Ask an Account Handler – your frequently asked questions, answered
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As an experienced, independent broker, we at Lumley Insurance have been advising our clients on their insurance policies for over 25 years. In that time, we’ve found that some questions seem to pop up more often than others.
We’ve asked our team of expert Account Handlers to clear up a few of the most common ones.
My children are going to university, are their possessions covered?
Yes, the cover with most insurers does extend to include your children, who remain permanent members of your household, whilst temporarily away at university. As long as they have their own lockable room and items are kept in their custody and control.
Zena Carter, Senior Account Handler
My children are on our travel insurance and are travelling without me, are they covered?
Yes, as long as they are within the timescales permitted under the travel section of cover, and are not on a gap year, travelling to a country against the advice of the foreign office or undertaking dangerous activities such as skiing off piste.
Zena Carter, Senior Account Handler
Am I covered if I leave the house without setting the alarm or if I accidentally forget to lock the door/window?
Under the majority of the policies that we provide, yes. Say you were out doing some gardening and left a window open for some fresh air, or popped out for 15 minutes to the shop, some standard market policies would expect you to set your alarm and make sure all your windows and doors are locked, as you technically ‘aren’t in the building’ – meaning that if you forgot to do this and a thief were to enter the property, they may look at this as a reason not to pay your claim. Our providers don’t hide away generalised restrictions like this in their policy wordings. They cater their terms to be flexible around your lifestyle, and are no more restrictive than they need to be.
Obviously all insurers would recommend that you do put your security into effective operation if you are leaving your home unattended for some time. And terms may vary on the basis of your specific circumstances.
Ryan Carter, Client Account Handler
Why is my premium increase more than the consumer price index?
The consumer price index isn’t the only driving factor for increasing insurance premiums. There are a number of other factors which contribute, such as rebuild cost, claims paid within the market and increases in sum insured amounts.
Allan Burry, Client Account Handler
Factors such as increased business costings and higher than expected levels of claims payments to their policyholders can result in insurers needing to pass these costs on in their premiums. Improvements to policy cover and the introduction of additional benefits (such as cyber cover or travel) may also result in an insurer revising their rating structure.
Hannah Sampson, Client Account Handler
Why am I struggling to find a quote for my thatched property?
Many insurers do not cover thatched properties because they can be very expensive to repair, and are more likely to suffer extensive damage in the event of a fire. They also have a more expensive rebuild value than conventional houses because they've been built using specific materials by specialists.
Dhiren Tokhai, Private Client Team Leader
Why is my insurer asking me to have a survey?
The insurer’s main reasoning for a property survey is to ensure that you are not underinsured and to give advice on improvements you could make to reduce your level of risk. Thus ensuring that you are fully protected and eliminating any potential financial exposure in the event of a loss. The surveyor will review and advise on your security, fire protections, valuations and adequacy of sums insured. The result of which may require amendments to your policy which could result in a change in premium and terms already in place, but is ultimately to ensure your cover is right for you.
Surveys are particularly important in the case of Grade listed properties, as there are many aspects to consider which you are legally obliged to undertake in the event of damage to the building, such as using the same materials and methods of construction to reinstate the property to it’s original condition, which can be costly if you are not insured correctly.
Jenny Barker, Client Account Handler
We hope this has enlightened you on some aspects of your insurance cover. If you have any further questions about your policy, or would like to submit a question to be featured in a future instalment of Ask an Account Handler, get in contact with our team today on 01285 885885 and we’d be happy to help.