Q&A on buying home insurance

1. What is the best way to ensure my possessions are valued accurately?
Get some advice – getting the right advice is very important. At A-Plan, we guide our clients through this process, in person or on the phone, to make sure that they are able to build a comprehensive picture of their home contents sum insured. We can also advise on the best way to work out an accurate and up-to-date valuation. We are able to point out items that are often forgotten about and can also give our clients a ‘contents checklist’ of items to include. We advise repeating this process every couple of years to ensure the value remains accurate.

2. How can A-Plan ensure I am properly insured?
Firstly, we make sure we properly understand the needs of our individual clients and we are able to do this via our local branches and because we take the time to listen. We can then propose a choice of suitable policies from our panel of insurers that meet those needs rather than trying to make the policy fit the client. In addition, through our relationships with our insurers, we can very often save clients money while getting them more comprehensive cover.

3. Does it matter if I am over-insured?
If you are over-insured, you are likely to be paying too much unnecessarily! A good insurance broker will be able to properly advise you and help you find a policy more suited to your needs and possibly also save you money.

4. What are some common household items people tend to forget to insure?
Items that are commonly overlooked aren’t usually the high-value items such as laptops, electronics and expensive jewellery, but lower value items which can quickly add up.

For example:
• contents kept in the loft, garage or outbuildings such as garden tools and garden furniture, Christmas decorations and luggage
• crystal glassware and china dinner services
• bedding, linen and mattresses for each bedroom

People often under-estimate the value of their clothes (including shoes, handbags, and accessories) which can total £10,000 per adult who’re aged over 30. Items that people often miss all together are curtains, blinds, carpets and rugs. These alone tend to carry a minimum valuation of £20,000 in homes over £250,000 value!

5. What is the easiest way to make a claim with A-Plan?
Whether it’s a motor, home or any other type of claim, we recommend speaking to your branch in the first instance as they are there to help. You will be able to speak to an adviser who can make arrangements for you and ensure your claim is dealt with as quickly as possible with the minimum of fuss. If you need to speak to someone urgently outside our normal trading hours, our website will direct you to important telephone numbers where you can get immediate assistance.

6. Can A-Plan assist me with obtaining a policy that is specifically designed for my home?
A-Plan specialises in doing just that. We want to make sure that the insurance cover you have for your home is the right cover and that there will be no nasty surprises if you do need to make a claim. We have been providing this level of personal service to our clients since we first opened in the 1960s.

7. Does A-Plan offer specialist home insurance?
As well as standard buildings and contents insurance we offer specialist cover in a number of areas. Our high value home insurance team is able to offer individually tailored policies and a level of service to match. We also have specialist teams looking at holiday home insurance (UK and in Europe), non-standard construction, thatched properties, homes in flood risk areas and much more. With our extensive local knowledge and access to a panel of specialist insurers, we can help where other online brokers struggle.

8. Is there anything A Plan’s home insurance won’t cover?
Yes – in line with other home insurance policies there will be general exclusions which, for example, will be paying the first part towards a claim (the excess), damage caused by domestic pets, cover for theft if the loss is not reported to the police and wear and tear or mechanical breakdown of white goods.

These are general exclusions with many if not all insurers, however, the most important advice we could give is to talk to us. We will explain all onerous terms very carefully to you and in language that you will understand. That way in the event of a claim there is no uncertainty of it being paid.

9. Once I have an insurance policy, how do I ensure it remains accurate?
Talk to us. If there have been any changes in circumstances, please let your branch know. The types of changes you need to let us know about are included in your policy documents. If you are unsure, please just pick up the phone and we can advise you. It is wise to regularly review your home contents cover in particular and from time to time your buildings. We would advise checking the value of your contents every couple of years and are happy to help in guiding you through this process.

10. Why should I choose A-Plan as opposed to other insurance companies?
All insurance brokers claim they are the best and offer great service. We really do! Don’t take our word for it though. Our clients are our best advertisement. We score 4.8/5 for satisfaction in over 2000 reviews (www.reviews.co.uk) and our testimonials speak for themselves….
“Answered the phone quickly. Made to feel like you knew me well and was a valued customer. Simple and straightforward advice. Gave me choices. Rang back when you said you would. Were polite, courteous and thoughtful. Didn’t push any additional sales but offered more services/ benefits. Did what you said you were going to do. Gave me a good price and all the information I needed to make a decision.”
F Baynham
May 2016