Thursday, 17 December 2009

Scottish airline Flyglobespan goes bust

At the time air travellers are off on holidays for Christmas, BA is going on strike and then Flyglobespan goes out of business, leaving 4,000 passengers stranded.

An announcement on their website reads "Bruce Cartwright, Graham Frost and Ian Oakley-Smith at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have been appointed as joint administrators to Scottish travel firm, The Globespan Group plc and Alba Ground Handling Ltd (‘the Group’) on 16 December 2009. It is likely that other Group companies including the airline which operated as Flyglobespan will be placed into administration on 17 December 2009."

Last year the airline, which employs 600 staff, carried more than 1.5m passengers and operated 12,000 flights.

Ryanair has said it will launch a Flyglobespan "rescue fare" to and from Edinburgh and Prestwick airports for any passengers affected. The Ryanair offer applies to flights into and out of Prestwick to Alicante, Faro, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Malaga, Palma and Tenerife, and into and out of Edinburgh to Alicante, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Malaga and Tenerife.


Direct Line Insurance issued a Press Release this morning entitled "Direct Line Travel Insurance introduces cover for the financial failure of airlines" and Protect my holiday.com issued one entitled "Globespan collapse highlights the need for travellers to check their Travel Insurance Protection"

Follow the links above to read these on the jml-insurance site


One of the companies that promotes Globespan Holidays say it is part of Globespan Group Plc which was set up in 1974. Globespan has over 30 years of experience with scheduled flights, chartered flights, coach and train travel, hotels and package holidays. Globespan has put particular emphasis on holidays departing from Scotland. Globespan has specialised in holidays to Canada, the United States and South Africa as well as familiar Mediterranean package holiday destinations in Spain, Portugal, France and Cyprus among others.

If you are are worried about your airline, car ferry operator so you have peace of mind for your holiday take a look at the Protect my holiday.com website Here

Monday, 14 December 2009

Vicky Lyle appinted Letting Manager for JNP's Letting Team in High Wycombe





Vicky Lyle has been appointed as Letting Manager for The JNP Partnership's High Wycombe based lettings office.She has joined the JNP Lettings team which has grown from two staff when it was established by Philip Suter at its inception in 2001 to eight staff.

She has worked in the lettings business in High Wycombe for the past six years and her new employers are confident that her experience will be of great benefit to the expanding team.

Vicky Lyle said "Joining JNP is a very exciting move for me and I feel that we can grow from strength to strength with the dedicated team that we have."

Lettings Director Stephen Grace said "JNP has grown by 75 per cent in the last twelve months and it is down to the sheer dedication and professionalism of my team. Vicky will not only add value to our experience, but brings with her a wealth of knowledge.

To many landlords, Vicky Lyle's professional approach is both inviting and refreshing and reassuringly done to a high standard".

More info Here on The JNP Partnership

Thursday, 10 December 2009

HomeLet Landlords+ now live at jml


HomeLet have recently released their brand new Landlord's Insurance+ product and deatails (as provided by HomeLet insurance) are available on the jml property insurance website


HomeLet have provided some very detailed information about this great product and here it is:

Landlord's insurance+ Fact sheet

# Landlord's Insurance+ provides a full range of cover which includes:


Buildings insurance
Contents insurance for furnished or unfurnished properties
Emergency Assistance
Prestige Rent Guarantee
Legal Expenses

# HomeLet's new Building insurance automatically provides cover for up to £500,000

# If something really serious happens such as a fire or flood and the tenant has to move out, the policy covers landlords for the loss of rent or re-letting costs for up to two years (or a maximum of £50,000)

# Emergency Assistance cover is included for free with Buildings and / or Contents for furnished properties insurance and comes with the option to add on boiler and heating cover.

# The Buildings policy has variable excesses including a 'nil excess' option

# If it's a leasehold property, HomeLet Contents for furnished properties insurance will automatically cover kitchen fixtures and fittings and bathroom sanitaryware

# The Contents insurance now covers the landlords' contents in the garden such as garden furniture or ornaments

# HomeLet will provide new for old replacement of landlords' contents

# Landlord's Insurance+ also provides £5 million property owner's liability and £10 million employer's liability because if a tenant or an employee injures themselves and the landlord is found to be negligable there could be a hefty bill to pay!

# Premiums for most Building insurance policies are based on the properties rebuild value. A common mistake is to cover the market value of the house which is often much higher, leaving the owner over-insured and paying more than they need to. HomeLet's automatic Buildings cover up to £500,000 takes away this probleml

# HomeLet's Landlord's Building insurance is bedroom-rated which generates a more accurate premium for the property

# Because the product is bedroom rated landlords only need to fill in their personal details and answer four questions to receive a competively priced Buildings insurance premium indication

# HomeLet's Landlord's Building and Contents insurance policies include 90 day no restriction cover for when the property is empty between tenancies, meaning landlords are insured during void periods with no onerous inspection requirements.

Find out more by clicking Here

NAEA response to the UK Pre-Budget Report


Following the UK's Pre-Budget report on Wednesday 9th December 09 Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said:“The Chancellor missed an open goal with his statement.

“By ignoring the advice of much of the property industry there is a real danger that the property slump that has hit thousands of families hard over the past 12 months will hit thousands more, harder, in the year ahead.

“Stamp duty unfairly distorts the property market. It is prohibitive to people looking for a step up the housing market and unfairly penalises people investing in buy-to-let portfolios.

“As a first step the Chancellor should keep the stamp duty threshold as it is when the current holiday ends in December. More importantly, the Government should commit to a complete reform of the tax to produce something that is fairer for everyone.”


Monday, 7 December 2009

Rentguard insurance launch M & S Voucher scheme



We have just received a Press Release about Rentguard the insurance provider that has a range of products & services covers all aspects of residential & commercial lettings, with associated products such as tenant referencing and rent guarantee insurance.Rentguard provides comprehensive insurance cover at extremely competitive rates, and we invite you to contact us to discuss your individual needs.

The newsstory is entitled "M & S Scheme for New introducers returns to Rentguard"
Rentguard Insurance, recently launched M&S Vouchers Scheme to all new introducers for any new buildings and contents policies taken out, now decided to mark a return of the scheme to attract more businesses.

Rentguard Insurance, recently launched M&S Vouchers Scheme to all new introducers for any new buildings and contents policies taken out, now decided to mark a return of the scheme to attract more businesses.

4th November, 2009 Marks and Spencer voucher scheme was launched in July 2009 by Rentguard Insurance that motivated all new introducers through offering M&S vouchers on every new buildings and / or contents insurance policy made. The scheme ended by the end of September 2009 and Rentguard Insurance was pleased to announce that the result of the Scheme was highly desirable.

Following the success of the previous scheme, Rentguard Insurance decided to bring back the M&S voucher scheme featuring to be launched on 15th November 2009 which also targets at all new introducers (i.e. estates and letting agents). Likewise, the Scheme offers £5 M&S Voucher for every new Contents-only insurance policy; in addition, £10 and £15 Vouchers are offered to new Buildings insurance policy and Buildings & Contents insurance policy respectively.

Interested parties ought to sign up quickly and take actions upon the offer, as the M&S voucher scheme is only running until the end of February 2010, and the vouchers would also make a great gift for all the employees!

If you are looking for Rentguard Insurance products, jml-property-insurance.co.uk have an advertisement page HERE

Friday, 4 December 2009

HomeLet Insurance offers service guarantee to Letsense Agents



HomeLet one of the UK’s largest landlord and Tenant insurance providers has issued a press release on Friday 4th December. In November it was announced that Letsense who entered the Landlord and Tenant insurance and referencing business a year ago was to close in early December and that it’s 12 staff had been put on notice.

HomeLet then announced that they would be offering assistance to agents linked to rival firm. Today they have issued this press release saying:-

LetSense customers have only a few days left to choose another referencing and insurance provider before the company ceases trading on Monday 7th December.

Making the wrong choice of provider could cause significant disruption to agents who rely on LetSense as their referencing provider to secure tenants for their landlords’ properties. A delayed reference can mean the loss of a tenant which in turn could lead to a landlord choosing a different letting agent.

Managing Director of HomeLet John Boyle is urging agents not to panic and is offering a personal guarantee to any LetSense agent concerned about the effect on their business.

“As the market-leading referencing and specialist insurance provider to the letting industry HomeLet has the capability to sign up new agents and enable them to start transacting references on the same day. We have the capacity to provide new customers with the same great service that our existing customers receive.

“We’ve been extremely busy in the last six months, but we’re still able to support more than 3000 letting agents across the UK, agents who all trust HomeLet to deliver for their businesses.”

Not only does HomeLet cross-reference every tenant with its own blacklist containing all previous HomeLet arrears claims – something credit agencies cannot provide – but it also completes 82% of all references in 24 hours or less: quite a feat considering HomeLet references in excess of 1,500 prospective tenants every day.

HomeLet, which has 17 years’ experience in the lettings insurance industry, has already signed up a number of LetSense agents keen to take advantage of HomeLet’s unrivalled knowledge and expertise.

“We have set up a hotline for concerned LetSense agents and we have a team of people ready to process their applications.” John continued.

“As a HomeLet customer, agents can offer their clients access to the most comprehensive and robust products and services available to protect them from the risks associated with renting.”


. HomeLet is the UK’s largest tenant referencing, Rent Guarantee and specialist insurance provider for the lettings industry and has around 3,000 approved letting agents nationwide.
. HomeLet pays out an average £3m in Rent Guarantee claims every year.
. HomeLet is proud to announce it is a main sponsor of the Estate Agent and Letting Agent of the Year Awards 2010.

HomeLet is a trading name of Barbon Insurance Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England number 3135797. Registered office address: 4-9 Highview, High Street, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 0AX.

We at jml-property-insurance are HomeLet Premier agents and have been for the past seven years. If you are looking for Landlords or Tenants insurance follow this link HERE

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

HOMELET TO LAUNCH INNOVATIVE NEW INSURANCE POLICY


1st December 2009 A press release from HomeLet has just been issued a couple of hours ago - Great News for Landlords

Lettings insurance specialist HomeLet has developed a brand new insurance product which will strengthen the company’s position as the UK’s principal provider of referencing, Rent Guarantee and insurance solutions to the lettings industry.

Landlord’s Insurance+, which includes buildings and contents insurance, will be launched this month (December) and offers an unparalleled level of cover including Emergency Assistance and up to £500,000 of buildings cover as standard.

In addition the new policy covers loss of rent or re-letting costs following a claim, so if something serious happens and the tenant needs to move out, lost rent is covered for up to two years (or £50,000) so the landlord can still pay his mortgage or meet other financial commitments.

The introduction of this latest product follows the launch of HomeLet’s hugely successful Tenant’s Contents Insurance + policy. Since the introduction of this new policy sales of tenant’s contents insurance have more than doubled in 2009 – an increase of 121%.

Managing Director John Boyle is anticipating Landlord’s Insurance+ will have the same effect.

“Landlords, particularly in today’s economy when unemployment and crime are both on the increase, are exposed to more risks than ever before. There’s a real need for a specialist insurance policy that covers landlords against the potential risk that they face. HomeLet’s Landlord’s Insurance+ is our most comprehensive and competitively priced landlord’s product to date.”

He continued: “It’s unlike anything else currently available on the market. One of the many benefits for example is automatic cover for kitchen fixtures and fittings and bathroom sanitaryware in leasehold properties within the contents section of cover.”

Unfortunately many landlords currently don’t have adequate protection or don’t have specialist landlord’s insurance at all and are under the impression that a standard insurance policy will provide them with the cover they need.

In reality the risks associated with let properties are significantly different to owner-occupied properties. For instance, if a tenant or an employee injured themselves in a landlord’s property and the landlord was found to be negligent, he could be facing a very hefty fine which his standard buildings insurance policy may not cover.

However, HomeLet’s Landlord’s Building Insurance protects landlords, tenants and employees such as cleaners or gardeners with £5 million property owner’s liability and £10 million employer’s liability.

John added: “When it comes to taking risk out of property rental, HomeLet is the specialist. We’ve been in the industry since the birth of buy-to-let, which means we have more experience than anyone else. We’ve used our specialist knowledge of the residential lettings industry to develop some of the most comprehensive and cost-effective products on the market today which is why we’re number one.”
Ends

Notes
 HomeLet’s new product is available through its network of approved letting agents
 HomeLet is the UK’s largest tenant referencing, Rent Guarantee and specialist insurance provider for the lettings industry and has around 4,000 approved letting agents nationwide.
 HomeLet pays out an average £3m in Rent Guarantee claims every year.
 HomeLet is proud to announce it is a main sponsor of the Estate Agent and Letting Agent of the Year Awards 2010.


HomeLet is a trading name of Barbon Insurance Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England number 3135797. Registered office address: 4-9 Highview, High Street, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 0AX.

Don't forget jml Property Insurance are HomeLet agents

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Insuring homes at risk from flooding



Following on from the recent severe flooding in the Lake District, there was an interesting article in Monday 23rd November 09's edition of The Independent.

Entitled "In need of cover insuring homes at risk" by Lewis Smith, it said that more than half a million homes have been built in areas regarded as being at serious risk of flooding and up to a million more could be constructed by 2020.

On the jml insurance website we have been publishing reports for the last couple of years including contributions from the ABI, The Association of British Insurers.

The article said Finding out if your property is one of them is a comparatively simple matter, but getting them insured can be problematic.

Flood risk maps have been produced by the Environment Agency and householders can check their risk level on their website.

Insurance companies have access to the Environment Agency's mapping, but have also carried out their own studies to assess risks.

You will normally find in an insurance proposal form a question as to whether the property is located in an area that is a risk of flooding. Properties built in areas where there is a high risk of flooding may be impossible to insure, at least at an affordable rate.

The Government has agreed a deal with the insurance companies whereby they have pledged that most high risk properties with existing policies will continue to be covered. However the premiums and excess rate could still rise considerably and the insurance companies are under no obligation tp offer policies to new customers. This of course can make some properties unsellable. Another problem area will be getting payouts because it can sometimes take years for the payment to be made.

Properties that are considered to be uninsurable can be modified to make policies more affordable or bring down the excess. The following are some examples.

  • Raising the height of the electrics
  • Replacing chipwood doors with melamine
  • Installing concrete floors instead of wooden flooring
  • Using flood resistant plaster

If you are looking for Flood damaged property Insurance Click Here

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Carbon Monoxide is The silent killer

Just had this message in from the NLA - National Landlords Association. They say that

"Carbon monoxide is often referred to as 'the silent killer', can you spot the signs? "

Carbon-based fuels are safe to use, but faulty appliances and blocked flues can cause the build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless making it difficult to detect. Signs include*:

Stains, soot or discolouring around a gas fire or at the top of a water heater
A yellow or orange flame on a gas fire or water heater
Pilot light frequently blows out
Increased condensation inside windows

Don't put your tenants at risk

If you are a member of the NLA The NLA now offers carbon monoxide detectors to members for less than £20. Register free with the NLA Online Store and have access to our range of safety products, courses and publications. Discounts are available for NLA members.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is no substitution for ensuring that your gas, oil, and solid fuel appliances are safe and in proper working order. For details of landlords' legal responsibilities please visit the NLA Landlord Library.

For more about carbon monoxide awareness and the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on carbon monoxide alarms, visit the HSE website.

*Source: Health and Safety Executive: Gas safety - Carbon monoxide awareness

If you are a landlord, Why not join the NLA ? We joined way back in the early 1980's when it was known as The Small Landlords Association and have found it be very useful over the years

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

2 New articles today from Animal Friends Insurance


Dani from Animal Friends Insurance sent us a couple of articles this afternoon.
The first is called

"Top 5 Pocket Pooches" - Toy dogs are generally easier to care for, but they are usually not fond of children and large families. They also tend to be a bit "yappy", however they are loyal and intelligent and great entertainers. Here are just five favourite pocket pooches:Yorkshire Terrier
- Shih Tzu -Chihuahua - Maltese - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We have posted this in full on the jml insurance site here.

The second one is called "Who Will Take Care of my Pet While I'm on Holiday?" Kennels,cattery, professional pet sitter, friend or even take it with you.

The article gives some very imprtant advice and it is located here

If you have any comments why not make them on our blog?

Friday, 13 November 2009

Endsleigh now helps LetSense customers


Following on from our report on this blog on Tuesday, 10 November 2009 entiltled "Letsense Reference Insurance to Close" , the news service for property matters "Homemove" today has reported that

EndsleighLet extends helping hand to LetSense customers. They say that EndsleighLet is the latest insurer and credit referencing agency to extend a helping hand to LetSense customers.

LetSense is due to cease trading on 7th December and Endsleigh’s Carlos Thompson is offering its existing customers a seamless transition to his firm’s referencing system.

The system is powered by Experian and provided online, enabling 88% of references to be completed within 48 hours.

In addition, the general manager promises to match LetSense’s current customers’ prices and will waive all costs involved in the transfer of services.

Mr Thompson assures: “We want to make this transition as easy as possible by fast tracking all customers and guaranteeing access to our streamlined insurance and referencing services within 48 hours.”

Earlier this week, HomeLet offered similar assistance to LetSense clients. John Boyle, HomeLet’s managing director, said he has been contacted by a number concerned lettings agents and that his company is determined to fill the gap left by LetSense.

How many more insurance providers will not join HomeLet and Endsleigh?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Letsense Reference Insurance to Close





Letsense which was launched by chief executive Peter Knowles and Brian Turney, former managing director of Letsure in October 2008, has put its 12 staff on notice.

HomeLet's Managing Director John Boyle has offered a lifeline for LetSense agents who have were advised on the 9th November 09 that their referencing provider is to close on the 7th December 2009.

In a statement issued by LetSense to its customers the firm stated: “We have reluctantly had to take the decision to cease trading with effect from Monday 7th December as we have been unable to secure continued backing for our operations.”

A number of LetSense customers concerned about the closure have already been in contact with HomeLet. John Boyle of HomeLet said" “At HomeLet we support a network of around 4,000 letting agents and regularly reference in excess of 1,500 prospective tenants every day,”

“We’re confident that we can easily cope with any additional references generated by letting agents who currently use LetSense, whilst continuing to provide a seamless service for every agent.”

“Our New Agent Team has set up a hotline for concerned Letsense agents, and we have a team of people ready to process any applications from agents. We will guarantee to set any affected letting agent up as a HomeLet customer, so they can transact their references and guarantee their landlords’ rent through us, before the closure date of 7th December,”

“A delayed reference can mean the loss of a tenant which in turn could lead to a landlord choosing a different letting agent. At a time when competition is still very fierce on the high street, clearly this is not a good time for letting agents to let their customer standards service drop.”

HomeLet currently supports a network of around 4,000 letting agents and regularly reference in excess of 1,500 prospective tenants every day.

The company recently announced that 91% of references are completed within 72 hours and 78% within six working hours.


The firm has guaranteed that it will set up new customer accounts and allow LetSense agents to transact their references and protect their landlords’ rents, before the closure date of 7th December.




Monday, 9 November 2009

Flood victims suffer as insurance costs rise


Flood victims continue to face spiralling costs for home insurance as excesses for flood cover rise to levels that are making their properties virtually impossible to sell.

Many have invested thousands to protect their homes from flooding, but these efforts are rarely rewarded by insurers.
"People are coming to us with huge premiums and flood excesses of up to £30,000, which is as good as having no insurance at all and makes their property virtually worthless," says Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the National Flood Forum, a charity that advises flood victims.
"The problem has got steadily worse over the past year and we are now being overwhelmed by calls from homeowners who have spent a huge amount protecting their property, but are still being charged ridiculous premiums or refused cover altogether."

Chris Wreghitt's Axa home insurance premium leapt to more than three times what it had been when his Worcestershire property was flooded in 2007.

"Prior to the flood, I was paying just under £1,000 a year, and when I came to renew in 2008 they put the premium up to £1,638," he says. "But this year they wanted to increase it to £3,747."

There was a big excess too, though Wreghitt negotiated it down. "The first time I renewed, they wanted to impose a flood excess of £20,000, but I complained and they cut that to £10,000."
However, according to Ray Boulger, senior technical manager with mortgage broker John Charcol, even a flood excess of £10,000 can present serious problems if you want to sell.

"Any lender would be nervous if the flood excess was above £5,000, and it could be very difficult for a potential buyer to get a mortgage," he says. "This could make the property difficult to sell or it would have to be sold at a significantly lower price."

A spokeswoman for Axa said the company now imposed a maximum flood excess of £10,000, adding: "Mr Wreghitt initially took out his home insurance policy at a considerably discounted introductory price. Following the floods of 2007, the premium was up-weighted to reflect the risk of future flooding, as well as the very substantial six-figure claim that had been settled.
"In 2009, the premium was re-assessed to bring it in line with our normal pricing criteria and the value of his home and contents."

By 2008 559,000 homes in England and Wales were at serious risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency, up from 517,000 in 2006. This increase looks set to continue as the agency's techniques for predicting which areas will flood improve.

"Our mapping processes for identifying flood risk are getting better and more properties are being designated as at risk of flooding," said a spokesman for the Environment Agency.
Since the floods in 2007, the Environment Agency has invested heavily in flood defences and has set up an early warning service which uses text messages to give those at risk advance notice of an impending flood. But the agency is disappointed that these steps, and those taken by customers, are rarely reflected in lower insurance charges.

"Only a handful of insurers are rewarding people who make their properties safer or sign up to our flood warning service with lower premiums and lower excesses," the spokesman for the Environment Agency said. "We would urge insurers to take account of floodproofing work and people signing up to our warning service."
Pensioner Sue Jenkins Clarke thought she would have no problem selling her Cheltenham home after she borrowed £25,0000 to have the garden flat "tanked" to protect it from flooding (the foundations are made waterproof so that moisture cannot rise from the water table), after water had seeped through the floor during the floods of 2007. But in September, a few days before contracts were due to be exchanged, her buyers pulled out.

"They said it was because they couldn't get contents insurance from anyone because of the flooding," she says. "I couldn't understand it because I still had contents cover and the money I had spent meant the water seepage problem couldn't happen again."

When Jenkins Clarke checked with her insurer, they told her they were happy to continue providing cover, but would take the same view as other companies when it came to a new owner.
"It seemed illogical that I could get cover but my buyer couldn't," she says. "It felt as if there was no way to get out of here and I began to feel angry."

Fortunately, the National Flood Forum was able to point Jenkins Clarke to a specialist broker who could arrange the necessary cover, but she has yet to find a buyer.

Insurance broker Neil Cook, of Equity & General Insurance Services, which specialises in flood insurance, says it can be worth looking beyond the big-name firms when it comes to flood cover.

"Some big insurers had their fingers burnt in 2007 and have become extremely cautious," he says. "But specialist brokers use smaller underwriters that were not so severely affected and are still willing to look at individual cases and levels of risk rather than imposing a blanket policy."
In 2002 the insurance industry agreed with the government to continue providing cover to existing customers whose homes were designated at significant risk of flooding and, crucially for people selling their homes, in 2008 this commitment was extended to cover new owners of affected properties. So Jenkins Clarke's insurer, for example, should have covered the new buyer. However, there are no limits on the premiums or excesses that can be asked of a potential buyer, as Michael McDonald discovered when he came to sell a cottage which had been affected by flooding last January.

When McDonald's wife inherited the Lancashire property in March, there appeared to be no problems with the insurance. Aviva, the insurer, had only increased the premium from £696 a year to £840 after the flood claim, and the Environment Agency had told McDonald the flood was a one-off occurrence.

But last month, just days before completion, the buyer for the cottage threatened to pull out because Aviva wanted to increase the annual premium to £2,800 and impose a flood excess of £8,500.
"The buyer said these charges were like taking out a second mortgage and he couldn't afford them," says McDonald. "I told him I'd find him cheaper insurance and tried the internet comparison sites, but they all rejected the property because it had been flooded."
Neil Cook came to McDonald's rescue. "They managed to get the new owner a home insurance premium of just £750 a year with an excess of £2,500," he says.

An Aviva spokeswoman said: "The property flooded in January 2008 and we paid out £52,000 in claims costs. The property has had a sizeable flood claim and therefore in our view, is at very high risk of flooding. Only a very small percentage of our customers who have been flooded will receive an increased excess, however it is likely that customers who have made a large flood claim will attract an increased excess."

Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers, says anyone having problems getting flood cover should use a broker to help them get the best deal. But he insists that insurers have good reasons for exercising caution when it comes to flood insurance.

"The average flood claim in some parts of the country can be up to £45,000 and in the summer of 2007 insurers paid out £3bn, the equivalent of four years' claims, in a period of just six weeks," he says.

"In addition, there is scientific evidence that severe weather incidents are becoming more likely and more severe, and insurers have to take this into account."

What to do if you have been flooded

• Use a broker to find the best insurance deal – the National Flood Forum • Do not cancel your insurance policy until you have another

Source: Neil Cooke 9-11-09
Comment Received by email 11th November 09

I had a client ring up yesterday he lives in east London although there was a local brook that burst its banks 10 years ago it is not a high risk area he had about £1200 for years I quoted him £476 !!!!!

If you live in SOUTH WOODFORD E18 or similar areas that can be deamed to be in flood plains or possible flood risks areas, please do not fall into the trap of thinking you are getting a fair insurance deal on your household policy if you deal with ansurance provider who understands the risk rather than just those online sausage factories you may genuinely be able to reduce your premiums by 60%

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Midas Touch Lloyds Banking Group sale of Heal

The 23rd October 09 edition of the estate agents magazine "The Negotiator" has an introduction editorial "The Midas touch" regarding the Lloyds Banking Group's proposed sale of the Halifax Estate Agents (HEAL) to the LSL Group.

The HEAL network had reported losses of over the past three years of some £51.1m and naturally following on from last autumn's problems with the Government injecting money into the group, that would be one area they would want to dispose of fast.

Lloyds Bank and TSB were early players in buying up chains of estate agents in the 1980's. Lloyds created "Black Horse Agencies" and TSB had "TSB Property Services". The Halifax soon followed. Lloyds and TSB before they merged and became Lloyds TSB was to retain the local name they had paid a lot for, like Gascoigne-Pees, Stimpsons.

The Halifax paid a lot of money for well known local names and re-branded them as "Halifax" so that the consumer would associate their local estate agent with the Halifax Building Society. The Leeds Permanent Building Society also like other building societies set up it's own network of estate agents. Like Lloyds, they kept the local trading names they had paid for like Gale & Power, Frank Farr

When Halifax and The Leeds Permanent merged, the original trading names of the old Leeds Group were retained and there is still a Frank Farr branch in the Langley, Berkshire.

Had there been no banking crisis in 2008, it would be interesting to know how much longer the Halifax group would have retained their network for.

According to the interview with Simon Embley of LSL in The Negotiator, the branches taken over will be rebranded to fall into their existing network of names like Your Move, Reeds Rains and Intercounty. At LSL is using well known brand names they have paid for.

Another chapter in the estate agency cycle in the UK. What will happen in the next 10 years?

Friday, 6 November 2009

It is early November and the Irish Times has lost weight



The Irish Times 5th November 09 edition arrived yesterday. What has happened to the property supplement?


Last week there were sevel pages with a lot of colour ads for estate agents, but this week.... There are eight pages only.

It is very thin. Traditionally the paper's property section takes an August break and Christmas break, however it looks like the winddown to Christmas is very early this year.

There is colour on page one and page 8, but all the rest is black and white. Is this like the state of the Irish property market?

As you will see from the photo above there is an ad for a developer on the bottom of the front page and page 2 has the traditional "Take Five" where an Irish property is for sale for so many euro and they show what you can buy for the same amount of money in different countries like France, Spain, Portugal. England, Croatia, South Africa, Turkey etc.

On page 3 there is a full page ad for Ireland's leading estate agents Sherry Fitzferald - in "Black and White" and that is the only estate agents ad in the paper.

The property market in Ireland is not too good as shown on page 4 with the headline " That 40 per cent drop - it's already happened" going on to say that Economists have predicted that house prices have to fall by at least 40 per cent from the peak in 2006 and builders say that is already a reality.

However another headline is more positive " Business is booming for rental agent" reporting on the fact that diblinlettings.com has moved from cyberspace to an office in Pimlico Dublin 8. Hopefully they will succeed there as the lettings market appears good although who offers specialist rental insurance?

We can't find anyone and it seems like none of the UK specialists want to move into that market. At jml insurance we see a lot of enquiries from people in Ireland like one that came in today.
"Hi, i have a 2 bed apt in Dublin rented out. I wish to take out a home insurance policy especially for me as a landlord with the tenants. We paid 340,000 euro for the apt which is probably only worth 200,000 now in the current recession. I would like to get a quote if that is possible for landlord/tenant insurance. thanks" We know of a broker who has been trying to help and details can be found here

Many estate agents are probably still advertising in smaller circulation local and regional papers, hopefully, some must be using the Sunday papers more and the Internet, but either they can't afford to advertise or the Irish Times is too expensive.

Anyway, don't want the Christmas break starting too early as the agents won't after Sherry Fitzgerald reported a pre-tax loss of €15.5m on last year's business.

Can anyone comment on this situation?

We now have Simple Rent Guarantee Insurance on the jml site



For those landlords who are concerned about their tenant's ability to pay rent here is some more good news. jml property Services have just added Simple Rent Guarantee to their two insurance service websites.



With unemployment and rent arrears rising, an increasing number of tenants are
struggling to meet their financial obligations. You can't predict what the future holds for a tenant so to provide Landlords an additional level of protection Simple has developed Simple Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses Protection which starts from as little as £45 (according to the information they have provided us with).

Simple have now joined a list of other providers including Letsure - HomeLet - Rentguard - Endsleigh in offering this type of product on the buy to let market.

People of course say this will never happen to me, or insurance is a waste of money. Well you never know when the perfect tenant looses his/her job and whatsmore you should of course being declaring your rental income on your annual Tax Return. Like a great deal of expenditure on a rental property - agents fees - accountants fees - repairs etc, insurance payments should be included to reduce your tax liability. Check it out with your accountant.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

HomeLet tenant's Contents insurance is selling well



3rd November 2009, only two days to go to fireworks celebrations, however no fireworks in the the latest HomeLet Agent's Newsletter - workingtogether . A good selection of topics including an introduction by the HomeLet Managing Director John Boyle. He is hoping to see the sales activity in the housing market will continue and more reluctant landlords will try selling once again.


Well apparently what is selling well are the new HomeLet Tenant's Contents + Insurance Since the new tenants policy was launched in June this year sales have been excellant. The product is very good value for tenants in today's cash conscious climate.

The new policy is even better value for money than before. It still covers accidental damage to the landlord's contents, buildings, fixtures and fittings up to the value of £2,500 and now there is a higher level of cover for the minimum sum insured which has changed from £2,500 to £5,000.
The new policy also allows for up to three people to share the same policy as long as they are employed and not a full time student so no wonder sales are good.

Last week there was a press release saying that HomeLet has managed to double the number of policies sold in just six months. No fireworks however. If you are having a celebration, however make sure your pet is inside. Many dogs and cats are not very happy with this time of year as firework events seem to go on for several days. Animal Friends Insurance issued a press release about this last week and the details are HERE

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Flat Living Magazine Review


I was posted a copy of Flat Living Magazine last week. This is issue one dated October 2009, with a cover price of £2.50. The publication will appear quarterly and is edited by Belinda Thorpe. There appears to be a lot of information in the 32 page publication provided by ARMA (The Association of Residential Managing Agents), The RICS and FPRA – Federation of Private Residents’ Associations.

According to the front cover there are over 1.8 million private flat owners in the UK and of course numerous more who are leasing. The featured subjects covered included an article on extending leases and then the important issue of insurance.

There are a couple of articles here. The first is by David Dalby FRICS who has written “Make sure everything is covered”. Simply stating make sure that your most valuable asset, your property is fully insured and the insurance level is kept up to date, so if the property has to be re-built there is sufficient insurance cover on it.

The second article is entitled “What if disaster strikes” by Roger Corp of Barrett Corp Harrington who have a full page ad on the next page for their insurance reinstatement cost assessment insurance valuation business. He says that getting the sum insured right is essential for Resident Management Companies (RMC).

A couple of pages on there is a half page feature regarding fire hazards in blocks of flats. Apparently 12 per cent of blocks are under serious fire hazard threat. You can see why people leave their bikes, baby’s prams etc in halls, landings and stairwells. Many flats have no secure storage outside and not enough room inside, so residents leave them in public areas. Unfortunately, they can block exits and be very dangerous particularly if common areas are not well lit.

ARMA – The Association of residential Managing Agents takes up some eight pages of the magazine providing information about what the Association does and why use a member agent for your block. Their members’ manager more than 34,000 blocks of flats in the UK and there are a further two pages listing members.

Finally there is a two page feature on service charges and a page on Eco friendly pads.

I can see why this will only appear four times a year. There are not too many subject to cover here unlike other regular specialist magazines I receive from ARA, the NAEA and the NLA, but hope it continues.
The jml insurance website lists a couple of "Blocks of Flats" insurance providers. Find out more HERE

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Insurance advice from the ABI about The Postal strike

As the postal strike looks like it is going to continue the ABI - Association of British Insurers issued a press statement on the 21st October. It said:

"Insurers have plans in place to ensure that customers remain insured and minimise delays and disruption, during the postal strike which starts tomorrow, 22 October, the ABI (Association of British Insurers) confirmed today. Anyone who is concerned about their insurance should contact their insurer for reassurance.

Steps that insurers will be taking include:

- Using email, telephone and fax wherever possible. This may include emailing renewal terms, and commencing cover for general insurance and life and pension policies online, by email or telephone. In the few instances when a written signature is required, this may be accepted by fax. Wherever possible, insurers will accept faxed copies of documents.

- Encouraging customers to pay by credit or debit card, direct debit or online wherever possible, rather than sending cheques.

- Using couriers or special deliveries where documents, such as motor insurance certificates and any claim payments, that cannot be made by bank transfer are required urgently.

- Using bank transfer payments for paying claims, and any other payments, rather than posting cheques.

- Bringing in extra staff, if needed, to deal with any increase in enquiries from customers.

Customers should now:

- Check the date when annually renewable policies, such as motor and household insurance, need to be renewed by. Insurers usually send out renewal terms around 21 days before the renewal date. If your policy is due for renewal shortly and these have not arrived, contact your insurer. It may be possible to send details electronically or by fax in good time for you to renew or arrange alternative cover.

- Contact your insurer or insurance broker if you are urgently awaiting any documents or payments, to arrange delivery by alternative means.

- Ensure that you do not drive uninsured. Postal disruption is no excuse for breaking the law by driving without motor insurance, and will not be accepted by the police.

Road tax applications and renewals require proof that motor insurance is in place. The online service at www.taxdisc.direct.gov.uk automatically checks that you have motor insurance, without the need for customers to have the actual insurance certificate, so if possible people should use this method. Otherwise, check with the Post Office as to what they may accept as alternative proof of insurance. Insurers will usually be able to fax or email any alternative evidence that you may need."

The ABI is the voice of the insurance and investment industry. Its members constitute over 90 per cent of the insurance market in the UK and 20 per cent across the EU. They control assets equivalent to a quarter of the UK’s capital. They are the risk managers of the UK’s economy and society. Through the ABI their voice is heard in Government and in public debate on insurance, savings and investment matters.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Bargain Hunting Landlords are being caught out says Landlords Insurance Provider Rentshield Newsletter



Felicity Morris the General Manager at the Landlord and Tenant insurance providers Rentshield Direct has just sent us the October newsletter.

There is an interesting article by insurance consultant

John Northcott entitled "Bargain Hunting Landlords are being caught out!"

The article says that many landlords are choosing to search for a lower cost buildings insurance policy by using search engines and comparison websites. However, Rentshield are now finding that more landlords than ever are leaving themselves without the correct cover.

The article is well worth a read and we have reproduced it in full here

Remember the cheapest insurance cover may not be the best for either Landlords or Tenants, so do not rely too much on price comparison sites when you are letting out your property.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Wild Futures and Animal Friends Insurance Form Partnership



Dani at Animal Friends Insurance (AFI) a non profit making insurance business for pets has just emailed us with this story.

Animal Friends Insurance is pleased to announce its new partnership with Wild Futures. The insurance company's pledge of a donation of over £7,000 in support of Wild Futures' primate rescue and rehabilitation work comes at an exciting time for the charity, which launched its new name and image just last week. Wild Futures was previously known as The Monkey Sanctuary Trust and draws upon over 45 years of experience in primate welfare and conservation.

We have some more on this at the jml-insurance site where you can find a great selection of Pet insurance providers.

Click here to see the rest of the report

Monday, 19 October 2009

Endsleigh.co.uk Northern Ireland car insurance cashback benefits


19-10-09 Just come across this on CashNI.com.


Endsleigh.co.uk provides car insurance, home insurance, landlord insurance and travel insurance to Northern Ireland customers, and the provider is using its expertise to offer insights into some of the cars on show at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

The company's car insurance specialists say a highlight of the 2009 German automotive show will be the eco-friendly models on display, since low carbon emissions ultimately save motorists cash on their car insurance policies.

One such model is the latest Vauxhall Astra, which has been redesigned to improve fuel consumption and, Endsleigh points out, meet all the latest Euro 5 emissions standards.

Another highlight singled out for its car insurance benefits by Endsleigh is the Citroen DS3, again praised for its low CO2 emissions.

When car insurance, home insurance, landlord insurance or travel insurance customers in Northern Ireland turn to Endsleigh for cover, the provider searches a panel of insurers to find the lowest-cost policy.

Not only is Endsleigh's website easy to use and its quotes quick and simple, but insurance seekers can benefit from attractive discounts available online from cashni.com, including £35 for car insurance, £15 for home insurance, £10 on landlord insurance and six per cent cashback on travel insurance.
At the jml-insurance.co.uk we have a specialist section for Northern Ireland Residents Insurance.
We have insurance companies advertising the following:

•Landlord Rental Property Insurance - (Buildings and Contents - Emergency Assistance - Rent Guarantee Legal Expenses etc)
•Tenant Rental Insurance - (Accidental damage to a Landlord's property - Frozen Food - Pedal Cycles - contents etc)
•Student Insurance - (Rental Property - Contents in University accommodation - Motor Insurance - Cycles etc)
•Travel Insurance (Holidays - Business - Skiing - backpacking etc)
•Motor Insurance - Cars - Vans - Motor cycles - motor bikes
•Car Hire Rental excess Insurance - (for when you rent a car etc)
•Household Insurance - (Building - Property - Contents)
•Ex Offenders Insurance Products
•Caught Speeding and lost licence - Speeding conviction - Travel expenses Insurance

Take a look some time.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Seven million warned of insurance trap

This was the title of a report in “The Metro” Newspaper on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 by reporter Aidan Radnedge.

According to his report the loophole in the regulations means that millions could be paying for worthless insurance.

The Metro article says” Millions of people could be paying for worthless home insurance because of a loophole over past convictions, it was claimed yesterday.
Anyone with a minor offence or a police caution against their name could invalidate their cover if they do not tell their insurers about them.

The condition can apply to anyone else in the family or friends staying in the property. It can also affect landlords who may find their policies are worthless if their tenants have convictions they have not disclosed.

The situation came to light when one major insurer demanded a customer give back the £241,000 pay-out she received after her home was burned down in an arson attack.
Michelle Barber, who was caught out for failing to declare a £150 fine for a benefits offence, said: 'I was shocked and felt sick. Why did no one tell me such a tiny fine could do this?'

Her Barnsley home was burned down by her husband, Gary Hooley, following a row at a friend's 50th birthday party in February 2007. Hooley, who had not wanted her to keep the detached bungalow in any divorce settlement, was jailed for four years.

But, two weeks before mother-of-two Ms Barber was due to move back in, her insurer, Aviva, found out about her 2002 benefits infringement.

The 51-year-old said: 'I wasn't arrested, the police weren't involved and I'd simply forgotten about it by the time I took out the insurance.'

Yesterday, Aviva was 'standing by' its actions, saying: 'Had she disclosed her previous fraud conviction, we would not have offered her cover.'

One in five of the working population - or about 7.3million people - has a conviction or caution.
Offenders support group Unlock accused insurers of failing to ask clear questions or explain the risks of not declaring convictions.

Spokesman Chris Bath added: 'You are going to have to declare your past and you also have to declare the past of those living with you under your roof.'

One of the insurance brokers the online insurance advertising service jml-insurance.co.uk has spoken to about this situation says” Criminal convictions can make it very hard for people to get insured, but the question is not always asked by the insurers or other quotation houses. We ask the question and help people who have convictions to get insured properly.”

To find out more visit Insurance for ex offenders at: http://www.jml-insurance.co.uk/types.php?id=83&sec=16

Thursday, 1 October 2009

You can easily get hold of a builder in Ireland these days


It does not seem that long ago when it was impossible to get hold of a builder, plumber, decorator or electrician in Ireland to even carry out the smallest of jobs. The property market was booming, property prices were going sky high and even with the large Polish work force in the country you still had to wait and wait!

What a different story in September 2009. The Irish Times property section last Thursday (24th September) had a report saying that several reports had just been published last week saying that prices for big and small construction jobs have fallen dramatically.
It seems that losts of trades people have lost their jobs, but homeowner should now benefit. It appears that the price of a single conrete block being laid has fallen from €2 at the height of the boom to 50 cents today. The average spend on a home improvement project in 2009 is now €5,659 and it was €14,004 in 2007 according to a report in onlinetrademen.com.
If you need work done now, it seems like an ideal time to get it done before life comes back in the property market again and builders are fully employed.
On the subject of Irish Property and insurance in Ireland jml-insurance run a mini site www.irishpropertyinsurance.com that has advertisement for Holiday property insurance, travel insurance, car hire excess insurance, car rental and even self catering holiday rentals .

Friday, 25 September 2009

Staysure Over 50's Holiday Home Insurance just been added to jml sites



25th September 2009 - We have just added Staysure's Holiday Home Property insurance designed for the over 50's to our two sites.

The over 50's age group are probably some of today's better off people, having probably paid off their mortgage and bought a holiday home property as well.

They are a group of people who have to be concerned about their costs, particularly if they are on fixed incomes so naturally they need to find the right insurance product.




Staysure was formed in 2004 as an insurance intermediary specialising in the senior sector.

More information about the Holiday Homes Property Insurance HERE

Staysure also provides travel insurance for the over 50's and offers policies for annual cover up to the age of 80 and single trips up to the age of 85.

More information Here about Travel Insurance

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

jml Insurance "off air" for a couple of hours 24th September 2009

24th September 2009

Due to some upgrading on the server operated by the web company the jml-insurance.co.uk will not be operating for 2/ 3 hours today.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience, however if you are looking for insurance products for property, travel and more our introducer site www.jml-property-insurance.co.uk should have the information and links. If you are searching for car hire excess insurance then please visit the introducer site www.insurance4carrental.com

Many thanks

Students with more than £3,500 worth of belongings

23rd September 09.

I came across a Sainsbury's press release yesterday entitled " Average undergraduate has more than £3,500 worth of belongings in student digs" and what is worrying that according to the release 34 per cent - or one in three students does not have any home insurance!

The average student’s typical possessions, which includes not just high-tech items such as laptops, computers, iPods, DVD players, digital cameras, TVs and Hi-Fis, mobile phones, but also other expensive items including jewellery, sports equipment, course textbooks and bicycles, as well as the more mundane everyday items such as books, CDs, toasters and kettles. It does seem crazy that they are not getting these insured, but probably to the average student, many are away from home for the first time and unless their parents arrange cover they won't even think of it.

They probably think that it will "never happen to me" until there is a burglary and then realise that they have to replace those possessions, a student house with just four students provides more than £14,000 worth of rich pickings for any opportunist burglar.

jml Property Insurance.co.uk has been acting as "Introducer" agents for specialist tenant and landlord insurance providers like HomeLet, Endsleigh, Letsure, Rentguard and Rentshield Direct for a number of years. (As an introducer they can only re-direct a prospective purchaser of an insurance product to the main provider's website and cannot give quotes or advice, deal with enquiries etc).

These insurance providers don't charge a lot for insurance for tenants (including students in halls of residence or shared houses) and it is really more and more important as students acquire more possessions to take out insurance.

Sainsbury's Home Insurance did the research, there supermarket in High Wycombe has recently been re-built to a high standard opposite the new Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe. No doubt they will be attracting a lot of custom from BNU (Bucks New University) students for their food in the brand new Hughenden Park Student Village and existing Brook Street Halls of Residence. What is more just a short distance away is the brand new "The Gateway" campus development in the centre of High Wycombe which is a high-tech learning resource centre with a sports hall, gym, dance, music and drama studios, as well as the library and meeting rooms.

So whether you are a student in High Wycombe or Hull make sure you take out adequate insurance. There is a Student section on the jml insurance website HERE

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Rentsure Letsure has Silver Rent Guarantee when letting out your property

Earlier this year the NLA - National Landlords Association published their findings on the top questions on the helpline for landlords.

The advice line has received over 30,000 individual telephone calls in the past 12 months. The advice line had taken on average 2,500 calls per month Of these calls 74 per cent of calls were from landlords seeking advice on how to deal with tenancies when rental arrears start to build up.

Naturally landlords are concerned by this and one way to have some peace of mind is to take out a Landlords Guarantee Insurance.

It appears that Letsure, the well known and established provider has Letsure Rentsure Silver Rent Guarantee Insurance. It looks most interesting and more details can be found at
http://www.jml-property-insurance.co.uk/letsure.htm

Monday, 21 September 2009

Mr Bean at Goodwood - Hope he had adequate insurance?


Mr Bean was at the Goodwood Revival meeting yesterday taking part in the 50th anniversary of the mini. I hope he had adequate insurance as he did not look too safe in his armchair avove his mini.
Rowan Atkinson who plays the part of Mr Bean did not race yesterday, however the mini was well celebrated with girls in mini skirts dancing by minis, a parade of minis and The St Mary’s Trophy race featuring minis.

The race was won by Nick Swift in a Morris Mini Cooper S.
The other major celebration was a Tribute to Sir Stirling Moss who celebrated his 80th birthday
last Thursday (17th September).
More on this here

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Research shows cash savings can be made with Excess Protection Insurance

Consumers are wasting hundreds of pounds in inflated insurance premiums and losing out on excess windfalls by failing to take out cover that reduces policy costs and pays excess fees. This is the view of insure4excess.com managing director Simon Vella, who recently researched what savings can be made by increasing excesses in motor, home and pet policies.

Insure4excess sourced online premiums from a variety of insurers, asking for building and contents quotes on a three-bedroom semi-detached home, comprehensive cover for a medium-sized family car and a policy for a five month-old border terrier. The excess protection provider found if motor and home excesses increased by £250, up to £85.77 could be saved, and a £100 hike in a pet excess reduced costs by up to £33.38.


According to the Association of British Insurers, one in 10 motor policyholders and one in 16 households will claim during the year. However, the recession has increased the likelihood of motorists falling victim to staged accidents - the insurance industry reports high levels of personal injury claims and fraudulent activity. The impact on motorists are higher premiums and an increased probability of being involved in an incident.

More about this HERE

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Barbon Insurance Group opens City of London Property and Commercial office

The Barbon Insurance Group has announced that its Property & Commercial division has opened a London office in the City.

The group’s central sales team will be based at the St Mary Axe facility, which could ultimately become a Centre of Excellence.

Nick Sharp, managing director of the division, said: “The new City location reaffirms our commitment to growth within the Capital and gives brokers and direct clients excellent direct access to the experience and skill of our expanding London team.”
He also believes the current economic downturn means “high calibre” individuals will be keen to join the firm’s new base.

Barbon boasts gross written premium in excess of £150 million and its brands include Keelan Westall, Cadogan Keelan Westall, Deacon, Cadogan Hanover Park -SaifInsure, TruckInsure, Plastech, Performance Media and CareAssured, Letsure, HomeLet, BIBALet and Farr.

jml-property-insurance.co.uk are agents for HomeLet and Letsure landlord and tenant insurance products and have been since 2001. Both these companies offer credit search referencing for letting agents to use on behalf of their landlords. Martin Oliver is the Chief Executive of Barbon Insurance, Ian Fraser is the Managing Director of Letsure and John Boyle is the Managing Director of HomeLet

In April in 2009, the Barbon group acquired Zennor Limited, the Central London based property and commercial insurance specialist Managing General Agent. Zennor is the largest provider of property stock insurance to Barbon’s social housing brand, Farr Insurance.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Agents encourage Landlords not to fall victim to the credit crunch

Letting agents who act in partnership with HomeLet, the UK’s leading insurance provider for the lettings industry, encourages landlords not to fall victim to the credit crunch by ensuring their rental income is properly protected. Last month the National Landlords Association (NLA) published research showing that 71 per cent of landlords expect rent arrears to increase during 2009.

The research also revealed that 67 per cent of landlords have experienced problems with rent arrears in the past, while 37 per cent are having payment difficulties with current tenants.
jml Property Services have been HomeLet Premier agents since 2002 and can provide landlords with an excellent selection of insurance products designed specifically to safeguard their rental income.

As unemployment has reached the highest level in 11 years and the latest research from the NLA shows many landlords are understandably concerned about the effect the credit crunch is having on their tenants’ ability to pay their rent. jml Property Services have been members of the NLA since the 1980’s (when it was known as the “Small Landlords Association”) and their surveys are most beneficial to Landlords.

In 2008 HomeLet paid out £2.8 million in rent guarantee claims and anticipate that this figure will continue to rise during the next 12 months as more and more tenants find themselves unable to meet their financial commitments.

Apart from Landlords insurance –(including Landlords Portfolio insurance for owners of several properties) HomeLet provides very competitive Tenants insurance and has recently introduced an updated price policy called "Tenant's Contents Insurance +".The insurance provider had been listening to customer feedback. HomeLet acknowledges that it is becoming more and more common that tenants share the cost of renting by sharing their home with a friend or colleague. The new policy allows for up to three people to share the same policy as long as they are employed and not a full time student.

HomeLet is the UK’s largest tenant referencing, rent guarantee and specialist insurance provider for the lettings industry and offers landlords a wide range of products through its network of almost 5,500 letting agents across the UK.
HomeLet is a trading name of Barbon Insurance Group Limited. Website: homelet

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Happy Landlords, Happy Tenants, Happy Homes!


That is the message from the Rentshield landlord and tenant insurance provider we received late last week just before the UK’s bank holiday weekend.

In the present economic climate, more and more tenants are struggling to make ends meet or even losing their jobs through no fault of their own. As a result there are more and more tenants defaulting on rent than ever before. With some news media forecasting that unemployment could reach nearly 3 million by the end of the year, it goes without saying that some of these could be your tenants.

Through their association with DAS (Europe’s’ leading legal expenses insurer) they have developed the most comprehensive Rent Protection policy for the residential lettings market. Their research indicates that their Rent Protection policy is unique and offers significant advantages over all similar and competing policies!

Their Rent Protection policies are priced at just £60 for six months and £99 for twelve months and will cover rental amounts up to £4,000 pcm. So for less than ten pounds a month, your landlords can have complete peace of mind. jml property services via their introduction insurance advertising sites insurance jml insurance.co.uk and / jml-property-insurance.co.uk are Rentshield agents.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Rentshield is consistently striving to exceed customer expectations


That is the message from Rentshield we received earlier this week in their update on what has been happening at Rentshield Direct a major UK Landlord and Tenant insurance provider and tenant referencing service for letting agents.

Since their large investment on a web based system back in March they have learned many things. They have tried and tested numerous methods of ensuring that the service they are providing is not only efficient but that they surpass the standards agents have come to expect from a referencing agency.

It has been said that ‘making mistakes simply means you are learning faster’ and this is an approach that Rentshield not only use as a company, but in life. They believe that if they are presented with errors they have made, they will endeavour to learn from them, only to improve- and this makes them stronger.

They have recently implemented the full workings of their web system and have now added new practices to make their referencing service faster and more efficient.

Although they did experience a backlog in some of the work due to faults out of our control, they quickly rectified this as a team, working many hours of overtime and have found that they are now more equipped in terms of managing the workload comfortably and conscientiously.

The percentage of reports they are now sending back to our clients within 24 hours of receiving applications is constantly increasing. They will always experience those tricky references that take longer than expected- but Felicity their general manager says in the newsletter, can confidently confirm that they are doing everything in their power to obtain required information.
They have found that agents who have been inputting applications directly on to their online system are generally receiving reports back faster than those that are continuing to fax them. Respectively, out of the agents that do fax applications to Rentshield, they are finding that the delayed applications are in many instances the ones that have been sent through with either missing information or illegible handwriting.

If before sending applications through they are checked through with the tenant to pick up on anything that may be missing- Felicity believes that those agents will find that the service they receive will be again, of a higher standard.

Other providers have said this recently as well about faxing reference forms. We at jml Property Services can see why many still do this. It is easy, particularly if you are very busy and you want the forms to go out quickly from your office. However if the people the other end cannot read the tenant applicants writing including important telephone number and email addresses then naturally this will slow down the process.

We are now in the age of adding data to computers and once it is on the system, it should mean as long as the person entering the information has done it correctly it will be much faster. The referencing companies like Rentshield will charge Agents a fee for the reference and the majority of agents add a percentage onto this to administer the referencing process. Taking this into account those agents that are not spending a few extra minutes adding tenant’s details to the providers on line system and just faxing them are not giving the tenants a good service. If there are delays because of their errors, they probably blame the reference company.

I have been in the lettings business over 30 years and know how some agents will try and take short cuts.

jml property services via their introduction insurance advertising sites insurance jml insurance.co.uk and / jml-property-insurance.co.uk are Rentshield agents.


Friday, 21 August 2009

Students should look at their insurance needs now


The A level results have just come out in England and Wales and record number of students are scrambling for university courses following record successes. The staff at the UCCAS are trying to assist clearing as many students as quickly as possible so they have university place to go to in September.

Around the UK letting agents are receiving numerous enquiries from second and third year students searching for rental accommodation. Within a few weeks the college and university campuses will be filled with new and returning students.

Philip Suter of jml-insurance.co.uk said “At this time of year, naturally the prime concern for those going to university is to ensure that they have a place. They then have to sort out student loans, funding and accommodation. One area that is often ignored is their insurance.”

These days the average student has a computer, ipod, CD player, TV, mobile phone, clothing plus a bicycle. They don’t take into account that these items can easily be stolen and cost a lot to replace. This cost will be added to the financial debt they leave university with unless they fall upon the generosity of a parent.

Insurance companies like HomeLet, Endsleigh and Letsure offer very reasonably priced policies for student tenants and jml-insurance.co.uk acts as introducers to them. The average cost of a student burglary is £900? The most commonly stolen items are personal laptops / computers and other electrical goods.

Philip went on to say” For many students, it is the first time living away from home and it is really the responsibility of the parents to make sure that their son or daughter’s possessions are properly insured whilst they are away at college or university. When my younger son was a student, I always arranged contents insurance for him as I know he would never have considered it himself.”

Not all successful exam candidates are thinking of going on to higher education. A cartoon in one the newspapers on the 20th August sums up the situation. There is a long wall with the inscription “Multiple choice”. There are two entrances, both with large queues outside; one says “UNI” the other “DOLE”. A lone individual at the back is looking on at holding a paper that says” or maybe a Gap Year”. A lot more students are thinking about taking a gap year before starting their further studies and some at the end of their course before they try to find a job because of the current economic situation.

Philip said”Once again it is most important that those travelling take out suitable backpacker insurance and we have set up a section on the jml-insurance.co.uk site for companies like Essential Travel, Endsleigh, Direct Travel and Simple Travel to be accessed from.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Don't forget to renew your Travel Insurance before you book a trip


Many people take out annual travel insurance either individually or for a couple or family. The great thing about this is that you have peace of mind and if you are taking holidays throughout the year you don't have to keep on buying new insurance. This is rather like when you take out an annual car hire excess insurance policy.
The insurance provider would normally notify the policyholder that the policy is about to expire and if it is not renewed then cover will stop immediately. These reminders would either be by post or by email.
People often leave it till the last minute or till after they have just booked a break for a few days away several weeks in advance. In the intervening period they would remember to renew the policy.
What happens if you foreget, you have made a flight / ferry booking and have an accident before you travel? You are going to have a bit a problem. This occurred recently with someone I know where the flight was booked, it was not going to be till a month later, but the traveller forgot to renew or take out the family travel insurance.
A week or so after the booking was made one of the family had an injury whilst playing cricket on a Saturday afternoon. Two days earlier the Travel insurance had expired and it looks like this person won't be able to fly in three weeks time because of the injury. This means that they will not be able to claim this time.
Always renew your Travel Insurance when you get the reminder. It should then be effective from the date of renewal and if you make a holiday booking you should be covered.
If you are making a holiday booking and you don't have an annual policy, make sure you immediately take out Travel Insurance cover. You never know what is around the corner and you could easily trip over your favourite garden gnome ten minutes after booking, injure your leg and not be able to get on the plane the following week.

Gap Year Guides are now out




As the exam results are due any day now (or could have just come out), many people are thinking about going off to university or college.

Students often decide to have a gap year before moving onto future education and maybe this year because of the recession will put off their studies and head off to Asia, Africa or South America (like in the photo on the left).

Others have already graduated and never took a gap year and are thinking about this as they hope the job market will improve in the next twelve months.

Wherever you are thinking of going make sure you are properly equipped for the journey.

Many people take their mobile phones with them. but buy sim cards locally and let their family know by email their contact number. Phone cards are another option and so are service like Sykpe via an internet cafe. It is good to touch base with your family at least once a week by phone or email.
A great way of storing your travel photos is to load them onto Facebook. This way you can share them with your friends and family and fellow travellers. The photos will be stored on the Facebook server and it is also a good idea to either post home a cd back up or cheap memory stick every so often as the size of the photos stored on Facebook are not too large.

Before you set off scan or photo copy your passport, credit cards etc and leave these details with your family and also all your insurance details. You never know when you might be unlucky and have your possesions stolen and if this does has happen your family can often help with sorting out the problem.

Don't take too much cash with you, but rely on ATM cash machines, however in some countries the machines can run out of cash quickly. Make sure you keep some of your money hidden as you could be vulnerable in public places.

Plan ahead using the Internet for youth hostel information and with many of these you can book in advance. Always try and keep well within the budget you have set.

One small useful tip is buy a "wind up torch". You don't need to rely on having to buy new batteries, just a little winding exercise from time to time.

Don't take too much reading material, naturally you will need your guide books, but when it comes to books to read, the gap year travelling community just keeps on swopping books. The book you left Southhampton with could easily tour Africa faster than you would.

The most important expenditure will be your Travel Insurance, jml insurance.co.uk acts as introducer agents to several providers of "backpacker insurance" products for direct travel, essential travel and Endsleigh.
Enjoy your travels








Friday, 14 August 2009

Response to Council of Mortgage Lenders buy-to-let statistics from ARLA


14th August 2009

On the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) announcement on buy-to-let activity in the second quarter of 2009, Ian Potter, operations manager of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), comments:

“This news from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, whilst not unexpected, is nonetheless confirmation that things are starting to pick up for buy-to-let investors.

“We are encouraged by the fact that mortgage arrears seem to be declining, which is not only of benefit to landlords facing financial difficulty but also to their tenants who have been threatened with the repossession of their home and who have very little protection against this.

“What the CML data also shows, as with its statistics on repossessions also out today, is that the buy-to-let market is experiencing a lag effect, driven by an almost complete drying up of lending early in the year, when the recession was being most acutely felt.

“In our own research, ARLA members have been reporting a rise in buy-to-let activity in the first two quarters of this year with around double the number of landlords buying more properties for the two consecutive quarters than in the previous three months.

“Clearly low interest rates and falling house prices, coupled with a strong demand for private rented accommodation, are helping to boost what is a crucial component of the UK economy, the property market.

“What is still needed for buy-to-let to be fully stimulated once again is an increase in responsible mortgage lending from banking institutions. An illiquid market can never be a positive one for landlords, tenants or the wider economy and I would urge the Government to continue to apply pressure on lenders to make this a reality.” Source ARLA

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Yet another person has stopped paying their rental insurance

As a HomeLet Premier Agent, we are sent letters advising that a landlord or tenant has stopped paying their monthly insurance premium.

Because of FSA (Financial Services Authority) regulations in the UK our agent role is soley as "Introducer". This means we cannot communicate with individuals reminding them that they have not paid and the cover will cease. That is the responsibility of the insurance provider like HomeLet.

Many people simply do not realise that once the payments stop, so does the insurance cover. If there is a break in, fire, rent is not paid or other insurance related issue, then the landlord or tenant will not be able to claim.

The letter received today was very clear and was about a client who had a HomeLet insurance policy in Scotland.

Dear Agent

Policy Number - Risk Address - Policy Holder

We refer to the above mentioned Client's policy.
Please note that we have been unsuccessful in collecting the premium due, as the Direct Debit payment request has been returned "Refer to Payer" by the client's bank.

The outstanding premium in the sum of £.... will now be requested on or just after the xx August 2009. Thereafter your client's regular monthly premium will revert to being requested on the normal collection date.

We must inform you that failure to maintain payments on direct debit could result in the cancellation or voidance of your client's policy in accordance with policy terms and conditions.

Should you have any queries....Yours faithfully

It is so important to keep up these payments if you want insurance cover, unfortunately a lot of people think, there won't be a problem, so let safe some money. They would not think that if they experience a problem.