Sunday 28 March 2010

HomeLet insurance run for charirty

HomeLet is the UK’s leading specialist insurance provider has been supporting the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity in a road race.
On the 4th March on this blog we had the headline "HomeLet raises £10K for charity" about the activities of the insurance provider in 2009 raising money for St Barnabas Hospice, Lincolnshire. In 2010 they are raising money for the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity.

HomeLet issued a press release on Friday 26th March 2010 "HomeLet Puts Best Foot Forward For Macmillan"

Twenty-five men and women who work for one of Lincoln’s biggest employers, HomeLet, pounded the city’s streets at the weekend to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The runners managed to raise over £1,500 by competing in the 14th Annual Lincoln 10K Road Race on Sunday 21st March.

HomeLet is the UK’s leading specialist insurance provider for the lettings industry and employs over 320 people at its headquarters at Becor House in Lincoln.

Every year HomeLet staff elect a charity to focus their efforts on and this year they’ve chosen the cancer support charity Macmillan which improves the lives of people affected by the disease.

The charity’s Fundraising Manager Gemma Dixon said: “We are so grateful for the support from the HomeLet employees who took part in the Lincoln 10k Road Race. For every step they have taken, they have helped raise money for people who are living with cancer in the UK today.

Whether they have raised £10 or £100 every single penny really does make a difference. Raising just £10 could pay for 20 copies of The Cancer Guide. This Macmillan booklet can help somebody recently diagnosed with cancer and their family to understand cancer, its treatment and the help available.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and I would really like to say a HUGE thank you to all of those who took part, but also to those who cheered them on and to those who gave so generously.”
In 2009 HomeLet raised over £10,000 for St Barnabas Hospice through various fund-raising activities including cake stalls, book sales and a sponsored dog walk around Hartsholme Country Park.

Referencing Manager Sarah Day, who is also one of the company’s Charity Champions, said she hopes they can raise as much if not more this year.

“Everyone trained really hard for the Lincoln 10K and the company covered the cost of applying to encourage more staff to take part. This was our first big event in 2010 and I’m delighted everyone’s hard work has paid off,” said Sarah.

Managing Director John Boyle added: “As a company and one of the city’s main employers HomeLet is keen to support local events, particularly those which provide us with an opportunity to raise vital funds for our Charity of the Year.

“I want to congratulate all those who took part and thank them for all their hard work. Macmillan Cancer Support is a very worthwhile cause as cancer is a terrible disease which blights so many lives.”

For more information about HomeLet please visit

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Great value iphone insurance found

Recently got a mobile renewal and paid for an upgrade for an iphone as so many people have recommended this great product.
Our service provider added in insurance on the product for 3 months and the monthly account arrived a couple of days ago.

The monthly cost is £12.45 a month working out to nearly £150 a year! Quite a price and very good insurance commission. They add the price and deduct it, however if you don't actually contact them to cancel their insurance once the "free period" is over you start paying the monthly charge if £12.45.

I was caught like this once before so always tend to monitor the monthly accounts these days.

Thought I had better look for some insurance and came across a very reasonably priced insurance product from JS Insurance. This costs £4.99 a month, some £7.46 less than the mobile phone is selling insurance from! It took under 5 minutes to set up with direct debit on line and as soon as it was arranged, emailed the details and sent a text to the mobile.

Insurance for details for JS Insurance were found at:

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Assured Shorthold Tenancy threshold Change

The NLA - National Landlords Association sent out a notification late last week saying "Change to Assured Shorthold Tenancy threshold to be applied retrospectively in October 2010"

The Government has announced that the threshold for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) will increase from £25,000 to £100,000 this October.

At the moment any residential tenancy in England and Wales with an annual aggregated rent over £25,000, (the total rent due per year), cannot be an AST.

The Government announced last week that it intends to increase the threshold to £100,000, to reflect changes in market rents and to ensure that minimum legal tenancy requirements are met.

The new threshold is expected to come into effect from 1 October 2010 and will apply retrospectively. This means that any new or existing tenancies with a total annual rent of £100,000 or less, will become an AST by default (provided no other relevant exemption applies).

This change may particularly affect large shared houses (where tenants have signed one tenancy agreement), family homes and luxury lets, where the annual rent exceeds £25,000.

Landlords affected by this change will need to make sure any tenancy deposits are protected* and will only be able to legally terminate the tenancy by using the Section 8 and Section 21 possession routes.

NLA will keep members informed over the coming months. For more details about this change read the NLA Q&A's for landlords or come along to the NLA Spring General Meeting in April.

*Only deposits taken in relation to tenancies set up on or after 1 April 2007 will need to be protected.

Friday 19 March 2010

HomeLet Insurance to reward Landlords

Great news for Landlords, it has just been announced in a "News Release" that the Landlord and Tenant insurance provider HomeLet has launched £500 Prize Draw for Landlords.

To celebrate the successful launch of Landlord's Insurance+ specialist insurers HomeLet are giving landlords the chance to win £500 of B & Q vouchers.
What will the winning landlord spend his /her B & Q vouchers on? Something for the rental property? Something for their own home? If you do win, let us know please.

More information at:

Don't forget your Travel Insurance for Easter

Easter is not far away and looking at the weather this weekend, it is a good thing there is a couple of weeks to go. Our Easter friend on the left would get rather wet and if he was visiting relatives over the Easter weekend would need his umbrella.

If it rains or shines, if you are off on holiday over Easter, don't forget to buy your Travel Insurance

Ther are a number of insurance companies advertising on the jml-insurance website.

Amongst these are: Essential Travel Insurance - Direct travel Insurance - Staysure Travel Insurance - Endsleigh Travel Insurance - Primary Travel Insurance - Simple Travel Insurance - insureme4 Travel Insurance - JS Travel Insurance - Devon Direct Travel Insurance - Protect my holiday Financial Failure Travel Insurance. A great selection to choose from with different packages.

Most of these will have policies for a set number of days, family and annual policies.

People are now taking an average of two or three holidays a year. Whether this is a two week break in Spain plus a weekend break on the Isle of Wight, you still need to take out travel insurance. Holiday delayed? Missed departure? Lost your passport? Personal money stolen? Are just some of the reasons to do this? Take a look here for these providers and you then visit their websites for full information and buy online.

Have a good Easter Break

Monday 15 March 2010

Irish National house price register

The Irish Times Residential Property section reported on the 11th March that"
National house price register to be set up"

According to the Irish Times, It appears that "A National house price register is to be set up for the first time by the Government following years of criticism at the lack of transparent information about the housing market.

It will form the basis of a house price index that would monitor the fluctuation in house prices.

The Minister for Housing Martin Finneran told the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) on the 10th March that a number of bodies and agencies are in talks to set up the register.

The lack of a national register has been the subject of widespread controversy given the absence of accurate house price data available to housebuyers, policy makers and vendors, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty.

Last month the monthly ESRI/Permanent TSB house price index was suspended and replaced with a quarterly survey because too few mortgages have been issued to provide accurate monthly price data.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said the time frame for delivery of the register is uncertain because current data protection legislation surrounding the publication of house price figures will be an issue.

“It depends on how long it takes to amend the legislation and how quickly a suitable legislative vehicle is found,” he said. Chaired by the Department of the Environment, the bodies involved in discussions about the register include the Irish Auctioneers Valuers Institute (IAVI), the CSO, the Department of Justice, the National Property Services Regulatory Authority and the Property Registration Authority (which controls the Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry).

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has welcomed the announcement saying it would enable “the putting in place of real time, reliable housing market statistics”. Martin Whelan of the CIF says speed of delivery has to be a priority. “We can’t be waiting a number of years and I don’t believe it has to be complicated. It has worked in other jurisdictions, like Northern Ireland, England and the US.” Source Irish Times

It does appear to be needed to get an idea of what properties sell for. At the moment estage agents are able to hide behind the Data Protection legislation. In the UK you can access information supplied by the Land Registry going back many years and even in France find out local area average property prices. In Ireland you have to "rely on gossip from the neighbours" which is not that satisfactory.

On the subject of property in Ireland this is a useful website so is

Sunday 14 March 2010

Property women nominations sought by NLA

The NLA, National Landlords Association are running their "NLA Property Women Awards" again in 2010 and are Celebrating the cream of the property crop, the NLA Property Women Awards recognise the women making their mark on the private-rented sector.

Nominations are welcome from female landlords, letting agents and those employed in a local authority housing role (e.g. Environmental Health, Housing Benefit or Tenant Relations).

If you or a female colleague has achieved something that deserves recognition we would love to hear from you.

We are seeking nominations for the following awards:
• Awards for the English regions, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales
• NLA Green Property Woman Award
• NLA Young Property Woman Award (under 30)
• NLA Letting Agent Property Woman Award NEW!
• NLA Local Authority Property Woman Award NEW!
All entrants will be automatically entered for the ultimate prize of:
• NLA Property Woman of the Year 2010
The NLA Property Women Awards 2010 will be held on Thursday 24 June 2010 at the glamorous Park Plaza Riverbank in London.

To nominate or attend this prestigious event visit the NLA Property Women Awards website.,3WML,23CCM,C56T,1

Nominations must be received by 12pm on Monday 12 April 2010.

More information about the NLA can be found at jml Property Services have been members of the NLA for many years and joined in the era when the organisation was a small landlords association called the SLA - Small Landlords Association.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Staysure Private Health insurance

Great news for those looking for Private Health Insurance.

Staysure have just started advertising their

Private Health insurance on the website.

According to Staysure who say Staysure's affordable health insurance policies are underwritten by a choice of leading private healthcare providers offering a flexible comprehensive cover. Other benefits include access to 23,000 specialists, state of the art hospitals and clinics for both out-patient and in-patient procedures.

There is no upper age limit and Get a £5 FREE Marks and Spencer's when you get a quote.

Don't take my word for it but visit the page at:

You can then visit M & S after that to spend your reward.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Simple Caravan insurance

11th March 2010 - Simple Caravan Insurance has just been added to the jml-insurance, insurance products advertising service.
Hopefully the better weather is on the way and time to take the caravans out for a weekend or even the Easter break next month.

According to the National Caravan Council there are 498,000 touring caravans in the UK. 112,000 motorhomes and 335,000 caravan holiday homes, together making almost a million leisure vehicles in use in Britain. There are currently well in excess of a million people who regularly take caravan holidays – the Caravan Club alone boasts 800,000 members.

To find out more about the range of caravan insurance products they are advertising - Visit Simple Caravan insurance at

Vet fees double in last three years

Saga insurance yesterday (9th March 10) issued a New Release entitled "Paws for a moment, Vet fees double in last three years!"

The release went on to say that:

.Average annual UK vet bill £598 – double that of 2006 and increased at double the rate of inflation since 2008
.Vets fees in the North West most expensive in the UK

The UK’s over 50s are avid animal lovers with one in five* (21%) owning a cat or a dog. However, if you live in the North West and your pet is poorly, you’re more likely to suffer the steepest vet bills in the UK. The average annual bill in this region is £646; 53% more than Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, the cheapest regions at £421.

Claims data** from Saga Pet Insurance has identified average vet bills in the UK among the over 50s have increased by 11% since 2008. This is more than double the annual rate of inflation, which has only increased by 5%***over the same period. Even more staggering is annual vet fees have increased by 53% since 2007 (from £391) and 101% since 2006 (from £298).

Andrew Goodsell, Executive Chairman, Saga Group Ltd, said: “As vet bills are vastly surpassing inflation, pet insurance is therefore a vital tool to help owners budget for unforeseen costs of care for their cat or dog, that may arise in the future, especially for those aged over 50 whose income is already being squeezed a both ends in the current climate.”

Regionally, the North East has seen the biggest increase in vet costs since 2008. For cats, bills have risen by 29% from £324 to a staggering £417. Dog owners in this region still bear the brunt of heftier costs, but the increase is slightly less at 17%, from £561 to £656.

Among the bills that aren’t as pressing on the purse, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands provide the cheapest care for both cats (£298) and dogs (£452). Therefore, where you live could dramatically affect the amount you pay should you be faced with a pooch in peril or a cat-astrophe.

Goodsell continued: “As a nation we consider pets as members of the family. Without the appropriate insurance, owners could be faced with the prospect of being unable to afford care because it’s simply too expensive, a situation no one would voluntarily put themselves in.”

Saga Pet Insurance provides up to £2,000 to cover treatment for injury, accident, illness or disease at a chosen veterinary surgery and has produced a free booklet that focuses on aspects of keeping your cat or dog in good health. It provides information on preventing illness and the requirements of food, exercise and healthcare.

Source Saga Insurance

Looking for Pet insurance? Take a look at the selection of providers advertising on the jml insurance site at

Pets put to sleep due to soaring veterinary treatment costs says Sainsbury's Bank

Sainsbury's Bank issued a Pet insurance Press Release on the 24th February 10.

It said" Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance provides up to £7,500 of vet fee cover per condition. Only 3% of policies offer this level of cover1
Owning a pet can be expensive and sadly, new research(2) from Sainsbury’s Finance reveals that 56 per cent of vets claim that over the past five years, they have had to put down cats and/or dogs because their owners could not afford the cost of treating their conditions. Furthermore, a staggering 88 per cent of vets claim that they have experienced situations where owners have rejected a recommended course of treatment or operation because they could not afford to pay for it.

Sainsbury’s Finance, who offers good quality, competitively priced Pet Insurance is urging pet owners not to do without cover. Joanne Mallon, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance Manager said: "It should be an essential item on a prospective owner's list when weighing up whether to purchase an animal or not. Doing without insurance is simply false economy and worse still could result in some heart breaking family decisions being made later down the line.

“Advances in veterinary science mean that our pets can get the best treatment possible these days, but these improvements including everything from more sophisticated scans to cancer treatments come at higher costs and the financial burden is being felt by pet owners. Despite this, the vast majority of our pets are not insured so their owners have no protection against large veterinary bills.

“Vet fees are increasing by around 12% a year(3) , and as a result of this we may see more animals needlessly being put down because their owners cannot afford it.”

The research from Sainsbury’s Finance revealed that 63 per cent of vets believe that the cost of treating a skin tumour on a cat or dog has increased over the past year alone. Vets were found to report increases in the cost of treatment for a number of other conditions also. These include dental trauma, for which 53 per cent of vets report an increase in the cost of treatment, gastroenteritis (65%), lameness (61%) and diabetes (57%).

As well as taking out pet insurance to ensure there is help to pay for any surprise veterinary bills, the findings reveal that some owners could also be doing more to improve the overall health of their pets. The vets surveyed said that nearly one in ten (9 per cent) of the cats they see are obese and an additional 29 per cent are slightly overweight. The corresponding figures for dogs are 12 per cent and 33 per cent.

Sainsbury's shoppers are rewarded with double Nectar points on their shopping in store, online and in petrol filling stations for two years when taking out Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance(4) , which is one of only 3% of products on the market which offer cover for veterinary fees of £7,500 per condition or more(1) . Customers who spend £50 a week with Sainsbury’s and have Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance as well as a Nectar card would receive £52 worth of Nectar points a year.

Good quality pet insurance does not need to be expensive, good cover at a competitive price can be found by shopping around. Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is designed to offer some of the widest range of benefits available at a competitive price.

Source Sainsbury's Bank

Looking for Pet Insurance for your pet? Take a look at

Thursday 4 March 2010

HomeLet raises £10K for charity

HomeLet landlord and Tenant insurance raised £10,000 for charity in 2009. Each year at HomeLet they choose a charity to raise money for.
In 2009 it was a local one, St Barnabas Hospice, Lincolnshire. It is involved with Caring for people who are living with a life threatening illness across Lincolnshire. More information at

HomeLet is a trading name of Barbon Insurance and during 2009 the staff participated in a number of fund raising events such as a sponsored dog walk, various raffles, the Lincoln 10K road race, cake sales, a midnight moon walk and a skydive. The charity team respresentatives presented a cheque to St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice in December.

For 2010 the charity that they will be supporting is Macmillan Cancer Support, hopefully they will do just as well or even better. To find out more visit their website at

Specialist insurance broker has very busy time

Insurance specialist Neil Cook the head of specialist risks at Equity GI insurance Brokers has just reported a very busy week trying to assist clients requiring insurance that is often difficult to obtain.

He helped 20 clients who were having difficulty getting insurance in areas liable to flooding or had suffered flooding after they had horrendous experiences with other insurers either during the claim or had a shock when they got the renewal notice.

There were a further seven people with criminal records he helped and a further two looking for business insurance, but had bad claims records.

Neil spends a lot of his working life trying to arrange insurance for clients who have faced difficulty with arranging insurance due to criminal convictions, underpinned houses, properties in flood area and in Northern Ireland or other unusual risk factors and deserve a new approach in the past Neil has won numerous awards and accolades for true customer service over and above that offered elsewhere whilst he deals with clients that are that not normally liked by the insurance industry he does his very best to ensure they get the best premium he can offer he has saved flood victims hundreds of pounds in premium often reducing the premium by at least 25% if not more.

Neil Cook has joined Equity & General Insurance Services of Rugby last year as a specialist risk negotiator and heads up his own team focusing on placing complex commercial and household risks. Equity and General advertise their products on the jml insurance website Perhaps one day he will be truly recognised for his work in treating each client as a person rather than most insurers attitudes that they are just policy numbers.

Many UK Landlords facing fines

I have just received the March / April edition of "Landlord & Buy-to-Let Magazine" It has numerous reports of landlords being fined.

  • Landlord fined for ignoring gas safety - An Oxfordshire landlord has been prosecuted for failing to ensure gas appliances in his property were safe and fit for purpose. The landlord from Kidlington was proescuted by the HSE - Health and Safety Executive as he failed to have gas appliances at the Didcot property he rented out safety checked. He was fined £8,000 plus ordered to pay costs of £1,947.
  • Landlord fined for unsafe conditions - A landlord has been fined £15,000 after Lewisham Council prosecuted him for leaving his rented property in unsafe and dangerous conditions. It was discovered that he was in the middle of converting three of the floors into self contained flats with fourteen people living in rented rooms even though the house resembled a building site. There was an absence of electric power in part of the house, unfinished bathrooms and kitchen and waste discharging onto the ground and open and unprotected trenches.
  • Record fine for landlord - A Haydock landlord has been fined £6,000 by St Helens Magistrates who heard a catalogue of housing hazards at his rented property. He was ordered to pay £1,169 costs. The landlord had rented it out to a young woman and her two children. Environmental Health Officers found Health and Safety issues due to lack of loft insulation, penetrating dampness, slip and trip hazards, lack of handrail on the stairs, excessively low headroom on the stairs and lack of gas safety certificate. The Principal Environmental Health Officer who brought the case said that this was the second private sector landlord to be prosecuted within the last four weeks.
  • Landlord's fine for housing offences reduced - Following an appeal in the Crown Court on Thursday 7th January 2010, a Sneinton landlord has had his near maximum fine of £62,061 for three HMOs - Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing offences and three management offences reduced by half and made subject to a 12 month custodial sentence if the fine is not paid within 12 months. The case had been brought to Nottingham Magistrates Court in September 2009. Apart from the licensing issue the landlord had failed to ensure appropriate fire safety mechanisms were in place.

If you rent out a property - Do make sure that it is fully compliant with the vast number of regulations for rental property in the uk - Gas - Fire and Furnishings - Electric - EPC - HMO licensing - Health and Safety and you have it properly insured.

A confident market says HomeLet

In late 2009, HomeLet carried out their second customer survey. The survey produced some really promising results and it showed that HomeLet's customers think that HomeLet is even more innovative than the year before, providing good customer service and offering effective communication.

The HomeLet newsletter that has just arrived says that HomeLet (landlord and tenant insurance) values the customer input and feedback has been so important for making those improvements.

The Managing Director, John Boyle says in his introduction that "As the market leader we're committed to evolving our business and we will continue to do so throughout 2010, to ensure that you receive a service that's second to none."

The customer survey also showed that the vast majority of their customers are positive about the future of the lettings industry and opportunities for growth in 2010.

John went on to say "I have said many times before that demand for rental properties will remain strong over the next few years especially with first time buyers struggling to obtain mortgage finance".

The confidence of letting agents is also mirrored by the majority of the the agents' customers and buy to let landlords. Naturally, these customers still have concerns that include rental arrears so in that case those concerned should look at rental guantee insurance -

The latest ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) shows that 55 per cent of members in Quarter Four reported that thenants are having trouble making rental payments, which is worringly high. John Boyle concluded his introduction with the words "These are numerous reasons that cause a tenant to miss rental payments. In today's economic climate the only way to ensure that your landlords receive their rent is through rent guarantee".

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Insurance advice following storms in France this week

LA tempête Xynthia, which ripped through south west France during Saturday 27th February and Sunday morning 28th February 2010, has been declared a catastrophe naturelle by Prime Minister François Fillon. This means insurance companies are obliged to take into account flood damage and the government will publish details of the areas covered in the next 48 hours.

Property insurance company Intasure ( ) have asked owners of properties damaged by the storm winds that hit south west France to contact them so that any claims can be processed. Intasure are asking policy holders to take photographs of the damage that has been caused and to get written quotes for the work required.

Work up to a value of €1,500 will be covered if it is required quickly and a claim form is available via a link from their website (check the precise details with Intasure as this information on this blog is given without responsiblity for accuracy).

The Fédération française des sociétés d’assurances website has a section entitled
"Floods: questions and answers about your insurance" / "Inondations : questions-réponses sur votre assurance" (On most computers now Google can translate these page into English or other languages) This is what the site says: Am I always covered by my insurance? - "People who have damage insurance (fire, water damage, ...) to their homes, their businesses, their vehicles, etc.. ... Automatically benefit from the security natural disasters.

The damage caused by floods, mudslides and shock associated with the wave action will therefore be compensated as such. The vehicles provided to third parties, ie only civil liability, does not benefit from the natural disaster insurance." / "Suis-je systématiquement couvert par mon assurance ? Les personnes qui possèdent une assurance de dommages (incendie, dégât des eaux, ...) pour leur habitation, leur entreprise, leurs véhicules, etc. …, bénéficient automatiquement de la garantie catastrophes naturelles.

Les dommages matériels provoqués par les inondations, coulées de boue et chocs mécaniques liés à l'action des vagues seront donc indemnisés à ce titre. Les véhicules assurés au tiers, c'est-à-dire uniquement en responsabilité civile, ne bénéficient pas de l’assurance catastrophe naturelle."

According to a report in Tuesday 2nd March's Independent, weak sea walls are blamed for deaths in French storms. Fifty people died after eight-metre high waves crashed through ageing sea defences.The sea wall that broke dates back to the Napoleon era and Philippe de Villiers, the head of the Government for the western Vendèe region told France-Info radio.

jml Property Insurance advertises Intasure, Andrew Copeland International Property Insurance, Staysure and Devon Direct Insurance Services Ltd on the jml-insurance site

Rental increases in UK - Landlords should still be cautious

Rental increases in UK - Landlords should still be cautious

Rental Increases could see a reversal of Fortune says HomeLet Managing Director

Rental Increases could see a reversal of Fortune says HomeLet Managing Director

HomeLet offers More Benefits for Premier Customers

HomeLet offers More Benefits for Premier Customers

Monday 1 March 2010

Simple Landlords Insurance

Great news for Landlords

JML customers can now benefit from a 5% discount on Simple Landlords Insurance, Find ourt more here

Flood Insurance Refusal in Morpeth,Northumberland

With flooding in France, Spain Portugal very much in the news in the last few hours, the UK too has suffered a great deal in the last few years. The following is a report from an individual who had his house at Morpeth in Northumberland, England flooded on September 6, 2008 in exceptionally prolonged torrential rainfall. He had only changed his insurance company in January of that year.

The claim for restoration came to £96,000. Though he felt this was high, had little control over it and was on the whole very satisfied with the service given by the Loss Adjuster, Surveyor & the builders.

The insurance cover on the property was renewed on 16 January 2009, with the premium for house and contents increased from £216 to £398, including an excess of £2500 for flooding. The tone of the letter accompanying the renewal notice was reassuring, though he realised they had no option as the claim was ongoing at renewal date.

This person was therefore shocked when he received a letter of 10th December 2009 saying that this insurance company would not be renewing the cover as “the value of the claim no longer comes within the underwriting criteria for our low risk policy – apologies for any inconvenience caused”.

He contacted a local solicitor who advised him to check whether his insurer was a member of The Association of British Insurers and if so, to ask why they had withdrawn cover when the Statement of Principles agreed between the ABI & the Government says it should not be. Unfortunately, neither the insurer nor the underwriters are listed as members.

I obtained a report from the Environment Agency giving flood risk information for the area in which his house lies, which classified it as “Significant – greater than 1 in 75 chance in any year”. Since then, they have announced measures to reduce the risk to 1:115, to be implemented between 2011 and 2013.

Armed with this report, he contacted his bank, where he is a “Premium” customer and obtained a quote from another insurance provider. The cover would cost £1443 per annum with no mention yet how much the excess would be. He had to provide further information such as the EA report, before they could confirm cover. The reaction of the bank’s customer service manager speaks for itself - “disgusting”. He owns a modest 2 Bedroom terraced house.

He received a telephone call from a company that his original insurance provider had told them about his situation. He then gave them full details of the house, flooding history, claim etc. and they asked him to state how far was his property from the river, it’s height above the river level and to give details of the existing flood defences (there is a wall approx. 4 metres high). He heard nothing further and felt uneasy as they had contacted him and didn’t pursue it.

The Christmas holidays were approaching, when businesses would close down and naturally he was panicking – it would soon be January 16th and would he even be able to get insurance, or sell the house in the future? He felt really distressed as it was all happening again.

He found the JML site that referred him to Neil Cook the head of specialist risks at Equity GI insurance Brokers. Neil is actively campaigning for people like him who are having difficulties obtaining flood cover. To cut a long story short, he has found him affordable cover, £643 pa, with a flooding excess of £2500, on condition that he take steps to protect areas where water got into the house.

He had to install “Smart” airbricks, which keep water out and 2 good quality steel flood barriers for the front and back doors, which can be put in place in a short time, in fact he had by this time intended to do this anyway.

The door frames had to be modified to accommodate the barriers but a reliable local builder who had done his neighbour’s restoration did this. It cost well over £1000 altogether but has given him peace of mind – well, as much as can be expected.

The whole episode has been extremely stressful – He suffers from intermittent anxiety and depression and has had to resume drug treatment. He does of course realise that as he chooses to live in an area with a more than average flood risk, but what are people living in such areas to do? They cannot all move lock stock and barrel to a lesser risk area - someone has to live in these properties.

He appreciates it may cost more but feel it is unreasonable for insurance companies to hold people to ransom am grateful to this head of specialist risks he was put in contact with and others who are fighting to remove the stigma existing at present with flood victims. That is what they are and they have not done nothing wrong.

More information on Flood Damaged Property insurance providers can be found at