A standard "off-the-shelf" insurance policy may not be suitable if you own a period home - it's worth considering upgrading to a specialist policy. We will work closely with our panel of specialist insurance companies to create a specific policy for your home, based on a detailed risk management appraisal of the property.
We provide cover for "All Risks" including accidental damage. Unlike some policies, this will also encompass any costs incurred through, for example, knocking through walls or floors to trace burst pipes.
It's very important to get the right advice when assessing the reinstatement cost of your property (ie: how much it would cost to re-build), as under-insurance can lead to reduced claims settlements. Often we discover that many larger properties are insured for their market value and not the reinstatement cost (a re-build following a fire, for example). This is particularly a problem with listed and period buildings, as the reinstatement costs may be much higher.
Trace and Access Cover
A burst pipe can be a nightmare - your possessions damaged, your décor ruined, and all the hassle of an insurance claim to handle. And even then you could end up out of pocket! Most household insurance policies will cover you for the damage caused by a burst pipe. BUT what if the pipe is inaccessible? What if it's within the walls or casing, part of the fabric of your house? The plumber may need to smash through to reach the damaged pipe, and may even make several attempts to trace the pipe before identifying its exact location. Who'll pay for this damage?
Specialist policies include cover for "Trace and Access". We recommend policies like Hiscox's "606" and Chubb's Masterpiece, which provide this cover automatically. Period properties are more susceptible to leaks, and the cost of replacement/repair in the original style is more expensive than for modern homes. "Trace and Access" is especially important if you have under-floor heating: the area that may need to be damaged to trace the leak could be large, and could be an expensive slate or wooden floor.
In a recent case reported by Chubb claims department, a householder had a leaking shower (a very common problem) causing damage to the grouting and the plasterboard behind it. In order to access the faulty pipe, plumbers had to break through hand-painted tiles and marble which had not otherwise been damaged by the leak. A standard home policy would only cover the damage caused by the leak itself, but this householder's "Trace and Access" clause took care of the secondary damage worth hundreds of pounds.
Subsidence and Flood
- Insuring properties that have previously suffered from subsidence and have subsequently been underpinned is virtually impossible
- 2 million properties in England and Wales are in flood risk areas
If your home has a history of underpinning or flooding, don't despair: our colleagues at Bureau Insurance Services can handle underpinned property. Contact them on 01424 220110. If your home has a history of underpinning or flooding, don't despair: unlike many insurers, who write off these properties just by looking at the postcode, they will consider each property on an individual basis.