Information and advice on insurance from Vincent Throp Ltd and the Openworks group. We are here to help our clients get the best possible protection for themselves, their families and their properties.
In July 2015, Mark received a call from someone telling him his house in County Durham was in flames and that a team of firefighters were currently at the scene.
He hung up – first, not quite believing what he’d heard was true – it must be a work colleague playing a prank! But when the police called back, Mark soon realised this wasn’t a joke; it was a real problem that required his urgent attention.
Mark had moved out of the house and in with his partner a few months earlier, and was currently renting it out, hoping it might be a good investment. From the moment he took the call though, he started to worry he might have made a big mistake.
The cause of the fire was a lightning bolt, which had gone straight through the roof and into one of the bedrooms. The house was now uninhabitable and, as well as having a significant re-build project on his hands, Mark also had his tenants to consider, not to mention a potential loss of rental income that was currently covering his mortgage payments.
Fortunately, Mark had taken out appropriate insurance with a financial adviser at his local estate agent. They had recommended specialist Landlord’s cover with Paymentshield, knowing that it was competitively-priced and that he would be covered should the property become uninhabitable.
Obviously the repairs to the house weren’t going to happen overnight, which meant that Mark’s tenants would need to be re-housed. Fortunately, his insurance covered the referencing fees to help them find a new property and, to Mark’s amazement, it also covered his loss of rent while the work was being carried out.
Mark still had a mortgage on the property and relied on the rent to meet his monthly payments, so knowing he would continue to receive this income was a huge relief. He didn’t even have to get too involved with restoring the property; the Paymentshield insurance team managed all the details and kept him fully updated on progress. Other than a small excess, Mark’s claim pay-out covered the majority of the work.
It’s not every day you get a phone call at work to say that your house is on fire after being struck by lightning.
But that’s the whole point of insurance; it’s there to protect you when the unexpected happens.
Luckily for Mark, he was covered by this random act of nature, but without the right advice and the right policy, he might not have been so lucky.
For trusted advice on home and contents insurance, please talk to us. Call 01865 587116 (Oxfordshire) or 01506 848799 (Linlithgow).
If you want to help make sure your loved ones will have financial security if you pass away, life insurance
cover is the answer. But, if you’re part of a couple and you both need cover, should you take out single policies, or a joint policy that covers both of you?
With a single life policy, the insurer would pay out on the death of the policyholder and the policy would then lapse. With joint life insurance, however, the cover will apply to both policyholders and would pay-out either on the first or second death, depending on how the policy is set up.
Before you decide whether to take out single or joint life insurance policies, you’ll need to decide what type of cover you need, and this will depend on your circumstances:
- Term Assurance: pays out a lump sum if you die within the agreed ‘term’ (ie. the amount of time you’ve chosen to be covered for). Term Assurance is typically taken out to protect a mortgage and, as such, can come with a level, or decreasing, sum assured – the latter reducing as you pay off your mortgage.
- Whole of Life Insurance: pays out a lump sum when you die, whenever that is – as long as you’re still paying the premiums.
- Family Income Benefit Insurance: pays out a regular income, instead of a lump sum, to provide ongoing financial support for those who depend on you.
You could also add critical illness cover to your life insurance policy, which means you’ll get a pay-out if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness and your claim is accepted. The type of conditions covered can include cancer, heart attack and stroke and will depend on the insurance provider.
Weighing up the benefits
Once you’ve agreed on the right type of cover, there are a number of other factors to consider to determine whether single, or joint life cover is best for you and your other half, including:
- Cost: a joint life policy may be less expensive than two single life policies. Level of cover – if your partner earns more than you you might want them to have a higher level of cover, since the financial impact of their death would be greater than yours. In this respect two policies may be better as they will have different sums assured.
- Existing cover: either, or both of you may have existing life cover through your employer, or an existing plan. It’s important to check what’s already in place so that you have a true picture of your protection shortfall. You don’t want to pay for something that’s already covered.
- Your relationship: It’s not necessarily something you want to think about but some insurers include a separation benefit. This means if your relationship breaks down during the policy term, you could cancel it and start two individual policies without having to provide additional medical information.