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 .