I thought it worthwhile updating customers on the flood insurance issues faced in America following Hurricane Harvey. Plus, how flood insurance currently works in the UK.
Tragically, the vast majority of homeowners in the areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey don’t have flood insurance, leaving many who escaped the storm with little financial help to rebuild their homes and lives.
In America, standard home insurance covers wind damage but not flooding. Homeowners must purchase separate flood insurance policies from a government-run Insurance Program to get flood cover. In Texas, the average cost for this plan is $500 a year, but it can rise to more than $2,000 for homes inside a floodplain. It’s not cheap.
Therefore, only around 20 percent of homeowners in the areas most directly affected by Harvey have flood insurance in place. Anyone else who loses their home will be dependent on private charity, government aid, family assistance or other independent financial assistance. Which of course means they now face the situation of being unable to rebuild their homes and replace possessions. This will affect 80% of residents.
Not a situation I find imaginable being honest. My heart goes out to the thousands of poor people affected by this terrible disaster. They are now relying on the goodwill of others and government help, which of course will take years to filter through.
What do we do in the UK?
Standard UK Home Insurance policies include flood cover. It must be made clear if flood cover is excluded, or if flood carries a significantly higher excess than normal. The normal flood excess matches the standard policy excess – usually £100. For homes previously affected by flood, or in high risk area, this can rise anywhere up to £10,000.
However, some homes were simply not insurable for flood due to previous damage or the area they are located in.
The Good News:
In April 2016 a new UK scheme was launched that means clients can insure properties at the highest risk of flood damage at a realistic price.
The scheme works by insurance companies paying into a central pot each year. Then in addition they can place the flood element of high risk properties into the fund for a fixed price based on the council tax band of the property.
The fund then allows the insurer to claim against it should a flood claim be submitted. The insurer still deals with the policyholder as if they had insured flood themselves. This means that houses in high risk areas can now get flood cover at a reasonable price, with a sensible level of excess.
Some exclusions apply of course:
Please note our new address:
Kingsbury House, Kingsbury Square, Melksham SN12 6HL.
We're in a lovely serviced office at the top of the High Street, just passed the Town Hall.
We have room for visitors, plus the use of a conference room facility should the need arise.It's great to be on the High Street - we already insure a number of local, Melksham Businesses and Shops on the High Street so hope to expand our local presence even more. We're proud to service the local business community and know a number of people in the area, from plumbers, printers, electricians, garages and many more. So even if we can't help you with Insurance arrangements just yet, please do give us a call as we've plenty of quality
local businesses we'd be happy to recommend.
Many thanks - 01225 701712.
True story about how we helped one of the pubs we insure save some money on their landlord's insurance.
The insurance is arranged by an agent acting on behalf of the owner of the building. The pub business owner has to pay the annual insurance premium to this 'middle-man' - the payment is known as a surcharge. The annual 'surcharge' came through at £2,300, remember this is to cover purely the buildings insurance aspect.
Hence a huge amount of money!
The client approached us to help and of course we were only to happy to oblige knowing full well we were highly unlikely to actually win the business.
The reason for this is we knew the agent acting on behalf of the property owner would simply match our quote, but as this is an existing client we of course were more than happy to assist.
We managed to secure a quote from the market of £1,100 - which yes, the agent then matched so we saved our client £1,200!
Nothing in it for us, save to help an existing client out which as we've said is exactly what we are here for. Plus, the pub gave us a free meal and bottle of wine in return - which of course went down very well!!!
How do Prosure Insurance Services help local businesses?
Let's look at a recent case study:
A Client now employs somebody in their workshop - currently no Employers Liability in place, no risk assessment and no health and safety policy.
All are now required by law - we have helped with all of these.
Client is heavily underinsured on their business interruption. We helped explain how insurance works out gross profit, then calculated
a new figure which we have used in the new presentation. Incidentally, a number of other contents sums insured were too low, so a walk around the workshop was enough with our experience to assist the client in reviewing these.
This client also has a number of flammable liquids stored on the premises. The existing policy had an endorsement that effectively marked the policy as void should a fire have occurred. The client was completely unaware of this. So we managed to address all of the above serious issues and managed to save the client £400 on the revised renewal quote with the
Talking to a local broker, such as Prosure, and having us visit your premises will not only save you money, but we can make sure your insurance cover is adequate for your needs, plus of course you understand all of the endorsements, terms and conditions so should the worse happen you can be comfortable any future claim would be paid out.
We are pleased to announce the launch or our new scheme Musician's Home Insurance. Please visit the new website at
www.musicianshomeinsurance.co.uk for more details. The scheme has been designed by musicians for musician's and covers
their main Home Insurance requirements but also includes cover for all of the musical equipment at home and when away gigging.
The scheme is unique to ourselves and the only one of its kind in the UK.
Currently, musicians need to take out separate Home Insurance policies and musical instrument policies - no need to any longer
with our new scheme as we cover all of their requirements under the 1 policy.
We also note that musicians can earn money from gigging, which is classed as business use under standard home insurance
policies and can therefore invalidate any insurance policy, resulting in any claim potentially not being paid and ultimately the policy
So why take the risk? Talk to ourselves for a free, no obligation quotation and a chat about your requirements.
We're gigging musicians ourselves with over 30 years experience, so know about equipment, gigs, security and all of the covers
that would be required.
Please visit www.musicianshomeinsurance.co.uk for more info.
We've had a few cases recently where Landlord's have been insuring their buildings on Flats in England on separate policies.
The ABI code of conduct for England confirms that Buildings for blocks (e.g. flats, houses converted to flats) need to be insured on 1, single policy.
This is to save multiple Insurer's becoming involved in any claim, for instance a water leak from a top floor flat affecting those flats beneath it.
In this case, a number of Insurers would become involved, each trying to determine the route cause of the water leak and then claiming off each other for the subsequent damage. Very messy and complicated.
Hence the best course of action is to ensure you have a single policy for the entire block or house.
The extra advantage of this is the money saved as 1 single policy will cost much less than a number of separate ones.
Plus of course you will split the premium between the owners of each flat.
For more info please call us on 01225 657850.
We've received a few calls from client's whose children are about to fly the nest and head off to University or College.
The obvious question is 'are the contents they take with them covered', for instance laptops, bedding, clothing and other
Now, you can take out specialist policies to cover this exact eventuality, but it's important to be aware of the Contents Temporarily
Removed section which is included as standard on the majority of UK Home policies.
This section gives cover to contents items removed from the main home for a long period of time, stored at another address
within the UK. Quite often the policy wording even states 'for Students away at University'.
Important to be aware of - check your policywording or of course give us a call and we'll be more than happy to help.
Prosure have access to a number of Private Medical Insurance Companies. We are able to advise our clients on what the cover offers, types of policy available and more importantly what some of the terms mean (moratorium for example)! We are able to offer Private Medical Insurance for Companies, Families, Couples and individuals and we will help our clients work out the most competitive solution for them.
Yes, you can go direct to certain Insurer's, but having an experienced Broker explain and understand the policy, plus of course hold your hand throughout the term of the policy, really is invaluable. Particularly with Insurances you have no understanding of.
Please give us a call for some free advice.
Been talking to 2 client's over the last couple of weeks. Both have different issues, but actually talking to somebody with experience has actually helped them resolve their issues. First client has some properties let to students. Whilst his policy wording didn't specifically mention the type of tenant, hidden half way down the schedule were the words 'no bed-sits', which of course is exactly what the Student accommodation was (shared kitchen/bathroom facilities, i.e. non self-contained). The previous insurance wasn't arranged by us, so this is clearly now something that must be corrected on the new quote to ensure the client is fully covered. Another client has 2 properties, one fully let and the other has just become unoccupied pending sale, but of course if the right tenant comes along it may be let again. We've therefore discussed a short-term unoccupied buildings policy which is available in either 3, 6 or 12 month timescales. The 3 month option works perfectly and we can then discuss options from then.
One of my clients had a water leak in their property last week, so phoned us on Saturday afternoon when water was pouring through the ceiling!
We grabbed the policy number and Insurer claim helplines (I texted them over to save time) and the client made a call to the claims line straight away.
As they had young children and were afraid of causing more damage, the Insurer kindly agreed to send a loss adjuster out immediately, so that Monday afternoon we had pretty much settled things and the client knew exactly what was happening and when.
So I'm writing this note to emphasise we aren't just there to help when you want to discuss price, but we also help when the worst thing happens, we help talk you through what is covered, find the relevant information you will need, plus of course hold your hand throughout the entire process.