Like many products, when it comes to purchasing insurance you have many different options. The following is a guide to help you in making an informed choice.
Who should I purchase from?
Direct From the Insurer
Many insurers offer their products direct to the public. This does however restrict your choice as they only offer ONE product, and in most cases they are very selective in whom they insure. For example if you have an adverse claims experience or wish to add a younger driver they may not wish to insure you.
Brady Insurance Services Ltd Enniskillen are Independent Intermediaries. Unlike a direct insurer we can offer you a range of policy options and cover. In addition to this, whether you are a 25-year old wishing to insure a Ferrari or if you have multiple convictions and accidents we should be able to offer you cover.
What do I need to know about Home Insurance?
Basis of Rating
Household insurance is normally rated on the value of the building and the contents, or in the case of contents, the number of bedrooms. Other factors such as postcode, type of dwelling, number of claim free years and age of policy holder will affect the premium.
You have the option of including Accidental Damage on your buildings or contents. This will provide cover if the incident is the result of an accident, for example a ball breaking a window or someone putting a foot through the ceiling.
Cover for Valuables
Valuables under a household policy are defined as curios, pictures or other works of art, stamp collections, articles of gold, silver or other precious metals, coin or medal collections, jewellery, furs, cameras or binoculars. These are normally covered to 30% of the total sum insured for contents with 5% being for any one item.
Do you need cover for certain items out of the home? For example, do you need cover for certain items of Jewellery, watches or a camera that you may take on holiday? If you do, then you can add the “All risks” section to your policy. Normally there will be a single article limit on the “All Risks” section.
This is the amount that you will be responsible for in the event of a claim. Most household policies will have a £50 excess for contents claims. This excess can be increased if you wish to reduce you premium.
What do I need to know about Travel Insurance?
How much does Travel Insurance cost?
Insurance can vary a great deal between insurance companies and outlets. You can buy a policy for a single or an annual long stay trip.
How long does a single trip policy last?
Usually up to 60 days. If you are going away for a period of more than 2 months we would recommend that you select the long stay option.
I suffer from high blood pressure. Will this affect my cover?
It is unlikely that your policy will provide cover for any medical condition that existed at the point in time you took the cover out. If you suffer from any medical or mental health condition, you should contact the pre screening number under the policy details option.
I am going to the US and have been warned that medical treatment is very expensive there. Will my insurance protect me?
Most travel insurance policies provide for at least £2,000,000 of medical expenses cover. Our policy covers you for £2,500,000 and if you select the Gold Option £5,000,000. Full details of the cover are detailed under “Summary of Cover”.
I am going on an adventure holiday. Will I be covered for these activities?
You may not be covered for dangerous sports or pastimes such as abseiling or scuba diving, unless you take out extra cover. This will also be the case for winter sports such as skiing.
Would my camera be replaced if I lost it?
Under most policies, claims are paid on the basis of the value of the goods at the time you lose them and not a replacement cost basis. You may also have to pay towards the cost of your claim(known as an excess). The insurance company will only pay up to a certain amount for each article. If you are taking expensive items with you, you should check that you have enough cover – you may also have cover under your home contents policy.
I usually leave my valuables on the beach while I swim in the sea. Will I be covered if they are stolen?
You must take reasonable care to protect your property (as you would if you were not insured). Leaving valuables unattended is an invitation for thieves and so you may not be covered if these items are stolen.
What do I need to know about Motor Insurance?
This is the amount of damage that you will be responsible for in the event of an “At Fault” claim. Most comprehensive policies will have a compulsory excess of £100. If you wish to lower your premium you can pay an additional excess. This is known as a Voluntary Excess. It is worth checking if there are additional excesses for drivers under 21 as they can be as high as £650. The younger driver excess will only apply if they were driving at the time of the accident.
Windscreen: Windscreen cover is usually standard with Comprehensive cover. The excess for windscreen replacement is usually £40-£50. This excess is waived if the windscreen can be repaired. Claims for windscreens doesn’t normally affect your No Claims Bonus, but do check with your insurer.
With private car insurance you can select Comprehensive, Third Party Fire & Theft or Third party only. Comprehensive includes accidental damage to your own vehicle. It DOES NOT permit anyone to drive the vehicle other than those named on the policy.
Very few insurers now offer “Any Driver” policies. As a result it is better to name your drivers. In addition, if someone does not drive on a regular basis such as a student away from home, it maybe better to add them as and when they use vehicle i.e Holiday time.
NB If you are intending to add a driver under 25 please check when purchasing the insurance that the insurer concerned will accept them as many insurers refuse to insure drivers under 25.
Driving Other Cars Extension (DOCE)
Most policies have what is termed “Driving Other Cars Extension”. This will enable you to drive any vehicle not belonging to you third party only. To check if your policy has a DOCE check under the “Use” section of your certificate.
Most people use their vehicle for Social Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting to one’s place of work. If you are going to more than one place of work or claiming mileage you will require business use.
Most policies now provide full European cover without the need for a “Green Card”. Again check with your insurer if this is the case.
Some policies have discounts for limited mileage. Therefore please inform us if you do less than 8000 miles per year.
Claiming & Approved Repairers
Many insurers now operate “Approved Repairer” schemes in order to take the strain out of claiming. These repairers should collect your vehicle from the scene of an accident, repair your vehicle saving you the need to get estimates. In addition, they will bill the insurer directly saving you the need to pay and provide you with a courtesy car during repair. Your policy booklet will offer you more information on this service.
NB We recommend that you keep a copy of your policy booklet in your vehicle at all times as it provides details of the 24 hour helplines if you are involved in an accident.
Legal Expenses & Uninsured Loss Recovery(ULR)
Your Private car policy does what the name implies. It covers your car. What it does not cover is “you” or your passengers. Any money you may be out of in the event of a non – fault accident such as travel, car hire, excesses, injury, loss of earnings etc is not covered. By adding ULR (Uninsured Loss Recovery) to your policy these uninsured losses will be pursued for you. In addition, if the case has to go to court you will have the added benefit of your legal costs being covered.
No Claims Bonus
Every year you renew your policy you will be entitled to a year’s no claims bonus up to a maximum of 4-5 years. You will get this extra year if there have been no claims under the policy. If you make a claim, your no claims bonus will be stepped back by 2 years. So if you have a two-year bonus it will go to zero and your premium will increase accordingly. If you have a full bonus, you can protect this for an additional fee. This will result in your bonus being maintained after an accident.
Please be aware that even with a protected bonus, your premium can increase as the insurer will take into consideration the accident which will load your premium. In addition, some insurers will not allow the transfer of a protected bonus where there has been a claim.