Friday 29 July 2011

Subsidence Property Insurance - a letter from a client

Neil Cook a specialist insurance broker for properties in flood risk areas, properties suffering from subsidence and clients trying to source insurance who have criminal records has just sent us the following.

"I am/was in the process of buying a property in Worcestershire. It is c 1820 and very obviously had a tie bar through it. The survey from the last sale of the property 2 years ago said that all of the settlement was historic and so I wasn't expecting any problems. My own surveyor didn't agree and believed that some of the issues were historic and some were recent/ongoing. I then commissioned a structural engineer who agrees with my surveyor. He has given me his verbal report and I will get the written one on Friday or Saturday morning.

The word "subsidence" hasn't been used yet - just "movement" and "settlement" but I wouldn't be shocked if the more dreaded S word cropped up. He is recommending underpinning of a very small area at the front of the property, another tie bar and some helibars.

I intend to do the work if I decide to go ahead with the house sale. I am in the fortunate position that I have somewhere else to live so can have the work done in an empty house before I move in. The major issue for me is insurance. I am not aware of any previous claims at all but I know that I obviously have to be completely honest with the position to ensure that any policy I have is valid in the case of anything going wrong. If the cost is prohibitive I will pull out of the sale.

I clearly need a broker as I absolutely have to get this right; internet research keeps throwing up your name so I hope you don't mind me contacting you.

I assume you would be able to help me? What are your fees please and how long would it take to get a quote once I supply you with the relevant documentation? I can't do the work before I own the property so I need two quotes really - one for pre work and post work. Is that possible? The property is currently insured with (name removed), but is clearly being insured on the basis that the settlement is historic; that was true as far as the vendor is concerned but I now know different.

Time wise I'm beginning to struggle. I've put the conveyancing on hold as I won't proceed with this until I know whether I can afford the insurance. It may not be as bad as I fear but I want to know that before rather than after I'm legally committed to the purchase.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible."

Neil tells us "I got her a quote within 5 mins before the office even opened the premium was 50% less than any other specialist provider offered"

To contact Neil Please click here

Saturday 23 July 2011

Furnished flat to let between Slough and Maidenhead

Available in just over a month, the 27th August 11, to be accurate.

Located at Cippenham in a delightful development - Burnham Gate, this super 2nd floor apartment is being marketed by local letting agents Staples and King.

Conveniently between Slough and Maidenhead, just off the A4 and a short distance to the M4 motorway. Slough Business Trading Estate is very close by. The property is furnished...all you need is crockery cutlery, cooking equipment, bedding, TV, computer and food!

Entrance hall with wood laminate flooring and entry phone. Living room with wood laminate flooring sofa and dining table and blinds. Kitchen with a range of modern units - fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, microwave, dishwasher, electric cooker and tiled flooring. Bathroom with tiled flooring, bath with shower, WC and basin. Double bedroom with wardrobe, double bed, chest of drawers, wood laminate flooring and blinds.

There is an attic providing plenty of storage space. The apartment is double glazed and has electric heating. Plenty of parking, communual gardens

Find out more Here and arrange a viewing with Staples and King

Friday 22 July 2011

Property owners in Harvington, Evesham, Worcs

Information supplied to a specialist insurance broker dealing with property insurance in flood risk areas.

"A month or so ago we attended a workshop, hosted by our District Council, for property owners in our area (Harvington, Evesham) who had suffered from flash flooding in the past. DEFRA had agreed a limited fund for individual flood barriers and a lady was present who was advising on the range of products available.

We had an interesting chat with her and during the conversation the extortionate cost of our househould insurance was mentioned. She, in turn, handed us your business card ** and recommended your services as she had used them in the past.

Our annual combined buildings/contents insurance is costing £2,000 (as at October 2010) plus a £5,000 excess for flood damage - all of which seems absolutely excessive.. We have already spent in excess of £20K on flood prevention measures."

** Insurance broker information was Neil Cook - Contact him HERE

Essential Travel warns that 40% of Holidaymakers Embark on Water Sports Without Checking Insurance

Friday 22nd July 2011

Leading online travel essentials provider, Essential Travel has launched a summer water sports safety campaign after research revealed that 40% of holidaymakers indulge in water sports activities abroad without checking if they have adequate insurance first.

Essential Travel’s “Sea Sense” campaign, which is being fronted by British Kite Surfing Champion, Kirsty Jones, encourages sun-seekers to plan ahead by offering 10% off all travel insurance policies.

Every year there are numerous reports of water related accidents from jet ski, and para-sailing to scuba accidents. Stuart Bensusan of Essential Travel comments: “Often people on holiday throw caution to the wind when actually it’s the time to be most vigilant.”

In a recent in-house survey conducted by the travel insurance specialist, 40% of customers admitted to embarking on dangerous water sports activities while abroad without knowing if they had sufficient insurance.

In addition 56% confessed that they had been caught up in the holiday spirit and taken part in an unplanned water sports activity, demonstrating that it’s not just those who go on pre-planned water sports holidays who need to think about cover.

Bensusan, continued: “This is an incredible risk to take if you consider that the accident rate to UK citizens traveling abroad has doubled in the past 4 years with water sports being one of the main culprits.

“We are trying to encourage consumers to really think about the risks involved in undertaking water activities abroad.

“Many policies are invalidated if the correct equipment isn’t worn or when alcohol has been consumed. Many also don’t realize that if they are taking part in a sporting activity numerous times during their holiday they may need to increase their sports cover level.”

Even experts aren’t immune from accidents. Last year saw Britain’s Kite Surfing Champion, Kirsty Jones, save thousands of pounds after a serious kite surfing accident in Mauritius which rendered her with an operation for reconstructive surgery on her knee.

Jones comments “As a professional athlete one of my greatest fears has always been injury. Whether a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, Sea Sense is about having respect for the ocean, elements, other water users and your own limitations. This means pausing to observe, think and acknowledge when the conditions seem too dangerous for you. Sometimes courage is about having the strength and sense to hold back, respecting the ocean instead of trying to fight with it.”

Lynda St Cooke from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Check the small print of your travel insurance policy to be sure that it covers all water sports activities. It’s all too easy to make a spur of the moment decision to hop on a jet-ski or hire a boat for the day, and realise too late that you’re not covered. Then you risk extortionate medical bills if something goes wrong. We see many cases of British nationals who have ended up saddled with a massive debt at the end of their holiday because their policy didn’t cover them for the activities they took part in. Visit for more information on travel insurance and preparing for a holiday abroad.”

Essential Travel has launched a Sea Sense microsite in a bid to educate consumers about the potential risks involved. The site includes interviews with water sporting professionals such as Will Hayler, founder of the Ticket to Ride Group and championship Kite Surfer, Kirsty Jones. There is also the opportunity to win free kite surfing lessons with Kirsty Jones which will be hosted at the Ticket to Ride Surf Academy in Perranporth.

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.

Essential Travel is now part of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland.

Essential Travel's Travel Insurance is promoted at jml Insurance Here

Essential Trave's Car Hire Excess Insurance is promoted at Here

Wednesday 20 July 2011

A busy week for a specialist insurance broker

Neil Cook a specialist insurance broker who covers subject that many consumers have difficulty in obtaining insurance for like Flood damage property or Ex offenders insurance sent us details of a typical week at work.

Enquiries he had by phone, email and letter and from the web:

Lady’s house was worthless as she could not flood cover

Wealthy gentleman who suffered 2 major floods spent a fortune on defences but his insurers refused to help.

A long established vets practice in Morpeth that had suffered flood claims in excess of £1m they could not get any insurance so the business was on the brink of closure as well as making 100 unemployed the impact on the farming community and local pet owners would devastating we got them cover and saved the business as well in fact saving them a lot of money.

Father in prison for major offence needed vacant property cover

Thriving business could not get cover due to convictions

Had been refused cover as in flood plain in Wales

Could not get flood cover as in possible flood plain

Pub with poor claims history

Electrician who is bankrupt

Could not get cover for let flat due to conviction saved him £200

In prison needed cover for his flat

In flood plain

• Had hell on earth after 2 flood claims KESWICK
• 78 years old
• Lives in Bungalow
• Quibbling going on over accommodation costs
• Refusal of help towards R&R even though customer paying
• Had to wait an extra week for driers as Rainbow, although inquired, were told not to put theirs in
• Good surveyor who identified sensible R&R and suggested what could be done at owners cost
• Insurance Builder quoted ridiculous price, said it wouldn’t work, and suggested that he wanted to sleep at night, his boss on the other hand would be pleased at gaining an expensive job

Could not get liability cover due to conviction

Could not get cover due to previous flood

Could not get affordable cover due being in flood plain

Flood victims who’s insurer broke the ABI CODE & did not offer renewal

71 yr old gent in Grimsby was flooded his insurers made a drama out of the claim then increased his premium vastly to £750 with a £4000 flood excess I placed cover at £500 with a £2500 flood excess

67 yr lady hellish experience after being flooded I almost halved the premium

Could not get cover due to boyfriends conviction

Could not cover due to conviction

Could not get cover as flooded

In hull & flooded

Lady in USA wanted cover for UK holiday home in flood plain

Pub that had several claims could not get cover again

Who cannot buy or sell their homes although they have never flooded they are deemed in be wrongly in high risk post codes even if the house is at the top of a hill

Gentleman who could not get cover on his luxury riverside pad as it was on the river bank

Gentleman wrongly accused of sexual assault after being asked to help an a female colleague to get an ink stain off her arm her top got accidently wet and he got nicked

An honest hard working disabled mother she even reported her son when he was younger for breaking a window the son was arrested for trying to fend off an attack by his less than sane ex girlfriend

Gentleman could not buy his dream house as it had been flooded and no normal insurer would cover it

This is only part of the week..... If you would like to contact Neil Cook, please follow this link

Insurance for ex offenders

Ex offenders and their families often have a lot of difficulty in obtaining insurance and specialist insurance brokers will receive emails saying explaining their individual problems.

This article offers a sample of these and all reference to the sender has been removed.

“ We require home insurance for a client with GBH conviction”

“I have a recent criminal conviction act and have a 24 month community supervision order”

“I require a quote for contents insurance on my rented property please. My partner has a criminal conviction and served two and a half months in prison in 2009, so we are finding it difficult to find a reasonable quote”

“I need public liability insurance for my business, I am a self employed painter/decorator with a conviction of theft and perverting the course of justice”

"I am looking for third party fire and theft motorcycle insurance and have a custodial sentence of four years and I served two”

“I urgently need buildings insurance for a property I am buying jointly with
my daughter which will be occupied by her and two other students who will be
paying rent. I have not made a claim on buildings or contents insurance for
over 21 years. I do not have a criminal convictions nor does my daughter, however my husband received a 5 year prison sentence for fraud in 1996 and as a result I have been refused insurance on several occasions and am having problems obtaining it now. Can you offer me cover?”

You could say following research by a major insurance specialist who wishes to put right the wrongs in the insurance industry

If you thought the issue over banks and financial institutions miss selling Payment Protection Insurance was appalling or the “late” News of The World was horrendous a crime committed every minute of the day by those major insurance companies who sell you cover through call centres or online is far far worse!

According to a respected charity there are an estimated 7 million ex offenders in the UK which accounts to one in five of the adult population of the UK including Northern Ireland assuming that most people (including their family) have typically 3 insurance policies so that’s over 20 million policies that have been under false pretences by online insurers who fail to correctly ask/advise the policyholder that they must disclose criminal convictions also the problem is not helped by ex offender support agencies who fail badly by not highlighting this fact to their clients.

It is he duty of the policyholder, whether or not they are asked by the insurer to disclose any unspent criminal conviction also there is no harm disclosing any spent convictions too ensure everything is correct. Sadly those online insurers are more interested in grabbing the premium that actually treating customers fairly please pleas do not fall into this trap ! When you buy car or vehicle insurance you may just be asked if you have any motoring convictions as sadly that’s all the call centre staff are programmed to ask

In all honesty if you have convictions and have brought a policy and have not correctly disclosed criminal convictions you have wasted your money you will not be paid and insurers can have you prosecuted for attempted fraud to avoid paying claims or also report you to the police for having no insurance to avoid motor claims.

If you are looking for ex offenders insurance please take a look at this page

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Flood damaged Property Insurance might soon be needed again

The UK has seen a relatively dry summer in 2011; however the wet weather of the last few days brings back concerns for numerous home owners across the country about heavy rainfall and flooding.

An independent specialist insurance broker has been receiving a lot of enquiries this year from property owners and below are a selection outlying their questions.

“We would be very grateful if you could call us as soon as possible. We live in a detached £825,000 property near Stratford upon Avon and are looking for buildings and contents insurance. The rebuild cost insured is £580,000. We have a clean claims record.

Like one of the testimonials left by one of your customers, we have recently found out that our present insurer is withdrawing from the insurance market and our policy expires shortly. The property in which we live is not in a flood plain, but has a drainage ditch which flooded due to a blocked culvert in the 2007 floods.

I want to buy a house that is near the River Thames but no one will insure us

The previous owners made a claim for this in 2007. It is not in a flood risk area but, due to the claim we have found that many high street names will not offer us replacement insurance. The previous owners also made a claim of £650 for what was suspected to be subsidence but turned out to be an old crack in the skin of the wall due to seasonal shrinkage in the clay soil. Drainage work at a cost of £650 was carried out and the problem was resolved. No further evidence of movement has appeared. We would be very grateful if you could give us a ring. Many thanks”

We live in a wonderful river side house on the Thames the garden leads down to the river it’s a superb property although there is a considerable slope to the river which stops any possible flood ever reaching the river we were forced to pay astronomical premiums without flood cover until we found a true specialist without flood cover we could not continue with our mortgage and the home was worthless in addition we have a riverside flat in Chelsea although this is built on huge pilings above the River Thames we could not get cover for that either

We are looking at purchasing a property in Boscastle, North Cornwall. Before proceeding, we would like a quote for holiday home insurance (buildings and contents) and although this area is known previously for it\'s flooding, we have heard favourable reports about your insurance cover. The property is a 2 bedroom apartment. It would be appreciated if you could give us an indication of the insurance premium before we proceed”

“We need building and contents insurance as we are looking at buying a property that was damaged by flooding in 2007”

I live near the Dartford crossing in Kent, about a mile to the left of my house is the river Thames as that is about 150 feet below the house it will never flood my house ! To the right of my property is a small stream the River Cray its over 300 yards from the house BUT its over a hundred foot below the level of my house and there are five rows of houses between me and river no normal insurer will talk to me ! the issue is that although the flood maps are checked they are 2 dimensional and no normal insurer has the sense to to look at the lay of the land and see that I am on the top of a hill that happens throughout the whole country with out cover I cannot get a mortgage so the house is un salable and worthless.

If you are about to renew your property’s insurance and found that your insurance provider has increased the premium dramatically because you live in a flood area, or the property is located in a “Post Code Zone” that has flooding even though yours is not affected, OR you if you were insured with the insurer National Insurance and Guarantee who withdrew from the market last year and no one else wants to help you get cover again

The Environment Agency has an excellent mapping site that you can find out if you are within a “flood” area.,%20City%20of%20London&lang=_e&layerGroups=default&textonly=off

For more information on insurance for Flood damaged property follow this link

Monday 18 July 2011

Problem property building and contents insurance solved in high risk flood area post code Zone

Having lived at in our property for 30 years, I thought we had overcome all the obstacles until this year when I tried to re new our buildings and contents insurance!

Nothing has ever gone smoothly with our property since we discovered we had purchased what is known as a non standard construction pre-fab when trying to modernise it!

It was made from asbestos and bricked round. A lot of it has now been removed but there is still some left.

I have always been honest about this to our insurers and never had too much of a problem but this year they would no longer cover me and it turns out it was nothing to do with the property but our postcode as it is in a high risk flood area!

We have never had a claim for anything,and never seen floods here, so this shocked me.

The broker found me a new insurance but our contents alone went up by £300!

So I decided to do my own research and contacted numerous well known insurance companies plus trawled the internet ( hence how I discovered Neil! ) and found that most would not consider us and some would cover us for one not both of our problems!

Also if they did consider us it was a very hefty payment!

So I had almost given up and decided after all these years we would have to just risk having no insurance but it didnt sit well with me and caused a lot of anxiety.

I made contact with Neil after putting into a search engine, problems getting household insurance, and started to feel hopeful again.

He rang me very promptly and was so reassuring that he would find us insurance I knew I could relax at last!

I had to send him some photos of our house to satisfy the insurance company but it was all straight forward after that,our insurance premium has gone up by £200 but the excess is still the same and he halved the quote from our original broker so we are more than happy!

All I can say is thank goodness for Neil because he knew exactly how to deal with this and it was a great weight off my mind!

I will certainly be recommending Neil and TR Youngs to people as I am sure there will be alot more people I know with similar problems!

The above information has been sent to Neil Cook of TR Youngs Insurance Brokers by one of their clients. If you live in an area that is classified as a "Flood Area" either by post code or the possibility of flooding and need insurance, you can contact TR Youngs Here

Find out more about Flood insurance Here

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Subsidence Claims

Subsidence can be classified as the downward movement of the ground beneath a building's foundations. It can be caused by a number of factors, which become more or less likely based on your geographical location. Regardless of what type of subsidence you encounter, finding that it is affecting your home can be extremely disconcerting (for you and your house insurance subsidence prospects).

Read on...... Subsidence Claims