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An insurance policy is not something you can feel or touch. It is therefore very difficult to know if you are getting value for money. it is very important to find a broker you can trust, who is selling you what you need, not what he wants to sell you. Nigel has insured my business and my personal belongings over a number of years and continues to give me confidence that he has my interests at the centre of any of his recommendations.
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Also known as Protected Discount and Protected No Claims Discount/Bonus, a Protected Bonus is readily available on private car policies and means that, having accumulated the maximum level of discount, you do not lose your entitlement if you make up to two claims on your policy in any three year period. The terms of the protection do vary between insurers.
Sometimes referred to as a No Claims Bonus, or simply Bonus, a No Claims Discount (NCD) applies to each complete year you are insured without making a claim on your policy. The levels of discount allowed vary from insurer to insurer and are different for each type of policy (car, motorcycle, commercial vehicle, etc). Each claim free year increases the discount by one level. Each claim made during the period of insurance reduces the discount by two levels.
An excess is that part of a claim which is not insured and which the policyholder is liable to pay. An excess applies to most policies in the event of claims relating to own damage. It does not generally apply to claims made against you for damage to other person’s property.
A legal expense policy is one which covers the cost of legal expenses incurred in taking action against a third party following an incident which has caused you injury or damaged your property. An Uninsured Loss Recovery service is generally included and this deals with the costs involved in pursuing third parties to recover losses you have suffered but which are not insured, eg. excess, personal injury, loss of earnings.
Many insurers use approved repairers for vehicle repairs or approved suppliers for replacing stolen/ damaged goods. The benefit to you is that these companies have been rigorously assessed and then selected on the basis of their quality of service and their ability to respond promptly to your needs. Approved car repairers often have a courtesy car facility available too. Although these approved facilities are for your benefit, to speed up the handling of your claim, you do not have to use them. You are free to use your own repairer/supplier as long as the cost to the insurer is not greater than that charged by an approved repairer/supplier.
The amount insured for your house building should represent the sum it would cost to fully rebuild your property (not the purchase or resale value) plus an allowance for site clearance, architects and other professional fees. While it is your responsibility to insure for the correct amount – and this will be influenced by location and the design quality of your property – our experienced advisers can give you some guidelines. If you are unsure you should have the property professionally valued for insurance purposes. As a safeguard, assuming the original figure is correct, any policy provided by Fiveways Insurance Group would include index-linking protection.
Warranties/ conditions can be applied to your policy either because of a stipulation by the insurance company as a result of a perceived increased risk, or in response to discounts allowed for a burglar alarm and/or security locks on the property. BEWARE: If you apply for a discount because you have an acceptable burglar alarm and/or security locks, your policy conditions will include a warranty which will state that on all occasions when you are away from the home, the alarm and/or locks must be in operation. If a theft or attempted theft occurs and it is clear that the alarm/locks were not in operation, the insurers will apply the terms of the warranty. These terms vary from insurer to insurer but generally include a vastly increased excess. Some insurers may warrant that the cover does not apply at all if the alarm/locks conditions are not met. For these reasons, we would not recommend taking the relatively small (generally no more than 5%) alarm/lock discount so as to avoid the additional conditions. A breach of a condition can make the policy null and void.
The standard cover for home contents and buildings policies provides protection for damage caused to your building and/or contents by specified events. These are commonly: Fire; Explosion; Smoke; Lightning; Earthquake; Theft or Attempted Theft; Riot, Civil Commotion, Vandalism or acts of malicious people, Water escaping from fixed installations, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, fish tanks, etc; Oil leaking from fixed heating installations, pipes or equipment; Storm or Flood; Falling Trees; Subsidence, Heave or Landslip; Impact; Breakage or collapse of television/ satellite aerials, fittings and masts.
As an additional protection, you can pay for Accidental Damage cover on your buildings and/or contents insurance. Accidental Damage provides cover for any accidental loss or damage, which happens as a direct result of a single unexpected event and is not specifically mentioned in the Specified Perils.
A legal expense policy is one which provides insurance for the cost of legal expenses incurred in taking action against a third party following an incident which has caused you injury or resulted in damage to your property.
There are different ‘classes of use’ which insurers apply to describe the use for which your vehicle is intended. These descriptions apply to private car and motorcycle insurance policies only.
- Social Domestic and Pleasure (SD&P) – the vehicle may be used for your social, domestic and pleasures purposes only. The majority of insurers include travel to and from your normal place of work in this class of use, but not all.
- Class 1 Personal Business Use – often available at little extra cost, this class of use permits the policyholder only (some insurers include the policyholder spouse) to use the vehicle for his/her business or that of his/her employer. This is in addition to SD&P use. Business use does not simply mean that you visit clients in your car, but also applies if your company has several premises and you travel to its different locations and even to something as innocent as running an errand on behalf of your employer.
- Class 2 or 3 Business Use – this class of use allows full business use by anyone permitted to drive under the policy and typically involves a fairly significant increase in the premium. Class 3 allows commercial travelling cover (ie. cold calling).