional information, so it’s important to note down the circumstances of an incident or loss in as much detail as possible. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take photographs of high value items and collect other documentation that helps to confirm the value, such as the date of purchase and the supplier or store that sold it to you. Be sure to inform the police of the incident. They will give you a crime reference number that will help to facilitate your high value home insurance claim.

High Value Home Insurance: About Cover Amounts

Generally, insurance of this type protects items up to a certain value, which can be much higher than standard home insurance policies. The insurer usually requires you to declare the current value of individual high value items, as opposed to the purchase price. This declaration will allow you to recover the entire value of the items. In addition, the amount of cover you contract for generally isn’t reduced when you make a claim, but sometimes there are restrictions for large claims. Some insurance providers require policyholders to install security features like window and door locks or an alarm system. If these fail to deter break-ins and theft, an insurer may increase your premium when the policy comes up for renewal. This is especially true if you’ve previously enjoyed a “no claims” discount.

High Value Home Insurance: Are You Underinsured?

If the sum insured specified in your policy document is less than the amount you claim, this means that you’re underinsured. Technically, the insurer is required to pay out only the sum insured that’s stated in your policy document, but may be more sympathetic if you’ve kept them informed about changes in your situation and paid your premiums on time. A typical example of this would be adding a room or extension to your home and letting the insurer know that you’ve done it. In this case, since you’ve kept the insurer informed, they might be more likely to pay the actual amount of the claim rather than just the sum insured. If you fail to keep them informed, they may reduce the claim by the same percentage by which you’re underinsured. For example, if the cost of rebuilding your house is estimated to be £200,000 but the sum insured is £150,000, you are underinsured by 25%. Now, if you make a £40,000 claim, the insurer might reduce the payout by this percentage, which means you’ll receive just £30,000, leaving you to make up the £10,000 difference out of pocket. So, it’s always wise to keep your insurer informed.

High value home insurance is a complex product that deserves serious analysis and consideration.