Monday 20 February 2012

Another Kidnap & Ransom drama on TV this week, have you got insurance?

The second ITV drama series Kidnap and Ransom hits the TV screenn ITV1 on Thursday evening 23rd February at 9.00.

Once again it stars Trevor Eve as international hostage negotiator Dominic King with Helen Baxendale as his business partner. According to the ITV website "In the new series, we join Dominic King in Srinagar, Kashmir negotiating the release of the Mehtas, a British Asian family kidnapped while on holiday visiting their son Mahavir. As the handover is completed, the police arrive and a shoot-out ensues.Dominic gets most of the family to safety but the kidnappers get away with Mahavir. In their panic they board a tourist bus, taking all those on board hostage" Terevor Eve who was came to TV fame in the Shoestring TV detective series years ago and more recently in Waking the Dead has produced this second series. Like the first series a year ago, there are three episodes.

This will now remind people that if you are thinking of going to a dangerous location, it might be advisable thinking about taking out Kidnap and Ransom insurance for your travels. Find out more by following this link 

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Insurance companies offering flood insurance cover

Neil Cook, insurance broker has today sent us this note. We have deleted part of the names of the insurance firms he refers to.

“I was just speaking to a client unfortunately he was with a firm called insurance XXXXX although he was in a very low risk flood area they charged him an unreasonable premium with a vast unjustified £2500 flood excess which in truth was unacceptable to his mortgage company so was not worth the paper it was written on I got him a quote that cost 25% with just a £100 flood excess.

Other common bad practice is offering those with flood cover policies excluding flood that still cost a fortune when in truth I as am a true specialist can always get flood cover at affordable prices. I never unlike others ask for flood surveys which in themselves cost a lot of money so I
can offer an instant saving.

Similar bad practice applies to homes suffering from subsidence, mining subsidence, historic movement IE cracking in an older property. Bad specialists require expensive survey reports upfront which is no help if the house is on the market then charge unfair premiums and unrealistic subsidence excesses. The client needs to remember that your lender will only
accept a policy with a £1500 subsidence excess at most although some lenders will only accept £1000 again don't take cover without subsidence you can often find full cover through a true specialist at less premiums less than you would expect.

Don't be fooled by the bad brokers when they say "you don't have to tell the lender about the flood or subsidence excess" your lender will find out and will cancel your mortgage.

Nor should you be fooled by your insurer or the rantings/scare mongering from the Association of British Insurers that if you have suffered flood or subsidence that you must stay with the existing insurer and pay vast premiums for the privilege!

Common bad brokers are insuranceXXXX and  XXXXX (some real horror stories about them such as a cheap premium that once pay for it, it doubles in price) Neil also names a further nine companies and mentions insurance companies who claim to offer specialist cover, but in fact don't as they just own the search engine writes to the word "insurance" so don't be fooled by them either please.

It might be worth setting up a forum were clients can name and shame bad brokers like this."

If you would be interested, please contact Neil Cook here about this.

If you want an insurance quote from Neil Cook, please follow this link.

Source: Neil Cook

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Insurance bill for October 2011 floods in Ireland reaches €127 million

The Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) issued a press release a month ago on about the cost of flood damage in the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish Insurance Federation is the representative body for insurance companies in Ireland representing 62 member companies, which employ over 14,300 people.

Their press release of the 12th January 2012 said "The Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) today announced that the estimated total insured cost of last October’s floods is €127m. Many homes and businesses suffered substantial damage as a result of the flooding that mostly affected the East Coast, in particular Dublin. This was the fourth costliest weather event to affect the country, and the second largest flood event ever according to IIF data.

Michael Horan, Non-Life Manager, IIF said, ‘The October floods caused significant destruction during a very short time frame and insurers worked with customers to ensure they were back on track as fast as possible. 6,703 customers were affected during this period and the total cost of claims amounted to €127m. This money was injected back into the economy creating employment through repair work carried out to homes and businesses’.

The breakdown of claims and costs by class of business is as follows:

• €58m in household claims (3,532 claims),

• €59m in commercial property claims (1,251 claims),

• €10m in motor claims (1,920 claims).

The cost of this flood event is the fourth largest weather-related loss in Ireland after the January 2010 freeze (€297m), the 2009 floods (€244m) and the December 2010 freeze (€224m). These four events, all of which have occurred over the past two years, have cost €892m and are a graphic illustration of how the Irish insurance industry protects millions of people against financial loss.

“The October 2011 and November 2009 floods highlight the importance of adequate investment in flood defences in vulnerable areas. Action needs to be taken now in these areas so that flood damage is minimised in future”, said Mr Horan. " Source IIF

At / we promote companies who offer various insurance products. There are a couple of specialist insurance brokers advertising who will help with flood insurance in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but unfortunately not in the Replublic of Ireland. These are Homeprotect   and Allstyles Insurance

We are still searching for partner firms in the Republic of Ireland who can advertise their services on / as there is a big market on Ireland there. This includes normal property insurance, property rental insurance plus, unfortunately the firms we approach are not interested which is a great shame as we would have thought the more business they can get the better it would be all round.

If you run an insurance business in the Republic of Ireland we would love to hear from you and you can contact us here 

NLA survey finds that Landlords in the UK see Property as Pension

A survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) has found 81% of landlords expect to rely on their portfolio to help them financially after they stop working.

Landlords regard their property portfolio as an important part of their post-retirement income, as their confidence in the economy slumps to an all-time low.

The news comes after the number of savers contributing to pensions dropped by 8%** in the last 10 years – from 46% to 38% of all employees.

The NLA survey also found that landlords are increasingly pessimistic about the UK economy, with confidence dropping to a record low of just three points, down from 11 points one year ago.

David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, commented: “Landlord confidence in the financial market is at an all-time low. This combined with record low interest rates means that many individuals are looking for alternative ways to secure their financial future.

“Private-residential property can be a sound long-term investment for those planning their retirement. But potential landlords must realise that letting property is a lot more complicated than contributing to a pension.

“Becoming a landlord is just like starting any other small business. Anyone considering using property to bolster their pension plans must make sure that they put together a long-term business plan, taking account of the various regulations governing the letting of property, as well as their responsibility to tenants.”

*550 NLA members were surveyed. The survey was conducted by the NLA and BDRC Continental, the UK’s largest independent research agency, to evaluate landlord’s concerns during the fourth quarter of 2011.

**Statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions, December 2011. The overall number of people saving into a private pension fell from 46% in 1999/00 to 38% in 2009/10.

Source NLA jml Property Services (Jeffrey Milner Ltd) have been members of the NLA since the mid 1980's when it was known as the SLA (Small Landlords Association) 

Flood risks in political constituencies across England and Wales

The ABI - Association of British Insurers - "The voice of the UK's insurance industry" issued a news release on the 31st January entitled  "From Aberconwy to York, Boston to Windsor - ABI Highlights the serious Flood Risk facing communities in England and Wales"

They said The worrying scale of the flood risk faced by communities in political constituencies across England and Wales is revealed today, 31 January 2012 by the ABI. Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire is the constituency with the most homes at significant risk of flooding followed by the Vale of Clwyd, Folkestone and Hythe, then Windsor. In 92 constituencies there are 1,000 or more homes at high flood risk.

The ABI has analysed the latest Environment Agency flood data against the 573 parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales. This shows that, despite Government pledges to tackle the rising flood threat, thousands of homes and businesses remain at significant flood risk. Significant flood risk is defined as a greater than 1 in 75 chance of flood in any given year.

The findings reinforce ABI’s warning that, with the insurance industry’s voluntary flood agreement with the Government ending in June 2013, a new sustainable long-term solution needs to be urgently agreed to avoid as many as 200,000 high-risk households facing problems in getting flood insurance after then.

The analysis highlights that the constituencies with the most homes at significant flood risk are:

Boston and Skegness, where 7,550 homes are at significant flood risk
Vale of Clwyd 7,339

Folkestone and Hythe 7,196

Windsor 7,125

Runnymede and Weybridge 6,541

Clwyd West 6,160

Aberconwy 5,500

Nottingham (south) 5,043

Great Yarmouth 4,965

Sittingbourne and Sheppey 4,295

Leeds (central) 4,209

Canterbury 4,199

Source ABI Media to read the entire news release follow this link

Many people are now finding it difficult to insure their homes in a flood risk area  or if they do, finding the excess for any claims very high. Neil Cook a very well respected experienced insurance broker can normally help, so if you are experiencing problems why not contact him. Follow this link to make contact.