Picture the scene, you wake up early one morning with the sound of the wind blowing and rainfall bashing against you bedroom window. You ease yourself out of bed, walk down your stairs and are faced with your home under 6 feet of flood water. And so begins the long and distressing process of recovering from flood damage. And imagine your shock and horror when you call your insurance company only to be told you don’t have the cover you thought and your claim is rejected!
This horrific scenario whilst uncommon could well be on the increase as home and business owners seek the cheapest possible insurance premiums without first looking into the cover they actually provide.
Mark Burdett, Marketing Manager of Gateshead based Northern Counties Insurance Brokers had this to say, “The recent flooding many parts of the UK has seen is likely to have an adverse affect on insurance premiums with insurance companies like Norwich Union already announcing price increases. One of the problems with increased insurance premiums is that people will naturally look to cut costs by shopping around for the best deal. The potential downside to this is that they then opt for the cheapest premium quoted without actually looking into the cover it provides. And unfortunately this could well result in cover not being in place which may only come to light when a loss occurs and they find out they aren’t covered.”
So with flood claims seemingly on the increase for many home and business owners, Mark suggests people when looking to buy home or business insurance make sure they:
1. Get the cover actually required. For home owners this could mean accidental damage whilst for business owners’ and business insurance business interruption could be more beneficial. Many of these types of cover are often sold as optional extras so don’t just be tempted with the lowest premium without understanding what it does (and perhaps more importantly) what it doesn’t cover you for.
2. Know what excess they will have to pay in the event of a loss occurring. One of the ways insurance companies can quote lower premiums is by increasing policy excesses. Make sure your policy has an excess you can afford.
3. Ask for advice and help if in any doubt. Insurance Brokers are a great source for this as they can use their experience to find you the right cover, at the right price whilst making sure you, your home and your business are protected.
As a victim of flood damage in the past himself, Mark summed up the risks involved in buying the cheapest insurance possible, “Many people see insurance as a grudge purchase and one which only produces a benefit when a claim needs to be made. I was lucky enough to have the right insurance cover in place when my home was flooded and I would urge anyone looking to cut costs on their insurance to make sure they know the potential consequences of buying the cheapest policy.”