Monthly Archives: November 2011

Classic car insurance Advice for reducing the cost of your premium

The harm caused by break-ins, theft, vandalism, or any other kind of damage goes much further than simple inconvenience, and financial loss or the loss of a no claims bonus on your classic car insurance policy. For us classic car owners, who have usually bought and lovingly fixed up their cars over months, often even years, loss of any kind amounts not only to money, but to time, love and emotional investment.

Because classic cars are easier break into than their newer counterparts, classic car owners are strongly advised to purchase a Thatcham-approved alarm, tracker and immobiliser. So if your car is broken into, the police will be able to retrieve a stolen vehicle often within 24 hours, which is particularly valuable in light of the fact that classic cars are often rapidly dismantled for parts to sell on separately and under the radar. And not only this, but fitting your car with these devices will reduce your insurance premium – you need only compare car insurance quotes online to see the savings, by using a service such an Moneysupermakret compare car insurance

One of the UK’s leading stolen vehicle recovery companies, TRACKER understands that a huge majority of classic car owners are adverse to the idea of tampering with the authenticity of their classic vehicle by equipping it with modern technology, worried that it might work to detract from the car’s bygone charm.

Stuart Chapman, of Tracker, reassured drivers: “Classic car owners are understandably cautious when it comes to installing alarm systems and immobilisers. Some devices are even unsightly, even on modern vehicles, so people feel they affect the look of the vehicle. Whilst that might be the case, the appeal of those vehicles for criminals makes it essential to protect them.”

If you’re happy that you’ve taken every step possible safeguard your car against danger, then there still more ways you can keep your car insurance cost to a minimum.

Ensuring that the estimated annual mileage is accurate will mean that you’re not over- or, more importantly, underinsuring. If you overestimate your mileage, your premium will be unnecessarily expensive, however, if you underestimate, you could render your policy invalid, which would be a disaster if you needed to claim for any reason.

Another way of reducing the cost of your insurance premium would be to get your classic car valued, and then get that value guaranteed. If the worst should happen and your car is written off, for example, you’ll be guaranteed to get the full value of the car which, as you’re likely to be aware of, usually increases with age when it comes to classics.

Can a small business still offer health insurance to employees?

When a small business is in operation it really needs to get some kind of insurance to cover itself for any kind of liability. Some companies though will want to take out small business health insurance so that the employer and the staff are all adequately covered. In fact, for those taking up employment with this company, this is the added incentive that they probably need.

Small business health insurance holds a form of security for the company since it will cover any losses if the employee cannot work. There are several types of this kind of insurance though so these should be compared to see which one fits the bill.

Privately medical insurance will pay for treatment that needs to be done in a hurry. It is all very well waiting for the NHS but the company could suffer as a consequence with its workers being off for long periods just waiting for a small procedure to be done. This one does cost more, but it is well worth it in the end and the employee appreciates it very much too.

There is also a cover for income which pays the workers when they are unable to work. If they get ill or suffer an injury, many workers will need their regular wage for sure and this is how to give it to them without penalizing the company.

Critical illness cover is also available, and if this is combined with a life insurance policy, the employee is covered from all sides. Again, this is an expensive cover, but considering that a business is only as good as its workers, then it may be wise to get this kind of insurance.

Some covers, like employer’s liability insurance, are useful but not absolutely necessary. This holds true if the employee is a family member. However, limited companies do not need this cover if there is just one employee and that person owns fifty percent or more of the shares in said company.

So the answer to the opening question about offering cover, the answer is yes, as long as the company is prepared to spend money!

Brought to you by Specialist Risks. Why not visit us to get quotes for health insurance for small businesses from a range of top providers.

Looking for an unoccupied property insurance quote?

There may be a number of reasons why you are looking for an unoccupied property insurance quote:

Some reasons

  • the home you live in, or let out to tenants, might be undergoing extensive refurbishment and you are temporarily living elsewhere;
  • the property is on the market, in the process of being sold;
  • if you are a buy to let landlord, there may be a longer than usual interval between a changeover of tenancies;

The need

  • whatever your particular reasons, however, you are likely to be looking for an unoccupied property insurance quote because this is the special type of cover you need if the building is left vacant;
  • a dwelling that is left unoccupied is exposed to significantly higher risk than when there is someone at home. Empty buildings tend to be magnets for thieves and vandals, whilst the need for repairs and maintenance runs the risk of going unnoticed. For that reason, many standard home insurance policies, including buy to let home insurance plans, explicitly exclude cover, or elements of cover, when the building is left vacant;
  • whilst insurers’ definitions of exactly when the property becomes unoccupied may vary, but typically this is when it has been empty for longer than 30 or 45 days;
  • if this is likely to be the case with property which you own, therefore, you may wish to give serious consideration to unoccupied buildings insurance in order to ensure that sufficient protection is maintained;

Mitigating the risks

  • when considering an unoccupied property insurance quote, you may notice that many insurers typically expect you to help mitigate the risks to which a vacant dwelling is exposed and there are a number of ways in which you might help to do this:
  • regular inspections – by you or an appointed agent – for example, might help to spot problems and carry out necessary repairs and maintenance before serious damage is caused;
  • a record of those surveys, together with notes of the maintenance work and repairs carried out might need to be submitted to your insurer at regular intervals;
  • by draining down water and central heating systems, you might additionally reduce some of the risks of flooding and leakage from burst or fractured pipe work;

Some basic questions relating to motorcycle insurance

You may have a few questions relating to motorcycle insurance and that may be the case whether you are relatively new to two wheels or an experienced biker.

Should I opt for third party, third party, fire and theft or fully comprehensive insurance?

Ultimately, only you will be able to make that decision.

It may depend upon a number of factors, including the value of your bike and how much you wish to pay for your insurance.

Typically, the most cost-attractive option is third party cover, however, this will only provide insurance protection against claims from others against you, relating to damage or injury they believe you have caused to their property with your motorbike.

Fully comprehensive typically covers your bike for a wider range of potential problems including those that may severely damage it – but these policies are typically towards the upper end of the price spectrum.

Why must I pay more for motorcycle insurance because I am young?

All other things being roughly equal, younger riders may end up paying more than those that are older.

This is typically based upon two factors:

  • an insurance company may believe that, statistically speaking, younger riders may be more likely to be involved in accidents and as a result, create claims;
  • by contrast, riders with more experience may be less likely to have accidents and should, therefore, benefit from more advantageous rates.

This is a factor that typically applies to both motor vehicle and motor bike insurance and it may be something that you have to live with.

Of course, some insurance providers may be able to offer more attractive deals for younger riders than others.

How can I save money on my motorcycle cover insurance?

This may depend, to some extent, on your insurer but you may find that, typically, more cost-attractive prices may be found by:

  • garaging your motorcycle overnight and use additional immobilisers, alarms, trackers and other security devices;
  • riding smaller machines that insurers may be inclined to interpret as constituting lower risk;
  • reducing your annual mileage, where possible;
  • passing some form of recognised advanced motorcyclist test;
  • avoiding radical modifications to your bike which result in it no longer conforming to its original certificate of type (remember, you must notify your insurers of any such modifications).

Isn’t all motorcycle insurance much the same thing and priced at much the same level?

No, nothing could really be further from reality.

Different insurers provide different motorcycle insurance policies and at different prices.  It may typically be in your best interest to ensure that you are selecting a policy based upon looking at several potential options.  This may enable you to find cover that is cost-effective and suitable for your needs.

Let property insurance – commonly asked questions

The following questions are frequently asked with respect to let property insurance.

Is it required if I have a flat in a larger block?

Typically, yes, it is.

Just as if you were an owner-occupier in a flat or apartment, it may be advisable to have buildings and contents insurance for your property.

In some cases there may be common shared elements of insurance across a split property, nevertheless, if you are using your property for the purposes of income then you will need to ensure that your own cover (and any shared cover components) explicitly covers landlord properties.

What about if I only rent out my property for a few weeks per year?

It may be advisable to read your own policy for certainty, however; typically any use of your property for commercial purposes (including rental income generation) may require let property insurance in order to ensure that your buildings and contents insurance protection remains effective.

Supposing I am only renting out a couple of rooms and still occupy the property as my own residence?

Typically, such a situation may make no difference – though again, it may be useful to consult your policy to be sure.

Ordinary owner-occupier home buildings and contents insurance may be put at risk if you start to rent out sections of your own home.

Does landlords buildings insurance cover me for subsidence?

Some policies may do so but this is no longer something that you can assume to be a given, as may have been the case in previous decades.

Given the potentially catastrophic costs of rectifying a subsidence problem, it might be a good idea to search for landlords cover that does provide protection in these circumstances.

Will buy to let insurance cover unpaid rent arrears if tenants abscond?

That may be rather unlikely. Classic landlord insurance may also not cover you if you become embroiled in a legal battle trying to force eviction.

On the plus side, some let property insurance policies may cover you for wilful damage caused by tenants etc. The cover may also extend to third party liability damages awarded against you by a court.

When you might need an unoccupied property insurance quote

If your home, or a dwelling you have bought to let, is going to be vacant for longer than a short period of time, you may need to consider getting an unoccupied property insurance quote.

Why?

When any building is left standing empty, it is likely to be vulnerable to considerably more risks and perils than when it is occupied either by its owners or by tenants. For this reason, many insurers of both owner-occupied and tenanted premises significantly reduce the scope and level of cover – or even invalidate cover altogether – after the building has been unoccupied for a given period of time.

When?

Although that given period of time may vary from one insurer to another, it might typically be as short as 30 days or one month.

Who?

If you seek an online quote, landlords insurance applications may or may not specifically refer to the need for special cover during those times when your let property is vacant. This may be because of the relatively frequency with which homes bought for let fall vacant – either through delays between one tenant leaving and a new one arriving or because the letting is undergoing redecoration, maintenance or refurbishment.

However, there may be equally numerous reasons for other types of residence to be unoccupied for similar periods of time (during which standard home building and contents insurance may be similarly affected).

You might wish to seek an unoccupied property insurance quote, for instance, if:

  • your job takes you out of the area and away from home for several months at a time;
  • your home is on the market to be sold and you have already moved into your new home;
  • the property is awaiting probate before a decision is made about its disposal;
  • the builders are in for major refurbishment or re-modelling; or
  • the property is a second or holiday home, left empty for more than a month at a time.

Therefore, whether you live in the property you own, use it as a holiday or second home, or let it out to tenants, you may wish to give serious consideration to seeking a specialist unoccupied property insurance quote.

How can I find cheap bike insurance and other questions

In tough economic times, the subject of cheap bike insurance may be dear to the hearts of large numbers of bikers.

Here are some commonly heard questions on the subject.

Where can I find the cheapest bike insurance possible?

It is typically a sensible idea to shop around and perhaps try those sources that may be able to provide you with options from multiple insurers.

This may save you time and also allow you to find cost-effective solutions to your bike insurance needs.

However, it may be advisable to think twice about commencing the search for your cover on the basis of looking for cheap bike insurance alone.

It is typically a smarter idea to look initially for cover that is suitable for you and your bike, rather than simply the cheapest price tag you can find.

Remember that if you need to make a claim, only to discover that the policy does not cover the circumstances, the fact that the policy has not cost you a lot of money will not be of any consolation.

Why do motorcycle insurance premiums vary so much?

This is a difficult question to answer succinctly, as there are many different factors involved.

Perhaps the most important is that insurers do not necessarily assess risk in the same way. This means that some insurers may consider certain combinations of rider and bike to be a higher risk than other insurers may do. That typically affects their pricing of the policy.

It is also the case that some insurers may specialise in certain categories of cover, such as classic bike insurance or convicted rider cover etc.

They may be able to offer more cost-effective solutions in those areas of cover than other insurers.

This is why companies that can analyse your individual situation and identify where to place the risk (in other words, to find appropriate insurance) may be useful.

Can I control, in any way, how much I am paying for my insurance?

Typically, yes.

Of course, the extent to which you are able to do so may vary considerably between insurers and this may also make a significant difference to your perception as to what constitutes cheap bike insurance. After all, what you consider cheap motorcycle insurance may not be so for another biker.

Classic illustrations of this may include things such as:

  • accepting a higher excess on the policy;
  • reducing the risk of theft and vandalism by ensuring that your bike is garaged securely when not in use;
  • reducing your annual mileage estimate; etc.

So, do cost-effective motorbike insurance deals exist?

Yes, though you may need to look for them or have help to do so.

For the reasons outlined earlier, you may find it helpful to think in terms of cost-effective cover, taking into account your own situation and your requirements, rather than cheap bike insurance.

Considerations for speedboat insurance

Boating is an attractive venture for many, and when you do it right you can gain more rewards from boating than almost anything else. It is important to consider insurance for your boat, and be aware that plans vary according to your potential use of the boat in question.

If you are planning to buy a speedboat, then the cost, being upwards of 6,000, and the nature of water activities means you need specialised speedboat insurance. The usual branded insurance companies will not cover boating and speed-boating in their policies, and instead you will need to research which companies are reliable and have a good reputation. Like other yachts and boats, all forms of cover handle accidental damage and vandalism. Transit cover makes sure you are covered while the boat is in transport, and theft cover protects your boat when it is in storage. Most providers will cover all of the mundane insurance aspects under their comprehensive cover, which includes damage and theft.

If you are using the boat for activities like water-skiing, boat racing, banana boating, or tubing or other forms of sport or leisure towing, then your insurance for speedboat policy will be different than that for standard use, so bear this in mind. You will need to declare your planned activities when you get quoted for insurance, and you will also need to check that the insurance plan is able to cover water activities.

If you are planning on commercial use of your boat, then you will need a speedboat insurance policy which covers public liability. Third party liability insurance cover is around 6 figures, and it is the requirement for marinas and harbours to have this insurance. As before, you should declare this when you get your insurance quote to ensure you get the cover. The majority of insurers in the UK will only give cover if the boat is registered in the UK. Many other factors will affect the quote, such as security systems in place to prevent theft, location of mooring, make and model of boat, the age of the boat, and any relevant boating qualifications that you have.

Brought to you by the boat insurance comparison website Boat Quote. Why not visit us to compare speedboat insurance from a selection of specialist cover providers.