Home Buildings & Contents Insurance-advice please

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Norwich Union have given me just a few days notice to renew the Buildings and Contents Insurance on my mother's home.
I don't like the numerous exceptions Norwich Union have recently added to their policy document and if they add many more it will become very difficult to find any incident that is covered.
I haven't got time to research other insurance companies as the detail is always in the small print and by the time I have requested, received and studied specimen policy documents, my mother's insurance will have lapsed.
Can anyone recommend a good insurance company for Home Buildings and Contents cover at a reasonable cost? I'm looking for an insurance company that will actually assist my mother should she need to make a claim, rather than one that puts all its effort into finding ways and reasons to avoid paying out. That should limit the field and IMO precludes Prudential Insurance plc.
--
Mike
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Buildings
added to

detail is

received and

lapsed.
and
company
claim, rather

avoid
Prudential
Well, you only ever know how good an insurance company is when you make a claim. I have never made a claim on my insurance but I can tell you I went with Lloyds TSB mainly because it seemed to cover everything I needed at a reasonable price and best of all it was unlimited cover so I don't have to worry that I am under/over insured.
Angela
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On Mon, 22 Dec 2003 09:13:00 -0000, "mlv"

Frizzell/Liverpool Victoria.
sPoNiX
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mlv wrote:

I'm with Nationwide and I'm pleased with them. I realise they'll just be a front for someone else - but we're currently persuing a claim after someone pulled our front wall down. Whilst its been delayed a long time - that's been nothing to do with Nationwide, but rather a sub-sub-contractor their sub-contractor used (lied for 8 weeks that they'd done the estimate etc). Nationwide have been very helpful and I've been impressed with them.
D
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rather
Churchill Insurance. Have used them for years for both car and house insurance. Have only had to claim on car insurance but they were swift and settled very quickly. They even rang me up the repairs to make sure everything was to my satisfaction. Funnily enough I changed to them after using Norwich Union who were ripping me off for house insurance, and one year did not send me a renewal notice so my house insurance nearly lapsed!
www.churchill.com or freephone 0800 200 343 for a quote
Dave
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mlv wrote:

Direct Line are in the reasonable bracket, and do a decent 1st year discount. They do seem quite helpful on the phone, but I haven't tested their claims procedure. If everything is standard it will be OK, if you want to add 'all risks' cover on a 5k ring then expect a large hike. They do let you arrange your own repairs or replacements if you wish.
--
Toby.

'One day son, all this will be finished'
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in which case try Tesco - which is Directline really. I got the same cover that directline were offering for my car from Tesco and saved a fair bit.
One restriction with Tesco is that (in terms of car insurance anyway) everything must be standard. If you want to upgrade pretty much anything then they will not cover you.
Never claimed - but I know a couple of people who have and they recommended tesco to me as a result. Dunno what their house insurance is like but I see no reason to suspect it is not as good. I will cetainly be trying them at renewal time.
I think (could be wrong here) that they also put their policy online for you to read the small print...
Darren
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They are not the same - they use the same quotation engine - but the underwriters and policies are different.
Cheers Dan.
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dmc wrote:

cover
bit.
That said so is Churchill Insurance nowdays, or will be soon at least
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They are for car insurance.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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Really? Policy was almost word-for-word identical.
I could have sworn I read that they were one and the same - privilege was another in the same group from what I remember. Maybe I dreamt it (scary thought - I am dreaming of insurance companies!!!)
Anyway, what I said still holds - no complaints from Tesco insurance and recomendations from friends.
Darren
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I use Saga for the building because I can just specify a 3 bed house with a limit of 400K which saves trying to estimate likely rebuild costs.
I insure the contents with Direct Line. They paid up promptly after theft of handbag from locked boot of car.
Michael Chare
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mlv wrote:

Try NFU mutual, and always with any company make an inventory backed up with pictures of everything in every room.
If you can poiunt out the obvious telly in th ecornert and say 'thats what got nicked' it helps when teh asessor questions your veracity, it also remonds you of what the Persian rig looked like, and you can get accurate asessment of replacement costs.
Insurance fraud is rife: Just make sure you have proof of what might get nicked/go up in flames.
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good point. postcode marking it also increases chances of return.
Good claim service with Axa.
Regards, NT
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"The Natural Philosopher" wrote | Insurance fraud is rife: Just make sure you have proof of what | might get nicked/go up in flames.
And keep that information somewhere it wont' go up in flames when the house does ...
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Might I suggest that most people have a web server area as part of their ISP connectivity package. If you can create a private area, upload ypour inventory and pikkies there. Not publically accessible of course, esepcailly if your address is featuired :-)

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I wrote:

Thanks for all the replies.
First of all, I did Norwich Union an injustice. My mother's policy (with more exclusions and exceptions than you can shake an insurance assessor at) is actually with Lloyds TSB.
Lloyds TSB want 259.90 to renew the combined Buildings (150K) and Contents (40K) Policy.
Tesco (Buildings 150K, Contents 23K) want 285.60. Churchill (Buildings 250K, Contents 35K) want 283.29.
On the face it, the Lloyds TSB policy seems to be good value until you consider the multitude of exceptions that seem to disallow almost every incident that could conceivably happen.
I'm still phoning round, guess I could try Norwich :-)
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Mike
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at)
Contents
Out of curiosity, which are the exceptions that you take particular exception to (sorry!)?
It may be a trend that these exceptions are slowly being adopted by all insurers, but also it could be that the reason that Lloyds TSB are the cheapest is precisely because they have all these exceptions. I'm sure that insurance companies would try and issue Insurance against Theft that includes an exception if the goods were removed from your property without your permission if they could get away with it....
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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RichardS asked

So you should be for a pun like that!
Basically they seem to be adding more and more exclusions to the extent that getting a claim approved will soon be akin to winning the Lottery.
Quite honestly, the list is too long to list (sorry!)
Examples:
For buildings they have now excluded damage caused by frost. Damage caused by escape of water from guttering, downpipes, roof valleys and gullies is now excluded, as is damage caused by escape of water from fixed domestic tanks, apparatus or pipes caused by forcible and violent bursting. If you do manage to get an 'escape of water' claim accepted, it seems only consequential damage is covered.
It seems all damage that could possibly be caused by a domestic pet is now excluded.
Accidental breakage now excludes damage to doorframes, window frames and casements, so if you drop a ladder through your window and smash the frame members, the glass is covered and that's all.
Parts and accessories of mechanically or motor powered vehicles (other than motorised garden tools) are no longer covered. This will probably mean that any car accessory that is not bolted to the car will not be covered by either your car insurance or your house insurance.
Tools, machinery or mechanical implements are no longer classified as personal belongings, so if anything in that category is lost or stolen it will no longer be covered by personal belongings cover. Is a camera a 'mechanical implement'? What about a watch?
The exclusions just go on and on and some are quite tenuous and open to interpretation. I haven't got the time to study them all, but I just have this gut feeling that there will be a get-out clause for every occasion.
I've always maintained that if you need to make a genuine claim, then you should carefully read your policy document and then decide how the incident happened ;-) And expect to write at least two letters to argue your case.
--
Mike
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On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 08:27:54 -0000, "mlv"

These guys are all in the same ballpark. They spend a lot of time checking each other's prices.
They employ actuaries to look at the statistics and work out risk - these are often ex-accountants who found accountancy too exciting for them.
Ever heard of re-insurance?
This is where the companies pass on policies, groups of policies or parts of policies to other companies. The bookies call this "laying off bets".
.andy
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