HOME INSURANCE

Introduction

Making sure you have the right cover for your Household Insurance is just as important as getting a good price so let Chalkwell Insurance Services take the hassle out of shopping around for the best deal.  As an intermediary we have access to a wide range of Home Insurance products and can tailor a policy to suit your individual requirements.

What is Home Insurance?

Home Insurance or Household Insurance usually consists of cover for Buildings and Contents.  A combined policy to cover your Building and Contents sometimes results in a discounted premium but there are occasions when two separate policies is more advantageous. You may find your property is in a higher rated area for the Building due to the risk of flood or subsidence. In these circumstances we may advise you to have a separate policy for the Contents to ensure you are not paying a higher premium than you need to. Talk to our friendly staff who will assess your requirements and find the right policy or policies to ensure you have the right cover for your  Building and/or Contents insurance.

How much do I insure my home and belongings for?

The ‘sum insured’ is the maximum amount you will be paid by the insurance company if all your belongings are totally destroyed in a major incident like a fire or flood. You need to make sure the ‘sum insured’ is sufficient to replace all of your possessions (contents) or to rebuild your home (Buildings). The responsibility is yours to ensure the sum insured is adequate. A Home Contents policy will cover almost everything within the home that can be moved or taken with you should you move.

A simple method of calculating the correct Household Contents sum insured is to make a list of all the contents in each room within your property with approximate replacement costs. The list should include:-

  • Floor coverings, carpets and curtains
  • Furniture and Soft furnishings
  • Electronics and Appliances
  • Crockery/Cutlery
  • Valuables
  • Sport/leisure equipment
  • Garden and DIY
  • Clothing/Linen (a deduction usually applies for wear & tear of these items)
  • Toys and games

Do not forget to include the Contents of the Garage, Shed and Loft.

Many insurers will cover your Contents up to a limit of say £50,000 or £75,000 which removes some of the reliance on you to calculate your sum insured but it is still your responsibility to ensure the sum insured is adequate.  It is advisable to check your sum insured at least once a year at renewal of your policy to take into account any expensive purchases during the year. However, the sum insured can be increased at any time during the policy year.

As with Contents Insurance it is extremely important that the Building sum insured is right. The sum insured for the building is the total cost of rebuilding your home in the event of a major incident such as a Fire or Flood NOT the market value or purchase price of the property. By taking some simple measurements around your property and answering a handful of questions you can calculate the rebuilding costs using an online calculator at www.abi.bcis.co.uk  The calculator is useful for standard properties but will not be accurate if your home has special features or is a listed building.

A Home Buildings policy usually covers the structure of the property including double glazing, domestic outbuildings, , fitted kitchens and bathrooms, drives, footpaths, boundary/garden walls, swimming pools/hot tubs, laminate or wooden flooring , garages that form part of your residence and Underground pipes and cables you are responsible for.

Every effort should be made to prevent being ‘under insured’ as this will be costly in the event of a claim.

What risks does Household Insurance protect you against?

Theft or attempted Theft, Fire, explosion, lightning, earthquake, Escape of water or oil from tanks or pipes, Storm and flood, Subsidence, Heave or Landslip, Falling trees or branches, Breakage or collapse of television aerials and satellite equipment

Contents policies may also include:-

  • Accidental damage to TV’s, DVD players, home computers and other audio equipment plus fixed glass in furniture, mirrors and ceramic hobs
  •  Replacement locks – if keys are accidentally lost or stolen
  • Accidental loss of metered water
  • Alternative accommodation –  if property is damaged by an insured cause
  • Household removals – loss of damage to contents while being moved by professional removers

Full Accidental Damage is available as an optional extra to provide extra cover for all your Household goods – cover can also be extended to cover your personal belongings outside the home.

Buildings policies may also include:-

  • Accidental damage to fixed glass and sanitary fittings including fixed baths, shower trays, shower screens, bidets, wash basins and pedestals
  • Tracing and accessing leaks –  covers necessary damage caused to parts of the building to find and repair the source of a leak and making good

All policies have exclusions and these will be stated in the policy or the policy summary . There is usually an excess to pay in the event of a claim and different excesses may apply to different types of claim.

MID-HIGH NET WORTH HOME INSURANCE

Household Insurance designed for clients who own homes of significant value, those who have acquired the finer things in life and are looking for the right protection. These tend to be flexible policies which can be tailored to your individual needs. In addition to Building and Contents cover there are a number of additional benefits which may include Worldwide All Risks cover for contents and valuables, agreed value cover for art, antiques, jewellery and watches and other enhanced benefits. The sum insured for Contents is usually higher than the average household with a minimum of £75,000.

WORKING FROM HOME

If you work from home it is important to ensure your Household Insurance provides you with the cover you need. Many of our policies can be extended to include cover for Homeworkers for their Business Equipment, Public & Employers Liability, Stock/Trade samples, Legal Expenses, Legal and Tax advice.

This cover is not provided by the majority of Household Insurers so it is essential to check you have the right cover in place. We can tailor a policy to meet your requirements or arrange a Homeworkers policy specifically designed for people who work from home.

HOLIDAY HOMES

Tailor made policies can be arranged for owners of Holiday Homes, Weekend Homes or Second Homes in the UK and parts of Europe. Our policies provide the peace of mind needed to ensure your home is protected when left unoccupied or used as a holiday let.

We can arrange cover for a range of standard and non standard construction holiday homes including those let out for hire.

Some features of our Holiday Home products are:-

  • Cover for holiday lets
  • Building and Contents cover
  • Accidental damage caused by tenants
  • Property owners liability
  • Personal legal liability

Due to the regular unoccupancy of Second Homes and Holiday/Weekend Homes standard Household Insurance is not suitable as it does not provide the specialist cover required.

NON STANDARD HOME INSURANCE

Home Insurance can be classed as non standard for a number of reasons including:-

  • Non standard constructions
  • Adverse claims history
  • Previous criminal convictions
  • Bankruptcy
  • Previous insurance declined, refused or cancelled
  • Subsidence history or previously underpinned properties
  • Non standard occupations
  • Working from home
  • Irregular occupancy or Unoccupied

Homes may become unoccupied for a number of reasons such as a bereavement and it is not uncommon for the existing insurer to continue insuring the property for a limited period only. We can arrange short term and annual policies whilst the property is undergoing probate, is up for sale or is to be let to tenants. We deal with each enquiry individually and will recommend the policy that best meets your requirements.

Chalkwell Insurance Services specialise in non standard home insurance and are more likely to say ‘yes we can help you’ when others say ‘no’.

HOMES UNDERGOING RENOVATION

Homeowners who are renovating , refurbishing or extending their homes beyond what is acceptable on their standard Household policy will need a specially designed product and we can help. We can provide a policy that covers the existing structure, the contract works and your liability exposure for the period of the works.  If required the policy can be in joint names with the Contractor and will meet the requirements of standard JCT contracts.

LET PROPERTIES – BUY TO LET – LANDLORD BUILDING & CONTENTS INSURANCE

We provide quotes to Private Landlords for properties let to all types of tenant including Professionals/working people, Students, DSS/Housing Benefit families or individuals and Asylum Seekers.

We can arrange insurance for multi tenanted properties, a combination of residential and commercial including Blocks of Flats, Bed sits,Guesthouses and property portfolios.

Our policies include Loss of Rent cover, Property Owners Liability and Subsidence cover as standard.

We can also arrange insurance for properties in Northern Ireland.

All our products are specially designed for Landlords and combine competitive premiums with quality cover.

Landlords legal expenses cover and Rent Guarantee also available.