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  • October, 2014 |
    that there wasn t sufficient gap between the flue from one of the wood burners and the adjacent timber floor Although this had been fine with the old open fires it proved disastrous with the wood burner as the temperatures involved are so much higher This was sufficient to cause the timbers to ignite Ensure compliance with Building Regulations The key point for anyone installing wood burners is that their existing chimneys may be inappropriate and may need to be upgraded Wood burning stoves should always be fitted to the manufacturer s specification by qualified HETAS engineers and should comply fully with Building Regulations which include strict guidance on the gap which should be left around the flue Not only is it dangerous to do otherwise it could also invalidate your insurance cover We all have a duty under the terms of our home insurance to take all reasonable precautions to safeguard against loss or damage We have seen claims declined where fires emanated from wood burners which were fitted by homeowners and not in accordance with regulations and the insurer can take the view that this is reckless and unreasonably increases the risk of a fire The problem is potentially even greater for thatch owners and we will go into more detail about this in a future blog Prepare your home for winter Post by Morgan Clark October 17 2014 I put the central on for the first time at the weekend which is a sure sign that winter is coming Last winter was wet and mild which perhaps makes it more likely that this one will be cold someone did say to me recently that this was inevitable because of the berries on holly trees So it seems like a good time to publish again our diagram showing the steps you should take to protect your house from an icy snap A few preventative measures now could make all the difference if a freeze arrives Landlords claims can be difficult even with the right insurance Post by Phil Morgan October 10 2014 The property rental market is huge these days With such high rents being charged more and more people are tempted into becoming landlords But we know from experience that it can be very stressful if something goes wrong Recent figures from the National Landlords Association show that almost 10 per cent of landlords had to make an insurance claim in the last year They advise landlords to have the right insurance in place they shouldn t just rely on a conventional home insurance policy But even then a claim can be very difficult We have worked on behalf of many landlords when they ve needed to make an insurance claim and although they had appropriate cover they still faced significant challenges Two recent examples illustrate just how difficult it can be The first involved a couple who had re located to the US and rented out their home in West Sussex When fire swept through it

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/10/ (2016-04-24)
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  • September, 2014 |
    the customer The Ombudsman will only look into the case if the answer to both of those is yes Home security thieves may know where you are Post by Morgan Clark September 19 2014 Autumn is approaching and as the temperature starts to drop we re far less likely to leave windows and doors open So I was surprised to read that our homes are actually more vulnerable to break ins at this time of year and the precautions we need to take are changing Recent data released by insurer Aviva shows that household thefts rise by five per cent after the clocks go back in October while November is the worst month of the year for break ins But apparently these days it s not enough to use traditional methods to deterring burglars such as ensuring doors and windows are locked We ve written before that you should be careful over what you write on social media but today s technology means you need to do more than that In particular we need to think carefully about GPS tracking on our smart devices Potential burglars can see our whereabouts on social media websites a dead giveaway that there s no one at home So Aviva has advised turning GPS tracking off when you re away from home as well as being careful about sharing photos and details of any trips There are some smartphone apps which track your personal movements the ones cited by Aviva are Find My Friends Life360 and Foursquare I don t personally use these but there s a warning that they can be hacked by cyber criminals who can then see clearly that you re not at home Modern technology is great but it comes with some big drawbacks More hurdles for Riot Act reforms Post by Tony Clark September 12 2014 We wrote recently about the proposed amendments to the Riot Damages Act which were announced in this year s Queen s Speech This follows the terrible incidents in August 2011 and the ongoing problems some still face in receiving compensation The changes to the Act are likely to face significant opposition particularly because one of the proposals is to cap the size of businesses eligible for compensation The government wants to place a limit of 2 million turnover for making a claim against the police So this would exclude all but the smallest businesses and in particular many retailers and these were some of the most high profile victims of the riots in 2011 The Association of British Insurers ABI has responded very strongly stating that the proposed changes to the law would leave only the smallest businesses in a position where they could claim compensation The ABI also warns this could lead to insurance companies introducing high excesses for riot cover or even excluding it altogether I reckon it s going to be a rather rocky road We ll keep a close eye on what happens Chinese lanterns new guidance issued Post

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/09/ (2016-04-24)
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  • August, 2014 |
    at home Students can often have cover via their parents own policy or they can to buy a specialist student policy But there are all sorts of caveats on the former which are explained really well in the Guardian article and the main advice is to check the small print on your policy You can also visit the Money Advice Service to find out more about the subject this is the really useful website of a government backed independent organisation which provides all sorts of help on how to manage your money Avoiding chimney fires Post by Morgan Clark August 15 2014 According to something I read recently there are approximately 25 million domestic properties in the UK and of these 60 000 are thatched houses or cottages But some may be surprised to learn that the risk of fire in a thatched property is actually only half of that for a building with a conventional roof That makes me wonder whether that s because people living under thatch are far more careful about fire safety The most common cause of a blaze in a thatched property is a chimney fire so this has reminded me that with autumn approaching it s now a good time to think about chimney sweeping This should be done quarterly for wood or coal and yearly for other fuel But there s more to chimney safety than just sweeping and the Fire Rescue Service has the following five points of useful advice Chimneys should be lined and swept properly by a professional Chimneys should always be swept if you haven t used them for some time Extinguish your fire before going to bed or leaving the house Never use flammable liquids burn paper or rubbish or overload with fuel Always burn well seasoned or kiln dried wood Business insurance pitfalls Post by Tony Clark August 8 2014 We work with many businesses who have suffered a disaster and need to claim on their insurance All too often they face problems caused when taking out or when renewing their insurance cover A recent article on www londonlovesbusiness com summarises really well the sort of issues that can arise and how to avoid what it calls the eight most common insurance mistakes businesses can make These are No regular review of insurance policies businesses develop over time and what you needed one year may be completely inappropriate the next Not seeking guidance from your broker when selling to different markets particularly in today s global marketplace Under insuring their business not having the right level of business interruption insurance all too often businesses under estimate the time it can take to start trading again after a disaster Not obtaining evidence as soon as an incident occurs this could reduce the likelihood of making a successful claim Misunderstanding the definition of gross profit it needs to include the net profit the business cannot earn as well as the costs it will continue to incur while it s

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/08/ (2016-04-24)
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  • July, 2014 |
    to make an insurance claim and appropriate cover can make the difference between continuing to trade or going out of business So it wasn t good to read recently that the majority of the country s smaller businesses are underinsured and half a million may actually be breaking the law because they have inadequate cover AXA Business Insurance has reported that over half of those who are legally obliged to take out employers liability cover have failed to do so Almost half 43 per cent of those who meet with the public clients or suppliers haven t protected themselves against accidents or damage Forty per cent don t have the right insurance if they use their car or van for business purposes while half of consultants don t have appropriate professional indemnity cover According to recent reports SMEs are the fastest growing part of the UK economy but it can be very tempting to cut costs by stinting on insurance cover So our advice to any small business is to ensure you have adequate and appropriate cover it could make the difference between survival and failure Insurance claims and neighbours Post by Morgan Clark July 11 2014 We all spend more time in our gardens in the summer which makes us more aware than usual of the people next door You re very lucky if you have good neighbours bad ones can have a significant impact on your quality of life And this is illustrated by some recent research by MoneySuperMarket Apparently one in 10 British homeowners have claimed or will need to claim on their home insurance because of their neighbour s behaviour The most common reasons for this are unruly gardens and overgrown trees as well as lack of upkeep of the property including blocked gutters and loose roof tiles Perhaps more serious are claims caused by neighbour s gas leaks or burst pipes Shared walls and fences also lead to problems But what is extraordinary is when you do the maths according to the comparison website with claims adding 50 to home insurance premiums this means that homeowners who claim because of their neighbours would add 157 million to the cost of insurance in the UK This of course doesn t take into account the impact on the value of a house if it s next door to a badly kept property It s all very disconcerting but there s not a lot you can do except hope your neighbours behave themselves Glimmer of hope for business flood insurance Post by Tony Clark July 4 2014 In the continuing saga of Flood Re and affordable flood insurance there have been developments on the subject of cover for small businesses and leasehold properties At the moment the proposed Flood Re agreement which is part of the Water Bill and becomes law next year would guarantee affordable flood insurance for most of us but it excludes small businesses leaseholds properties built after 1st January 2009 and houses in Council

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/07/ (2016-04-24)
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  • June, 2014 |
    the insurance industry the property sector and the government to look at the issues around commercial flood insurance We will report back when there is more news Holiday swaps are you covered Post by Morgan Clark June 20 2014 With the summer holidays approaching many of us are making plans for how we re going to spend our time off More and more people apparently are choosing to do house swaps moving into someone else s home for a few weeks either here or abroad and they move into yours This seems like a great way to see other places with much lower costs So what are the implications for your household insurance As the vast majority of these are non commercial ie no one makes any money out of it then your normal household insurance shouldn t be affected However it is advisable to let your insurer know what you re doing just in case non disclosure could lead to problems should you need to make a claim You need to tell your insurer that your exchange partners are non paying guests Indeed insurance companies should see this as a positive your home is less likely to be broken into if there is someone staying there But if it turns out that the visitors themselves are a little light fingered in other words if theft occurs and there is no sign of forced entry then you wouldn t be covered Homes at risk from flooding denied insurance Post by Phil Morgan June 13 2014 The difficulties in obtaining affordable flood insurance were highlighted recently by the story of Mr Brisley who lives around 750ft from the sea in Devon but his house is 250ft up a hillside Yet despite this he was turned down for home insurance because of the risk of flooding to his home The problem arose when his bank suggested they could find more competitively priced cover for his home According to Mr Brisley quoted in the Daily Telegraph she put my particulars into the computer and began to look very worried It appeared that despite being in an elevated position his home was uninsurable as it was in an at risk postcode There was another case reported recently of insurers refusing to pay out to flood victims when damage was caused by a rising water table rather than a burst river This led to questions being raised in the House of Lords These are only two examples of recent coverage of the increasing difficulties in finding affordable flood insurance Let s hope that all this will be sorted out by the time Flood Re comes in to force next year Sporting fever and insurance claims Post by Morgan Clark June 6 2014 So the England football team have left for Miami where they are preparing and perhaps more importantly acclimatising for the World Cup Now we face several weeks of wall to wall coverage with the knock on effect of youngsters and perhaps the not

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/06/ (2016-04-24)
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  • May, 2014 |
    that they are launching a new claims transparency initiative designed to make the claims process much clearer for customers AXA has produced a set of documents which cut through the jargon and legalistic style to highlight in plain English simple measures that customers can take to help them avoid breaching the policy terms and having a claim turned down This comes against the background of the review by the Financial Conduct Authority of how customers are treated when they make a claim which we have written about before One key area of this is the clarity of product documentation so AXA s initiative is one of the first concrete signs that the industry is responding The first phase of AXA s project includes improving the clarity of wording on lack of maintenance of roofs prior to storm claims This is also something we wrote about recently in particular about the high number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service over rejected storm claims So the initiative is doubly welcome We ll be watching developments closely After the floods in Somerset Post by Morgan Clark May 9 2014 I visited Moorland a couple of days ago This is the village on the Somerset levels which was completely overwhelmed by flooding earlier this year We re now working on behalf of many of the villagers managing their insurance claims and overseeing the restoration of their homes It s difficult to convey the devastation in Moorland without experiencing it for yourself Almost every house was affected when water levels rose with up to four feet of water in some homes Even the church was flooded with damage to pews the organ and precious memorials in the surrounding churchyard Now the village is a hive of industry with stripping and drying out going on everywhere workmen coming and going and even a refreshment van to keep everyone fed and watered Back gardens are looking lush with spring flowers everywhere all the result of the water and fertiliser delivered by the floods And the first service since the floods was held in the church on Easter Sunday which was seen as a major turning point for many But it s when you go inside the houses that you see the mountain that s still left to climb The damage is extraordinary with homes now reduced to shells after all the damaged material has been stripped out The stress for the villagers is incredible as they try to carry on some kind of normal life from temporary accommodation sometimes many miles away Talking to some of them it s obvious that they are really struggling and all they want is to get back into their homes as soon as possible So we re trying to do everything we can to speed up the process but without cutting any vital corners Talking to one of our clients in Moorland it seems that our help is making a real difference Morgan Clark is the one good thing in

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/05/ (2016-04-24)
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  • April, 2014 |
    remarkable community spirit One particular example of this is FLAG which stands for Flooding on the Levels Action Group You may have seen members of this group on the news recently resplendent in their FLAG tee shirts We ve got to know the group very well as we are now handling insurance claims for several members FLAG was formed after floods hit Somerset in 2012 13 in other words more than a year ago But the group has really hit the headlines during the recent floods spearheading the campaign to improve flood defences Trying to make a difference They are according to their website just a group of locals trying to make a difference but my goodness what a difference they are making It s not just their high profile lobbying and media work it s also in the way they have provided support for local people You may have seen them in action on a recent BBC Countryfile programme which visited the FLAG supply centre with its stocks of vital goods needed by people affected by the floods This is just one example of their extraordinary energy and work It s great to see their relentless campaigning is starting to pay off with local rivers starting to be dredged At the same time we re witnessing the first steps in property restorations The waters have now receded so homes and businesses are starting to go through the stripping out and drying process which needs to happen before any reinstatement work can begin It s going to be a long haul but we ll be there every step of the way Flood Re latest ABI U turn on band H properties Post by Tony Clark April 11 2014 We wrote recently about a potential re think on the exclusion of band H properties from the Flood Re scheme which is designed to ensure affordable flood insurance in high risk areas Apparently David Cameron had privately ordered a U turn and it seems this campaign is gathering pace According to a recent article in Post magazine the Association of British Insurers ABI has now also changed its mind it has written to the Environment Secretary asking for these higher value properties to be included The letter cites the recent floods which showed flooding affects anyone and everyone regardless of their council tax band The reason band H homes were excluded in the original proposal was that it was feared there would be political opposition to the cross subsidy element of Flood Re this would mean that the levy on smaller homes which may nor may not be a flood risk would be used to cover larger properties However this opposition has not materialised and there is now cross party support for the mechanism This is just the latest in a long line of changes and challenges to the proposed scheme The recent floods have put into sharp relief the need for something to happen but it seems there is still a

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/04/ (2016-04-24)
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  • March, 2014 |
    seeking damages for loss of their possessions The couple turned to Morgan Clark and after a meticulous search of documents we put a case together to prove that all necessary repairs had been carried out over many years and these met all statutory requirements in particular for rental properties We then entered a period of argument counter argument and negotiation and the insurers then finally agreed to consider the claim In the end they accepted full liability and we then oversaw the appointment of specialist surveyors and contractors to restore the property According to Mr Thomson Morgan Clark s expertise in truly understanding the legal aspects of an insurance claim was invaluable as they represented us through the lengthy process of dealing with the insurer s questions The understood the insurance language which was vital in obtaining the insurer s acceptance of liability Everyone signs up to these policies in good faith but when they claim all that may count for precious little If we hadn t had expert help I don t know how we would have got through it We handle many different types of claims and they are not often as complex as this But whatever the background it s incredibly satisfying when we are able to come to a successful conclusion as we did for Mr and Mrs Thomson You can read the full article in The Observer here Further developments for Flood Re Post by Tony Clark March 14 2014 In the madness of the last few weeks with so many homes and businesses flooded it s easy to forget that there is still no firm agreement between insurers and government on the future for affordable flood insurance There is still a long way to go but if you ll pardon the puns the water has been further muddied by the Prime Minister wading in One stumbling block in the current Flood Re affordable flood insurance proposal is that properties in Council Tax Band H would be excluded It s estimated that nearly 4000 properties in this category are at high risk of flooding But according to recent articles David Cameron has privately ordered a U turn to ensure thousands of expensive waterside properties are not excluded Financial Times The arguments seem to be turning political Floods don t discriminate There are questions being asked about why this particular exclusion has been raised and not others such as new builds and business premises Some argue that floods don t discriminate between properties dependent on their value and all properties should be included others say that there needs to be a limit on what is covered to keep the costs down for everyone else But there are reports that expensive homes in flood areas would have to pay premiums which are 20 times higher than the national average if they are indeed excluded Whatever happens this all is adding to the fear that no agreement will be reached by the expected date of 2015 For anyone

    Original URL path: http://www.morganclark.co.uk/about-us/blog/2014/03/ (2016-04-24)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-24