Your properties can come in all shapes, sizes, locations and value.
As such we know every property is unique whether it’s your main residence, a rental property, your holiday home or your treasured jewellery, art and antiques.
Nothing is more important to us than understanding you and your needs to enable us to put the best solutions in place that work for you so that if something does happen, we can put it right.
What you need to know in order to best protect your property.
Usually your home is your main asset, a place where you spend most of your time and one that provides you with a feeling of security.
It can feel awful when something happens to your home so it’s vital that you have the right protection in place.
Below are the common insurance perils to watch out for when insuring your home:-
Sums insuredThis is not the purchase value of your home but the actual rebuild value. This can be significantly
different to the market value, things to watch out for that could increase your rebuild value would be
unique features, specific materials, unusual structure or location i.e. within a heritage site.
Escape of waterWater is becoming one of the biggest issues to the insurance market so it’s a good idea to ensure you have
preventions in place to help detect water leaks. Insurers are increasingly rating policies at a lower
premium that have such devices in place. See here for best devices currently available Best Water Leak
Detectors 2020 | Tom’s Guide
TheftThis is one of the worst things to happen to you as theft usually involves a stranger entering your home.
Whilst you can fix damage to your home, a theft often involves something intangible. Just ensure you have
the right sort of locks on windows and doors, setting your alarm (if you have one) and using new home
technology such as smart locks and cameras to help prevent crime. Check your areas crime stats to see what
is going on around you. :- Search for a location – Police.uk
SubsidenceWhilst this is very rare, it can be excluded from a lot of insurance policies so just check your documents
to ensure it’s showing as covered.
Your High Value Home
Your home isn’t ordinary so why let your protection be ordinary?
We know that once you enter the realms of high value properties no two are alike. There may be additional land, outbuildings, second properties, listed buildings or English heritage protected properties.
All our high value protections are designed to be flexible, uncomplicated and bespoke to you.
Here are a few things to look out for when insuring your high value home.
Personal Cyber InsuranceFor us now, the biggest risk to individuals and business is cybercrime, this is a priority to be covered for
individuals especially where you are a high net worth individual and more likely to be targeted or dealing
with larger sums of money. As part of your home we can cover personal cyber insurance.
LandOften perceived to be a low risk part of your property but if you have land extending beyond the boundaries
of the main footprint of your property then there are additional risks especially if there is public access
as there could be liability issues if there is an accident on your land.
TravelYou can add this to your policy to give more flexibility and higher limits than standard travel insurance.
It can also help if you have medical conditions as the insurers usually provide more flexibility when adding
this to the main insurance policy.
Second HomeSecond homes or holiday homes (UK or abroad) can be covered on one policy, this helps when you want to have
your contents across two properties and avoids any complications ensuring everything you own is covered.
CarAnother good way of packaging up your personal protections is to add your vehicles to the policy. This can
include classic vehicles and standard or high value vehicles. Again, it’s a great way to avoid complexity
and provide peace of mind.
ArtValues of art can fluctuate dependent on trends. It’s really important to ensure your art valuations are up
to date, we have a wide network of valuers and experience to help you ensure your art is never underinsured.
It’s often irreplaceable so paramount that should the worst happen you are adequately compensated rather
than being underinsured and getting less than what the art was worth.
JewelryThis is never usually in the same place like normal contents and rightly so, it’s there to be worn and used.
Ensure your policy has specific sections and itemised items for anything over £2,500. Again, like art we
recommend that up to date valuations are obtained on a rolling basis as things like collections of watches
can dramatically increase in value.
TechA top end mobile phone can cost over £1,000, your tablet then another £1,000+. We can’t operate without
them, but it’s increasingly overlooked that these items are either not noted on your policy or you don’t
have cover whilst outside your home. It’s even more important when you travel to ensure they are covered on
a worldwide basis knowing that you can get a replacement when you return home.
Your Holiday Home
Whether you use your holiday home as a second home (you may be able to add this to your home insurance policy) or as a rented cottage or Airbnb let, then these are the things you need to be aware of to best protect your holiday home.
What if the short-term tenant damages the property?
Usually your deposit would cover most minor damage. Unfortunately there are a number of people who
purposefully damage properties. Do you know that most policies exclude malicious damage from their cover?
Use Defaqto 5 Star rated insurance products to ensure you are getting the best cover.
How to insure your Airbnb home?
The rise in popularity of the Airbnb market has been fantastic for people wanting to rent out their home
on a temporary or semi-regular basis. Unfortunately, the insurance market hasn’t caught up with this so
check your policy before you embark on Airbnb.
A specialist holiday home policy will cover you for both long term and short term letting.
Watch out for your mortgage terms and conditions. Many lenders exclude short term letting on a
standard mortgage, which could cause a breach in the terms and conditions resulting in problems with the
Watch out for potential taxation
No one likes paying tax and there are benefits and drawbacks to letting your holiday home out. Check out
the guidance from HMRC so you don’t get caught out with the tax treatment of your holiday let.
Your Property Portfolio
What if I have multiple types of property?
Property insurance is usually split into commercial and residential with specialist insurers and products
for each section.
More often than not, you are better having the properties insured on specific products and grouped into
each section. However, if you have a commercial portfolio some insurers will cover the residential element
if it is only a small part.
One example of this would be a flat above a couple of shops where it’s in everyone’s interest to have
this on one policy. Should a claim arise, it makes it significantly easier to put things right.
Malicious damage by tenants
Sometimes your property is only as good as the tenants you have in. When they purposely damage your
property then it can be extremely frustrating having to put the property back to its original state to
rent it out or put it up for sale.
A common misconception is that this is covered under all insurance policies. Unfortunately it isn’t and
only the better insurers and products include this cover as standard.
One easy way to check is to look at the Defaqto rating, if it has 5* rating then it should cover this. If
there is no rating, then speaking to a broker or your insurer will give you clarification.
What if I have a legal dispute with my tenant?
As an add-on to your policy you can usually include legal expenses cover which would pay for any legal
costs such as recovery of rental arrears.
This could be a lifeline from not only a cost perspective but also save you a massive amount of time,
energy and stress.
What if my property is unoccupied?
Typically, you will have 30 – 45 days of grace for unoccupied periods such as when you are changing
tenants or awaiting a sale to go through. For any longer-term periods of unoccupancy (more than 45 days)
your insurers will want to change the policy to an unoccupied property owner. This may involve cancelling
one policy to take out another.
This is because there are different conditions when the property is unoccupied such as regular visits and
security conditions. There is a greater risk to a property whilst it is empty as such unoccupied premiums
can be more expensive than occupied ones.
What if I am renovating a property?
Minor renovations such as decorating, refitting a kitchen are accepted under a standard policy however if
you are extending or removing internal walls then you wouldn’t be covered under a standard policy.
The best option here is to get a short-term policy for 3 or 6 months whilst the work is being carried out
then moving to a standard policy after this to give you the best cover.