Category Archives: Insurance

Insurance

Understanding Home Insurance

Understanding Home Insurance

Having the right insurance is vital – it can protect your home, your income and your belongings. However, once you’ve gone to the effort of obtaining the right policy for you it’s important to make sure you don’t do anything to invalidate your policy.
 
That’s why you need to talk to an independent advisor who knows the policies inside and out – and who can give you advice on the exclusions so that you know your policy pays out when it should, and that you’re aware of what can cause any issues should you need to make a claim.
 
Here’s an example of what can invalidate a house insurance claim:

Locks

If you tick the wrong box when you declare the type of lock you have in your home, and it’s wrong, your policy may be voided as this can have an effect on the premium you pay. The stronger your lock, the more secure your home is deemed to be. In addition, if you have window locks but don’t use them, your insurer can reject a claim if your home is broken into.

Alarms

 If you state that you have a house alarm fitted at your property and it either doesn’t work properly or isn’t used and your home is broken into, your claim could be denied.

Securing your home 

If your home is broken into and there is no sign of forced entry then your insurer may not pay out, even if there is evidence that you have been burgled. In the small print of your policy there should be some guidance in ‘forced or violent entry’ which can indicate your cover. The same goes for your car should that get broken into too.

Vacant property

If you go on extended holidays – usually classed as such if it’s longer than 60 days – then your home is seen as unoccupied and your policy may be invalid, and a claim could be rejected. This goes for both break-ins and any damage due to flood or fire. Some insurers will even stipulate that it cannot be vacant for more than 30 days so check your policy before you take a long trip.

Advertising that your property is vacant

In today’s world of social media, we often post our holiday photographs whilst we are away. However, if you do this and your home is targeted by burglars whilst you’re away, it could invalidate your cover. Many thieves will scour social media to see who’s away and when and use this to gain entry into your home. This could be deemed as reckless by your insurer. If you do want to post holiday snaps wait until you are home stating that you ‘had’ a great holiday or make all of your posts private with a limited audience to close friends and family.

Specify your valuables 

If you have expensive personal belongings and valuables in your home such as jewellery, watches or expensive electronics, it could exceed your insurer’s ‘single item limit’ and you will need to list them separately. Many insurers impose a £2,000 to £3,000 limit. If you fail to specify items worth more than this amount, you may not be covered for these items.

In summary: 

Install high quality working locks.
Make sure your house alarm works and is used.
Ensure your home is locked when you leave.
Specify valuable items.
Don’t leave your home for extended periods of time without telling your insurer and consider using a house sitter.
Don’t advertise the fact that you are away.
Read your policy carefully and be aware of any exclusions.
 

I Have Just Taken Out a Mortgage – Do I Need Insurance?

If you have just taken out a mortgage, this repayment is likely to be your largest monthly outgoing. If you were unable to meet this payment each month, how would you survive and would you be at risk of losing your home?

There are several ways you can protect yourself and your family from being unable to meet your mortgage outgoings. You can take out protection insurance to cover your mortgage payments, or you could take out general income protection insurance. There are also the options of critical illness cover, and life insurance if you want to ensure your family can remain in the family home should anything happen to you.

Mortgage Protection

In a nutshell, by having mortgage protection insurance in place, the cost of your mortgage payments are covered should you become unwell or unemployed.

Mortgage protection insurance allows you to continue meeting your mortgage repayments, even if you are no longer in receipt of a regular income. There are three types available: unemployment, accident and sickness, and accident, sickness and unemployment cover. Obviously the more cover you have, the higher your premium.

The cost can vary depending on how much income you need to insure, and the insurance premium will take into account your age, the cost of your mortgage repayments and any underlying medical conditions, along with certain lifestyle choices which could increase your risk of illness. In addition, your job will be risk assessed as this can also affect your premium. For example, the policy will cost more if you are a heavy manual worker as opposed to computer programmer.

There is some flexibility on how your policy will pay out should you make a claim. You may want the policy to just cover your mortgage costs, or you may want it to cover all other outgoings. You can also choose to base the cover on your salary, with many providers typically paying out 50% of your monthly salary.

There is usually a period of time that you must be off work before you can make a claim, this is referred to as an excess period and can be anything from 30 to 180 days. Therefore, if you do take out this insurance we advise having enough savings to last until your insurance company starts to pay out and the more savings you have, and the longer the excess period – the less premium you’ll pay. There are policies that will pay out from the day you are off work, these are known as ‘back-to-day-one’ policies and will typically be more expensive than policies with an excess period.

Income Protection

Income protection is an alternative to mortgage protection, and will pay around 50% of your salary if you are unable to work because of an accident or illness. It tends to be more expensive than mortgage protection, as it will pay out for a longer period, for example until you can go back to work or reach retirement. However, this type of cover won’t cover redundancy.

Critical Illness Cover

Critical illness cover will pay a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, but it won’t pay a regular income.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is worth considering if you have dependents that you would want to stay in the family home. It will pay a lump sum in the event of your death and it could help your family repay the mortgage on your family home.

If you are interested in taking out insurance, talk to our experts at The Mortgage Hub. We would be happy to look at your individual circumstances and advise on the best policy. It’s worth noting that some companies will continue to pay your salary, or a proportion of it, for a set period if you need to take time off owing to illness.

You may also be covered by protection insurance from your employer.

How to save money on your household bills

During the more quiet summer months might be a good time to rethink your family budget, re-negotiate contracts and look at your overall household budget. After all, we could all benefit from the savings – either to make advance payments to the mortgage and build more equity in ur house, finance home improvement – or why not – travel more. Continue reading How to save money on your household bills

A Guide to Building Insurance

You can’t put a price on feeling safe and protected in your home. Building insurance is probably one of the most important types of coverage that you’re likely to get out in your life.

It makes a lot of sense then to think carefully about which type of coverage best suits you and your family. To that end, here’s a quick guide to the basics of insuring your home. Continue reading A Guide to Building Insurance

Joint Bank Accounts – Are They Worth Considering?

When it comes to finances, most people have a slightly different take on what is the ideal set up. And across the spectrum of living situations – from married couples, to couples living together, to flatmates with shared living costs, there are many instances where two people may decide the time is right to open a joint bank account. But of course, with any money related matter, there are both pros and cons to such an account; here, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading Joint Bank Accounts – Are They Worth Considering?