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Frequently Asked Questions

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Motor Insurance FAQs
There are three types of motor insurance available to purchase so you will need to select the cover that suits your needs:
  1. Third party – the minimum most insurers offer Third party insurance covers other people (third parties), but not you. If you injure someone or damage their property, they’re covered but if your own car is damaged or stolen, you will have to pay for the loss yourself.
  2. Third party, fire and theft Third party, fire and theft insurance covers other people. So, in that respect, it’s like third party. If your own car is damaged, you have to pay for repairs yourself, apart from repairs or replacement if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.
It is worth noting, like with third party insurance, third party, fire and theft isn’t always cheaper than fully comprehensive cover—you should always compare prices.
  3. Fully comprehensive
 The highest level of cover. On top of the basics of third party, fire and theft cover, it’s the only type that covers you if you damage your own car, even if the accident was your fault. You can claim for:
    • Repairs after an accident;
    • Accidental damage;
    • Vandalism, for example, if someone deliberately scratches your car.
    Plus, if necessary, you might legally be able to drive other people’s cars if you have their permission—but usually you’ll only have third party cover, which means you have no cover if you damage the car you’re driving.
  • Building up your no claims bonus will show insurers you are safe driver and attract lower premiums.

  • Adding a voluntary excess can reduce the premium, however bear in mind you will need to pay this on top of any compulsory excess in the event of a claims so you need to make sure you are able to afford this.
  • Keep your car in your garage when not using can help reduce the premium.
Keeping the number of drivers to just you and one other if you can may help reduce the premium.
  • If you are aged over 25 the premium will be less, as older, experienced drivers attract lower insurance premiums.

Please refer to the policy book provided when you purchased your insurance, which will contain details of how to make a claim. If you are unsure, please call us on 0344 274 0158 and we will be happy to provide the claims department contact details.

You should work out how many miles you drive to work and back each week and how much mileage you do for your own social, domestic and pleasure use in a typical week. Add the figures together and multiply by 52.

Do not forget to add in any business mileage you might do and if you use your vehicle for the occasional long-distance journey remember to allow for that as well. You can also compare the mileage between MOTs.

Yes, the annual mileage will be taken into account by the insurer, alongside a range of other risk factors. It is important that you calculate as accurately as possible; underestimating the mileage may invalidate your cover.

Yes, if the claim was in the last five years. Insurers want to know your driving history and this includes all claims made, whatever the circumstances, by you (and any other drivers) under any motor insurance policy.

Buildings Insurance FAQs

If you own the property, you should take out buildings insurance to protect your property investment and to safeguard you in the event of a claim made against you. If you have a mortgage, most lenders make it a condition of the mortgage loan that you have buildings insurance in place.

We recommend that you take out contents’ insurance as well, whether you own or rent your property.

We can quote both separate buildings and contents policies. We can also source combined buildings and contents insurance to make it more convenient for you with everything insured in one place.

Buildings insurance covers the cost of damage to the physical structure of your property. This includes the roof, walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows.

Structures outside of your home but within the boundaries of the property such as garages, garden walls and patios are also included under a buildings insurance policy but you should always carefully check the policy wording for any exclusions, such as fences which many insurers do not cover under standard policies.

A home insurance rebuild cost is based on how much it would cost to completely rebuild the property from scratch, including the costs for the demolition of any remaining previous structure, rubbish clearance, building materials and labour.

It is important to note that the rebuild cost is not the same as the market value of the home, which varies according to the location, design specifications, standard of décor etc. To calculate the rebuild cost the industry standard calculator from BCIS RICS can be useful, but you need to allow for any special design features your home may have that are not considered standard and could affect the rebuild value. You need to make sure you are not underinsured as if you do not have an adequate rebuild cost insured for your home and you have a claim the insurer can refuse to pay the claim or significantly reduce the amount you are paid leaving you out of pocket.

Other ways to determine your rebuild cost include arranging a survey from a property surveyor or referring to your mortgage survey documents.

Click here to use the BCIS RICS Calculator (The Building Cost Information Service of RICS).

A joint policy holder can handle issues in relation to the home insurance, such as making amendments during the policy period and reporting a claim. If your mortgage is in joint names, then it is usual to have both names on the home insurance policy.

In most instances it is unlikely you will need to have buildings insurance, but you should check the terms of your lease. The freeholder of your block or building should arrange buildings insurance for the whole building with the cost split between flat owners as part of your lease agreement.

Most home insurers will only quote for standard risks. Standard risks are homes that are occupied daily by the owners and built from conventional building materials, e.g. bricks for the walls and tiles for the roofs. However, we also have an extensive panel of Non-Standard home insurers, so we can quote for all your insurance needs.

Examples of Non-Standard Insurance we can place include but are not limited to:

  • Non- Standard Construction- maybe you have a thatched roof or Eco- friendly glass walls?
  • Subsidence Home Insurance- your home has suffered from previous subsidence
  • Flood Risk Home Insurance- you home is in an area that is prone to flooding
  • Home insurance where an occupant has an unspent criminal conviction
  • Unoccupied property insurance- your property is left unoccupied frequently and for more than 30 days throughout the year.

Subsidence occurs when the ground beneath a property moves or sinks, causing the foundations of the building to move. The most common sign of subsidence is cracks in the walls. You will pay more for buildings insurance if your property has a history of subsidence and will require a specialist subsidence policy. Thamesbank Insurance Services has an expert panel of subsidence insurers and can get you a quote.

You can check if your property is in a flood risk area by looking on the Environment Agency flood risk area website.

Yes. If you’ve been flooded before or live in an area susceptible to flooding, you’ll pay more for home insurance. However, there is a government- run scheme called Flood Re, which ensures that you should be able to find competitively priced home insurance. Thamesbank Insurance Services has access to the Flood Re schemes and can help you get the flood cover you need.

Whilst the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy and deliberately insuring your home or contents for less than their actual value to get a cheaper policy will result in any claim either being rejected or settled for significantly less due to underinsurance, in our experience we do have some tips to help you get the best deal possible:

  • Having the correct type of security locks on your doors and windows.
  • Having a professionally maintained burglar alarm fitted
  • Adding a voluntary excess to your policy
  • Not making excessive claims and ensuring your home remains in a good state of repair to minimise claims so that you build up a ‘no claims history.’

Yes, if you are planning on undertaking building works on your property, you will need to let us know so we can inform your insurer as they may attach terms and conditions to your policy whilst the work is ongoing.

The insurer will need full details of the intended work and the contractors. They will also need to be told the new rebuild cost of your property once the building works are complete and have been signed off.

It is important to check your builder's have public liability insurance in place to cover any accidental damage to your home, neighbour's property, or the public space surrounding your property as this will not be covered by your home insurance policy.

The excess is the amount you have to pay towards each agreed claim. The policy will have a compulsory excess, but you can choose to pay a voluntary excess in addition to this. As a general rule, the higher the excess you choose, the lower your premium. However, you should take care not to increase it too much in case you are unable to afford to pay it when it comes to making a claim.

As the tenant of a property, your landlord will be responsible for the maintenance of the building, so it’s down to them to arrange the buildings insurance.

 However you are responsible for any contents inside that you own. If anything were to happen to your belongings you would have to cover the costs to replace them so it would be advisable to take out a contents insurance policy. We can quote Contents Only Insurance.

If you do not know what type of alarm your property has, you can refer to your alarm’s manufacture guide, which will tell you the model. If your particular model isn’t available as an option when you are filling in a quote form from us, please select ‘other’. You can then give us a call before buying to confirm the alarm type. 

Insurers need to know all buildings and contents claims made by anyone living in your property in the last 5 years, even if nothing was paid out for a claim. If you have made a claim in the past ,whether it was paid or unpaid (you withdrew the claim or the claim was rejected by the insurer,) you are considered a greater risk to an insurer and more likely to make a claim in the future. If you have made a number of claims and have found it difficult to get home insurance, we do have a panel of Non-Standard Home Insurers who can quote.

Unlike many motor insurance providers there are few Home Insurance providers who offer protected no- claims bonus so you will need to check your policy wording to understand which claims will affect your No-claims bonus.
  • Police cautions
  • Probation or parole
  • Custodial prison or young offender sentences
  • Community service
  • Electronic tags and curfew orders
Contents Insurance FAQs
Contents insurance covers the contents of your home against loss, theft, and damage.  

Imagine if you were to tip your home upside and shake it; any items that are not permanently fixed to the structure and fell out are considered contents. These include home furnishings, clothing, electrical items, items kept in outbuildings and personal items. Most insurers also class carpets as contents as they can be easily removed and taken with you if you move home. A lot of these insurers will require expensive or high-risk items such as jewellery and valuables to be insured as specified items, so check your policy wording to make sure you have the correct cover for such items.

The best way is to go from room to room and make a list of all the items and an estimate of their value. Make sure you include the contents of any outbuildings and those in your garden. You should also get up to date valuations for any jewellery and valuable items. Add up all your estimated values and you will have an overall total to insure your contents for. You should keep original receipts for expensive items and remember to contact us if you purchase a new high-value item so that we can adjust your sums insured to include the purchase. Not sure how much you much Contents Insurance you need? Use our handy calculator to work out the value of your belongings:  
This means that insurers will replace an insured item that cannot be repaired with an equivalent new one. You should check the policy wording for any exclusions or restrictions to this such as clothing.

Most standard home insurance policies include some ‘accidental damage cover’ in the policy. It is often referred to as ‘standard accidental damage’, and includes, for example, sanitary fittings such as the sink, bath, toilet, and any fixed glass such as windows and mirrors.

You can also purchase extended additional damage cover at an extra cost. This extended accidental damage will cover, for example, spilling a drink and staining a carpet or causing liquid damage to your laptop. You will however need to refer to the policy wording for any exclusions such as vermin damage or pet fouling. It is up to you if you want to buy this extended cover and we can quote for this type of policy.

In most cases you will need to add personal possessions cover to your policy and pay a little extra for contents cover outside the home. This will help ensure the items you regularly carry with you are covered. You should check your policy for any exclusions, such as mobile phones, as you may need to take out separate Gadget Insurance for some items.
Some contents insurance policies automatically cover bicycles, you should check the policy wording carefully as you might find your bike is only covered up to a certain value and you will also need to meet the insurer’s conditions about locking it securely and with the correct locking device whilst out with it.
Not all policies cover items outside of the UK. You will need to check your policy wording and ensure you have cover away from the home. You will also need to check that you are covered for the whole of your holiday, as certain insurers It is likely you will have to specify valuable items you want to take away with you and comply with the insurers security measures as per the policy terms, such as keeping them in a hotel safe when not wearing them about your person.
This varies depending on the insurer, you will need to check the policy wording. There are insurer’s who taking out separate ‘student insurance’ for your child’s belongings might be a better option. We have access to student insurance providers.  
Tradesman Insurance FAQs

Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes happen. As a tradesman if something goes wrong on a job as the result of an accident or negligence on your or one of your employee’s part, then you may be liable for the costs of any resulting damage or compensation.
 For example, spilling paint on a client’s carpet, accidentally hammering a nail into a pipe or causing a fire while using heat equipment are all examples of situations which can give rise to a claim.

Tradesman insurance will help financially protect you and your business against these unforeseen events.

  • Public Liability Insurance
 Public Liability Insurance covers the cost of pay-outs and legal fees if a third party raises a claim against you (third parties are members of the public and customers/clients who are affected by your business activities). 
You should purchase Public Liability Insurance if:
    • Customers/clients visit your business premises
    • You work on customer/client sites, for example you carry work out in their homes or gardens
    • You work in public spaces, for example you are a builder and your work could potentially cause injury or damage to a member of the public or their property
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance
 Employers’ Liability Insurance is a legal requirement if you employ staff. It covers the cost of compensation to employees who are injured at or become ill through work.
  • Tradesman Tool Insurance
 Tool insurance offers cover for your business equipment up to a value of your choice. Different insurers will offer varying levels of cover so you can tailor it to your needs.

Tools are usually covered under a property policy e.g. contractors' tools or goods in transit — and not Commercial Van insurance.

All insurers will ask that you take reasonable steps to protect your property from theft or damage. Leaving expensive hand tools or power tools on site is risky, however if reasonable precautions have been taken to secure them, for example, locking the building that you are working in and controlling access through limited key holders, then these could potentially be covered. You should refer to your policy wording for full terms and conditions.

Small Business Insurance FAQs

Small business insurance is there to help you in the event of unforeseen claims for losses or damages. Depending on the type of cover you have in place, it can help you get back up and running, and could cover any loss of profits if you have to close for a period.
Some types of cover are a legal requirement, like employers’ liability insurance if you employ any staff and motor insurance if you use vehicles for work. But what other cover you need will depend on your business. It could be worth protecting yourself against:

  • Claims from customers
  • Business interruptions
  • Damaged property or stock

The types of insurance your small business might need include:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Equipment insurance, which covers business equipment such as tools, machinery and computers
  • Stock insurance
  • Buildings and contents insurance

If your businesses has one or more employees you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance 
to cover you if a member of staff suffers an injury or illness as a result of something that’s happened at work.

If you have members of the public visit your business premises you will need Public Liability Insurance to cover the cost of pay-outs and legal fees if they raise a claim against you as a result of an accident or damage to their property whilst they are at your business premises.

General FAQs

We will automatically renew your policy approximately 21 days before the expiry date based upon the information we hold for you and issue your policy pack via our online document portal. You will receive notification when this is available for your review. Please check your emails (including the spam/junk folder) on the lead up to your renewal to ensure our contact is not missed. We would ask that you review the policy carefully to be sure it continues to meet your needs; if there are any discrepancies or changes, please report these to us as soon as possible.

Insurers rates fluctuate with the market to account for inflation, claims, changes to underwriting criteria, area risk and crime statistics, to name a few examples. As a Broker, we have access to a panel of Insurers and will always present you with the most competitive offer at the time of invitation, however the market changes very frequently and what was on offer yesterday may very well differ today. We are happy to compare any offer you have had elsewhere and would kindly ask that you speak to us before making any purchases.

As a Broker, we have access to products that you either cannot obtain directly from the market or are discounted deals specifically designed for us, which in turn we would present to you. On occasion, we may be able to further extend the discount by offering a reduction from our company, but on other occasions, there may be costs that we incur and this is why you may see a broker fee on top of your policy premium.

Your existing Insurer may not always be the most competitive upon renewal, or they may not have offered a renewal at all. This depends on many varying factors such as those mentioned above in “Why has my premium increased?” We have an obligation to present to you the most competitive offer we can source and we will endeavour to replace the policy with a similar product that takes into consideration all details you have disclosed to us.

We will attempt to take payment 3-5 working days before the renewal date. However, if the card details we previously held for you have expired or your payment fails, we will make every attempt to contact you prior to the renewal date to warn you of this. We will attempt to contact you via a combination of telephone, SMS, email and/or post, so please be sure to check for these contacts. Please take into consideration that our contacts will be limited to the methods of communication you have shared with us (i.e. if you have not given us a mobile number, we will not send an SMS).

If your cover has already renewed, and you have decided to cancel, then you must be prepared to pay for the coverage you have been given. Within the first 14 days following the renewal, your Insurer will charge for the days insured and our company will charge £35 in addition. If the cancellation request is after the first 14 days, additional charges will apply. Full and thorough information on our charges are detailed in our Terms of Business which was sent with your renewal pack.

It is really important that any changes in your details are reported to us as soon as possible, not just at renewal, but at any time throughout the policy period as these changes may have an impact on the validity of your cover; you can call our office on 0344 2740158 to notify of these. Changes we need to be aware of are, but not limited to, changes in occupation, building work at the home, number of occupants, new acquisitions/contents, property valuation altering the rebuild cover and usage of the home. If you are unsure if your change will have bearing on your policy, please contact us to check.

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