Yearly Archives: 2013

Halloween Home Horrors: Are you protected from a bump in the night?

Home owners, beware! Trick-or-treaters will soon be knocking on doors nationwide in the quest for sweet delights. But even those not looking to get in on the Halloween spirit need to know about potential liabilities, to avoid falling victim to any unexpected frights; and least of all as prey to your insurance company.

Here’s your Halloween treat or two from Dovetail, about what you can do to make sure your home is trick proof this season.

Stranger Danger

We know that inviting strangers onto your property is risky any day of the year—particularly if they fall and get hurt. But, as uninvited visits to your home could reach their peak this Halloween, this is the perfect time for you to take a step back and think about what you can do to make sure you are protected from any unwanted liabilities that may come knocking at your door.

Luckily, for either small or large injury claims, home insurance can offer coverage for any slips, trips or falls that take place outside your home. So, do you have yours? You might like to consider adding on extra liability by buying an ‘umbrella’ policy, to provide extra coverage to auto and home insurance. As we say, it’s always best to be prepared. After all, you never know what tricks will tickle the fancy of your visiting ghouls and gremlins on a Halloween night…

Hosting a Haunted House

No matter how freely visitors may flow to your home this year, our insurance experts recommend being mindful of your admissions policy. Homemade decorations carried off by thieves may be covered by home owner’s insurance, but it might not be the best way to take advantage of your insurance policy. In addition to filing a police report you would need to decide whether pursuing an insurance claim for stolen decorations had the potential to negate the aid of cover an insurance policy would provide if a larger issue, such as a house fire, were to occur further down the road.
And then there’s other items in your house worth covering…like your long lived, cherished family dog. With the best healthcare options available and cover against even the most spookiest of risks, why would you not give pet insurance a thought?

Are businesses failing their young employees or are they failing businesses?

Dovetail was recently invited to take part in a business debate about the skills young employees bring to the work environment. More specifically in this instance the debate focussed on the skills deficiency that business owners are finding and what perhaps needs to be addressed. You can read the articles in The Observer ( and The Daily Mail ( It also appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, 23rd September.

Reading the readers’ comments on line it certainly stimulated debate with a clear generation divide about the perceived issues and who should take responsibility to prepare young people to be effective and productive employees. There are certainly more aspects to be considered, from both sides, that can be covered in a newspaper article. Over a short series of blog articles I will endeavour to explore these in more detail but first I will put into context why Dovetail was invited to comment.

Dovetail is a growing business and with growth comes the need to service the extra business with extra staff. These new employees will offer different skills, based on their experience thus far, across a wide age range including those new or relatively new to the work environment. For a business to succeed it needs to be robust and progressive, and its leaders need to recruit the right people at the right time. It can be an expensive mistake if you choose the wrong person even if it is at the right time.

A successful company is also about choosing good business partners and as a high value home insurance broker we are proud of our association with Debrett’s ( who commissioned the survey that sparked the interest of the national newspapers. Debrett’s is a modern, forward thinking organisation that has traditional values and that is how Dovetail models itself too. It seemed a natural fit for both parties to forge an association for the membership of Debrett’s and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Dovetail is excited about the future and expects to provide employment opportunities as our growing business demands it. So what is reasonable for us to expect from a new employee, particularly those that are short on experience and insurance industry knowledge? After all, most of us started our careers in insurance in this position. And what should the young employee expect from the employer? It is a two way relationship that should be beneficial for both parties and I share explore this is more detail on the next blog.
Dovetail Insurance Services Ltd is an independent insurance broker specialising in high value home and motor insurance for high net worth individuals.


Unusual Insurance Claims

For just about everyone, insurance is a vital necessity. It’s not something that anyone enjoys having but the cost of not having it can be extremely painful in the event of fire, flood or theft. This is especially true if you own a high value home. Although you’ve probably insured your house rebuilding cost as a condition of your mortgage, have you covered its contents properly? Unfortunately, many people underestimate the value of their possessions. High value contents insurance is a specific product that you should consider seriously. Insurance claims should always be taken seriously but sometimes they’re amusing or just plain odd. Here are just a few.

A football-sized piece of ice crashed through the roof of a house in Derbyshire in the early hours of the morning. Where the ice came from is rather a mystery, but one possible explanation is that it fell from an aircraft as the result of water that escaped and froze at high altitude. The Civil Aviation Authority reports that although there are 25 to 30 similar incidents every year, injuries almost never occur. The homeowner reported that his insurance company fully covered the cost of all damage.

Returning home from a winter holiday, a homeowner discovered that thieves had stolen seven ornamental Koi carp from the garden pond. This type of theft is more common than you’d expect, because these fish often cost more than £3000 each. In addition, they can live for as long as 50 years. Unfortunately, this homeowner had wholly inadequate insurance that considered these valuable fish to be livestock, the loss of which wasn’t covered. Fortunately, there are many other insurers who are able to provide appropriate and suitable cover.

A university-based research study looked at more than 40,000 insurance claims in an effort to gather information about those who place fraudulent claims. A profile of the “average” fraudster quickly emerged. This is a person aged between 20 and 50 years who places relatively small claims that are usually for less than £500. The report cited that many of these claims are transparently fraudulent, such as the story of a seagull that made off with an expensive watch. Another claim stated that a smashed flat-screen TV covered the floor in glass, despite the fact that the TV in question contained no glass. These and other fraudulent claims can add as much as £50 to the average insurance bill.

Remember when that meteor crashed into the Ural mountains in Russia last winter? The event was recorded by numerous automobile dashboard cameras installed by insurers for the purpose of preventing frivolous and fraudulent claims made by dodgy Russian drivers. A cursory search of YouTube will turn up hundreds of examples of their poor driving habits. Thank goodness UK drivers are generally more cautious.

If you own a high value home, your insurance bill is likely to be significant. For an example, consider the wealthy fictional family portrayed in the TV programme “Downton Abbey.” The locale where it was filmed is estimated to be valued in excess of £160 million. Plus, there’s a 1000-acre estate where a single tree can be valued at over £7000. Not to mention the need for contents insurance for the more than 50 bedrooms and the extensive collection of fine art and antiques. Imagine the cost of Employer’s Liability Insurance to cover the more than 60 staff members!

Then there’s the story of a woman in Plymouth whose house suffered a flood on three separate occasions in a 12 month period. After having the damage repaired and her contents reinstated, the homeowner was initially pleased to be offered new cover — until she read the small print. The insurance company placed a hefty £10,000 excess on any future flood claims The excess amount may as well have been £10 million, from her point of view. This episode underscores the need for both the government and the insurance industry to devise an equitable way of dealing with flood risk insurance.

Odd but true: A recent insurance claim for a broken arm whilst cycling to work stated that the cyclist was taking a short-cut through a farm. The claim stated that the rider was run off the road by a herd of — what else — guinea pigs! Luckily that farmer was able to verify that guinea pigs that had been given to his young daughter. Unfortunately, they escaped and multiplied to become a plague-like nuisance.

A father was driving his young children to pre-school in a rural neighbourhood. A huge male deer leapt out of the bushes and collided with the car. Fortunately, there were no injuries but the car was damaged. Whilst processing the claim, the insurance company queried whether the deer’s feet were on or off the ground, because this was the determining factor in paying the claim. Feet on the ground would trigger the claim being paid. The insurer’s odd logic seemed to be that if the animal’s feet were on the ground, it was charging the car aggressively, eventually hitting it, rather than being hit by the car itself.

A policyholder made a claim due to a broken washing machine. Apparently she had put in a load of wash before leaving home for the weekend. When she returned home, she discovered that the machine was stuck in a boiling cycle which caused extensive damage to her kitchen. The insurance company denied her claim, saying that steam damage was not covered. But, the woman’s broker pointed out that steam is a form of water, and that water damage was covered in the policy. Clever, but the insurance company refused to budge. The case ended up in small claims court where the judge supported the claim and instructed the recalcitrant insurer to pay up, which it promptly did.

An administrative airline employee who was responsible for handling claims processing received a claim from the catering department that explained that a cook had burned his elbow “putting tongue into the pot.” Apparently, he was in the process of cooking beef tongue that would later be sliced and made into sandwiches for passengers.

At Dovetail, we pledge to take all claims seriously and to process them as soon and as efficiently as possible. Do contact us today for insurance for your high value home.

Insurance Claims

Insurance Claims

Insurance Claims

Insurance claims – It’s a Mad World!

Insurance is something that most people rarely think about. We pay our premiums, make claims when necessary, and everything usually works out just fine. Most claims are typical — people report items lost or stolen, or damaged in some way, perhaps by fire or flood. Left to their own devices, when filling out a claim form, policyholders generally present clear and concise information. There is a minority, though, whose claim forms provide occasions for unintended amusement. Here are some excerpts that you may enjoy.

A cigar aficionado, having recently purchased a case of expensive and rare cigars, elected to insure them against — of all things — fire. Then, over the course of a few weeks, he smoked the cigars, even though he hadn’t made a single premium payment on the policy. This man had the audacity to file a claim against his policy, stating that the cigars were destroyed “in a series of small fires.” Needless to say, the insurer refused to pay because the man had consumed the cigars in the usual way. The man sued the insurance company and was successful, because the judge ruled that cigars are insurable possessions. The insurance company paid the claim, but later had the man arrested on 24 counts of arson. There was ample evidence to convict this dishonest person who was sentenced to 24 consecutive one-year terms, one for each cigar he “destroyed” by smoking it.

If you’re an absent-minded person, pay close attention to this story. A policeman is on a crusade to curtail spurious insurance claims made by vehicle owners. Frustrated that a large percentage of drivers leave parcels and boxes unattended in unlocked cars, the official has started a one-person campaign against the sort of carelessness that results in claims being paid, even though the vehicle was left unlocked, making it a perfect and convenient target for thieves. The superintendent has pledged to notify the insurance company if a break-in has been the result of an owner’s negligence.

A famous cruise ship company has taken out insurance against its vessels being damaged by the Loch Ness monster. The payout is reputed to be in the 6-figure range. This occurred on the 80th anniversary of the first sighting of the monster, affectionately called “Nessie.” Those who don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster have blamed sightings on everything from over-active imaginations to a giant-sized sturgeon.

Good news for homeowners: in the past year, the number of home burglaries has dropped by about 20 percent, which has resulted in reduced premiums for high value home insurance, as well as standard home insurance. Overall, premiums have dropped an average of 9 percent. However, personal theft crimes continue to rise, so it pays to be circumspect when insuring your home, high value or not.

A woman’s car was hit by a foreign lorry that was travelling on the wrong side of the road. Things got worse because the lorry driver gave false information, so the woman’s insurance company was unable to trace him. Her car was scrapped for a paltry £150.00. The case resulted in a movement to synchronise lorry driving standards across the UK and EU. Statistics show that foreign-registered HGVs accounted for 8% of accidents, despite the fact that they account for just 3.6% of HGVs on the road today.

A man was thought to have lost a hand in an horrific accident. He placed claims totalling nearly £2 million against a number of insurance providers. In the process of investigating the claims, insurers discovered that the hand was severed too cleanly, without affecting the bone, which is nearly impossible for the sort of accident that the man claimed caused the injury. Things simply didn’t add up, so the claim was denied. Although a desperate case, this is more common than you would think. Last year, another man cut off his entire arm and placed a fraudulent £500,000 insurance claim that blamed the accident on an electric saw.

Historically, women drivers have paid lower insurance premiums than their male counterparts. However, the EU’s Gender Directive put an end to this privilege. The directive prevents insurance companies from setting premiums based on gender, despite the fact that women have proven to be much safer on the roads. The result? Comprehensive cover for women has increased by nearly 21%.

Although most people wax prolific on their insurance claim forms, others are highly (and humorously) brief, sometimes consisting of a single sentence or even a single word. Consider these: “I pulled into a lay-by with smoke coming from under the bonnet. I realised the car was on fire so took my dog and smothered it with a blanket.” Poor Fido! A police constable at the scene of a crash asked whether either driver could have done anything to avoid the accident. One replied, “Travel by bus?” In another incident, a policyholder had an unfortunate collision with a cow. The claim form queried, “What warning was given by you?” The man said, “Horn.” In response to the question, “What warning was given by the other party?” he stated succinctly, “Moo.” This one requires no introduction: “I started to turn and it was at this point I noticed a camel and an elephant tethered at the verge. This distraction caused me to lose
concentration and hit a bollard.”

Here are a few more claim form one-liners: “I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.” “I knew the dog was possessive about the car but I would not have asked
her to drive it if I had thought there was any risk.” When asked whether he engaged in any pastimes of a hazardous nature, such as motorcycling or hunting, a man said brightly, “I watch the lottery show and listen to Terry Wogan.” Time for a snack: “The first car stopped suddenly and hit the second car. Then, a haggis ran into the rear of the second car.”

Although humorous, these anecdotes underscore the need for adequate insurance. Why not contact us today?

Insurance Claims

Insurance Claims

Insurance Claims

Rocking Rocks

Diamonds are forever. They’re also a girl’s best friend and an insurance nightmare. But they needn’t be.

A few days ago I was lucky enough to be invited back to Hiscox to listen to a lecture by John C Benjamin of Antiques Roadshow fame entitled “Romancing The Stone”. In a roomful of people (admittedly more ladies than gents) John carefully explained how the insurance industry has a duty to carefully work with valuers to prevent the catastrophe that is underinsurance. He went on to take us through a presentation of cases which left us with our jaws hanging in disbelief; sometimes in horror, and sometimes in blatant, outright jealousy.

The first point that John made was one with which I wholeheartedly agree. You can never insure for sentimental value. Perhaps one of the greatest factors of owning a piece of jewellery is that it is likely to have a deeply personal connection to you, a connection for which no amount of financial compensation could replace the emotional loss to you. There are expensive gems, inexpensive gems and mega-bucks-queen of England gems, but a piece of jewellery that means something to you will have no greater value on anyone else’s hand than your own.

The second point John made was that something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. As with all commodities, the prices will rise and fall based on supply and demand, and what is deemed to be ‘fashionable’ at the time. A broker with a bit of gem knowledge may be able to make an accurate guess by comparing the rock in question to similar stones, and the prices they had been sold for recently.

I questioned the power of the brand when it came to diamonds. How did a Tiffany diamond come to be the epitome of all that glitters? John explained that even with diamonds branding and history can adjust the value of a piece of jewellery. The Hope Diamond (famous for its unusual colour and size) gained even more notoriety as each of its owners befell some cruel and unfortunate fate. When Harry Winston got hold of The Hope, he used its romantic and superstitious background to pull in crowds whilst he exhibited it, making a fortune from it before even having to sell it on.

Whilst your own personal collection may not draw the audience of The Hope diamond, jewellery is meant to be worn, and a cheap insurance policy may mean you have to have your baubles tucked away in a bank somewhere never to be seen by the light of day. A high net worth insurance policy provides the solution by making sure you are covered for the exact value of what you are wearing at any given moment. Brokers understand that the jewellery you wear is a lifestyle choice and will make sure you have the right protection in place. They will also be able to recommend a valuer so that you know the correct amount each piece should be insured for. Your broker will also ensure this is done with the upmost discretion, as well as caution towards the overall expense.

I have never met a woman who has not wanted her jewellery insured correctly, regardless of the shape, style or the value. In the infamous words of a lady perhaps best know for her love of diamonds “Size does matter, but so does the size of the emotion behind it.” Elizabeth Taylor was a client who knew the true value of the rocks she so loved.

Funny Insurance Stories

Jasper Carrot stories aside, the insurance industry isn’t one that we normally associate with humour. Insurance is a serious business, especially if it’s for a high value home or anything that’s of real value to you and your family. Without being insensitive, it’s usually the case that humour arises on claim forms or in a policyholder’s thoughts and actions at the time of a loss. Here are a few anecdotes that we hope you’ll find amusing.

When a couple’s barn burned down, the wife contacted the insurance company. She informed them of the loss and asked for the face value of the policy, a substantial sum of £100,000. The agent told her that in the claims process, the insurer needs to determine the value of what was lost and then provides the insurance with “a new one of comparable worth.” The wife paused thoughtfully for a moment and then replied, “In that case, I’d like to cancel the life insurance policy on my husband.”

A man was meeting with a life insurance agent, but was unable to commit to buying cover. Undaunted, the agent said, “Why don’t you sleep on it tonight? If you wake up the next morning, you can give me a call.”

A Private in the British army received a posting to the army induction centre. There, he was in charge of advising new recruits about the government benefits they’d receive, including life insurance. Superiors noticed that this Private had a very high success rate selling life insurance to nearly 100% of the recruits he advised. So, his commanding officer visited the room where the Private was talking to the recruits about life insurance. Here, in part, was his argument: “If you have the life insurance policy and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay £150,000 to your beneficiaries. If you don’t have the life insurance, and you go into battle and get killed, the government only has to pay a maximum of £7,000.” “Based on this logic,” the private continued confidently, “who do you think they’re going to send into battle?”

Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to plenty of gaffs. For example, we recently heard the story of an inebriated man who wandered into a pub and yelled out quite loudly, “All insurance agents are crooks!” A pub patron rushes up to the drunk and shouts indignantly, “You take that back!” “Why,” queried the drunk, “are you an insurance agent?” “No,” says the man, “I’m a crook!”

Have you ever wondered whether it’s better to have a wife or a mistress? A life insurance actuary, a lawyer and an accountant were discussing this very topic at a recent social gathering. The lawyer thought a mistress was preferable because a wife can take everything if the marriage ends in divorce. The accountant said having a wife was better, at least from a taxation point of view. The resourceful insurance actuary commented that it’s ideal to have both a wife and a mistress because when the man is not with the wife, she thinks that he’s with the mistress. Conversely, when he’s not with the mistress, she’s sure to believe that he’s with the wife. “Either way,” he concluded with a smile, “you can spend more time at the office.”

Oh, the tribulations of learning how to drive. An insurance agent was trying, more or less unsuccessfully, to teach his absent-minded wife how to drive a car. They were driving down a steep hill when the brakes unexpectedly failed. The wife shouted, “The car won’t slow down! What should I do?” Calmly, the husband replied, “Brace yourself and try to hit something cheap.”
A woman was meeting with an insurance agent. He asked if she knew the present value of her husband’s life insurance policy. The woman asked, “What do you mean?” The agent replied, “If you should lose your husband, what would you get?” The woman considered her reply for a few moments, then said, “Most likely, a dog.”

An insurance agent was having a stroll on the beach when he found an ornate bottle. When he rubbed it, there was a puff of smoke and a genie appeared. “Today is your lucky day,” announced the genie. “I will grant your three wishes.” The genie continued, “There is a catch, though. For every wish I grant you, I will double the result for your bitter rival. The agent considered the situation for a while, then asked for ten million pounds for his first wish. The money magically appeared in his bank account, but twenty million was gained by the rival. “For my second wish, I want a Rolls Royce.” Instantly, one appeared. The genie reminded the man that his rival was now in possession of two Rolls Royces. “What is your last wish?” the genie queried. “Well,” the man said, “I’ve always wanted to donate a kidney.”

A rich old man was dying from a rare disease. Close to death, he requested the presence of his insurance agent, doctor and clergyman. “I’ve trusted all of you my whole life,” he rasped. “Now each of you will receive from me £50,000 in cash in an envelope to put in my coffin, because I want to take it with me.” The old man succumbed soon afterwards, and true to his wish, each placed an envelope containing money into the coffin, and the man was buried. After the funeral, the doctor confessed that he put only £30,000 into the coffin, having used the remaining £20,000 to buy a machine that would better help him diagnose serious diseases. The preached chimed in and confessed to the group that he put only £20,000 into the coffin, reserving the balance to be used to help the homeless and downtrodden. Then, the insurance agent spoke up with a smile, “Not wanting to be accused of stealing from a dead man, I wrote the old man a cheque for the full £50,000!”

Humour aside, we’re happy to help with all your high value home insurance needs. Why not contact us today?

high value home insurance

high value home insurance

high value home insurance

What You Should Know About High Value Contents Insurance

High value contents insurance is something many people fail to consider. This is so because they assume (wrongly) that their home’s contents are fully covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. While this might be true to some extent, the limits placed on some homeowner’s cover don’t always reflect the inherent value of the home’s contents. Luckily, there is an entire class of insurance dedicated to protecting high value homes and their contents. In this article, we’ll be discussing contents insurance.

High Value Contents Insurance: Who Should Have It?

Many people think that if they don’t own a home, they don’t need contents insurance. The truth is that this type of insurance is available to renters and owners alike. High value items you might have include jewellery, art, sculpture, collections and many other types. Also, many people have a great deal of money invested in their furnishings, draperies, floors and carpets. All these items could be prohibitively expensive to replace without the protection of contents insurance. It’s important to understand that contents insurance won’t prevent a loss. It’s designed to help you deal with one, should it occur. To prevent loss, there are measures you can take such as installing an alarm system, along with sound locks on all windows and doors. If, despite any security measures you’ve taken, a loss does occur, then it’s a simple matter to place a claim with the insurer. This type of insurance is a good way to protect your expensive personal possessions in the event of fire, theft, flood or other damage.

High Value Contents Insurance: Be Sure to Compare the Various Plans

First, you need to determine what you want covered and the amount of that cover. High value insurance typically can have a variety of prices and coverage options. This makes it very important to do a thorough comparison of the prices and features offered by several reputable insurance providers. Take an inventory of the items you want covered and ask for a detailed, itemised price quote. If you have single items that are exceptionally valuable, you might want to consider separate cover for them. Although it may be tempting to shop for cover solely based on price, it’s usually not wise to do so. The price is low for a reason, and that reason can be that there are holes or gaps in the cover you might not learn about until it’s too late. So, read the policy document carefully before buying any cover. You’ve likely invested substantial sums in your home’s contents, so doesn’t it make sense to protect that investment with adequate high value contents insurance?

High Value Contents Insurance: More Benefits

As a policyholder, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your valuables are fully protected. Unlike other items that are covered by standard insurance, many items your home’s high value contents cannot be replaced. So, by taking out insurance, you’re simply protecting your financial stake in such items, just as you would with your home or your vehicle. In fact, contents insurance fills an important gap in the other types of cover you have. So, while some insurance protects only the structure of your home, contents insurance complements and enhances your cover. The best place to shop for cover is on the Internet, where’s it’s a simple matter to compare the coverages offered by a variety of insurers. If you’re not sure how to proceed, try staying with companies you know and trust. It’s also a good idea to ask friends and family members who have this type of insurance for references.

High Value Contents Insurance: What’s Typically Covered

Although cover can vary significantly, if you have a collection, such as coins or fine art, or even wine and vintage automobiles, You’ll need to work with an insurer who can craft precisely the type and level of cover that’s right for your unique situation, particularly when it comes to cover for delicate and rare items. Look for cover that protects all items, regardless of their location inside the home, from events like fire, theft, flood, earthquake and even breakage. If you’re a collector, look for cover that extends automatically to new acquisitions at the time of purchase. In this case, though, you have to add them to your cover within a set period, such as 90 days. Also good to have is cover that reimburses you for the cost of an item that needs to be replaced, up to at least 150% of its scheduled value.

High Value Contents Insurance: More Features

If you need to have a piece of expensive jewellery reset, cleaned or otherwise repaired, it’s essential that your contents insurance provides cover during these processes. Also, find out whether both in- and out-of-vault cover is included. There should be no additional charge for out-of-vault jewellery transactions. Here’s another important level of cover. It occurs in a situation where you’re able to take expensive high-value items home on approval before finalising a purchase. In this case, such items are covered as well. Finally, if you wish to use artwork or other high value items as a loan guarantee, your insurance should be amended to include the lender an additional loss payee.

High Value Contents Insurance: Choosing the Right Provider

Look for a company that provides comprehensive cover that not only safeguards your possessions but also offers advice on minimising risk. If a provider can’t tailor their cover for your particular situation, it might be best to move on and select another. Customised cover should be the rule, not the exception. You’re also likely to receive a discount if you buy all your insurance, home, car, boat, etc., from the same company. An insurer can be thought of as a sort of partner who can help you assess your vulnerability to a loss, as well as underwrite even highly complex risks.

Your high value contents insurance should empower you with a comprehensive range of choices that can be customised to reflect your unique coverage needs.

High Value Buildings Insurance: How to Figure the Amount You Need

Many people who own high value properties make the mistake of under-insuring them. Unfortunately, this circumstance comes to light only after a substantial claim is made. For example, if your property has a value of £150,000, and your cover specifies £130,000, you’ll need to pay the difference of £20,000 out-of-pocket, something that very few of us would be financially prepared to do. How to obviate such a situation while avoiding the expense of over-insurance? The key lies in a correct valuation of your home and its contents, along with choosing the right high value buildings insurance for your particular needs.

High Value Buildings Insurance: Getting Started Determining Value

It’s important to understand that there are two types of high value buildings insurance — cover for the building itself and cover for its contents. To get the right amount of cover for the building, it’s necessary to obtain a professional valuation. Remember, the valuation should specify the rebuild cost of the property, not its market value, which are two entirely different things. Once you’ve gotten an accurate valuation of the building, it’s time to value the contents, which can be tricky. Here are a few tips and hints that you might find useful.

High Value Buildings Insurance: An Accurate Contents Inventory is Essential

An contents inventory should proceed room-by-room. Go into a room and make a list of everything you want covered. Assign a value to each item on the list, and then add a percentage to reflect inflation. In 2012, the UK’s inflation rate is between 2.5% and 3.5%. Once you’ve added inflation to the value of an item, you’ve arrived at the minimum amount for which you should insure it. Whilst performing your inventory, you also should make a note of the age of items, since this might be a factor in setting a replacement value. Many people make the mistake of just guessing how much the contents of a room are generally worth. This often results in greatly under-insuring the property.

High Value Buildings Insurance: How Rebuilding Cost is Calculated

A property’s rebuild cost usually is much less than its market value, since it’s typically less expensive to rebuild rather than to buy a comparable property, including the land. It’s also important to understand that the Council Tax Band valuation does not influence the rebuild cost of a home. Bands are based on the saleable value of a property on 1 April 1991, and not its market or rebuild value. Bands are assigned a letter from A to H. Band A, for example, cites properties valued up to and including £40,000. Band H cites properties valued at above £320,000. Other values fall into the appropriate band. A better source for rebuilding costs is the online calculator provided by the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS). This is a tool that’s widely used by the Association of British insurers (ABI). Since the calculator requires specific information, you should take a few measurements before using it. An overview follows.

High Value Buildings Insurance: Getting Ready to Use the BCIS Calculator

To start, you need to figure the gross external floor area of the house. This area measures from the external face of the external walls for all floors. Then, square this value. There are different bands that reflect the home’s type, such as semi-detached bungalow, bungalow, terraced, detached house and semi-detached house. You’ll also need to enter the age of your home into one of the following categories: 1980 on, 1946-1979, 1920-1945 and pre-1920. Another category asks you to enter the region in which the house is located. Region 1 is greater London. Region 2 is the South-East and east of England. Region 3 is the North-West, South-West and West Midlands. Region 4 is East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, North-East, Wales and Scotland.

High Value Buildings Insurance: More Information Needed by the BCIS Calculator

Once you’ve supplied all the information above, you’ll be asked if the property in question has and fences, garages, outbuildings, structures or features that should be covered by insurance. Then, you’ll be asked whether you want to calculate  inflation. The calculator will then provide an estimate of your home’s rebuilding cost. Remember, this is just a rough amount that doesn’t take into consideration any high-end features that have a larger than average value. Also influencing the rebuild cost are whether the property has a cellar, an attic, or whether it’s made from brick or stone.

High Value Buildings Insurance: About Index Linking

The cost of rebuilding your home and it’s contents will change every year. For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose high value home insurance that adjusts automatically every year for inflation and other relevant indices. This means that, for example, if you need to rebuild your home 10 or 15 years after you’ve taken out the cover, the automatic updates will ensure that the rebuild cost has kept pace with inflation. Despite this, it’s important to take a look at your cover every year and increase it as needed. This is particularly true if you’ve made any major improvements. Be sure to advise your insurer of these, so that your policy can be correctly updated.

High Value Buildings Insurance: How to Get It

First, check the Internet for sites that compare quotes from the various companies that provide buildings and contents insurance for high value properties. Be aware, though, that such comparisons are fairly generic, and the only way to know if one is right for you is to read the policy document. Sometimes, you’ll be offered a discount for taking out both types of cover with the same insurer. It’s also important in such cases to consider the entirety of the package and not just the amount of the premium you’ll be charged. Shopping for insurance solely based on premiums can have disastrous consequences if you ever have a substantial claim.

High value buildings insurance and contents cover is the best way to protect your high value home.

High Value Buildings Insurance: About Rebuilding Costs

In order to buy the right amount of insurance for your high value property, there are some essential facts you need to be aware of. High value buildings are subject to significantly higher replacement costs than standard buildings, where the usual formula is the square footage of the home multiplied by the local rebuilding cost per square foot. The key here is the word “local,” which is the only cost that will give an accurate calculation of the property’s true rebuilding cost. There are a number of free calculators on the Internet that can help you determine the cost of rebuilding your home. Only then will you be sure of the right amount of high value buildings insurance to buy. Here’s a brief rundown about the process of setting the rebuild value of your home and why it’s so important.

High Value Buildings Insurance: Why the Rebuilding Cost So High?

All high value buildings insurance policies cover not only the primary house, along with any patios, gardens, drives, paths, fencing and boundary walls, but also features like tennis courts and swimming pools. In addition, outbuildings are covered as well. It’s often true that the rebuilding cost of features such as these can be very high. There was a recent case in which the cost of rebuilding a property’s boundary walls exceeded the cost of rebuilding the primary house. It’s also true that the older a property is, the more it will cost to rebuild, particularly if it’s a listed building. High value insurance policies contain rules that allow for the property to be rebuilt according to the same specifications that existed before a claim is made. However, all work should be performed in accordance with local building regulations whenever possible.

High Value Buildings Insurance: About Rebuilding Costs

When setting the sum insured, a myriad of factors enters the equation. For example, rebuilding a house made from stone can cost 50% more than a house made from brick. This is why it’s of paramount importance to carry the right amount of high value home insurance, especially when you consider that many older properties have inadequate foundations compared to modern ones. This means your high value cover has to allow for the cost of new foundation that conforms to all relevant regulations in your area. Read on to learn more about how rebuilding costs are determined.

High Value Buildings Insurance: Factors that Influence the Rebuilding Cost

Cost data is available from a number of reputable sources, but shouldn’t be used without considering the evidence found in and around the property itself. Rebuilding rates also must take into consideration a wide range of factors including the quality of materials found in the home, along with its type and size. In addition, an accurate rebuilding estimate makes special allowance for features that may be unique to a specific property, such as architectural details and specialist materials, where relevant. Also included in the assessment of a property’s rebuilding cost is hard landscaping and features like a tennis court, swimming pool or conservatory.

High Value Buildings Insurance: More Relevant Factors That Affect Rebuilding Cost

Other items and points that are considered when setting the rebuild cost of a specific property include issues like a rural location that’s a significant distance from key suppliers. If access to the property is restricted in other ways, material and delivery costs will be higher. So, that means the overall rebuilding cost will increase. Some people believe that if there’s a downturn in the building industry, that prices will fall. It’s important to understand that insurance indices are based on well-researched tender prices that are taken from many types of properties, not solely residential ones. In a stable economic environment, such prices usually are considered suitable bases for index linking. Recently, the tender price index has been quite sluggish, which means it’s fallen in most, but not all, areas. Regional differences must be taken into account, so it may be certain areas will experience increases in both materials and labour. In fact, it’s a common practice in a slow economy for a company to get work by placing low tenders. If the company wins the project, then during its course, ways are found to increase its margin. If materials must be sourced outside the UK, this can drive up the rebuilding cost as well, due to exchange rate fluctuations. Finally, with listed buildings and high value properties, rebuilding and reinstatement work usually requires specialised craftsmen, who often are in short supply due to high demand for their services. All these factors should be considered when taking out high value building insurance.

High Value Buildings Insurance: Other Circumstances to Consider

High value insurance policies also should provide for costs such as architects’ and surveyors’ fees, along with demolition and debris removal. Very often, such concerns raise the sum insured to levels that are much higher than for standard properties. Another influence has been the BCIS reinstatement rates. BCIS stands for Building Cost Information Service, an organisation that provides a benchmark most standard homes. In the case of high value properties, though, the amounts recommended by BCIS do not match the actual costs. In other words, high value homes usually lie outside the scope of BCIS’ data. Examples of features that often fall outside BCIS’ standard are fire protection systems, security systems, high-quality locks and security grilles, electric window shutters, and complex air-conditioning, heating and hot water systems.

High Value Buildings Insurance: A Final Consideration About Rebuilding Cost

Sometimes a homeowner bases rebuilding costs on a survey done by a bank or other mortgage lender. It’s important to understand that these sorts of surveys report on the market value of a property, not its rebuilding cost, which very often is significantly higher. Banks and lenders want to have a marketable asset on their books, so they’re more concerned with the condition and features of a given property.

If you own a high value home, it’s essential to protect it with high value buildings insurance.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Finding the Best Deal

Although price shouldn’t be the only consideration, very often it’s wise to shop around for the best deal on insurance. The Internet makes this very easy. There are comparison tools that are simple to access.  Then, just plug in your particular information, and the site will provide a detailed high value home insurance quote. Unfortunately, many people, especially those who own high value homes, don’t take advantage of what’s available, In fact, it’s thought that about 75% of high value homes may be under-insured. Granted, it can be hard to get started, but if you want the right type and amount of insurance for your home, it’s essential. In that spirit, we’d like to offer this informative short article about high value home insurance.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: First Considerations

When you’re shopping for this type of insurance, it’s important to obtain the right level of cover that’s customised for your particular circumstances. Many insurers offer a no-charge risk review, and this is worth doing because it will help you determine precisely the amount and type of cover you need. It’s also wise to obtain quotes from three or four insurance providers. In general, though, most providers offer similar products with similar features. For example, be sure to choose cover that offers worldwide all risk cover. This means that even if you’re on holiday, the items you take away from home with you, such as jewellery or an expensive camera, are covered. In addition, worldwide cover is provided for credit cards and money. Along with all risk cover, you might want to consider family annual travel cover, along with cover for your holiday home, either abroad or in the UK. If you own a valuable investment property, high value home insurance may be a good choice for it as well.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: More Features to Look For

Many people who own high value homes often have extensive collections of antiques, fine art, jewellery, watches, and even wine. High value home insurance offers customisable cover for these items and many others. This cover always is more extensive than standard homeowner’s insurance, which typically places limits on payouts for exceptionally valuable items. High value cover does not impose such restrictive limits. Also, your high value policy should cover home office equipment, outdoor items and students’ possessions when away from home. If you employ domestic staff, be sure you have cover for this situation. Getting the right insurance means that you’ve struck a balance between the cover you need and the premiums you pay. If your current premium is excessively low, you might be under-insured. Read on the learn more.

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

There are several ways to determine whether you’re under-insured. For example, if you own a listed building, make sure your insurer is aware of this. Better still, take out specialist cover designed for listed buildings. This way you’ll avoid any problems if you ever make a claim. Do be aware that if your listed building is damaged, you’re going to need special permission from the relevant planning local authorities in order to proceed. Along with this, you’re likely to need specialists and artisans to repair your home, and these usually are very expensive.  Another reason people find themselves under-insured is the materials and workmanship typically found in listed buildings. It’s almost always more expensive to build, maintain or repair stone buildings than buildings made from timber. So, be sure your insurer is informed of this.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: More About Under-Insurance

If your home’s constructed in a non-standard way, or uses non-standard materials, this could affect the sum insured. This is especially true if your home has a thatched roof. Also, if you’ve extended, enhanced or altered the building, it’s likely you’ve increased its value, and so should increase your cover accordingly. If you’re unsure about any of this, it’s best to contact an insurance provider for help and guidance.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Who Contents Cover For?

In general, if the contents of your home are valued at £50,000 or more, you’re a good candidate for high value contents insurance. If your home is larger than most, or if your home contains high value items like fine art, jewellery, antiques, expensive audio and video equipment, etc., then it’s wise to upgrade your standard insurance cover to a high value home policy. If you have a second or holiday home, be sure to enquire about combining cover with your main residence. Also, very often boats can be covered under high value home insurance. If you travel a great deal, then high value cover is ideal for you, because it offers hassle-free, worldwide cover for your all the possession you take away from home, including laptop computers and mobile phones. Finally, you may need to obtain cover for home business equipment or for students’ possessions while there away from home.

High Value Home Insurance Quote: Choosing the Right Provider

When shopping for high value home insurance, look for a company that offers the following benefits: A bespoke underwriting service is a key feature, as is a firm that’s staffed by insurance professionals. Another good feature to have is 24 hours claims concierge telephone access that gives you access to people who understand the needs and concerns of high net worth clients like you. To get an accurate valuation, it’s wise to engage an insurer who can make an appraisal visit to your property to assess the general value. An appraisal visit also should ensure that both the buildings and contents insurance are adequate and appropriate. Free home emergency and legal cover should be provided as well. Finally, the cover should adhere to the principle of agreed value. This means that you and the insurer mutually agree on the value of exceptionally valuable or rare items.

Obtaining a high value home insurance quote for your home is the first step in truly securing both the building and its contents.