Insurance Cover for buildings and contents in the Colonies

By | on March 31, 2015 | 0 Comment

We’ve had a number of posts on the grapevine about home insurance in recent months, mostly involving residents looking for renewal quotes and asking for recommendations regarding insurance companies. We thought we’d summarise some of the information shared between residents and also highlight some of the recent government legislation that might benefit residents, including Edinburgh City Council contact details for further information about the recently completed Flood Prevention Scheme.

Recommended Insurance Companies:
Residents have mostly recommended local brokers over internet based comparison sites when looking for home insurance. These include Robert O Templeton & Co (1 Edinburgh Road, Dalkeith, EH22 1LA. Phone: 0131-660 4071) and Bruce Stevenson (76 Coburg Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6HJ. Phone: 0131 553 2293). Both have offered competitive premiums with companies such as Zurich Insurance and Vasek (underwritten by Lloyds). Residents have also found The National Flood Forum helpful in finding insurance: http://nationalfloodforum.org.uk/?page_id=36.  Another broker recommended by 2 residents is  John Smart of Edinburgh Risk Management (69a Dean Path EH4 3AT – Tel 0131 311 4700).

Brokers seem to be able to offer more reasonable premiums than comparison websites that sometimes refuse insurance on the grounds of SEPA flood risk and proximity to the Water of Leith. Gordon McOmish at City of Edinburgh Council can be contacted on gordon.mcomish@edinbugh.gov.uk to provide a letter for residents to present to insurance companies regarding this since completion of the flood prevention scheme in 2012.

One such letter read:
Bell Place is in a flood risk area as confirmed by the SEPA flood risk maps. However, the Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme Phase 1 is now complete and provides protection in properties against fluvial flood events with a 0.5% probability of occurring in any year i.e. 1-in-200 year flood event from the river. You should also note that in order to accommodate the future effects of climate change an allowance of 12% increase in river flows was included in the design.

This may help residents to assure insurance companies of the lowered flood risk since completion of the Flood Completion Scheme Phase 1 and so improve insurance premiums.

Government legislation:
The government has been in consultation with the Association of British Insurers to ensure widespread and affordable insurance for UK households. One such agreement, The Statement of Principles guarantees that insurers will:

  • Renew existing customers’ home insurance if their country’s national body considers their properties to not be at significant risk of flooding
  • Renew the home insurance of existing customers whose properties are considered to be at significant risk of flooding, as long as their country’s national body plans to reduce the flood risk in the area below significant within five years
  • Continue cover for the new owners of a previously flooded or at-risk property if the original customer decides to sell

This is good news for existing and new Colonies residents!

A more recently developed ‘Flood Re’ scheme has since been developed, which looks to develop a fund for insurance companies to use to ensure they are able to offer more affordable home insurance capped according to council tax banding. It will provide a fund to offer people at high flood risk who might otherwise struggle to get affordable flood insurance with cover at a set price. The aim is for Flood Re to be up and running by summer 2015. While work to develop this scheme happens, ABI members will voluntarily continue to meet their commitments to their existing customers under the old Statement of Principles agreement described above.

Further information about government legislation on home insurance can be found at:

Association of British Insurers
https://www.abi.org.uk/Insurance-and-savings/Topics-and-issues/Flooding/Government-and-insurance-industry-flood-agreement/The-Future-of-Flood-Insurance
https://www.abi.org.uk/Insurance-and-savings/Topics-and-issues/Flooding/Government-and-insurance-industry-flood-agreement

UK Government
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/flood-insurance-agreement-reached

Please note that the information contained in this article has been written by a colony resident who is not an expert in home insurance and while at the time of writing the information was thought to be correct through personal research, the author makes no warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness or accuracy of the information written. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk and in no event will they be liable for any loss or damage incurred as a result of use of this information.

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