Underinsurance, don’t get caught short



Underinsurance is very much a taboo topic in the commercial market despite the devastating effects of misunderstanding the requirements. If you or your advisers don’t correctly assess and understand the nature of the policy and associated risks you can easily find yourself underinsured or even worse, in breach of the policy terms.  The fallout is both damaging for the customer and the insurer in terms of their reputation and customer relationships, which explains why this is now a highly monitored area of the insurance industry.


Commercial property is claimed to be the most likely affected by underinsurance according to the Building Cost Information Service. They suggest that 80% of commercial properties could be underinsured by a whopping 60% meaning that for a property worth $1 Million, there will be a short fall of around £600,000. Some attribute this to the consistent effort of property owners to cut costs, meaning that valuations and risk assessments become less important… don’t be one of those people.

Property valuations are essential if you are to buy the correct cover as an estimate is needs to reflect the cost of rebuilding the property rather than its market value price. In reality, many make this very mistake by not incorporating features such as gates and car parks as property value, consequently buying much less cover than actually applicable or needed.


Here at Regency Insurance we know what’s right for you. We are a local insurance firm which has been operating in the area for many years now, which means we can provide a much more tailored service for you. We can help you review your valuations early on as well as checking sub -limits in package policies are sufficient for your individual situation. Cyber risks are a topic customers often misunderstand and/or the covers will be unfamiliar. Regency Insurance always make sure that our clients are fully informed before proceeding with any insurance package, promoting a fair and honest work practice.

In addition to this, we can also provide advice on arranging Business Interruption Insurance and we will guide you on the appropriate sum and period of indemnity.

We can protect your property and your contents from theft, storms, water damage and much more. Give us a ring for advice or a quote we are always happy to help.



Holiday horrors and how to avoid them – Regency Insurance



Life is like a predator, don’t let it catch up with you when you’re vulnerable. Holidays are our one chance a year to get away and enjoy the fruits of our labour, but even this comes with risks. Every day we hear horror stories in the news regarding travel nightmares which we always assume will “never happen to us”. Don’t be one of those people. According to the Money Advice Service, the average spend on a holiday is £1,027.00 per person, which is even more reason to protect yourself and your family. Still not convinced? The average cost for medical treatment abroad is £2,040.00 according to the Association of British Insurers, and all emergency expenses including flights, have amounted to an excess of £49,000.

How about losing a bag? It is estimated that there were 24.1 million mishandled bags in 2014, which was an amazing 7 out of every 1000 people. Still think it’s worth the risk? Regency Insurance is here for you.


In contrast to other industries, Insurance is one which has change very little and Regency Insurance offers a personalized service best suited to you that price comparison websites simply don’t offer. Experienced and professional brokers are at hand, which will research and identify the best Insurance policies for you.

According to the Association of British Insurers, Britons on average spend double the average price for an insurance policy on magazines and sweets at the airport. I don’t know about you, but I would rather rest easy knowing I’m covered for all eventualities, than catching up on Woman’s Weekly and munching on my meal deal.

What we cover:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Personal liability, in the case you’re sued for damage to property or injury
  • Lost or stolen bags and items
  • Cost of delaying or cutting short your trip


Holiday Insurance Horror Stories:

  • One traveller had to pay £20,000 to cover the cost of treatment for a heart infection and bleeding on the brain. Costs included treatment at two hospitals and an air ambulance back to the UK from Spain.
  • £11,000 to treat a holidaymaker who suffered a broken arm after a fall in Spain.
  • Medical bills in the USA average £4,726 – the world’s most expensive destination for emergency medical care.
  • £54,000 to treat a holidaymaker who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while holidaying in the USA and then needed to be flown back to the UK with a doctor escort

I hope this hasn’t put you off holidaying as the world has some beautiful things to offer. Here at Regency Insurance we can offer 25 years’ experience and we genuinely care about your well-being. We are dedicated to ensuring you and your family are covered and can guarantee a stress free trip when you insure with us.





Address: Regency Insurance Services 317 Stanstead Rd Forest Hill London SE23 1JB
Phone: 0208 690 8667
Fax: 0208 690 3452
Email: info@regency4insurance.co.uk




Insurance Broker vs Direct Purchase – Trust, Risk and Managing Efficiency as a Small Business

In comparison to most other industries, access to business insurance products has not changed that much in the last two decades when it comes to direct channel approach. Businesses still seek the advice of a broker, intermediary or another third party in order to find the right insurance, but this is not the case for consumers who use online comparison sites to access insurance services.

Nowadays, instead of accessing services or products through a third party, such as a retailer or a consultancy as the internet now provides quick and direct access to all kinds of services.

If you want to find a good deal on flights and hotels, it is no longer common to go to a travel agency. Instead, you just use a holiday website that quickly tells you about cheap flights and provides reviews on hotels.

Although everyone is looking for a bargain, there are some purchases where the risk of something going wrong far outweighs the value of a small financial saving. Travel is a great example, the internet is littered with negative reviews giving bad feedback on bargain flights and hotels that have resulted in nightmare scenarios. The crowd sourced wisdom generated through reviews is a really useful way to research purchases before making a decision, but even then there are risks.

When it comes to business insurance the solution often has to be tailored to the needs of that specific business, as “off the shelf” products are rarely sufficient.

In the last few years, company registrations at Companies House have hit record highs, indicating growing interest in starting a business rather than pursuing traditional career paths. Many of these new businesses are creating innovative products and markets, testing the limits of existing insurance services and requiring even more tailored solutions


Whether you are a recent start-up a seasoned sole trader or an established company, selecting the right insurance for your business is a vital step in this process. Reviewing and renewing are equally as important because no business stays the same year on year.


Source: Startups.co.uk


So, what is the most cost effective approach? Researching the market ourselves or seeking the advice of an insurance broker?

As a business, we know that we have to be insured, we know how it operates and the details of the operation; however, it’s very difficult to marry this knowledge to the range of insurance products and services on the market. If the focus is on cost we may not spend enough time researching and learning about the products or may simply be attracted to the lowest priced option because it “seems” to include everything we need.

Whether you are operating as a sole trader, self employed as a mini cab driver, running a local shop as a Limited company or in some sort of partnership with associates offering business services, the needs of your business in terms of insuring against risk will vary massively.RetailFlood

Insurance is all about risks – From the perspective of any small business for example, in the worst case scenario, the right insurance cover can directly affect the future of a business. If a street is affected by natural disasters such as flood or storm damage and the shops nearby are forced to shut down for a couple of days, the retailers lose a lot of money which is sometimes enough to put them out of business. In this case, the right insurance can be vital to save the shops’ financial situation and trading future.

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post

If you provide advice to businesses it is critically important that you are insured against liability and indemnify yourself of any responsibility should things go wrong. These sort of insurance options can vary significantly between different industries based on regulatory legislation, and if you operate in a range of countries this can be even more complex.

Even becoming a minicab driver can present risks that need to be managed. Not everyone appreciates that special car insurance is required to carry passengers and even those who do aren’t always aware of the options available to get the right cover at the right price, taking into account things like the number of days a month they will work and over what period.

The well know consumer insurer ‘Directline’ has made a first attempt to approach business clients through a direct channel without the help of a third party.  This could be considered as a more cost effective way of purchasing insurance, however it is important to look at what you get for this. One of the main issues is the fact that companies like Direct Line only promote their own products and lack flexibility, there may well be other providers who better meet your needs.


In contrast, a good broker knows the market and keeps up to date with all products and service providers. When finding the right insurance, the broker takes the time to fully understand the nature of your business and your specific needs, resulting in minimal effort on your part and peace of mind that they will find the right policy for you. A good relationship built on trust and impartiality is vital for finding the insurance that suits your business. Furthermore, this personal approach allows you to join the network of companies and consumers serviced and the broker might recommend your business to other clients that you might consider as your target customer base.

“One of the key principles of insurance is ‘utmost good faith’. That is not just for insurers; it is really important that consumers and businesses play their part in this.” Telegraph article Millions Lie…

Andrew Says…

“A lot of businesses under insure, especially newsagents, off-licences, grocers. They are often tempted to claim to have a lower amount of stock to bring the premiums down.

What can hAndrew Dartfappen is that the small business get a quote from a broker, which they find expensive and they go on a comparison website, search for the quickest and cheapest standard cover. They often do not understand the fine print, and there is a danger that their business is not standard due to their individual circumstances.


They do not read the policy fully and assume many things, which if you do not claim makes your insurance cheaper.  If they need to claim it becomes much more expensive as they tend to have the wrong cover and cannot complete a claim.”

Whether you’re a business, an insurer, a broker or an intermediary, why not make your contribution to the debate through a series of surveys that are set to provide more insight for the industry…


Make a contribution today and start the survey!

SME Survey – https://model.dicematrixconsulting.co.uk/Surveys/SurveyLogin/84/0

Insurer Survey – https://model.dicematrixconsulting.co.uk/Surveys/SurveyLogin/84/1

Dice Matrix Website – www.dicematrixconsulting.co.uk

Marketing Insight Website – www.mktinsight360.com


Announcements will be made in May 2016 by Biba regarding how to access the insights generated.

Build the home of your dreams, without creating a financial nightmare!

Before embarking on any kind of home improvement or building works, the most sensible first step many people fail to take is to review your insurance policies. Both Buildings Insurance and Home Contents can be affected.

Mundane and boring I know, you just want a beautiful new house, but you would be surprised how many people can get themselves into trouble by jumping straight into a project like this without getting some simple free advice that could save them thousands.

You may well be one of the majority of people who didn’t realise:

  • Any changes to the existing building can breach your existing insurance contract making it null and void.
  • If you are found to have been in breach of contract, on any insurance policy, you may find it difficult and more expensive to get insurance in the future
  • Major building works that involve external walls and roofing could create a security risk that affects your home contents cover as well as buildings insurance

There are many more considerations like this that a reputable and professional insurance broker can identify in relation to your project, making you aware of the risks and advising on the best way to arrange additional cover and/or amend your existing policies, meaning you can sleep at night while the building work is carried out.

While it’s tempting to cut corners and rely on internet comparison sites to find you the best deal, without the trained eye of a broker to check through the detail a huge number of people find themselves under-insured or with the wrong policy for their needs.

(Find new stats around growth in home improvements, building work issues and or use of brokers)

After the initial impact of the 2008 Credit Crunch, where many householders adopted the mantra “improve don’t move” there was a sharp rise in extension building. But as the crisis turned into a recession, building work tailed off considerably for several years. Since 2013 home improvements have once again been on the rise, with this trend expected to continue (marketresearch.com)

It is a concern then that, with so many people taking on building projects, so few are approaching insurance brokers for the free advice and peace of mind on offer. As of 2012 an estimated 37% of consumers sourced insurance products through an independent intermediary while 32% went direct online or over the phone and the remainder relied on retailers and other agencies such as banks to provide a solution. (abi.org)

Let’s paint a picture:

Your child has a band and they are very talented.  You have space enough to the side of the house to build an extension, so you create a music studio for them practice and record their songs. During the work the property will be less secure as the usually secure garage and gateway will be removed for a time, this could have a massive impact in terms of insurance. Also, once the work is finished, the music studio equipment and instruments belonging to your child and their friends will include several high value items that may not be covered by your insurance or theirs. A potential minefield of risk, but a simple conversation with your insurance broker will make sure every issue is considered and policies reviewed. Whether you need to declare specific high value items or talk to the parents of other band members about amending their policies to include “off-site” cover, you will always receive the right advice to make the right decision.

Carrying out any sort of home improvements can create a range of risks and lead to different types of damage to home and property. Anything from dropping a light bulb to damaging expensive electricals like a television, not to mention unreplaceable items like wedding photographs. Having the right policy in place before you start reduces the risk massively, its all about communication. Speak to a broker and let them take the strain. They can take time to go through your existing policy in detail, check on specifics such as whether items will be replaced ‘new for old’, advise you on the best course of action and even liaise with your existing provider to make sure they have all the information they need.

There is also then the question of your contractor’s insurance. There will be some things that you can’t insure against but they can, it is always worth asking them the question and if you are unsure ask to see their insurance details and get your broker to take a look to help reassure you that everything is in order.

If you’re still not sure about how to prepare for a building project, just call us to talk it through and we can take care of it for you, otherwise here’s our basic checklist…

  • Inform your insurer – Let your insurer know what work is going to take place in good time before starting. They may need time to send someone around to assess what cover levels are needed during the build
  • Be totally honest – Be clear with your insurer so that you get the right cover. Ask them to explain what changes you need to make and possibly get it in writing if they say you don’t
  • Claims failure – You won’t be able to claim for any damage and loss that occurs during the building process if you fail to notify them that the work is taking place
  • New levels of cover – The work, once complete, may mean that your existing cover levels need increasing, as your house will be a different size, shape or layout
  • Accidental damage – If it’s not already included as part of your policy, consider paying a little extra for the duration of the build to cover you during the period where the risk of accidents occurring obviously increases dramatically.
  • Moving out during the build – If you vacate the property for more than the acceptable length of time as stipulated in your home cover, you could invalidate the policy.
  • Consider adding legal cover – This would ensure that if you get into dispute over bad workmanship or contractual agreements, you can get financial assistance with the legal advice you need

If you are planning an extension or considering taking on home improvements, feel free to contact Andrew and the team at Regency Insurance. Our commitment is to providing comprehensive advice that gets you the best cover for less.

Regency Insurance Services: Are you covered for winter weather damage?

It’s about time you double checked your home insurance policy terms and cover, if just for the peace of mind. Every year you’ve brushed off the suitably dire warnings from your favourite weather-girl, laughed at The Express foretelling yet another apocalypse and had a good moan about the train being late due to leaves on the line (or some other “reason”)

Now though, it feels different. Bad storms and heavy flooding seem to have become a regular occurrence, and the thought of ringing up your insurers and hearing the words “Sorry, we can’t cover you for the damage” makes you feel nauseous.


The Culprits

The main causes of wintertime damage are storms and the cold. Storms can directly damage your house and surrounding trees, causing branches (or even entire trees) to fall onto your – or worse, your neighbours – home. Indirectly they can cause flooding, which will lead to damage of both your home and possessions.

Flooding and storm risk affects insurance

Classically, one always worries about frozen pipes in the winter (burst pipes, no heating and water – never good), but there are other problems you should be aware of. If there’s enough snow you should be wary of collapsing roofs, tree branches and damage to cars. From a legal perspective: if a person slips and falls, whilst on your property, you could be liable.


What’s Covered

Apart from the heartache and hassle, the cost of cleaning up damage can be huge. Policies will vary and it’s worth closely reading the clauses, but in the UK, home insurance will generally cover:

  • Natural events such as storms and flooding
  • Fire, smoke damage and explosions
  • Vandalism
  • Subsidence
  • Vehicle collision
  • Falling trees
  • Water damage from leaking or burst pipes
  • Oil leaks from your heating system

Obviously not all of these are relevant to weather damage, but the majority are. In particular, flood insurance is now normally included as a standard part of your house insurance. Unfortunately it also rarely includes the contents of your home, unless you take out a specific home contents insurance policy. So if you live in a high-risk area it could be worth paying a premium.

Depending on your policy, your insurer may also cover structures outside your house (garden, garage, driveway, fences and walls).


What’s (probably) not Covered

More insurers won’t cover any damage caused by:

  • Frost (unless it causes damage through a burst pipe)
  • Leaking gutters
  • Replacing damaged belongings.

Again, don’t take my word for it. Check your policy carefully and make a note of what is and what isn’t covered.


The Curveball

If there’s one thing likely to scupper your claim, it’s the insurer claiming homeowners negligence – insinuating that you neglected standard care of your home, allowing it to withstand normal winter weather. Common negligence claims in the UK include:

  • Flooding – if you develop your land and it adversely affects the risk of flooding and causes damage to your, or your neighbours house, it’s unlikely to be covered.
  • Pipes – if the insurance company believes that you didn’t take adequate precautions (heating on, pipes drained, etc.) you may be denied coverage.
  • Trees – if you know that a tree or branch is at risk of falling, do something about it! If it’s looking tenuous now, imagine what will happen if a gale hits it.


Reduce the Risk

Home insurance is just another arrow in your quiver. If something were to happen, and you didn’t have insurance, you’re either going to have to foot a very large bill or (even worse) you could be liable and potentially lose your home.

If you’ve decided to have a second look over your policy, it’s worth talking to an insurance broker so you fully understand all the terms and conditions. Before you go, here are a few relevant questions you could ask:

  • If my home was damaged by a natural event, what is and what isn’t covered?
  • Are contents covered? Is it “New for Old” or “IndAndrew Dartford Insurance Brokeremnity” cover?
  • Do they cover alternative accommodation?

“And remember, you don’t always have to claim. If the damage is minimal and doesn’t cost much more than the deductible, is it really worth raising your premium over?”

Andrew Dartford – MD at Regency Insurance Services

If there’s anything you’re not sure about, just let us know. We’d be happy to go through the detail with you and advise on policies and claims. Just give us a ring on 0208 690 8667

Don’t Let Business Bite – Get Advice and Get it Right!

It’s no secret a Google search for business insurance can leave you feeling confused with all the many options and packages of insurance all the different companies provide.

And then there’s the question of whether you really need business insurance; does it do much and should you spend time and money getting insured in the first place.

To answer at least one question we’ll help you by mentioning that some types of business insurance are mandatory.

Furthermore, having business insurance is a safety net to fall back on when unexpected costs arBusinessBrolliesise, which can be the case in a number of different scenarios, such as:

  • You own a café or restaurant and one of your employees, a waitress, falls and breaks her leg on a slippery floor, where you may have forgotten to put a clear ‘Wet Floor’ sign
  • You are a hair dresser and accidentally give a client a chemical burn, when colouring their hair and the client decides to sue
  • The chances of a flood, a fire breaking out or theft taking place at your business premises when you are’nt there, may seem low, but can cause a huge disruption to your business activities. Ranging from having to take time out of your daily routine to deal with the situation, to no longer having your tools or equipment needed to run your business.

We’ll break it down further by explaining the main types of business insurance:

  • Business Insurance  – protects the company from risks and  losses that can easily occur during the daily operations of running a business. This is usually a package you build up to reflect your business needs, with policies that include some of the following: Product Liability Insurance (protection if a faulty product causes an injury or death), Property damage insurance and Employee risk related insurance.
  • Public Liability Insurance – this covers claims made by members of the public, or your customers, for incidents that occur in connection with your business activities, such as if they injure themselves on your business premises or you organise an event offsite, which members of the public attend and happen to get injured or hurt themselves.
  • Employers Liability Insurance – you are required by law to take out this insurance to protect your employees in case they fall ill or are injured in the work place.  You can be fined of up to £2,500 per day if your business doesn’t have the required amount of cover of this insurance.
  • Professional Indemnity – is the type of cover that protects a freelance consultant, small agency or larger organisation from claims made by clients for loss or damage due to negligent advice or services. This includes providing an inadequate service, or making a major mistake and not providing the type of service you committed to providing.
  • Commercial Motor Insurance – if you use vehicles for business you are legally obligated to have this insurance for each employee that uses a vehicle to carry out the work, or if your employees use their own vehicles for work you should ensure they have at least the minimum cover required. Specialist motor insurance policies are available from Regency Insurance if using vehicles is a core part of the business, such as running a taxi service

Depending on the type of business you run, you will need to research and identify the key policies out of the vast insurance pool to put together into a package that brings your business the best and most effective cover. There are also different levels of cover, from basic to full packages based on how much risk you would like to avoid, here’s where we lend a helping hand:

“A good broker will always take the time to sit down with you, understand your business activities and research your options on your behalf before making recommendations. It is important that you understand the choices to be made so you can make informed decisions from the solutions we come up with”

“It certainly isn’t all about price, but we can help make sure that you have all the policies you need and pay the best rates for any additional cover you decide to take out. You might even get a cup of tea thrown in for free as well!”

Andrew Dartford MD Regency Insurance Services

The type of insurance cover you will need and your monthly insurance bill will depend on:

  • the nature of your business
  • your annual turnover
  • the number of people you employ
  • your insurance claims history
  • Your trading status i.e. Ltd company or sole trader

Regency Insurance can help to tailor your individual business insurance package and specialises in Business, Professional IndemnityProduct Liability, Public Liability and Taxi Insurance.

We’d be happy to discuss your needs, just call us on 020 8690 8667 




Cycle safe – with the peace of mind of the right insurance for you

This year we really have become a nation of cyclists with 4.64 million of us hopping onto our bikes at least 3 times a week, according to the Cyclists Touring Club charity.

The meteoric rise of cycle chic is at least partly the result of champions such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead and the rest of the amazing British Olympic team on two wheels, who have inspired participation in competitive and leisure cycling.

BorisBikesThen there’s the ever popular London cycle hire scheme, Barclays Bikes (or Boris Bikes), which has been going for five years and now sport a bright red new paint job as Santander Cycles. That initiative alone encouraged a whopping half a million of us to make 7.4 million trips around London, between April 2011 and March 2012.

With the power of social media cycling events such as the World Naked Bike ride have gained plenty of “exposure” and further contributed to the growth of cycling as a hobby.

As a result of all of this media coverage we bought over 3.34 million bikes in the year following the London Olympics, that’s over 1 million more than the number of cars sold in the same period (Cycleplan, 2015).

As well as being the coolest new pastime, there are plenty of other reasons to get on yer bike! Cycling is:

  • Often cheaper than using public transportawesome
  • Always quicker than walking
  • Fun when you go on bike rides with friends
  • Supported by attractive offers through the government Cycle to work scheme
  • Of benefit to society by improving air quality and reducing noise

Using cycling as a safe way of getting around can be a challenge, it’s both painful and expensive when things go wrong. But it isn’t just extreme versions of the sport that can end in tears, insurance company Aviva has taken the time to identify the top 10 accident hotspots in London so you can avoid them or take extra care.

HandsOffSerious injuries have increased amongst cyclists by 8.2% last year and more than half a million bikes are stolen every year in the UK . As a result sales of dedicated bike insurance have risen 75% in the last 6 years.

But all is not lost, there is a really simple way to make cycling as safe as possible for you – insurance companies are creating tailored solutions that meet the needs of the growing number of bike enthusiasts.

“I got a call recently from a customer looking to claim who didn’t realise their 2 bikes worth £2500 each would not be covered on their home contents insurance. If only they’d spoken to us when they bought them we could have ensured they had the appropriate cover” Andrew at Regency

Everything depends on the type of riding you will be doing and the value of the gear you use. There are loads of different types of cycling and various bikes that best suit your cycling needs, such as:

It’s always worth speaking to a broker who can help find the best cover for your individual needs, and answer these types of questions:

In cases where you are able to use your home insurance policy for cover it will demand that your bike is tightly secured to a fence or stored in a locked garage to be eligible for the cover.

  • Is your bicycle covered by your home insurance? Don’t automatically assume this, as one in three policies don’t provide cover if your bike has been stolen away from home
  • In cases where you are able to use your home insurance policy for cover it will demand that your bike is tightly secured to a fence or stored in a locked garage to be eligible for the cover.
  • Your insurance fully covers you in case of theft and damage, most insurers will only consider your claim if your bike was stolen whilst locked when left unattended.
  • What is on offer when you make a claim? Consider the sort of repairs and replacements available if and when your bike gets damaged.
  • Does your insurance cover any accidents you may be in, legal or hospital fees you may incur as the result of an accident in this country or perhaps whilst on holiday?

So, if you are an avid cyclist or thinking of getting involved, before you get on your bike – get on your phone to Regency!

6 Reasons why you should use an Insurance Broker

We’ve always been told from a young age that if we invest in something expensive or valuable we had better look after it. But sometimes things are taken out of our hands and that’s when we’re told ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ and that’s what insurance is all about.


Whether you are insuring a property, a vehicle or a business (or maybe a pet), the choices are seemingly endless with everyone claiming to be the cheapest, when it’s probably not the cheapest you want. That’s where speaking to a broker can save you time and money as well as giving you peace of mind that you have the cover you need.

Below are 6 ways an insurance broker can make life easier for you.

1. “Insurance brokers have deeper knowledge of the ‘Product’’, they can better advise you on getting the best deal for you

Insurance brokers are experts in their field, who can offer advice in areas easy to forget when thinking about insuring something. Last year Cloud Direct, a cloud services broker (CSB) found that 54% of small to medium sized business owners were unaware that there are insurance benefits in having a business continuity plan. This is despite 68% of people saying they already having a business continuity plan in place. Something an insurance broker can definitely help with. Brokers have the experience of building up relationships with insurance companies, which are translated into preferential rates that can be offered to you as a client. “We save you time and money because most people who source quotes on the internet still have to call insurers to confirm the quote is accurate” (Andrew Dartford, CEO of Regency Insurance Services)

2. Advice from an insurance broker is free, you don’t pay them and the premium is no higher

Despite the popular misconception of the insurance broker being a middleman, who should be cut out in order to make the insurance cheaper the broker receives a commission from the insurance company as an alternative to the cost of advertising their services elsewhere. This actually often translates into a better deal for you.

3. Insurance solutions will be tailored to your individual circumstances

Direct insurance companies cannot always provide the exact type of insurance cover you need as they tend to show standard rates and do not allow for the flexibility of taking each customer’s requirements into account. A broker asks questions and spends time getting to know you and your situation, especially if you have very specific requirements. They can then compare the detail of the products available, negotiate on your behalf and explain to you your options, so that you can rest assured that everything you need is taken care of and covered.

4. Brokers save you a lot of time

Insurance brokers take care of collecting and short-listing the initial quotes for you, so that you can spend that time on other important things in your life. According to research by the British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA), in June this year, UK SME’s spend 600,000 hours on company administration such as finding insurance. This is why going through an insurance broker is especially useful when you want to insure something that doesn’t fit a standard cover and have more complicated questions and queries. Going through the question and answer session once with a broker is much more efficient than repeating the process with a range of insurers, or risking missing something important by using comparison sites which only deal with basic, standard cover.


5. They translate all the insurance talk jargon, so you don’t have to

Trying to understand all the differences in the policies and offers can be a demanding task, requiring a lot of focus and concentration, specifically if you are insuring something for the first time. Research by BIBA has shown that 29% of British small and medium sized enterprises do not always read their insurance documents entirely. In 2011 Aviva found that over a third of home owners (33%) who never fully read their home insurance. Could the complex jargon be why? “Most brokers have an understanding of all the small print, the terms and conditions, what they refer to and they can explain insurance covers and conditions of policy in straight forward language”, explains Andrew.

6. Insurance Brokers have an obligation to look after your interests, as they’re monitored by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)

This means that the FCA monitors the activities of insurance brokers and the brokers have an obligation to behave ethically and offer you a fair deal as a customer. They are responsible for looking after your personal details, which is reassuring to customers if you have concerns using an automated online system.

Andrew Dartford“For me, the best part about being an Insurance Broker is working with people. Speaking to clients to understand what they really need and building relationships with insurers that mean I can always put together the best solution” Andrew Dartford

Why not tell us about your experiences working with insurance brokers, or let us hear any questions you might have by leaving a comment below – or you can just give us a call!…

Protecting your home

There are various ways we can protect our homes from the following:


Smoke alarms really do save lives. Fit them throughout your home and test them regularly, replace batteries every year. If in doubt, most local fire services will visit your home free of charge to advise on where you should put smoke alarms and to point out any fire hazards you should be aware of.

Kitchens are where most home fires start. Use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer if you regularly cook with oil. Be careful with lit candles and cigarettes, make sure they are properly extinguished and never smoke in bed. Don’t overload electrical sockets. Use fireguards with open fires and have your chimney swept regularly. Remember to switch off electrical equipment at the socket – preferably don’t leave TVs or stereos on standby – and unplug them when on holiday. Make sure bonfires and barbecues are a safe distance from fences, trees, shrubs, sheds and your home.


Security locks on doors and windows are your first line of defence. Make sure they’re adequate and use them even if you are just popping out for five minutes! 5 lever mortice deadlocks can provide additional security for doors and key operated locks for windows – double glazing is recommended for windows too. Fit outside doors with toughened glass.

When on holiday, cancel papers and milk and ask someone to collect your post so that there are no tell-tale piles of letters on your doormat. Lock your valuables away and use timed switches for lights. Don’t leave DIY or garden equipment outside, lock it in a shed or in the house. Never leave keys near letterboxes as they could be easily taken without a thief having to get into your home. An alarm from an approved supplier will not only help protect your home, it could also bring down the cost of your premium. Join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, or if there isn’t one, why not start one?

Burst pipes

Most burst pipes happen in the winter when the water freezes. Proper insulation and lagging will help protect pipes and tanks in the loft and outside.


Check your radiator valves regularly for leaks. Guttering should be kept clear of leaves and moss and any damaged sections repaired. Damp patches, blistered paint and areas of mildew in your home, could be signs of slow leaks. Keep an eye on washing appliances and make sure they are properly fitted. Check overflows around your home periodically, as well as ball cocks on toilets.

How much building cover do I need?

Many people, when asked how much they’d need to rebuild their home would have little or no idea. Your estate agent’s valuation report is a good estimate for the amount of cover you need. Be careful not to confuse its market value i.e. what you bought it for or could sell it for now, with its rebuild cost, as there could be a big difference between these.

Quite a few companies now offer blanket cover of up to £500,000 or £1 Million Building sum insured and anything from £30,000 to £100,000 Contents cover.. This makes life easier for you because you don’t have to have an exact figure before you can get insurance.

If you have particular valuables that you want extra protection for, mention this when you are choosing your policy or check the ‘specified items’ amount covered in your policy. Some companies will cover certain items at no extra cost.

Most policies will include an excess. This is the amount you will need to pay towards any claim. This can be paid directly to a supplier or deducted from your settlement, but if you are comparing policies make sure you compare the same excess on each one.

Is the cheapest policy always the best?

No not necessarily, it depends what your individual needs are. Look through the policy document carefully to see what is and what isn’t covered. The cheapest policy is usually standard cover.

For contents insurance, think carefully about what you want to cover before you choose the cheapest policy. It might be safer for you to spend a little more on your premium to look after the things that are important to you. For example, if you are a keen cyclist and you own an expensive bike, make sure it’s covered as a specified item. If its value is greater than the single item limit, then it’s common sense to pay a little extra to protect it.

Get new for old

Check that the policy you choose replaces new for old. New for old protects the value of the things you own, so that the full cost of replacing them if they are stolen, or repairing them if they are damaged, will be met.