Author Archives: David Roberts

Insurance For One-Off Events

One-off Events

Third party liability event insurance will almost certainly be necessary for any kind of one-off event; be it a party, an exhibition or in fact anything that is taking place in a location where you have to pay to use it. Event insurance will protect the organisers from claims for any damage to other people’s property or injury to their person.

Click For Event Insurance Quotes

Sadly, we now live in a world dominated by the blame culture, a world where common sense is no longer to be relied upon. When an accident occurs the first thought in some people’s minds is ‘who can I blame’, swiftly followed by ‘can I make money out of this?’.

If you are involved in the organisation of a one-off event you may not have too much experience in event insurance and what risks you need to insure against. The online form will help you choose exactly what cover you need, and not paying for any unnecessary extras will keep the costs down. Just click on the link above and we’ll take you through a speedy online application process. You can get a quote without having to supply all of your personal details and if you like the cover and price offered it’s a simple process to purchase online within a matter of minutes. Your policy documents will be emailed to you immediately, no more waiting for the postman to deliver your insurance certificate before you can produce the documents to the local council, event organiser or landlord of the event venue. To assist you throughout the process there are Help buttons that you can click on at any stage if you require assistance.

Exhibitors & Stallholders Insurance

Exhibitors & Stallholders Insurance

The risks with exhibitions are high and you need the right exhibitors liability insurance to cover them. Public liability is a must, protecting you from claims from members of the public, or even other exhibitors, should any damage be done to people or their possessions by an accident. Most people and organisations holding events will demand that exhibitors take out their own exhibition public liability insurance, in which case you will need to present valid certificates.

Click For Exhibitor / Stallholder Insurance Quotes

Click For Car Boot & Market Organisers Liability Scheme

Exhibition booths by their very nature are lightweight, temporary and intrinsically unsafe. You only need your nameplate to fall onto a passing member of the public to find yourself facing a pretty big damages claim. As with any accident, if it’s foreseeable then we can do our best to ensure that it doesn’t happen but we’re talking accidents here and it’s those that you simply can’t imagine happening that can cause us so many problems. That’s the reason for insurance, it gives us peace of mind by protecting us against the unexpected. If you are planning on taking other members of your staff with you to help out then you should add employers liability cover to your quote (simply tick a box on the form).

Incidentally, if you’re planning on exhibiting at more than one event during the year then click the button that gets a quote for a multiple event policy, they are much cheaper than buying individual policies for a number of events.

In order to get a quote simply click on this link and you’ll be taken to a simple online application process. The system will give you a quote without you having to supply your personal details and if you are happy with the cover and price offered it’s a very straight-forward process to buy a policy online within a few short minutes. The policy documents will be emailed to you immediately, no need to wait for the postman to deliver your insurance certificate before you can produce the documents demanded by the local council, event organiser or landlord of the event venue. Throughout the online process there are Help buttons that you can click on at any stage if you require assistance.

Wedding Insurance

Wedding Insurance

Your wedding is likely to be the biggest single event in your life and you obviously plan for it to go off without a hitch. Liability insurance designed specifically for weddings is available to make sure that if anything conspires to go wrong you will at least receive some compensation and not be out of pocket. Who knows what might possibly happen on or before your special day and in a worst case scenario a serious mishap could even cause a cancellation in the days or weeks preceding the wedding. The venue, florists, caterers, photographer and other suppliers will surely be understanding, but they will also be looking for compensation on your cancelled booking and it will be you that they will be looking to.

Click For Wedding Insurance Quotes

The most basic wedding insurance cover is available for well under £100, although premiums will rise in line with the size and cost of the wedding. With the average wedding now costing £20,000, can you really afford not to insure it?

The wedding insurance quotes link will take you to a speedy online application process. You will receive a quote without having to supply your personal details and if you are happy with the cover and price offered it’s then a simple process to input your remaining details and purchase the policy online. The whole process only takes a matter of minutes. Your policy documents will be emailed to you immediately. Throughout the online process you will see Help buttons that you can click on if you require assistance at any stage.

 

UK Public Liability Insurance

UK Public Liability Insurance – Who Needs It ?

This type of insurance goes by a number of different names and is available in a variety of flavours. Public Liability Insurance is also known as Business Insurance, Tradesmen Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance. Basically, they are all the same animal, just dressed slightly differently to suit their particular market.

Being a business owner or employer, it is your legal responsibility towards your customers, employees and the general public. You could be held legally liable and risk being sued if a member of the public or an employee suffers an injury as a result of your breach of duty or negligence. If their claim for personal injury compensation is successful, you may also receive a claim from the NHS for refund of hospital treatment costs (including ambulance costs should it be necessary).



Basically, liability insurance is formulated to pay any compensation and legal costs that might happen if a worker is deemed to be at fault. If you employ even a single member of staff it is very likely that you will need to have employers’ liability compulsory insurance (ELCI).

ELCI forces employers carrying out business in the United Kingdom to provide insurance against their liability to their staff for harm or illness sustained whilst in the course of their employment in the United Kingdom. Liability insurance offers greater security to firms against penalties and legal costs which could result in financial difficulty, and to employees that resources will be on hand as compensation even where companies are no longer operating.

How are liability insurance premiums calculated ?

The cost of insurance – normally called the premium – is typically calculated utilising a “book rating”. A book rating is worked out by starting with an initial charge, which reflects the insurer’s overheads and reflects their desire for your particular type of business – if they are happy to provide cover to your profession, the cost will be less than if they don’t.

The premium is then modified to reflect the insurance company’s opinion of the level of risk related to a particular profession or industry area.

The policy cost will be adjusted by things such as your claims history, the size of the perceived risk and their estimation on the chance of any claim being lodged against you.

The safer your workplace and the fewer claims you have made, the lower the policy will be.

Premiums also include calculations from other similar businesses by amalgamating both good and bad – a small business with a good record may be adversely affected by this. Your own safety record and approach to risk management can lessen the damage caused by this.

For employers’ liability, the exposure risk is calculated on the basis of the number of employees and the size of the payroll. In addition, there are other initiatives that influence how costs are calculated.

For public and product liability the exposure risk is based on the turnover of your company and other items such as whether you carry out your business away from your premises.

What public liability insurance covers

Public liability covers any damages and costs awarded to someone following an injury or damage to their property or belongings caused by you or your staff. It also insures against any expenses, costs and related legal fees together with charges for hospital treatment (including ambulance costs) that the NHS could claim from you.

Charges vary depending on your line of business, the turnover of the business and how many staff you employ.

Public liability insurance can be a complex product and possible clients should give careful consideration to all of the policy documents to ensure that the product is right for their business.

Even if you work from home, if customers or members of the public meet you there, you should probably think about taking out public liability insurance.

Some businesses, eg riding stables, are required to have public liability insurance. You are also likely to discover that many of your customers or potential customers request evidence of current public liability cover before they will allow you to work for them.

Many self-employed tradesmen or owners of small businesses will discover that there are a variety of products that are designed to their particular trade. These products can be found under a number of labels including business insurance, small business insurance or self employed liability insurance. These policies should include a number of individual parts including employers and public liability, combined with a selection of legal expenses, professional indemnity and office insurance.

For online quotes for all types of Public Liability Insurance visit Instant Online Insurance

Privacy

Privacy Policy

We have created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm and continuing commitment to the privacy of personal information provided by those visiting and interacting with this web site. We hold the privacy of your personal information in the highest regard. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website.

We recognize the importance of protecting your privacy and our policy is designed to assist you in understanding that we do not collect any personal information on this site, it is simply a source of information to anyone in the UK who might be looking for information on car, home or liability insurance.

What Information Do We Collect?
We do not collect any private information on this site.

Motoring Conviction Codes

UK Motoring Conviction Codes

Accident Offences

Sadly, almost all of these convictions will affect (i.e. increase) your car insurance premiums. Don’t be tempted to “forget” to declare them when applying for your motor insurance, they are held on a central computer that all of the insurance companies have access to.


Offence codes AC10 to AC30 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
AC10 Failing to stop and/or give particulars after an accident 5-10
AC20 Failing to give particulars or report accident within 24 hrs 5-10
AC30 Undefined accident offences 4-9

Disqualified Driver
Offence codes BA10 & BA30 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
BA10 Driving while disqualification by order of the Court 6
BA30 Attempting to drive while disqualified by order of the Court 6

 

Careless Driving
Offence codes CD10 to CD30 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
CD10 Driving without due care and attention 3-9
CD20 Driving without reasonable consideration for other road user 3-9
CD30 Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users 3-9

Offence codes CD40 to CD70 must stay on a driving licence for eleven years from date of conviction.

Code Offence Points
CD40 Causing death – careless driving when unfit through drink 3-11
CD50 Causing death – careless driving when unfit through drugs 3-11
CD60 Causing death – careless driving with alcohol level above limit 3-11
CD70 Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for 3-11

Offence codes CD80 and CD90 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of conviction.

Code Offence Points
CD80 Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving 3-11
CD90 Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers 3-11

Construction and Use Offences

Offence codes CU10 to CU80 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
CU10 Using a vehicle with defective brakes 3
CU20 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition 3
CU30 Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) 3
CU40 Using a vehicle with defective steering 3
CU50 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers 3
CU80 Using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle 3

Reckless/Dangerous Driving
Offence codes DD40 to DD80 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of conviction.

Code Offence Points
DD40 Dangerous driving 3-11
DD60 Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle 3-11
DD80 Causing death by dangerous driving 3-11
DD90 Furious driving 3-9
Drink or drugs
Offence codes DR10 to DR30 must stay on a driving licence for eleven years from date of conviction.
Code Offence Points
DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit 3-11
DR20 Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink 3-11
DR30 Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis 3-11

Offence codes DR40 to DR70 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
DR40 In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit 10
DR50 In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink 10
DR60 Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 10
DR70 Failing to provide specimen for breath test 4
Offence code DR80 must stay on a driving licence for eleven years from date of conviction.
Code Offence Points
DR80 Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs 3-11

 

Offence code DR90 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

 

Code Offence Points
DR90 In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs 10

Insurance offences

Offence code IN10 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.
Code Offence Points
IN10 Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks. 6-8

 


Licence offences
Offence codes LC20 to LC50 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
LC20 Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence 3-6
LC30 Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a licence 3-6
LC40 Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability 3-6
LC50 Driving after a licence has been revoked or refused on medical grounds 3-6

 

Miscellaneous offences
Offence codes MS10 to MS90 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
MS10 Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position 3
MS20 Unlawful pillion riding 3
MS30 Play street offences 2
MS50 Motor racing on the highway 3-11
MS60 Offences not covered by other codes As Approp
MS70 Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight 3
MS80 Refusing to submit to an eyesight test 3
MS90 Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc 6

Motorway offences
Offence code MW10 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
NW10 Contravention of special roads regulations (excluding speed limits) 3

Pedestrian crossings
Offence codes PC10 to PC30 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
PC10 Undefined contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations 3
PC20 Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with moving vehicle 3
PC30 Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with stationary vehicle 3

Speed limits
Offence codes SP10 to SP50 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits 3-6
SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles) 3-6
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 3-6
SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit 3-6
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 3-6

Traffic direction and signs
Offence codes TS10 to TS70 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
TS10 Failing to comply with traffic light signals 3
TS20 Failing to comply with double white lines 3
TS30 Failing to comply with ‘Stop’ sign 3
TS40 Failing to comply with direction of a constable/warden 3
TS50 Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding ‘stop’ signs, traffic lights or double white lines) 3
TS60 Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign 3
TS60 Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign 3

Special code
Offence code TT99 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of conviction.

Code Offence Points
TT99 To signify a disqualification under ‘totting-up’ procedure. If the total of penalty points reaches 12 or more within three years, the driver is liable to be disqualified 3

Theft or unauthorised taking
Offence codes UT50 must stay on a driving licence for four years from date of offence.

Code Offence Points
UT50 Aggravated taking of a vehicle 3-11

Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring

Offences as coded, but with 0 changed to 2 eg LC10 becomes LC12.

Causing or permitting

Offences as coded, but with 0 changed to 4 eg LC10 becomes LC14.

Inciting

Offences as coded, but with the end 0 changed to 6 eg DD40 becomes DD46.

Non-endorsable offences

Some offences are non-endorsable. A non-endorsable offence is an offence which courts do not endorse onto your paper counterpart. No penalty points are attributed to these offences but they carry a period of disqualification.

At the end of the disqualification (over 56 days) you will have to apply for a renewal licence together with the appropriate fee.

The following codes seem to have fallen off the Government web site but I’m sure that they are still valid.

PL10 Driving without ‘L’ plates
PL20 Not accompanied by a qualified person

Home Insurance Topics Of Interest

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This is an alphabetical list of topics related to home and contents insurance that can arise with household claims and the decision or definition that might apply.

Art Loss Register – a database of stolen items set up for the Art market and the insurance industry. It aims to deter art theft, aid in recoveries of stolen art and help fine art dealers to avoid selling stolen proerty. It is not just paintings that are logged. Any item that is uniquely describable and has a value in excess of £1000 can be logged.

Basis of Settlement – you will need to check you policy wording as this should give you a specific definition. I would expect a reasonable insurer to follow similar guide lines to these. Where this is under-insurance but this is less than 10% they should deal as normal. If it is between 10% and 25% they should deal with your clam as normal provided you agree to increase the sum insured immediately to the correct level and pay any extra premium demanded. This should be deducted from your claim if appropriate. Where the under insurance exceeds 25% your insurer will investigate more thoroughly. Have you tried to cheat them out of premium?

Burglar Alarms – generally these are considered to be part of your buildings cover. If you have a security warranty on your policy, make sure you apply it.

Business Use – Many policies exclude business use. If you have any items in your home that you use for business purposes, check the wording of your policy and if it is excluded, see if your insurer will agree to cover the item. If not, find another insurer.

Carpets – this often causes problems! If you are entitled to a new carpet because yours has been damaged by an insured event, and you have the same carpet in more than one room, what are you entitled to? I suggest that a reasonable expectation is to replace the carpet up to the ‘visible barrier’. This is usually a door. For example, with an open plan lounge/diner you should expect the whole area replaced up to the door. Glass doors are not a ‘visible barrier’ . Where you have a glass door and the remainder of the carpet can be seen through the door, you should be able to achieve at least a 50% contribution to the cost of replacing the carpet you can see through the door.
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Clothing – you will always find that claims for clothes and linen will be settled in an ‘indemnity’ basis. That means wear and tear will be deducted. Even if you have ‘New for Old’ cover. Your policy should clearly tell you this. I would expect your insurer to include crash helmets in the definition of clothing!

Co-Habitees – any ‘partner’ of the person named as the insured should be regarded as a member of the family provided there is clear evidence of a permanent relationship and the sum insured is adequate for their possessions.

Contribution – where two or more policies cover the same loss, they can all be called on to contribute to your claim. You cannot claim off them all and expect them to pay you out two, three or four times over. A typical example is where your contents personal effects covers you away from home, e,g, on holiday, and you also have travel cover with baggage included. If your loss is worth £100, you cannot claim £100 from your household insurer and £100 from your travel insurer. (If you did, you would be committing a criminal offence). Instead, both insurers will club together and pay you £100 between them. An agreement from the ABI is in force telling insurers how to calculate their share. Unless you are unlucky, your excess should be swallowed up in the calculations.

C.U.E. – The Claims and Underwriting Exchange. This is a national database holding data on both motor and household claim from most major insurer. It helps insurers to identify fraudulent claims. The message is – don’t even try it!

Cycles – This causes a lot of problems. If you have a bicycle, I strongly recommend you insure it as a specified item on the personal possessions part of the policy and tell your insurers of the serial number. That way, you are properly protected by the policy. If you do not cover it in this way, do not expect to have your claim paid for your cycle unless it is stolen or damage whilst within your home. Again, check your wording! They should always be secured when left unattended away from your home. What is unattended? Even if you leave it outside a shop for a few minutes whilst you buy something inside, that is unattended. You might be lucky where, for example, a child is doing a paper round, leaves it for a moment to put a paper through a letterbox and it is stolen. I would suggest that this scenario is not deemed unattended.

Customs and Excise – Where you have purchased an item abroad and imported it illegally into the country, i.e. you have not declared it and not paid any duties that might be required, you cannot claim for it. See the case law called Geismar V Sun Alliance (1977)

Home Insurance Topics Of Interest (D-J)

Document L – Document L is part of the Building Regulations for England & Wales that sets the standard of energy efficiency in buildings. The equivalent section of Scottish Building Regulations is known as Part J. Click Here for more information.

Drains – You should expect your insurer to pay for blockages in drains where this has been cause fortuitously, under the accidental damage to underground services, provided there are no other untoward features. Drain damage can also be linked to subsidence claims.

Escape of Water/Burst Pipes – You will need to check what your policy says, but generally I would expect a good insurer to take a wide interpretation of this insured event. For example, I would expect water escaping from pipes, leaking radiators, fish tanks and other water receptacles to be included. I would expect gradual leakage to be covered where this was previously unknown by you.

Excess – Where a value exceeds the sum insured, I would expect an excess to be deducted before the application of the policy limit.

Exclusions – Where ‘all –risks’ or ‘accidental damage’ cover applies, remember that the burden of proving that it is not covered rests with your insurer. You do not have to show that the exclusion does not apply.

Extra Cover – Sometimes your loss could be covered by more than one section of your policy. This usually arises with a contents and a personal effects section. Your insurer should meet the claim under whichever section gives you the best possible settlement.

Fire – What damage can you claim for under the fire peril? Generally, there should be actual ignition and damage occur outside the confines of a heating appliance. But you should expect the following to be included. Fortuitous cigarette burns Scorching caused by hot irons and electric fires Refilling of fire extinguishers or pay for metered water used to fight the fire Smoke damage caused by a fire You should not expect your insurer to pay for melting, such as putting a hot saucepan onto a worktop. If the melting correlates to other fire damage where there has been an ignition, then that is a different matter.

Flood – this can be defined as a moving body of water that is usually caused by burst water mains, overflowing rivers, seas and so on.

Fraud – Don’t try to cheat your insurer! The chances are you will be caught out. There are many instances where your insurer might consider you are being fraudulent whereas you feel you are just trying to reduce your premium or increase your claims settlement. I can only say to you, be 100% honest with your insurer at all times. They, in turn, must be 100% honest with you and I encourage more transparency by the insurance industry.

Impact by Animals – This one is interpreted by different insurers in different ways! Some strange ideas have been promoted by media consumer programs no doubt more intent on entertaining than a serious attempt to clarify the cover. Similarly, the accidental damage section might well exclude damage caused by vermin. What you regard as vermin might be different to the claims handler! My old dictionary defines it as ‘creatures injurious to game and crops, noxious parasites and vile persons’ If there is ambiguity, I suggest you quote one of those quasi -Latin legal phrases at your insurer – the contra proferentem rule. If a phrase in an insurance policy is not clear, the meaning more favourable to the policyholder is taken. Damage by domestic pets is usually excluded. It isn’t a risk – it’s a certainty!

Home Insurance Topics Of Interest (K-Z)

Keys – Where cover applies (and not all policies provide it so check your wording) you should expect your insurer to replace all the locks in your house if your keys are stolen. Where car keys are stolen or lost you cannot expect your household insurer to pay for replacement of your car locks. Your motor policy will not cover it either! Where it s reasonable that the thief can determine the car to which the keys belong, a good motor insurer should listen sympathetically to your claim – after all it is in their interests to help you prevent the theft of your car.

Matching Items – another of those very controversial areas. Some wording try and restrict cover to just the item damaged. The minimum you should accept is repair or replacement of the damaged/lost item and a contribution of up to 50% of the replacement cost of the undamaged items to achieve an acceptable match.

Personal Effects – what is a personal effect that you normally carry or wear? You should expect a flexible approach from your insurer who should include any item that could reasonably be carried or worn. But don’t you be unreasonable either!

‘Reasonable Care’ – the test your insurer should consider is whether you have been reckless rather than negligent. If they draw the line at carelessness or negligence, hardly any claims at all would be paid! Insurers will take into account the desirability of the items, the value and what precautions were taken to safeguard them.

Replacement of Goods – in recent years, more and more claims are settled via replacement using the insurers’ supplier. They achieve discounts of retail prices. If you are happy with this, fine. In vast majority of situations, it will be a satisfactory settlement for you. Indeed, you could upgrade by paying extra to the supplier yourself, at the discounted rate. Where, for one reason or another, you want to replace yourself you are entitled to the replacement cost you pay, not the cost your insurer would have paid to their supplier. Where your insurer replaces, they must do so ‘like for like’ unless the unit is obsolete in which case one of at least equal quality and specification should be offered to you and agreed by you. If the unit breaks down after you receive it, responsibility for repair or replacement under consumer legislation would rest with your insurer who in turn can recover any costs from their supplier.

Storm – You might have heard of the ‘Beaufort Scale’. Insurers do not use this to determine if your property has been damaged by a storm. Each case is usually dealt with on its merits, having regard to weather data available and reasonably poor weather prevailing in your area. There have been court cases where the judges have ruled that for an insurance claim to succeed there must be ‘violent wind accompanied by rain or hail or snow’ (Oddy V Phoenix Assurance Co Ltd 1965) or ‘rain accompanied by strong wind’ (Young V Sun Alliance and London Ins Group 1976) or something more prolonged and widespread than a gust of wind (S & M Hotels Ltd V Legal and General 1971). Where the damage is caused by wear and tear or lack of maintenance do not expect your insurer to pay for it. Flat roofs are likely to be rejected for storm damage unless you can prove storm conditions were happening and that you have regularly maintained the roof. Tears caused by falling tiles and debris help. Damage caused by snow should be accepted a storm damage.

Subsidence – This one is likely to cost you! Your excess for subsidence on buildings’ policy will not be less than £500 and in most cases £1000. i.e. you have to pay the first £1000 of the claim. I hope you have been saving your money for this! Insurers prefer to have control of the matter so if you notice cracks in your home, report it to them immediately. If you go and instruct your own surveyor they might well recommend drastic measures to prop up your house that might not be required. You will end up in dispute with your insurer. There are many issues that can arise such as trying to sell your home, trying to change your insurer and so on. It would take a book to answer them all. One I will just mention is that if you have moved your cover from one insurer to another, the previous insurers might be called upon to contribute to your claim under the A.B.I Domestic Subsidence Agreement. This is to prevent disputes between insurers as to who pays for what. It should not affect you at all. But what happens when an underground pipe has leaked and this has led to movement and thus subsidence? What insured peril should apply and what excess do you have to pay? It is in your interests to show that the loss should fall under the underground services peril. That way you do not have to pay the large excess for a subsidence claim. It is all down to what insurers call the ‘proximate cause’. You need to be able to show that the proximate cause of the damage is the burst or leaking pipe.

Underground Services – you should expect your insurer to accept fortuitous blockages as accidental damage and they should be willing to pay for jetting out and CCTV surveys if required. Problems arise where an underground pipe has been leaking and caused subsidence to your home. See subsidence above

You will find very competitive online quotes for UK home insurance on www.instant-online-insurance.co.uk

PL30 Carrying a person not qualified
PL40 Drawing an unauthorised trailer
PL50 Undefined failure to comply with conditions of Provisional Licence

All types of UK motor insurance including convicted driver insurance can be found on Instant Online Insurance.

UK Home Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

Home Insurance Topics Of Interest

This is an alphabetical list of topics related to home and contents insurance that can arise with household claims and the decision or definition that might apply.

Art Loss Register – a database of stolen items set up for the Art market and the insurance industry. It aims to deter art theft, aid in recoveries of stolen art and help fine art dealers to avoid selling stolen proerty. It is not just paintings that are logged. Any item that is uniquely describable and has a value in excess of £1000 can be logged.

Basis of Settlement – you will need to check you policy wording as this should give you a specific definition. I would expect a reasonable insurer to follow similar guide lines to these. Where this is under-insurance but this is less than 10% they should deal as normal. If it is between 10% and 25% they should deal with your clam as normal provided you agree to increase the sum insured immediately to the correct level and pay any extra premium demanded. This should be deducted from your claim if appropriate. Where the under insurance exceeds 25% your insurer will investigate more thoroughly. Have you tried to cheat them out of premium?

Burglar Alarms – generally these are considered to be part of your buildings cover. If you have a security warranty on your policy, make sure you apply it.

Business Use – Many policies exclude business use. If you have any items in your home that you use for business purposes, check the wording of your policy and if it is excluded, see if your insurer will agree to cover the item. If not, find another insurer.

Carpets – this often causes problems! If you are entitled to a new carpet because yours has been damaged by an insured event, and you have the same carpet in more than one room, what are you entitled to? I suggest that a reasonable expectation is to replace the carpet up to the ‘visible barrier’. This is usually a door. For example, with an open plan lounge/diner you should expect the whole area replaced up to the door. Glass doors are not a ‘visible barrier’ . Where you have a glass door and the remainder of the carpet can be seen through the door, you should be able to achieve at least a 50% contribution to the cost of replacing the carpet you can see through the door.
Get Home Insurance Quotes

Clothing – you will always find that claims for clothes and linen will be settled in an ‘indemnity’ basis. That means wear and tear will be deducted. Even if you have ‘New for Old’ cover. Your policy should clearly tell you this. I would expect your insurer to include crash helmets in the definition of clothing!

Co-Habitees – any ‘partner’ of the person named as the insured should be regarded as a member of the family provided there is clear evidence of a permanent relationship and the sum insured is adequate for their possessions.

Contribution – where two or more policies cover the same loss, they can all be called on to contribute to your claim. You cannot claim off them all and expect them to pay you out two, three or four times over. A typical example is where your contents personal effects covers you away from home, e,g, on holiday, and you also have travel cover with baggage included. If your loss is worth £100, you cannot claim £100 from your household insurer and £100 from your travel insurer. (If you did, you would be committing a criminal offence). Instead, both insurers will club together and pay you £100 between them. An agreement from the ABI is in force telling insurers how to calculate their share. Unless you are unlucky, your excess should be swallowed up in the calculations.

C.U.E. – The Claims and Underwriting Exchange. This is a national database holding data on both motor and household claim from most major insurer. It helps insurers to identify fraudulent claims. The message is – don’t even try it!

Cycles – This causes a lot of problems. If you have a bicycle, I strongly recommend you insure it as a specified item on the personal possessions part of the policy and tell your insurers of the serial number. That way, you are properly protected by the policy. If you do not cover it in this way, do not expect to have your claim paid for your cycle unless it is stolen or damage whilst within your home. Again, check your wording! They should always be secured when left unattended away from your home. What is unattended? Even if you leave it outside a shop for a few minutes whilst you buy something inside, that is unattended. You might be lucky where, for example, a child is doing a paper round, leaves it for a moment to put a paper through a letterbox and it is stolen. I would suggest that this scenario is not deemed unattended.

Customs and Excise – Where you have purchased an item abroad and imported it illegally into the country, i.e. you have not declared it and not paid any duties that might be required, you cannot claim for it. See the case law called Geismar V Sun Alliance (1977)

Home Insurance Topics Of Interest (D-J)

Document L – Document L is part of the Building Regulations for England & Wales that sets the standard of energy efficiency in buildings. The equivalent section of Scottish Building Regulations is known as Part J. Click Here for more information.

Drains – You should expect your insurer to pay for blockages in drains where this has been cause fortuitously, under the accidental damage to underground services, provided there are no other untoward features. Drain damage can also be linked to subsidence claims.

Escape of Water/Burst Pipes – You will need to check what your policy says, but generally I would expect a good insurer to take a wide interpretation of this insured event. For example, I would expect water escaping from pipes, leaking radiators, fish tanks and other water receptacles to be included. I would expect gradual leakage to be covered where this was previously unknown by you.

Excess – Where a value exceeds the sum insured, I would expect an excess to be deducted before the application of the policy limit.

Exclusions – Where ‘all –risks’ or ‘accidental damage’ cover applies, remember that the burden of proving that it is not covered rests with your insurer. You do not have to show that the exclusion does not apply.

Extra Cover – Sometimes your loss could be covered by more than one section of your policy. This usually arises with a contents and a personal effects section. Your insurer should meet the claim under whichever section gives you the best possible settlement.

Fire – What damage can you claim for under the fire peril? Generally, there should be actual ignition and damage occur outside the confines of a heating appliance. But you should expect the following to be included. Fortuitous cigarette burns Scorching caused by hot irons and electric fires Refilling of fire extinguishers or pay for metered water used to fight the fire Smoke damage caused by a fire You should not expect your insurer to pay for melting, such as putting a hot saucepan onto a worktop. If the melting correlates to other fire damage where there has been an ignition, then that is a different matter.

Flood – this can be defined as a moving body of water that is usually caused by burst water mains, overflowing rivers, seas and so on.

Fraud – Don’t try to cheat your insurer! The chances are you will be caught out. There are many instances where your insurer might consider you are being fraudulent whereas you feel you are just trying to reduce your premium or increase your claims settlement. I can only say to you, be 100% honest with your insurer at all times. They, in turn, must be 100% honest with you and I encourage more transparency by the insurance industry.

Impact by Animals – This one is interpreted by different insurers in different ways! Some strange ideas have been promoted by media consumer programs no doubt more intent on entertaining than a serious attempt to clarify the cover. Similarly, the accidental damage section might well exclude damage caused by vermin. What you regard as vermin might be different to the claims handler! My old dictionary defines it as ‘creatures injurious to game and crops, noxious parasites and vile persons’ If there is ambiguity, I suggest you quote one of those quasi -Latin legal phrases at your insurer – the contra proferentem rule. If a phrase in an insurance policy is not clear, the meaning more favourable to the policyholder is taken. Damage by domestic pets is usually excluded. It isn’t a risk – it’s a certainty!

Home Insurance Topics Of Interest (K-Z)

Keys – Where cover applies (and not all policies provide it so check your wording) you should expect your insurer to replace all the locks in your house if your keys are stolen. Where car keys are stolen or lost you cannot expect your household insurer to pay for replacement of your car locks. Your motor policy will not cover it either! Where it s reasonable that the thief can determine the car to which the keys belong, a good motor insurer should listen sympathetically to your claim – after all it is in their interests to help you prevent the theft of your car.

Matching Items – another of those very controversial areas. Some wording try and restrict cover to just the item damaged. The minimum you should accept is repair or replacement of the damaged/lost item and a contribution of up to 50% of the replacement cost of the undamaged items to achieve an acceptable match.

Personal Effects – what is a personal effect that you normally carry or wear? You should expect a flexible approach from your insurer who should include any item that could reasonably be carried or worn. But don’t you be unreasonable either!

‘Reasonable Care’ – the test your insurer should consider is whether you have been reckless rather than negligent. If they draw the line at carelessness or negligence, hardly any claims at all would be paid! Insurers will take into account the desirability of the items, the value and what precautions were taken to safeguard them.

Replacement of Goods – in recent years, more and more claims are settled via replacement using the insurers’ supplier. They achieve discounts of retail prices. If you are happy with this, fine. In vast majority of situations, it will be a satisfactory settlement for you. Indeed, you could upgrade by paying extra to the supplier yourself, at the discounted rate. Where, for one reason or another, you want to replace yourself you are entitled to the replacement cost you pay, not the cost your insurer would have paid to their supplier. Where your insurer replaces, they must do so ‘like for like’ unless the unit is obsolete in which case one of at least equal quality and specification should be offered to you and agreed by you. If the unit breaks down after you receive it, responsibility for repair or replacement under consumer legislation would rest with your insurer who in turn can recover any costs from their supplier.

Storm – You might have heard of the ‘Beaufort Scale’. Insurers do not use this to determine if your property has been damaged by a storm. Each case is usually dealt with on its merits, having regard to weather data available and reasonably poor weather prevailing in your area. There have been court cases where the judges have ruled that for an insurance claim to succeed there must be ‘violent wind accompanied by rain or hail or snow’ (Oddy V Phoenix Assurance Co Ltd 1965) or ‘rain accompanied by strong wind’ (Young V Sun Alliance and London Ins Group 1976) or something more prolonged and widespread than a gust of wind (S & M Hotels Ltd V Legal and General 1971). Where the damage is caused by wear and tear or lack of maintenance do not expect your insurer to pay for it. Flat roofs are likely to be rejected for storm damage unless you can prove storm conditions were happening and that you have regularly maintained the roof. Tears caused by falling tiles and debris help. Damage caused by snow should be accepted a storm damage.

Subsidence – This one is likely to cost you! Your excess for subsidence on buildings’ policy will not be less than £500 and in most cases £1000. i.e. you have to pay the first £1000 of the claim. I hope you have been saving your money for this! Insurers prefer to have control of the matter so if you notice cracks in your home, report it to them immediately. If you go and instruct your own surveyor they might well recommend drastic measures to prop up your house that might not be required. You will end up in dispute with your insurer. There are many issues that can arise such as trying to sell your home, trying to change your insurer and so on. It would take a book to answer them all. One I will just mention is that if you have moved your cover from one insurer to another, the previous insurers might be called upon to contribute to your claim under the A.B.I Domestic Subsidence Agreement. This is to prevent disputes between insurers as to who pays for what. It should not affect you at all. But what happens when an underground pipe has leaked and this has led to movement and thus subsidence? What insured peril should apply and what excess do you have to pay? It is in your interests to show that the loss should fall under the underground services peril. That way you do not have to pay the large excess for a subsidence claim. It is all down to what insurers call the ‘proximate cause’. You need to be able to show that the proximate cause of the damage is the burst or leaking pipe.

Underground Services – you should expect your insurer to accept fortuitous blockages as accidental damage and they should be willing to pay for jetting out and CCTV surveys if required. Problems arise where an underground pipe has been leaking and caused subsidence to your home. See subsidence above

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UK Home Insurance – Making A Claim

Home Insurance – Making A Claim

In this section, we will look at the following aspects of the house insurance claims process. Much will depend upon your insurance provider and procedures will vary from one insurer to another.

Equally, not all insurance claims staff will agree with the information I have provided here.

However, it is a useful general guide to the steps involved and it should help you move your claim along swiftly to a conclusion that is satisfactory for you.

This information is based on the assumption that you are claiming from a direct insurer. For cover provided via a broker, you will have a similar experience but brokers will be able to guide you through the process.

These are the areas we will look at:

Emergency Assistance Services
Causes of losses
Claims Forms (or lack of them)
Replacements (New for Old)
Repairs and Contractors
D.I.Y.

Home Insurance – Emergency Assistance Services

Most policies now provide a 24 hour helpline that is intended to provide a contractor in an emergency. Some go further and will provide a contractor for most domestic problems but some or all of the cost will have to be paid for by you.Check your policy wording carefully! This is an excellent idea but how well does it work in practice?

I will set out below my own experiences of contacting these help lines when I have had a problem or someone I know has asked me to assist them. If you have any stories to tell, please let me know!

My first encounter was on behalf of my mother in law a few years ago. She had a minor emergency that required urgent assistance – hence called on me. She needed the services of a plumber. I rang the help line number she had been provided. They were rude, unhelpful and could not provide the contractor we asked for. They suggested we call the insurance company.

The second experience involved removal of a wasps nest. Yes, some of the better policies provide for this at the expense of the assistance service provider. I had great difficulty getting through to the right person. The number provided was for car breakdowns! I had to wait to be transferred several times.When I was finally put through to the correct person, she did not believe the cover was there and I had to spell this out by reading from the policy booklet. She finally conceded and confirmed the service would be provided. From there on it was excellent. Within 24 hours, a pest controller arrived, decked out in the appropriate protective gear and successfully removed the nest from my loft.The message is, that this assistance provider worked well once they accepted the claim but I had to persevere in order to make it happen.

The third experience involved a gas cooker. It developed a fault but there were no gas leaks. Having called the help line number, it turned out the insurer had changed the assistance service company but had not properly notified it’s customers! The lady who took the call was unable to provide the new number and suggested calling the insurer – fat lot of good that is at 8am on a Sunday morning! So I have to revert to Yellow Pages to find a suitable engineer myself. That is yet another story!

Home Insurance Claims – Cause of Loss

Step One – determine if you have the cover for the loss or damage that has happened. This is a major problem area. You can only claim if the cause of your loss or damage is actually covered.

If you have read the section on policy cover and understand your policy, you can skip this bit. So many times, policyholders phone up and describe an event that has happened only to find that, whilst they have buildings or contents policy that the loss itself is not covered. And they do not understand why.

Let me try and explain simply. There are essentially two types of cover. One is ‘standard’ (standard perils) the other is ‘accidental damage’ (all risks).

If you have the former, you must compare the cause of the loss with the list of perils you are covered for. Your contents policy might define that your three piece suite is part of your contents but if you spill paint on it and you only have standard cover, you cannot claim.

With accidental damage or all risks cover, you need to check the exclusions to see if your cause of loss is not covered. This small print lists those risks for which the insurer is not prepared to provide cover. If it is not listed, you are probably OK to claim. As so many more, smallish claims, are paid for with this type of cover, it costs a lot more than the standard cover.

Home Insurance Claims – Claims Forms (Or The Lack Of Them)

It is now estimated that only 50% of insurers still require a written claim form to be submitted, those that do will send you a form to complete. Some will complete it for you on their computer system during the initial telephone call, but you will still need to sign it. Insurers will submit details of the claim to national anti fraud registers and they need your signature on the form in respect of the Data Protection Act. If you don’t sign the form, they will not deal with the claim. To avoid delays, make sure you complete the form as fully as possible.

For those insurers that do not require a claim form, your conversation with them will be recorded. They are required to read out a statement to you in respect of the Data Protection Act and the recording they make will be the evidence that they have complied. The big benefit for insurers relates to complaints. If you complain about the way you were spoken to or the service provided during the call, they can produce the recording for any arbitrator to listen to. So where they say that ‘calls may be monitored or recorded for training purposes’ whilst this is true, it is not the main reason for doing so. There is some benefit for you where calls are recorded. You will get a faster service. Your insurer does not have to wait until the signed claim form comes back before springing into action.

As for claims on Internet insurers, they seem to be split between combinations of the above two methods combined with completing the claim form on the Internet.

As with all insurance matters, the more information that you can supply, the quicker the claim can be dealt with. Answering all questions fully will lessen the chance of the company having to contact you for further information.

Home Insurance Claims – Replacements (New For Old)

Most policies (but not all of them) will provide for replacement (contents) or reinstatement (buildings).

Buildings claims generally do not provide much problem here. The vast majority of buildings claims involve repairs to the property and reinstatement means repairing with new parts – which is what you would expect. It could be a problem with a major claim where part or all of the structure has to be demolished and rebuilt.

It is with contents claims that the issues usually arise. Your policy says that if it can’t be repaired it will be replaced (within certain restrictions – see policy cover). Insurers like to arrange replacement for you via their supplier. This enables them to buy goods in bulk at wholesale prices and thereby save a lot of money. They do not like it where you want to replace the item or ask for cash instead.

In the first of these, your policy does not restrict replacement to that provided by the insurer and if you want to go out and buy the item yourself, you are entitled to do so. But you will need to pay for it, obtain a receipt and send this to the insurer for reimbursement. If you buy something that is better or upgrade, then you have to pay the cost of the upgrade yourself.

Where your insurer is arranging replacement and you want to upgrade, talk to them. They will usually accommodate this by asking their supplier to charge the additional cost of the upgrade to you. You will benefit from the discounts your insurers enjoy.

Where you want cash, insurers will now restrict this to ‘indemnity’ settlement, not ‘new for old’ . They will deduct wear and tear. But if the item was only a few months old, or of a nature that does not depreciate much (e.g. jewellery) it might be worth your while seeking a cash settlement if that is what you want. Beware, however, that your insurer might regard a request for cash settlement as a fraud indicator.

Home Insurance Claims – Repairers & Contractors

Some years back insurers were using external databases of contractors. This is a bit like the recommended repairers that insurers use for car repairs. The theory is that you call the insurer on the number provided. Some insurers answer the number, others out-source it to the firm providing the contractors database.

You would not know if you were talking to your insurers or not or even if the person at the other end of the phone line is in this country! The external database then appoints its approved contractor to repair the damage. It sounds fine in principle but it has all sorts of problems that can arise.

Many insurers are now reverting back to the more traditional approach of asking you to obtain estimates from contractors of your choice. The downside of this is that you have to do the leg work, find the contractors you are happy with and very often take responsibility for the contract with the repairer. This is still the preferable option, at the very least you are able to use a repairer that you or a friend has confidence in. Our main advice in these circumstances is that you get the insurer’s agreement before giving the go-ahead for any work to commence.

Home Insurance Claims – DIY?

Do you have the ability to carry out the repair work yourself? If so, this could be the ideal solution. You should discuss this with your insurer before proceeding.

Your insurer will normally pay a contractor to do the work and their bill includes the materials they use, the labour for their employee(s) to do the work, overheads for their premises and administration staff, profit and VAT.By doing the work yourself, you can get paid by your insurer for the hours you work and save them money as they do not pay the last three items. It is a ‘win win’ solution. Keep receipts for the materials you purchase, count up the number of hours work and submit to the insurer for reimbursement.

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UK Home Insurance – Buying A Policy

Home & Contents Insurance – Buying A Policy 

Purchasing home insurance is, perhaps, an easier process than buying motor insurance. But the same basic rules apply. The same principles of insurance apply.

Honesty.
You MUST tell the truth to your insurers (and they in turn must tell the truth to you!). This is called ‘utmost good faith’. And, legally, you have to tell them everything that might affect their assessment of the risk you present to them.

In practice, you are only required to answer the questions they ask. The traditional way is of course to fill in a proposal form for your insurer, either via an intermediary or with a direct insurer. This will contain a declaration at the end that confirms you have given them the correct information. It also provides them with your signature to meet certain Data Protection Act(s) requirements.

Most insurers now subscribe to CUE. (Claims and Underwriting Exchange) This is a national computer database where almost every household (and motor) claim in the country has been recorded for many years.

So, for example, you can’t take out a policy with different companies, claim on them all and make money out of your insurance.

If you do not disclose to them the truth when you answer a question on the proposal form, you could have your claim refused or your cover made ‘void’, i .e. the contract never existed.

So don’t conveniently forget about those three little claims you made last year on your last policy! You will be found out.

Many insurers now just ask you some questions on the telephone. They will record the conversation and the recording constitutes a written proposal. So whatever answer you give, must be the truth. Otherwise the same thing will happen.

Internet sales (at the time of writing) are now really taking off, so much so that several of the major UK insurers such as The Prudential and The Pearl have disbanded their direct sales force. In many ways, home insurance is the ideal product to buy via the internet . If you buy tangible goods over the internet, you can’t see them, feel them, try them out before you buy. They have to be sent to you by a traditional mode of transport. With home insurance, the potential is there for the whole contract – your proposal, your policy, your schedule – to be downloaded to you and saved on your computer.

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Home Insurance – What Cover To Pay For

This is down to you and your requirements. You can read up about the different cover types in more detail on the policy cover page.

First, decide upon your requirements.

Do you own the buildings?
Do you live in a flat or a bed sit?
Perhaps you just need to cover your contents?
Are you accident prone?
Do you have children?
What sort of property do you live in and do you have a lot of valuable items or just simple, basic furniture?
Thus, you have to chose (for both buildings and contents) if you need, and can pay for, accidental damage cover or if you can live with just the basic perils covered. Considering questions like these will help you decide.

Second, calculate the value of the risk you are proposing to the insurer. This means, for your buildings, noting down the type of property (number of bedrooms, style, age) and working out the physical size of the building. If you live in a block of flats or with others sharing a building, you will need to get together and do this then buy one policy for all of you.

For the contents, you should write down a list of every thing you have and note beside it the replacement value (you want ‘new for old’ cover don’t you?). Too much like hard work? Sounds as if you need a bedroom rated policy. It will save all that work but you might be paying out a higher premium for higher sums insured than you need to.

Third, consider all those special items and valuable pieces you have. If you have any valuable jewellery, antiques or works of art, I strongly recommend you have them listed as specified items on your policy. This will cost a little extra but well worth it. Before doing so, get each piece professionally valued (and if jewellery, gem checked) and photographed. Similarly with bicycles, expensive camcorders, laptop computers and so on. Indeed, anything of value that you take out and about with you.

Fourth, I recommend you take out cover for unspecified items outside of the home. This cover should also give you accident damage cover for these items within your home. The only people that do not require this cover are those that never go outside their front door! It will also cover you for your basic baggage whilst on holiday thus saving you on your travel insurance. And the cover is better! (Travel insurance always pays indemnity – they take off wear and tear. Your unspecified cover, if you follow my advice, is ‘new for old’ – except clothes).

Fifth – liability cover. This is a must have. It is always provided free with your other cover. Make sure you have it on both buildings and contents if you are an owner. If you do not own buildings, then the liability cover on contents is fine on its own. Its a bit like having ‘third party’ cover on your car (although not legally compulsory).

Lastly, there are the extras many insurers now provide. Such as free legal help lines and emergency assistance providers. My personal experiences of these services is not that favourable. I usually end up getting out the ‘Yellow Pages’. Then all you have to do is buy the cover you want. Chose an insurer who has a good reputation, even if it costs a little more. All of the insurers featured on our site have a good reputation !!…..and of course they offer great value for money.

Home Insurance – Renewing The Policy

Your ‘duty to disclose’ comes up again at renewal. So if the risk has changed at all you should tell your insurers.

But, subject to that, if you are happy with your cover, your insurer, service and the price has not gone up by much, you should stay where you are. There is still some benefit to insuring with the same company for many years. A good claims manager will be sympathetic to you if you have been a good customer over the years and might settle a claim that would otherwise be rejected.Where you are not happy for any reason, shop around and see if you can do better.