A range of Government measures, including 5% deposit mortgages (95% mortgages) are helping many get a foot on the property ladder. Once on it, however, you must protect your home, by buying the right insurance policy. You should then strive to get your rightful entitlement from it, if forced to make a home insurance claim.
The Government’s Mortgage Guarantee Scheme supports the provision of 5% deposit mortgages until December 2022. Housing Secretary, the Rt Hon Robert Kenrick MP, has said the Government’s housing policy on housing is helping to “turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy.” Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, adds that measures are “helping people achieve their dream of owning their own home.”
Home-owning dreams that become nightmares
Such a dream can quickly become a nightmare, however, should property damage occur, be that through flooding, fire, an escape of water, weather damage, a vehicle impact or even something such as vandalism or pest infestation. Things can go wrong.
If suffering major property damage, a homeowner has to trust in their home insurance policy, especially if most of their savings have already gone on buying the house or flat and furnishing it. Choosing the right insurance policy is step one towards avoiding financial losses further down the line. This means trying your best to keep a good level of general cover within the policy – and definitely enough to sufficiently cover the total rebuild cost of your home – rather than stripping cover away, to make savings.
Policy features such as Trace and Access may seem unnecessary, but just ask any policyholder who has had a months’ long leak (and seen floorboards, tiling and walls torn apart to get to its source), whether this type of cover matters and they will say it’s almost a necessity.
Low home insurance claims offers
The next thing to remember is that you will not necessarily be offered all that your policy seems to provide, or have things repaired as you feel they should be. When you first own your own home, it’s easy to trust that an insurance policy has terms and conditions that should be honoured and that the insurer’s loss adjuster is there to do that for you. Many loss adjusters will, indeed, seek to be as fair as possible but they are ultimately appointed by an insurer and insurers are businesses needing to control costs. Any saving made on a claims payment, here or there, is a good thing for those having to pay out to policyholders.
The majority of homeowners have to try to stand their ground and argue their case, if they feel their policy cover is not being honoured or they are being short-changed. But many simply can’t. Insurance policies can be written in hard-to-understand ways. Jargon is banded around, which confuses. Interpretation of policy terms is fluid. If you don’t know what you are doing, easily get confused or stressed, are time-poor, are not able to be on the spot to sort things out, or are fairly new to the property-owning game, it’s a real struggle. Even for those who think they have some knowledge of how to handle a claim, it can be a minefield.
Expert help with home insurance claims
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about any of this. As a property insurance policyholder, it’s your legal right to instruct your own loss assessor to handle claims negotiations with the insurer’s loss adjuster. Having your own independent expert assist you, means the burden of trying to figure out what wordings mean, what your entitlement is and what offer you should accept, is taken off your shoulders alone. You can decide all of these things in consultation with your own loss assessor.
Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? The truth is that, if you use Aspray’s loss assessing service, including its property repairs management service, it will not come at any cost to you. Instead, the insurer will be sent the invoice for the works that are carried out using Aspray’s trusted contractors. However, any excess stated within your insurance policy will still apply and will be payable to by you, the policyholder. You will not have to arrange to try to find tradespeople to carry out this work and can avoid cowboy builders, or those who do a quick-fix repair to undercut others. After all, there’s little point in fixing something poorly and having it fail again, bringing yet more misery.
New homeowners and first-time home insurance claims
£12bn of affordable housing is promised over the next five years and we are told, via a Government survey, that 68% of private renters and 72% of those living at home want to buy a property. That’s a lot of potential new homeowners in the market. We just hope that all of these homeowners, whether getting on the property ladder through Help to Buy, Right to Buy, 5% (95% mortgages) or local First Homes schemes, recognise that the world of property claims can be one of mistakes and ladders and the best way to avoid the mistakes is to bring in professional help – and help that will get the right ladders in place, to get your property repairs underway in competent fashion, as fast as possible.
To find someone to help you do that, please call Aspray on 0800 077 6705, or visit www.aspray.com for more information.