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Home Insurance – Are You Properly Covered?

Home Insurance – Are You Properly Covered?

Home insurance seems like one more expense each month, stretching the budget with no tangible product to show for the money. However, adequate insurance cover is always very much appreciated in the event that it is needed, and no one who has to claim on their insurance ever wishes that they had a lower level of cover. Hamilton King Management, a specialist property management company devoted to delivering quality estate management to all clients, explains how to make sure that you have appropriate insurance for your property. What Is Home Insurance? There are two parts to this, although they are often bundled together. You can buy one part, or the other, or both. Buildings insurance insures your actual bricks and mortar from damage caused by events such as fire and extreme weather. If you have a mortgage on your property, the mortgage lender will probably insist that you have buildings insurance. Contents insurance insures your possessions against events such as theft and water damage. Buildings Insurance There are two types of buildings insurance – bedroom-rated and sum insured. Bedroom-rated is the most common form of buildings insurance these days. It means that the insurance company uses the number of bedrooms in your house to work out how much it might cost to rebuild. Cover levels tend to be generous, but you should still check the sum assured (the amount you might be paid if your house were to be destroyed) against a recent property valuation or against the value for which properties similar to yours are being sold in your area. With sum assured insurance, you calculate the value of rebuilding your home yourself, and insure for this amount. You may need to use a surveyor for this, unless you are an expert. It is important that the sum assured is correct. If it is too low, then if your house were to be destroyed, you might not get enough money to rebuild it. Conversely if the sum assured is too high, you may be paying too high a premium, and in the event of a claim it may look suspicious if you are claiming more than the cost of rebuilding. It is a good idea to review the level of cover each year at the policy’s renewal. Contents Insurance It is often hard to decide what to include on a contents insurance policy; in general, if it is...

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How to Protect Yourself with Property Insurance

How to Protect Yourself with Property Insurance

For any investment, having a dependable level of insurance is always important; but when it involves property which could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, then reliable insurance is paramount. Whether it is to cover property damage, or injury caused to an individual when on said property, it is always best to be as comprehensively covered as possible. In order to make the most informed decision possible it is essential that a property owner knows exactly what types of property insurance are available and when they might be liable for damages. Types of Property Insurance Considering all of the above, choosing insurance cover should incorporate any likely eventuality which could leave an individual open to severe financial liability. This in itself can be a trick subject to understand; but there are some great resources out there in making these considerations, including on the Hamilton King Twitter page, where articles on various property issues are often posted. The decision then to choose which type of insurance is appropriate usually comes down to a handful of insurance plans. Insurance types include: Homeowner’s Insurance: This type of insurance is also known as hazard insurance and applies to private residences. In reality it is a combination of different personal insurance plans which can involve building damage and contents loss. The scope of each homeowner’s insurance plan differs depending on the provider but can often include liability insurance which protects against other parties being accidentally injured while on a property. Renter’s Insurance: Essentially, this type of insurance offers similar protections as home owner’s insurance minus any covering of damage to dwellings. Automobile Insurance: This form of insurance covers accidental damage to any car and can also include theft coverage. Personal Umbrella Insurance: An umbrella insurance policy provides additional coverage for any costs beyond those stated in other policies such as homeowner’s insurance. In effect, this means that if one insurance plan only covers up to a certain amount then the umbrella insurance will cover the remaining amount. When A Property Owner is Liable One of the best ways that a property owner can protect themselves against liability is to know exactly which situations they would be required to pay for in order to cover damages. With this knowledge, it is then possible to identify the type of insurance needed without going over the top and insuring in areas which do not require such a...

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Hamilton King Highlights the Cost of Escape of Water Damage

Hamilton King Highlights the Cost of Escape of Water Damage

It goes without saying that buildings insurance is one of the staple requirements of successfully managing a property. Covering everything from fire damage to break-ins and vandalism, buildings insurance will prove invaluable, should a disaster strike. Hamilton King, a property management company has developed this guide that takes an in depth look at one aspect of buildings insurance that every landlord should ensure is written into their policy – escape of water damage. What follows is a breakdown of escape of water damage policies, and the extent of the costs should your policy not cover escape of water. Property Management Hamilton King is a property management company based in Enfield, North London. The role of a property manager can cover a variety of tasks that landlords with large portfolios would otherwise struggle to find the time to complete. For instance, a property management company may perform all necessary health and safety inspections, as well as the necessary wear and tear maintenance that landlords can expect. Getting Covered Buildings insurance for landlords is usually a different kind of policy than that given to homeowners, because you have an extra factor to worry about – your tenants. Many products exist on the market to give landlords a full range of options, but it is important that you do not try to save money now by purchasing a cheaper policy, only to lose out later on when you try to make a claim. Also, if you are renting your own home out, you need to inform your insurer otherwise it will invalidate your current policy. Typically a good landlords’ buildings insurance policy will cover everything from public liability, to avoid nasty personal injury claims, right the way through to loss of rent and emergency repairs. If in the case of furnished properties, you might want to take out contents insurance for your furniture too, to be replaced on a like-for-like basis if needed. Finally, make sure that the insurance policy you choose covers escape of water damage, which is different to other types of damage caused by water. Defining the Damage Reading the terms and conditions of every insurance policy you take out is going to be vital to ensuring you can make a claim. Water damage is separated by most insurers into three distinct causes, and not every policy will cover each kind of damage. A regular misconception occurs during particularly...

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Hamilton King Guide to Storm Damage and Insurance

Hamilton King Guide to Storm Damage and Insurance

Even in the UK, storm damage can pose a serious threat to properties. As any property developer should know, insuring against damage to the buildings in your portfolio is incredibly important. The last thing that anybody needs is to have to pay extravagant repair costs as a result of high winds or flooding. Below is a short guide to ensuring that you and your properties are prepared in case of severe weather. Contracting a Property Manager In addition to performing inspections and general maintenance, property management companies provide financial services too. This includes organising building insurance and making sure that clients are covered for every eventuality. Rely on pages like this review of Hamilton King to learn more about the company that you are about entrust your properties to. For true peace of mind, choose a reliable property management firm that can protect your assets. Make Sure You Have Cover In 2012, the wettest recorded year for England and Wales as many as 1300 customers a day claimed for storm damage from their insurers. All told, the amount that UK insurers paid out that year was as high as £1.19 billion, so make sure that you are amongst those able to make a claim by getting comprehensive buildings cover. The weather might have been particularly harsh three years ago, but insurers are always expecting the next big storm to hit and are prepared to help millions of customers across the country recover and start rebuilding their homes and businesses. As a landlord, be prepared for the next time a big weather front moves in. Making a Claim for Storm Damage Getting building cover from an insurer is a straightforward process, and most policies automatically cover damage to the property as a result of storms, however a common sticking point between insurers and their clients is reaching a common definition of what a storm might be. Typically, a storm is considered a storm for insurance purposes when it exceeds a certain high value on the Beaufort Scale, which assigns wind speeds a value between 0 and 12, with 12 being assigned to the strongest gale force winds. When making a claim for storm damage, you will soon discover that wind speed is critical to determining whether the claim qualifies. If your property has been damaged during a storm but your insurer deems the wind speed to be too low, no...

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New scheme promises to increase access to flood insurance

New scheme promises to increase access to flood insurance

Flooding is a significant problem in the United Kingdom. There are four main forms of flooding, all of which the UK experienced during a two-month period last year; these include groundwater (when the earth becomes saturated and cannot retain any more water), fluvial (when the banks of a river break), flash (when drainage systems cannot cope with surface-level water), and finally tidal (flooding from tidal rivers and the sea). This natural disaster is particularly common in England; currently, more than five million English properties are at risk of flooding. Firms like Hamilton King Management, whose business information is available here, are perhaps more aware of this issue than most, as these kind of companies often provide buildings and contents insurance for the properties they manage, and are regularly tasked with initiating claims on behalf of those whose homes have been damaged by floods. The most problematic aspect of this particular type of natural disaster is the cost associated with managing flood risk and dealing with the aftermath of it. On average, these two expenses cost the UK about £2.2 billion annually; approximately £1.4 million of this is allocated to damages, with the remaining £800 million being spent on coastal and flood defences. Furthermore, the level of flood protection we currently have can only be maintained over the next two decades if the government’s spending on flood defences increases by £10-£30 million each year. By 2080, the total amount spent on flooding could rise to £27 billion. In a bid to address the expense of flood damage, the government has announced plans to launch an initiative called ‘Flood Re’. Flood Re was first recommended by the insurance industry in 2011, with insurers declaring it to be the best long-term solution to the current problems associated with flood insurance. After much debate, an agreement between the Government and the industry was reached two years later. When launched, it will operate as a not-for-profit, and serve as a reinsurance fund which will be both managed and owned by the insurance industry. The purpose of this fund is to ensure that residential properties located in the areas of the UK which are most prone to flooding will be able to secure reasonably-priced flood insurance, as part of their buildings and contents policies. Additionally, it is hoped that Flood Re will also help insurers, by protecting themselves from large scale losses during natural disasters....

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