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Your home is probably your biggest investment – and most valuable asset. So, you want to be sure that your home insurance protects what matters most.
FOCUS are expert home insurance brokers with a team of specialists that can provide tailor-made home buildings and contents insurance. Based in Oxford, FOCUS specialise in high-value home insurance and the additional concerns and risks that can arise.
We understand that every home is different and every person’s possessions are unique. Therefore, we don’t expect you to have an off-the-shelf home insurance package. We take the time to evaluate individual circumstances and provide bespoke home insurance solutions.
Research consistently shows that millions of homes in the UK are underinsured.
As our personal wealth increases, we tend to own larger houses and acquire possessions with higher values that don’t fall within the limits of standard home insurance policies. Buying an “off the shelf” policy online is unlikely to provide the cover you need.
Quite often garages, attics, and outhouses are full of large, high-value objects that get missed when assessing your contents, such as bikes and tools, and skiing, camping, sporting and gym equipment. Boundary walls, gates, fences, outbuildings, garden ornaments, swimming pools, tennis courts or car parking are often forgotten when considering what’s needed to reinstate a property to its original state.
Many people have little understanding of how valuable their general household contents are – let alone expensive items of jewellery, watches, antiques or pieces of art that have been acquired over the years. Take into consideration the changes in valuation and it becomes very easy to be under-insured.
In the modern world in which we now live, with connected homes and the internet of things, the risk of being hacked is ever more challenging- and has the potential of causing serious damage – not just to your finances, but also to your public reputation.
Cyber risk insurance solutions go hand in hand to keep your lifestyle, family, and reputation safe. All too often the headlines are highlighting the unfortunate stories of those whose lives have been invaded by hackers, often with considerable financial losses involved.
Cyber insurance can now form part of your home insurance plan and provide peace of mind.
High Value – or High Net Worth Home Insurance as it’s sometimes referred to, is not just for the super-rich living in stately homes. High-value home insurance is designed for homes with a rebuild cost typically in excess of £500,000 and contents in the region of £100,000.
At FOCUS, we are proud to be the high net worth home insurance broker in Oxford and the surrounding area, with over 30 years’ experience in this sector. Our experts can help source the ideal insurance solution for your unique needs.
We have access to a wide range of insurance providers, so the features that are included in your policy can vary and are tailored to suit your needs. Typically, policy cover includes:
This covers for most instances of damage to your home, or insured external buildings such as garages, swimming pools, tennis courts and other outbuildings. In the event of the worst case, such as catastrophic damage from a fire, then your policy will also include a rebuild cost for your home. One of the biggest – and most common claims often experienced is an escape of water. This can cause devastating damage and cover can provide for alternative accommodation during repairs if your home is uninhabitable.
Often described as everything that would fall out of your house should you tip it upside down. Understanding the value of everything inside your home is often tricky and is one of the most undervalued aspects for most standard policies. If you feel that you may be struggling to get the correct value of your contents, talk to our home insurance experts.
The highest value assets in your home are not always covered as standard. Insurance providers will often have a maximum single article limit cost and so higher value items may need to be specified separately. If a claim for an item exceeds the single article limit and is not specified separately in your policy, then you may find yourself footing the bill to replace or repair it.
“All risks” worldwide cover can also be provided for such items away from the home – including theft, accidental loss and damage.
If you have a number of higher value items, such as jewellery, art or antiques, it’s vital to choose the right high-value home insurance.
Within home insurance, the definition of the term ‘valuable’ can be wide ranging, often more so than you may think. Dependent on your policy, your single article limit could be as low as £1000 for an ‘off the shelf’ policy. This would likely leave a number of valuable possessions that would need to be declared separately.
We recommend you consider the following as being potentially high value items and therefore over the standard single article limit:
When it comes to ensuring your possessions are correctly covered, getting up to date valuations is essential.
We recommend that you get higher value assets valued every few years, with a maximum span of 5 years.
In the case of jewellery, it can be beneficial to keep an eye on the market for gold and precious stones. As this fluctuates you may want to get your jewellery assessed more frequently, every 3 to 5 years. During these valuations, you should also have settings and clasps checked as well. For example, in the event of a claim for a lost stone and the settings were found to be at fault, the claim may well not be accepted. Making sure your jewellery is checked regularly – particularly items such as engagement rings that have been worn for a long period of time – is essential.
Watches can also change rapidly in value, so it’s essential to understand if your models have increased. In particular, brands such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe gain an increased replacement value as time moves on so any models that have sat in your collection for a while are certainly worth getting valued.
Antiques and fine art are also certainly worth getting professionally valued which can be a challenge, compared to jewellery and watches. The team at FOCUS can help you with getting a professional valuation arranged for insurance purposes.
Cheaper is not always better, and by buying online through mediums such as comparison sites you are only paying less in premium cost. In the event of a claim, many consumers are left out of pocket because of a shortfall in pay-out limits or exclusions within the policy taken out.
Opting to take a more personal approach means you can deal with a human throughout your application process, not a computer pointing you to the cheapest option. At FOCUS, we build long term relationships with our clients by taking the time to understand your needs and put insurance solutions in place that meet your requirements. We’re on hand to provide advice, answer your insurance-related questions and adapt or change your insurance arrangements as your circumstances dictate.
By opting for a bespoke home insurance solution, you don’t risk massive underpayments in the event of a relevant claim, and you only pay for the protection that you require. Get in touch with our team of experts for more information on how we can help ensure your home is fully protected.
The simple answer is yes. If you undertake home improvements – whether it be a small extension or a complete renovation – it is likely that the rebuild costs will need to be reviewed.
You may not think to tell your insurance provider about your new kitchen or extension – but unless you do so, it is very easy to find yourself underinsured.
Failure to inform your insurer of any works you are undertaking may also invalidate your cover. If you’re unsure what constitutes a declarable home improvement your insurance broker or provider should be able to provide you with more clarity.
While many providers traditionally provide home insurance for one property there are certainly options available if you own multiple homes. Talk to us to learn more about the options available and let us help you find the right insurance for your circumstances.
The nature of the policy required for your exact situation may vary based on the specification of your home. Regardless, we can offer insurance for non-standard homes as well as high-value properties, so we are well placed to assist in getting the correct insurance solution for you.
Generally speaking, if your property is unoccupied for 30 consecutive days or more then a traditional policy will not provide cover. However, we have access to a wide variety of insurance providers that offer specialist cover for unoccupied properties. Contact us to discuss your requirements and we will help you make sure you have the right cover in place.
Once we understand your requirements, we will make our recommendations and offer advice to ensure you have the cover you need and deserve.