Insurance Cover for buildings and contents in the Colonies

The Grapevine occasionally receives queries about home insurance, mostly involving residents looking for renewal quotes and asking for recommendations regarding insurance companies. Here is some of the information shared between residents.

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).  Another broker recommended by a resident for a very competitive quote is Keegan and Pennykidd.  One resident has recently shopped around and says

‘Here’s a list of brokers and insurers that Colonies residents kindly suggested. I went with Illingworth Mcnair.  Two brokers that I previously used (also previously recommended by Colonies residents) were Keegan & Pennykid and EMRG.  Howden’s were also suggested although, in my case, came out the highest by far.

Suggested individual companies included:
Aviva (who I am now with via Illingworth Mcnair)
Liverpool Victoria
My main lesson is that it is definitely worth shopping around each year – I lowered my quote by about £150.’  Another resident recommends always phoning the insurance company or broker as soon as the renewal invitation is received, as a ‘discount’ is often available to reduce the premium and retain the client.

Residents have found The National Flood Forum helpful in finding insurance:

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.  The City of Edinburgh Council can be contacted to provide a letter for residents to present to insurance companies regarding this, as the flood prevention scheme was completed 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.

The estimated reinstatement cost of a double-upper Colonies home is £400,000.

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 Colonies residents!

The ‘Flood Re’ scheme has been developed for insurance companies to use to ensure they are able to offer more affordable home insurance capped according to council tax banding. It provides a fund to offer people at high flood risk who might otherwise struggle to get affordable flood insurance with cover at a set price. 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

UK Government

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.