Winter is upon us and we have already seen temperatures fall below freezing on occasions here in the UK. Therefore, perhaps it is an appropriate time to mention about protecting your household pipes against the cold weather.
According to information published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), you may find it rather concerning to read that the average amount of a burst pipe insurance claim due to adverse weather conditions exceeded £10,000 in 2018. This is a sizeable sum and a claim of such magnitude has no doubt caused a significant amount of damage whether it is to property, contents or both never mind the potential distress and upheaval to the owners of the premises.
The ABI has very kindly made some recommendations as to what action you can take to lower the possibility of your pipes getting frozen over the winter period: –
If you have one or more taps that drip when turned off get them repaired.
Check in the loft that any water tanks and water pipes are suitably insulated.
Make sure your heating is set to come on periodically even if you are away for a short break.
Make sure that you are familiar with where your stopcock is situated in your home.
If a pipe freezes then you should take the following action according to the ABI: –
Any contents such as clothes and furniture should be moved away from the pipes just in case one of the pipes bursts.
Do not try to remove ice using the likes of a blow torch or a hammer as this may damage the pipework even more.
Turn off the mains water at the stopcock until the pipes have defrosted.
If a pipe bursts, according to the ABI, you should: –
Remove any possessions to a safe place.
Turn off the stopcock, drain the water supply by turning on the taps, and turn off the water heating and central heating.
In the unfortunate event that you do suffer water damage, get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible.
Whether you are buying a brand new car from a dealer that has had some extras added, purchasing a second hand vehicle that has been modified in some way or are modifying your existing car, you need to be aware that you must notify the insurance company you either have or want to arrange cover with. Whilst many of the major motor insurance companies will be happy to provide you with cover, there are some modifications that may mean you need to arrange insurance with a specialist provider.
If you do not notify the insurer of any modifications you could find that, in the event of a claim, it is declined by the insurance company leaving you with a bill of possibly many thousands of pounds to have to find the funds for yourself.
The British Insurers Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in partnership with Ageas has produced a Report On Modified Vehicles document that makes for interesting reading and could prove quite an eye opener for a lot of people. The report can be viewed via the biba.org.uk website but below we mention some of the highlights.
Some insurers take the view that a modification to a car is where the manufacturers’ standard specification has been altered in any way with this also including optional extras that have been fitted to the vehicle either by the dealer or the manufacturer of the car when it was brand new where it results in its appearance, attractiveness, value or performance being improved making it more appealing to thieves. Other insurance companies take the view that a vehicle can be classed as modified if any changes have been made to it since it was originally supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle.
As an example, if you had expensive leather seats fitted as an optional extra and this increases the value of the car then you should notify the insurer. Most insurers would cover this extra but may result in an increase in premium. However, if you had something fitted or done to the car that improved engine performance then you should be aware that not all insurance companies will consider covering the vehicle so it may be necessary to try to source cover from a specialist insurer. In this case, not only may you have to pay more for the cover but also you may be subject to a higher excess. If you had locking wheel nuts added then it would be a good idea to notify your insurer with most insurance companies finding such a modification acceptable and it is unlikely your premium would increase.
There are so many potential modifications such as a rear spoiler, special paintwork, a badge stating that the performance has been increased, suspension changes, wider wheels and tyres, larger speakers, roll bars, flared wheel arches, engine chip, exhaust system changes and uprating the brakes to name but a few.
If you are considering making any modifications or adding extras to a vehicle or you are aware any have been made or fitted then inform the insurance company or broker no matter how minor they may seem. If you are buying a used car then ask the person who is selling the car if there have been any extras added or if it has been modified in any way. Make sure that any modifications are noted on your insurance documents.
You will be pleased to hear that here at AIB Insurance we have many years experience in arranging specialist cover on modified vehicles. So, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team who will discuss your requirements in detail and do all that he or she can to source suitable competitive cover.
Insurance Business recently interviewed our Risk and Compliance Director, Karen Manley, read the full interview below:
Can you tell me a little bit about your company?
AIB has an interesting story since its inception in 1993. Originally it was created by the BHPA (British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association) to provide travel, third party damage and equipment cover for its members whilst flying abroad whether it be a hang glider, sky diver or paragliding pilot. At the time the BHPA were struggling to find an insurance provider that understood its members unusual insurance requirements, and with an active pilot involved in the insurance industry Airsports Insurance Bureau was created as a limited company.
The BHPA sold the business in 2004, largely due to the increased compliance and regulatory requirements to insurance specialists and it has evolved into a niche personal lines and high net worth specialist with links to various enthusiast clubs, garages and financial institutions. We also have a number of commercial insurance brokers who refer their personal lines business to us but still have strong links to the BHPA providing specialist airsports for members today.
Can you outline how the decision to join BIBA came about and how long have you been thinking about joining BIBA?
The company I worked for previously was a member of BIBA and I was a committee member of SE region compliance forum. I found it useful to maintain and share best practises and I found the regulatory benefits and networking particularly useful.
Joining BIBA is part of AIB’s ongoing commitment to supporting good practice and an important step in our passion to promote the interests our clients in the provision of good sales advice.
As BIBA maintains a dialogue with the government, the FCA, and the ABI, specifically in their role acting as the voice of the insurance industry in the UK. Our business will gain a head start on learning about new legislative proposals, policy developments, market changes and developing trends.
Thus, ensuring that AIB can react with marketing strategies and business plans in a timely manner assuring our clients gain the benefit of the highest quality of advice and receive genuinely positive outcomes for their insurance needs.
What do you consider the key opportunities associated with your BIBA membership?
BIBA works closely with the FCA to help ensure a fair, equitable and workable regulatory regime for the broking industry, thereby keeping their members updated on matters affecting the industry, including regulation, legal issues, through their website, email alerts, conferences, workshops, seminars and subject specific working groups and panels.
BIBA is an excellent benchmark to understand the current thinking within the insurance market.
The regulatory benefits, and the technical support through the templates played a part. As did backing the voice of the industry. Networking with likeminded individuals and companies to achieve best practise and common goals, especially with the uncertainty and ramifications of Brexit.
Are there any particular BIBA events that you are looking forward to?
Lots! Although a small company we intend to be active members of BIBA and I am looking to attend the compliance forums to understand current topics, but I have historically found the Webinars particularly useful.
Do you feel that such memberships are necessary for brokers in the current climate?
It’s not necessary but it’s important that we as broker support the insurance market. Ultimately Biba are the voice of the industry and when debating points with the FCA on various consultation papers surely it makes sense to stand shoulder to shoulder with our industry colleagues, especially in these challenging times?
What are your plans for development in 2020 and beyond?
We are very lucky. We are well supported by some of the UK’s leading insurers who believe in what we do. We also enjoy a management team that want to grow aggressively for the long term, looking after our insurer partners and clients along the way. We expect another year of significant growth especially in the non-standard motor market and high net worth arena, where buying on-line is more challenging but training and developing the team, with as many resources, including Biba, at our disposal is key to our success.
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Airsports Insurance Bureau (AIB) is a trading style of Airsports Insurance Bureau Limited. Registered in England No. 2854801. Airsports Insurance Bureau Limited are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, firm reference 312153