Monday 27 September 2010

Professional Indemnity Insurance

There are many trades that need this cover and at Equity & General Insurance Services Ltd have one member of staff Dave Burn that has been in the trade 22 years and specialises in placing these types of risks.

Professional indemnity insurance, also known as PI insurance or indemnity insurance, can help protect you if claims are brought against you by a client due to a problem with work you have done for them.

Common businesses that need the cover are Managing Agents, Business Consultants, Architects, Surveyors, Accountants and Solicitors. These require the cover due to the advice they give to people. The simplest mistakes can be the most damaging. Marketing, media, advertising and communications professionals are particularly vulnerable to claims of negligence for simple errors such as a typo or mismatched Pantones. There is also the slander and liable issues as well.

IFA’s have been having a hard time reducing the costs of their professional indemnity policies due to claims for old endowment policies that may have been sold many years ago, also Mortgage payment protection policies that were also miss sold has soiled the industries name. Mortgage brokers have also bore the brunt of the claims due to selling many sub-prime mortgages and self certificated mortgages. Most of the companies that were involved in any of the above have either cleaned up their act or ceased trading.

Computer data companies, web designers and others that supply or keep records of clients will also require professional indemnity insurance. The main risk is errors omissions and breach of copyright and intellectual property.
There are now many people in the design, and construction areas of the market that have an obvious need as well. Security and Alarm installers are one category that design systems which must be correctly fitted as well, but there must be an original design and these are becoming increasing complicated.

Estate agents and Letting agencies also give advice firstly when valuations on properties are concerned then the printing of details of the details supplied to the purchasers or tenants. In the case of an Estate agent if they do not ask a client if they have had subsidence and later it is found out the property has been underpinned there is a breach of contract issue. Not all Estate agents carry professional Indemnity cover unless they are part of the association of National Estate Agents.

Many emerging and diverse trades that include organisers of various events, employment agencies, fitness trainers including ‘lifestyle’ coaches, graphic designers, health & safety consultants, laboratory and analytical researchers, marketing and market researchers, personnel & human resource consultants, translators, transport, distribution & logistics consultants. These can all be covered.

Cover:The simplest cover for certain trades sometimes will cost less than £10 a month, and excesses generally start as low as £250.
There are two types of policy one is called Any One Claim the other is Aggregate . Details of these can be explained thoroughly when a enquiry is made.

Procedure:ost insurers will require a signed completed proposal form and a copy of all directors CV’s prior to quotes being made available. Plus you must be in a position to provide details in the form of your three largest contracts, over the last few years. Or in the case this is a new business details of contracts that may be gained over the coming year. Financial figures of turnovers and breakdowns as to which sections of the business they come from will all be required.

If you would like to discuss your needs and find out the costs please contact Dave Burn he will guide you through the process of obtaining a quotation - CLICK HERE.

Friday 24 September 2010


Northern Ireland has always been an area that very few insurers want to write business in. So there is a very limited market which means premiums are always expensive.

The specialist broker on our panel can offer vast savings through Lloyds of London that equate to a 75% saving on your existing premium. For all non motor cover so can cater for Household, Landlords, residential property, tradesman’s liability. Shops, offices, business insurance , construction industry

They can also offer insurance for those people with previous issues such as flooded areas like Country Antrim. Vacant property underpinned property. Those who have adverse claims history. Adverse credit history and criminal records

To find out more Click Here

Information submitted by Neil Cook of Equity and General Insurance Services Ltd

Flood Damage in Cockermouth Cumbria

Friday 24th September 2010. There is a lot of heavy rain about in the south of England today as I add this item to the blog. Fortunately it is all draining away well, but spare a thought for this client of Neil Cook of Equity and General Insurance Services.

We are the owners of a property in Waterloo St, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13.
Cockermouth was subject to a catastrophic flood in November 2009 and our house was under seven foot of water.

We have since moved out into another property and decided to let out our house in Cockermouth. This property has been reinstated and we have been attempting to secure insurance at a realistic and reasonable rate. This has proved to be very difficult. We have been told by numerous insurance companies that they are not quoting for our postcode, and were informed by our existing insurers that the new policy premium would be between £3,000 and £5,000 per annum, possibly more, with a very considerable excess.

They would also require a lot of documentation including a government report on the flooding risk at our property. This seemed unreasonable and unduly onerous. In desperation we contacted the National Flood Forum who put us in touch with Neil Cook at Equity and General. Neil was in a position to offer insurance immediately that was both affordable and reasonable.

We are very grateful to Neil for his assistance and the sympathetic manner in which he handled our circumstances he quoted a premium 75% less than we had been offered.

If you want more information contact Neil by Clicking Here

Thursday 23 September 2010

One year rent free living for Lincoln Student

Left: University of Lincoln student, Olivia Kirk (19), pictured with Lighthouse Property Services Office Manager, Jacqui Todd

Lucky University of Lincoln student Olivia Kirk has won a year’s free rent after entering Lighthouse Property Services’ annual prize draw worth over £3,000.

This is the second year the property management firm has run the competition; last year’s winner - International Relations student Gregory Hodson (23) - saved over £2,000 by having all his rent paid by Lighthouse.

All early bird students who signed tenancy agreements with the company between January and March 2010 were entered into the prize draw to win an entire year of rent-free living from this month (September).

Olivia (19) is about to start her second year as a Biomedical Science student at the university and said it was a great relief hearing that she had won the year’s free rent.

“I was really surprised because I’d forgotten all about it to be honest,” said Olivia. “It was so long ago that I entered that it came as a bit of a shock. I was on a plane on the way to visit my Dad in America when I got the call.

“I was so happy – it’s such a relief now I think about it because I was quite worried about how I was going to pay my rent before my student loan came through. Now it’s not something that I have to worry about!”

Ian Thornton, Lighthouse Student Lettings Manager, said: “The prize draw is very popular and is now a key part of our marketing strategy, helping to attract tenants as part of our ongoing student lettings campaign.

“Olivia can now concentrate on her university work and on enjoying the coming year without having to worry about finding funds for rent which is an increasing concern among students.

“We are delighted to have been able to run this competition and will look to carry out similar marketing activities in the future to encourage students to use Lighthouse when searching for or renewing their yearly accommodation.”

To date Lighthouse has successfully housed over 7,000 students, offering a range of impressive all-inclusive rental packages starting at just £59 per week.

In addition to the attractive first prize, the second prize of £1,000 rental discount was won by Gina Clark while Katie Sciabica picked up the third prize of £100of Morrisons vouchers.

Properties available include everything from renovated terraced houses to modern luxury apartments and are all located in the city centre close to university campuses. Many also come fully furnished, have wireless Internet access and cater for individuals or groups of up to 12 people.

Lincoln is also the home to Landlord and Tenant insurance company "Letsure". They are situated in Green Lane Lincoln and offer rental insurance for landlords and Tenants and course students. Find out more Here

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Husband and wife fined over gas safety breaches

20 September 2010

A couple who were co-landlords of a Bristol property have been fined after admitting breaching gas safety regulations.

Atulkulmar Ratilal Patel, 55, and Chetna Atulkulmar Patel, 51, of Beaufort Street, Brynmawr, Gwent, were fined a combined total of £6,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800 at Bristol Magistrates' Court today.

Mr Patel pleaded guilty to two charges after replacing a boiler without being competent to do so, and without being Gas Safe registered.

He and his wife both pleaded guilty to another breach of health and safety law for being unable to provide a landlords' certificate.

Ian Whittles, HSE Inspector said:"Working with gas supplies is a specialised job and must only be carried out by trained engineers who are members of the Gas Safe Register, to minimise any risk of death or serious injury resulting from gas leaks or explosions.

"As landlords, Mr and Mrs Patel should have made sure that the boiler was properly installed and maintained by someone properly trained and certified to do so. Landlords must also provide proof that boilers have been checked for safety every year

"It is absolutely unacceptable to take this responsibility lightly, and I encourage all tenants to check that their landlords are doing what they should to ensure their safety."

Mr Patel pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 3 (1), 3(3), and 36 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined £6,000 with £1,800 costs.

Mrs Patel pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 36 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined £500.

More information for landlords and tenants is available at[1].

Notes about Gas Safety Regulations

1.Regulation 3(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states that "No person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel unless he is competent to do so."

Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states that "no employer shall allow any of his employees to carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or service pipework and no self-employed person shall carry out any such work, unless the employer or self-employed person, as the case may be, is a member of a class of persons approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of this paragraph."

Regulation 36 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states that "a landlord shall - (a) ensure that each appliance and flue to which that duty extends is checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and at intervals of not more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety (whether such check was made pursuant to these Regulations or not); (b) in the case of a lease commencing after the coming into force of these Regulations, ensure that each appliance and flue to which the duty extends has been checked for safety within a period of 12 months before the lease commences or has been or is so checked within 12 months after the appliance or flue has been installed, whichever is later; and (c) ensure that a record in respect of any appliance or flue so checked is made and retained for a period of 2 years from the date of that check, which record shall include the following information -
(i) the date on which the appliance or flue was checked;
(ii) the address of the premises at which the appliance or flue is installed;
(iii) the name and address of the landlord of the premises (or, where appropriate, his agent) at which the appliance or flue is installed;
(iv) a description of and the location of each appliance or flue checked;
(v) any defect identified;
(vi) any remedial action taken;
(vii) confirmation that the check undertaken complies with the requirements of paragraph (9) below;
(viii) the name and signature of the individual carrying out the check; and
(ix) the registration number with which that individual, or his employer, is registered with a body approved by the Executive for the purposes of regulation 3(3) of these Regulations."
2.Further information about the gas registration scheme is available at: [2]
3.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
4.Workers undertaking gas installation and maintenance work must be registered with Gas Safe Register. Further information about the gas registration scheme is available at: [3]

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Are you a Landlord? Looking for insurance for your rental property? Take a look Here

Subsidence Insurance Problem near possible flood area

We have just been sent this description of a problem a client of a "Specialist Risks Insurance Broker" was having. The details are given as presented to us in letter form for this blog but without any responsibility for accuracy on this site.

Our home has a "history" of subsidence when, in 1989, the house was adversely affected by the close proximity of trees whose roots were drawing water from beneath the house. As our home dates from the Victorian period when foundations were not as substantial as contemporary builds, cracks developed on the front and back walls. Removal of the trees corrected the problem, but now our home has an insurance history which tends to frighten the majority of companies.

This is further complicated since 2007 by an industry fear of any properties near a watercourse. I have been asked if we live within 30m, 150m, 250m, even 1000m of a watercourse that has flooded in the past. Despite the fact that our house has never been flooded, our proximity to the local dyke which affected our neighbours, severely restricted our ability to obtain insurance. Until we were given your telephone number by the National Flood Forum, no one wanted to know about our flood defences since 2007 or steps that the local council had taken to minimize backflow due to a silted up road bridge and the cleaning of local drains.

We're still getting junk mail advertising discounted prices for home insurance, but the minute you tell the "advisor" at Saga, Churchill, More Than and others that you have history, they don't want to know. Or if a company is willing to give a quote, it can be as much as £1400 for a small, three-bedroom house. We were insured through Saga for 12 months. When our renewal papers arrived, I noticed that one of the declarations had changed from "The property has never been flooded" (2008) to "the property is not within 150m of a watercourse that has flooded" (2009). When I informed them that the declaration was now a Yes, Saga refunded part payment without actually saying that the policy was cancelled. My oversight regarding this credit at that time meant that we were without cover for 11 months.

Millions of people in the UK have a history of subsidence, 80% due to trees. Millions of people also live near streams and rivers and, with more unpredictable weather due to climate change, those people often find themselves unable to obtain affordable cover. I know that 2 of our neighbours have no insurance at this time.

Although our new policy is a bit more expensive than in the past, it is not excessive considering that the underwriters are assuming a slightly elevated level of risk. Neil, thank you for helping us through a very worrying and frustrating period.

SEE ALSO: (on this blog)

Defra Flood summit focuses on a shared approach to managing flood risk
Flood insurance problems won't go away
Flood Damage insurance

Defra Flood summit focuses on a shared approach to managing flood risk

17th September 2010

Flood summit at Defra focuses on a shared approach to managing flood risk

Environment Minister Richard Benyon met with insurers to discuss how best to ensure that insurance is widely available for homes at risk of flooding at a flood summit.

The summit brought together key representatives from the insurance industry, the National Flood Forum, the Environment Agency and local government to discuss the challenges in managing future flood risk.

Participants discussed innovative ways of reducing flood risk, the availability and transparency of flood risk data and the current availability and affordability of flood insurance. They agreed on a roadmap towards 2013 when the current agreement between Government and insurers on flood risk management expires. All parties also recognised that insurance policies should reflect flood risk, including resilience and other efforts by individuals to limit their own damage.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said:“I am delighted with the progress that we have made. Floods are devastating to anyone who suffers them. People can lose their homes, treasured possessions and businesses. In the worst case lives may be lost. Government has a role to play in managing the overall risk to the nation, but we all, as individuals need to take greater responsibility for understanding our own flood risk and minimising it where we can. Insurers continue to have an important role in helping us to recover when the next floods hit.

“The summit has been an opportunity to sit down and listen to different perspectives and experiences. The progress made will help those at risk of flooding.”

Maggie Craig, Acting Director-General of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said:“Insurers are determined that flood cover continues to be as widely available as possible. Insurance plays a crucial role in helping homeowners and businesses recover from the distress and expense of being flooded. Millions of people rely on the financial protection insurance provides.

“With the flood risk set to worsen for many, all stakeholders must work to find a solution to help the growing number of people at risk. We must ensure that investment in our flood defences keeps pace with the flood threat. Insurers are committed to working in partnership with their customers, Government, and other stakeholders to ensure that communities at risk of flooding get the protection they need and deserve.”

Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum (NFF) said:“Those at risk of being flooded live in fear of insurance blight. We at the NFF believe flood insurance should be available and affordable for everybody not just the few. Managing flood risk should be a partnership between, the insurance industry, government and the homeowner. Making your home more resilient to flooding, where possible, can be of great benefit and we would encourage sharing of good practice.”

The summit concluded with all attendees agreeing to continue the partnership between government, insurers, communities and individuals, which is so important to the success of future flood risk management in the face of challenges from climate change.

Flood insurance is currently widely available and included within standard building and contents insurance, a situation virtually unique to the UK.

The impacts of climate change are set to increase the likelihood of flood events such as those experienced in the summer of 2007.

To continue the progress which has been achieved at today’s summit, three working groups are to be established which will further discuss and investigate risk sharing models, data transparency and facilitating information sharing between individuals and insurers. Future flood summits will also be held to enable key stakeholders to continue to share experiences and findings and to work together to successfully manage the challenges that future flood risk presents.

Source: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which is a Government Department in the UK

Looking for insurance for Flood damaged property or property in a risk area? CLICK HERE

Flood insurance problems won't go away

We are nearly into October 2010 and before we know winter will be upon us and the possibility of floods once again.

Many people who live in areas close to rivers are being affected by some insurance companies policies regarding living in area that could have flooding.

Neil Cook an Insurance Broker working with Equity and General Insurance Services Ltd emailed earlier this week to say "I am getting a good few calls from clients in Oxford as they are near the river they are being dropped by their house insurers as they are in a new floodzone & uninsuranble" A very worrying situation.

On this blog on the 7th September we featured this story "Flood Damage Insurance" that is featured in "Yourletters: The voice of Furness and South Cumbria ".

There is "Summary of findings – National Flood Forum 2010 survey of flooded individuals - Produced by Dr Tim Harries" which is well worth taking a look at by following this link and on the 17th September there was a Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Flood summit and the Press Release can be found HERE

Looking for insurance for Flood damaged property or property in a risk area? CLICK HERE

High Wycombe Town Centre flat for sale - Great Price

A well presented ground floor flat situated within walking distance of High Wycombe town centre amenites and station, available with no onward chain.

The property comprises: security entry system, entrance hall, living room, kitchen, double bedroom, electric heating, double glazing, resident parking, communal gardens has recently been listed with High Wycombe Estate Agents. Wye Residential.

It is great value with an asking price of £139,950 and would appeal to the owner occupier or investment market. If you planned to let this out looking at the current state of rental property in High Wycombe it would let for approximately £620+ per month (You would need to get one of the local ARLA Member letting agents to advise you further).

Full details can be found HERE and the details on the agents website HERE

Monday 13 September 2010

AST Threshold Changes

Rentshield Landlord insurance are reminding landlords and agents about the forthcoming changes to the AST threshold from the 1st October.

As you may know, there is a change in the threshold limit for Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) rents commencing on 1st October 2010. Previously, legislation associated with the Housing Act 1998 stated that all tenancies with an annual rent of over £25,000 could not be AST’s. These tenancies were agreed on a contractual basis and the tenancy terms were agreed by the landlord and the tenant and were not enshrined by statue.

What does this mean for you?

Well, all new tenancies formed with aggregate rents of £25,000 to £100,000 pa will default to AST status, and any tenancy with annual rent between £25,000 and £100,000 in existence on 1st October 2010 will become an AST overnight (Provided that there are no relevant exemptions) Landlords & Tenants will no longer be able to negotiate individual terms in relation to their tenancy. In short this means that all rights associated with the Housing Act 1988 will be extended to cover rentals up to £100,000pa.

One major impact this has for landlord is that they must now protect their tenants deposit with a government approved scheme. Any landlords that do not will be in breach of TDP (Tenancy Deposit Protection) Legislation.

Source: Rentshield

For more information on Rentshield and other Landlord insurance products CLICK HERE

easyJet becomes first Low Cost Carrier to protect passengers

easyJet become first Low Cost Carrier to protect passengers under the Package Travel Regulations by way of Insurance

From 2nd September 2010, easyJet Airline Company limited (easyJet) is switching its financial security obligations provider from the Travel Trust Association to International Passenger Protection Ltd (IPP). All passengers booking Packages (flights plus other travel components) online with easyJet will continue to benefit from financial protection in the event of its insolvency. easyJet will be the first low cost carrier to protect its passengers through insurance arranged with IPP the world leaders in providing credit protection products to the travel industry.

Paul Phillips, Group Treasurer of easyJet Airline Company Limited stated “We pride ourselves at being one of the leading and most innovative airlines in the UK and, despite our strong financial standing, we recognise that we have important legal obligations to adhere to under the UK Package Travel Regulations. We acknowledge our continued duty to give passengers financial peace of mind when buying travel packages online from us”.

“The travel industry and travelling public have suffered a surge of financial collapses in the last two years and headlines of passengers losing their holidays are becoming commonplace. We are delighted to be working with easyJet to ensure its continued compliance with the relevant consumer protection legislation in place,” stated Paul Mclean, Director at IPP.

Anyone wishing to protect themselves for ‘flight only’ bookings can purchase cover separately through EasyJet’s competitive Travel Insurance policy.

Source: Michael Ward - International Passenger Protection Ltd

Protect your holiday - Financial Failure Travel Insurance from as little as £5 per person - Find out more HERE

Friday 10 September 2010

New Endsleigh policy feature will help protect travellers

Endsleigh protects travellers from airline bankruptcy - New policy feature will help protect travellers.

26 August 2010: Leading insurance provider Endsleigh has expanded its existing single and multi-trip travel insurance policies to protect travellers that aren’t covered by the Government’s ATOL scheme from airline insolvency.

ATOL protection only applies to package bookings - where a flight and another part of the trip are booked from the same operator. Millions of people who book various parts of their trip separately are not covered by the Government scheme.

Endsleigh’s cover for scheduled airlines, provided by specialist International Passenger Protection Limited (IPP), will mean customers who are not ATOL protected will be able to recover some of their booking costs if an airline goes into administration prior to travel. It also covers the cost of the return journey home if the collapse occurs when the customer is away. Holidaymakers can be protected for up to £2,000 per person without any excess.

“The recession and recent natural disasters have had a significant impact on the aviation industry.” explains Michael Ward of IPP. “High profile airline insolvency such as Sky Europe, Globespan, XL and Nationwide has meant that up until now, travellers without package deals haven’t had many options to protect themselves against airplane insolvency.”

Ben Hosford of Endsleigh Insurance said,“For most, flying is part and parcel of a holiday. To avoid facing a disruption to the holiday it is important for holidaymakers to ensure they have adequate cover, especially when their travel arrangements aren’t ATOL protected. We are always working to develop and expand our products to respond to our customers’ needs and we are pleased to add this cover to ensure peace of mind. ”

A recent survey by independent rating agency Defaqto found that only 1 in 5 travel insurance products includes this important cover.

Source: Endsleigh

To find out more about Endsleigh Travel Insurance Click Here

Renters in the South west are the safest.

South West tenants are some of the safest in the UK ...but Colchester tops the bill.

10 June 2010 – Findings published today by Endsleigh show that renters in the South West of England are some of the safest in the UK for household theft.

The new figures, which identify the top ten safest towns and cities in the UK for rented accommodation burglary include four areas in the South West; Bournemouth, Swindon, Bath and Plymouth. Colchester tenants came out on top, being named the overall safest with over three quarter (77%) fewer claims than the national average.
Seven out of the top 10 cities are located in the South of England, with two in the East of England (Norwich and Ipswich) and just one in the North of England (Preston).

The results were collected by analysing claims over the last three years from EndsleighLet policyholders in the UK. EndsleighLet analyses the percentage of claims in different UK towns and cities against the number of policyholders, ranking them based on the comparative risk of burglary, rather than on the total number of claims there have been.

The survey also looked at the riskiest and safest tenants for household theft by profession. Investment bankers are the most at risk of burglary, making over twice the number of claims than the national average. The top ten safest included police officers, computer analysts and Local Government staff, but first place went to office administration staff, making over two thirds (69%) fewer claims than the national average.

Carlos Thompson, Senior Manager, Endsleigh said,

“This is great news for tenants in Colchester and the South West of England, and a testament to the safety initiatives in those areas. However, it is important that tenants don’t become complacent and ensure they take extra care when leaving the property they rent for any period of time.

Tenants should feel safe in the knowledge that their most prized possessions are adequately covered for all eventualities should the worst happen, and Endsleigh have a competitive tenants contents insurance policy with flexible cover benefits to suit all budgets and cover requirements.”

Top 10 Tables for Household Theft in the UK













Investment Banker
Administration Clerk

Computer Analyst

Retail Manager

Sales Assistant

Management Consultant
Administration Officer

Police Officer

Unemployed - Disabled

Marketing Assistant

Business Analyst
Local Government - Clerical

Research Scientist
Office Clerk

Source: Endsleigh

To find out more about Endsleigh Rental Insurance Click Here

Endsleigh house sharer insurance for students

Endsleigh launches house sharer policy tailored for students - 24th August 2010

New policy created using feedback from students.

In the run up to the start of the new University term, leading student insurer Endsleigh has launched an insurance policy specifically tailored for groups of students living together.

Feedback from Endsleigh’s customers has shown that students in shared, private rented accommodation find it difficult to organise home insurance because it normally means one person has to take responsibility for it and it can be an arduous task. Endsleigh has designed a house sharer policy specifically to encourage groups of students living together to organise cover together.

The cover allows students in shared accommodation to insure general contents throughout the house under one policy. It protects £3,000 worth of possessions for each house mate, with each student having a unique log-in to choose from a range of specific top-ups for their unique situation. Up to ten people can be included on one policy.

Vicki O’Connell, Endsleigh spokesperson said,

“For many students, moving into shared housing, for what is normally the very first time can be stressful. Making sure your possessions are protected isn’t normally the first thing you think of. However, it is important for sharers to have adequate cover, particularly in multiple occupancy accommodation, as it can often be a target for thieves because of the higher number of valuables inside.

We’ve developed the house sharer policy to be a quick and easy way for students to arrange for their possessions to be protected throughout the house. Everyone can sign up individually online, under the name of the property. And it encourages the housemates to work together, because the more people who join, the cheaper it is

Source: Endsleigh

To find out more about Endsleigh Rental Insurance Click Here

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Flood Damage insurance

A letter received by a specialist insurance broker who deals a lot with insurance for properties in flood affected areas.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I just wanted to highlight the problems I have had now that my insurance has come up for renewal.

Last November, as people will remember, Cumbria suffered from severe flooding following extreme heavy rain. I live in Coniston and at the bottom of my garden there is an embankment which drops down to Church Beck. I am responsible for (own) the part of the beck which borders my garden and half way to the other side. During this period of wet weather the force of the water gouged out a hole in the embankment, taking away part of the retaining wall. On the positive side, there was no flooding whatsoever to my garden, and therefore my house, as the water level would still have had quite a way to rise.

I duly notified my insurance company who took the claim on board.

It is now nearly 12 months later and my policy was due for renewal on 6th September. The problems I have encountered are as follows:

* The work has still not been done. Last month the Environmental Agency finally granted permission to carry out temporary works (to stabilise the embankment against further damage over the winter) and permanent works to be undertaken next year when the beck will be more accessible.

* On 3rd August I received a letter from my insurance company informing me my policy is due for renewal in September and that I would continue to get excellent service if I renewed with them. Since I had this large claim with them and the fact that my premium had not increased, I decided without doubt to remain with them. On 27th August I then received another letter from them saying they were unable to invite me to renew with them as they required further information.

A new quotation would then be given, but due to my claims history all flood cover would be excluded. I rang them straight away although the information I gave them was really about my claims history. In fact the only history I had in all my years of household insurance was this outstanding one. The following week I was quoted a couple of pounds more for my annual premium but they still would not insure me against flood. The insurance company assured me I would have 14 days grace whilst deciding what to do but although I asked for this in writing, it never materialised.

* Whilst I appreciate that once the works are completed, the risk is very low as Coniston is in a low flood risk area (1 in 200 chance according to the Environmental Agency), I was not comfortable, especially with having the beck at the bottom of the garden. I rang a couple of Insurance companies I found on the internet but they did not want to know, especially since the claim was still outstanding. Time was running out.

* On 31st August I got a letter from my insurance company telling me that my policy had been cancelled.

* I therefore turned to the local Community Flood Committee who really have been instrumental in giving me a peace of mind I thought I would not get. They gave me the name of someone who may be able assist me to get insurance. In addition I spoke to several people who were members of the National Flood Forum and who were very supportive and helpful. I was informed that the Government had a Gentleman's Agreement with the Insurance Companies that flood cover would never be excluded from a policy.

* On 6th September, I spoke to this company and within 1/2 hour I had my cover for household insurance with no restrictions or loaded excess. Yes, I had to pay more, but not ridiculously so.

* I rang my original insurers and told them I had now been offered cover. I also reminded them of the Government Agreement mentioned earlier. They then came back to me and surprisingly offered to re-instate my policy at the previously quoted premium but with a £10,000 excess on flood cover. I declined !

I just wanted to reassure people who face this type of problem when their insurance does come up for renewal. There is help out there
Kind regards

J..... H.....
If you need insurance for fllod damaged property or property in an area that could be at risk to flood damage CLICK HERE

Sunday 5 September 2010

The Gap Year Trap - Essential Travel

Don't Get Caught In The Gap Year Trap - Essential Travel - September 04, 2010 sees a post exam-results boom in backpacker enquiries but warns young travellers to beware the Gap Year trap

In response to a surge in enquiries about its gap year insurance policy in the week since the A-level exam results were announced, has blogged advice to help gappers make their "working holiday" work for them.

Heightened competition for university places has meant that many students haven't made the grade and will opt to take a year out and re-apply for 2011.

"Missing out on university this time round could actually provide young people with a golden opportunity, as long as they avoid the gap year trap," says Stuart Bensusan of

"With the post-graduation job race becoming ever more cut-throat, a well-spent gap year could be the key to putting new graduates ahead of their peers, once the university chapter has closed. However, the gap year trap of spending their year out in vain is an easy one to fall into, which is why we are using our blog to advise students on the sorts of gap years that will help bolster their CVs and show them the time of their lives.

"We're also urging gappers to stay safe and ensure that they have the right travel insurance for the type of work and leisure activities they plan to undertake in their year out. Most gap year insurance policies will cover travellers for work such as fruit-picking, teaching, au pairing, non-manual volunteering and bar work but not for construction work or any job that requires them to operate machinery or power tools," continues Bensusan. advises that the key to getting gap year travel right is to fill the year with something active and something that young adults will be able to speak about with passion and insight's top tips for a valuable gap year include:

Work on a cruise ship - the perfect way to see the world and still earn a crust.

Teach scuba diving on an island - Travellers can get certified as a dive instructor and head over to the world's best islands and coastal destinations!

Work at an animal sanctuary in Africa - Gappers with a passion for animals will relish the chance to rear injured or lost animals back to health, restore damaged habitats and generally maintain the sanctuary.

Teach English as a foreign language in Asia - This opportunity brings the chance to teach and learn at the same time. Many travellers make amazing friends doing the same thing and also earn some money to fund further travels.

Volunteer abroad - Young adults will reap the benefits of rebuilding damaged eco systems in the Philippines, helping at orphanage projects in Brazil or looking after sick children in hospitals in South Africa.

For more information on's advice on gap year travel, please go the company's dedicated blog page at's gap year insurance starts from GBP108.58 per person and is, on average, 34 per cent cheaper than the company's competitors.

For further information on the range of holiday essentials provide, please visit

Established in 2001, is one of the UK's leading online travel essentials companies. The core products offered include competitively priced, fully comprehensive travel insurance; airport car parking; airport lounge access; airport hotels; car hire; and car hire excess insurance

Source:Essential Travel

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Flood insurance

Just came this site - from The Environment Agency

Over 5 million people in England and Wales live and work in properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea. Are you one of them?

Interesting information on "Am I at risk of flooding?", "Flood warnings", "How can I be prepared?", "What should I do when it floods?", "What we're doing to manage flood risk", "River and sea levels"

If you have any concerns about flooding take a look at that site and also HERE .

What about insurance for properties in flood affected areas? Find out more HERE