Adverse Weather — Advice if submitting a claim
Please provide as much information about the damage as possible. Where is the damage? What is the extent of the damage e.g. if damaged slates – how many?
Where possible, please obtain a comprehensive estimate for repairs which includes a full breakdown of the costs involved. If you can, please provide photographs of the damage as this will help the Insurer assess the best way to settle the claim. (25/10/13)
Legal Expenses and Personal Injury Claims
Please be aware of a change in the position with regards to legal expenses and personal injury claims.A recent change in the law can leave claimants with a potentially costly outcome to an accident.
Up to now a claimant’s solicitor has been able to recover their success fee from the third party insurer. The change in the law no forbids this.
This change now means the claimant’s solicitor will recover their success fee from the award made by the court and as a result could significantly reduce the final sum paid over to the claimant.
Our legal expenses cover will protect claimants from this deduction. To qualify the claimant will need to use a solicitor nominated by the Insurer.
Special note for Professional Indemnity Insurance
If you become aware of any circumstances which may lead to a claim being made, you should notify your insurers immediately. Failure to follow this advice could prejudice your position.
Many situations can be recognised as potential claims before they actually become formal legal actions. Always look carefully at the notification provisions of your cover and be sure to follow them.
Danger signs include:
- A verbal complaint from a dissatisfied customer or a threat of “taking the matter further”
- A letter of complaint alleging neglect, error or omission
- A customer refusing to settle or delaying settlement of an account for an unreasonable length of time.
The above are indications of the type of circumstances that might arise but are not exhaustive. Always notify your insurers even if you are unsure whether a claim may be made.
Apart from notifying your insurer when you become aware of a circumstance you should be careful not to prejudice you or your Insurer’s position. This means that, ideally, you should do nothing. If you are pressed, say that you are “looking into the problem” or some other similar comment. Sometimes, what you consider to be a very sensible step might, with hindsight, make the situation worse. This might leave you without insurance if the move was not authorised by your Insurer.
You must advise your broker immediately if there are changes to your business. Arrangements can then be made to amend your cover, if necessary. Failure to do this could lead to an uninsured loss. Only you know everything about your business, so the responsibility for full disclosure of information, both before and after cover commences. is yours. You should therefore check the accuracy of the details that you have provided.
Home contents cover advice
Many people mistakenly believe that they are covered under their standard home insurance policy when they take items out of their home. They will not, for example, be covered if such items are lost or stolen. It is advisable therefore to take out Personal Possessions Cover for loss or damage when away from home. Limitations and exclusions will apply.
Valuable items – If you have items such as gold jewellery, watches or diamonds you should obtain an up to date valuation to make sure that the sum insured is still adequate. If any single article is valued at more than £1,500 then it will need to be specified.
Winter weather advice
Winter is on the way – please make sure your home is protected.
Here are some hints to help you protect your property.
- Check that the heating in your property is in good working order, and if you have an open fire, whether the chimney should be swept.
- Check your loft insulation is the recommended dimensions and still in good condition.
- Repair any dripping taps and leaking radiator valves.
- Repair loose roof tiles and slates to reduce the risk of them falling off and check and clean your gutters.
- Check windows and window frames are firmly fixed and with no possible gaps for rain to penetrate.
HOW TO PREVENT DAMAGE FROM BURST PIPES.
- Insulate water tank and pipes wherever possible. Look at lagging pipes to conserve heat, and take care if they’re outside or in the loft.
- Make sure you know where your stop tap is so that you can quickly switch the water off if a pipe bursts.
HOLIDAYS AND WEEKEND BREAKS.
- If you’re away visiting family or friends or off on holiday, we recommend keeping your heating on low, just in case the temperature should drop
- If you do leave your heating on, open your loft hatch so that warm air can get to your pipes.
- If you don’t want to leave your heating on, drain the whole system and turn water off at the mains.
- Get a friend, relative or neighbour to keep an eye on your property every day.
IF YOUR PROPERTY IS LET.
Please share tips above with your tenants.
- Ask your tenants to maintain a temperature of at least 12 degrees Celsius during the winter months, especially when they are away from the property overnight, or on holiday.
- Turn off the services and drain down the system between November and March if you know that the property is not being lived in.
- You or your managing agent should inspect the property inside and out at least every 14 days when the property is not being lived in.
You are obliged to prevent loss or damage and to keep you property in sound condition and good repair.
Check the latest flood warnings on the Environment Agency website.
- Be prepared to evacuate your property and think about where you can go for safety -will the route be passable?
- Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
- Prepare a flood kit of essential items such as a broom, spade, mop and bucket; domestic detergent and disinfectant; rubber boots, gloves and protective clothing; waterproof torch and radio, bottled water for drinking.
- Agree where you will go and how to contact friends and family
- Think about what items you can move to a safe place for later and what are essential items for you to have now
- Create a list of important numbers including Floodline 0845 988 1188
- You can sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or by visiting the Environment Agency website.
Advice during a flood
- Safety comes first! Think about evacuation before it is too late to move. Make sure you follow any advice or instructions provided by the emergency services.
- If floodwater is about to enter your building, turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies if it is safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in floodwater.
- Gas and electricity supplies should remain switched off until a qualified professional has checked the system thoroughly. Wiring, appliances and pipe-work should also be inspected for safety and efficiency.
- Keep listening to local radio for updates or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188
- Move irreplaceable personal or sentimental items, such as photographs – as well as portable items – to an upper storey or higher location in your property to prevent loss or damage.
- Also, check any outbuildings to see if any items can be moved.
- If possible, raise ground floor furniture on blocks or bricks to minimise the risk of damage.
Advice After The Flood
- If there is any chance that electrical sockets have come into contact with water, switch off the electricity at the mains.
- If your electricity is switched off following an incident, make sure that a qualified electrician checks the electrical installation before it is switched back on.
- If your gas has to be turned off, make sure that a GasSafe registered tradesperson checks the gas supply before the gas is switched back on.
- Do not throw away any items until we or our loss adjuster tell you it is OK to do so.
- Make a list of any damaged items that you need to throw away before you dispose of them. Take a note of make and model numbers, and take photographs of any damage if you have a camera to hand
- Wear appropriate clothing and gloves when handling anything that has been contaminated by floodwaters. Remember floodwater often contains sewage, so take sensible hygiene precautions.