Is your garden safe this Summer?

Commercial Insurance Services Ltd home insurance
Is you garden safe?

 

Spring is creeping ever closer and it will soon be time for the clocks to move forward to summer time. For many, the increased daylight hours and rising temperatures will be the signal to dust off the lawnmower, dig out the patio furniture and fire up the barbeque. But are you sure that all your garden gear is safe from opportunists?

The criminal hit list

According to research by Lloyds Market Home Insurance, valuables such as patio furniture and garden tools rank high on the hit list of opportunistic thieves, but too many of us fail to secure such expensive items. As a result, last summer there was a 12% increase in the number of unforced burglary claims made to the insurer compared with the winter months. The average claim added up to around £900, which is not an insignificant sum.

Claims are also likely to get more expensive: according to Lloyds Bank Insurance’sBritain at Home Report, UK households spend around £366 every year on garden items, with those aged 25-34 spending over double this amount (£747). Such spending is on the rise, with 33% of homeowners questioned saying that they spend more money on their gardens now than five years ago.

However, despite our growing love of gardens and garden furniture, over a third of respondents admitted that they have no secure lock for their garden, while a quarter (24%) confessed that none of their outdoor items was insured. This could mean that many homeowners face the possibility of forking out a large sum of money to replace stolen items.

Commenting on the research, Tim Downes of Lloyds Bank Insurance said: “We know that the majority of thefts from gardens and sheds are opportunistic, so it is worrying to see so many people leaving themselves exposed by investing in gardens without adequate insurance.

“When it comes to protecting our properties, homeowners must remember that what’s on the outside also counts, so taking some small easy steps could help prevent having to stump up for lost garden goods should the worst happen.”

Keeping garden items safe

So how can you deter thieves from helping themselves to your expensive garden goodies? Here are our top tips for keeping all your outdoor items safe.

  • Lock it. Invest in a secure lock to bolt up your garden shed, garage, gates and outhouses. It’s also a good idea to check your fencing for gaps, and to see whether anyone could push past your garden bushes.
  • Make it heavy. Loading the base of your patio furniture can make it harder for thieves to carry it away – use stones or bricks to make them weighty enough.
  • Mark it. Take photos of all of your furniture and outdoor items, and then make sure you write your postcode on everything. This way, you will be able to identify what’s yours if it goes missing, or it could deter someone from carrying it off in the first place.
  • Form a fortress. If you can’t block access to your garden with a locked gate, then using spiky plants or building high walls can help to put opportunists off.
  • Use gravel. A gravel path in the front of your home can make a stealthy approach much more difficult.
  • Put it away. Leaving BBQ’s, lawnmowers and bikes out in full view is asking for trouble – lock them away out of sight. Remember that garden tools and ladders could be used to break into your property.
  • Insure it. Last but not least, insure valuable items. Replacing stolen goods can be an expensive business if your items aren’t protected, so save yourself the hassle by topping up your home insurance.

For a competitive quotation visit http://www.cisl.co or call us on 01737 373222 we can asses your risk and give you a quotation with in minutes!

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Is your garden safe this Summer?

A Director’s Guide to Business Insurance

D-and-O

DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS INSURANCE: A BUSINESS ESSENTIAL

Imagine you have the opportunity to invest £100,000 for your company, with a 70% chance of providing a 20% return within five years. Do you decide to go for it? Now consider whether your decision would be different if you could be held personally liable for making the wrong decision; your home and other assets are on the line. Do you have the same approach to risk?

This simplified scenario demonstrates why Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance exists. Senior employees are exposed to civil and criminal liability in relation to a host of responsibilities including employee safety, tax and finance law. Company law can also give rise to personal liability, for example if directors know a company is about to become insolvent but continue trading anyway, resulting losses can potentially be recovered from their personal assets.

D&O insurance gives directors and officers the confidence to know there is support to pay compensation or defend claims or prosecutions when things go wrong. It’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card to excuse negligent behaviour, but it does provide valuable protection in difficult situations.

Let’s consider seven key things you need to know about D&O insurance.

  1. Claims can be brought by a variety of company stakeholders
    It’s not just shareholders who may bring a claim against senior staff. Employees, bondholders, lenders, customers, consumer bodies, suppliers and competitors could all have legal standing to bring a claim. The likelihood is that at some point, every company will face the threat of a claim.

 

  1. D&O insurance is not compulsory
    The law does not require you to hold D&O insurance, but in practice companies can find it very difficult to recruit top talent without having a policy in place. Qualified candidates see insurance as an essential protection and usually ask to see the policy before entering an employment contract.

 

  1. Operating without D&O insurance can cause undue risk aversion
    Failing to put D&O insurance in place will not only harm recruitment; it also impedes the ability of senior executives to make decisions on behalf of the company. Put simply, they are likely to be more risk averse when their own assets are under threat.

 

  1. Professional indemnity insurance and D&O cover different types of risk
    There is often confusion about whether policies for professional indemnity and D&O are the same thing. They are separate: professional indemnity relates to situations where it is claimed that a service or advice has not been delivered to a competent standard. D&O insurance relates to the management of a company and concerns risk connected to governance and oversight.

 

  1. The first policies were developed in the Great Depression
    History time: D&O insurance was created in the 1930s after new laws were introduced in the US to hold directors to account for failings that led to the 1929 Wall Street crash.

 

  1. The law says some areas of liability must be excluded
    Providing cover for every corporate misdemeanour would arguably create a moral hazard in which executives would feel immune from the consequences of their actions. This is why English law says insurance cannot cover some types of penalty and fines. However, D&O insurance can pay for costs such as legal fees in defending a criminal charge.

 

  1. Cyberattacks are increasing risk for directors and officers
    Cybercrime is increasingly common for companies of all sizes; 74% of all small UK businesses have experienced a security breach in the last year. Executives can face claims from customers, shareholders and other interested parties following a breach, with losses being virtually unlimited. This is another incentive to put a quality D&O policy in place.

Do you have the insurance cover you need?

Visit http://www.insureeasy.co.uk or call 01737377250 For all of your insurance needs

A Director’s Guide to Business Insurance

Affordable & Reliable Tradesman Insurance

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Buying Liability Insurance online could not be easier. InsureEasy.co.uk not offers a full Quote-TO-Buy comparison engine for Public Liability Insurance. Compare your insurance needs with the top insurance companies at the click of a button. Commercial Insurance Services Ltd will still be offering a brokers experience, so if you ever need to call us during your policy term we will be at the other end of the phone to guide you with the advice you need. So what are you waiting for!? Click here https://lnkd.in/e73vXVw for an affordable & reliable insurance quote today!

Affordable & Reliable Tradesman Insurance

MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR LANDLORDS

Money-saving-tips-for-landlords

During last year’s Summer Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced a number of impending changes within the rental market. One of these changes is the reduction of Mortgage Tax Relief for residential landlords to the basic rate of income tax (20%), with the first phase coming into force from April 2017.

From this April, landlords will also no longer be entitled to a wear and tear allowance for furnished properties. The current system enables landlords to claim 10% but under the new rules, they’ll only be able to deduct fees they actually incur.

Many landlords are concerned about the impact the new regulations could have on their income streams. In any case, as a landlord you should seek to make cost-savings wherever possible, so long as it doesn’t negatively impact the service you provide or the relationship you have with your tenants.

If you’re keen on saving yourself some money (who isn’t?), here are some tips:

Location, location
If you are looking to buy a property to let – whether it’s your first or third – there’s one factor you need to consider over all others: location. Obviously, certain areas enjoy notably high rental yields – a mere few metres could mean the difference between being able to charge £600 per month for a property or £850 per month.

When comparing similar properties, don’t just look at the price – take time to calculate potential yields and make your decision based on this. Online property websites can give you a good idea of where rental hot-spots are.

Fix up
You’d be wrong to assume that ignoring essential repairs will save you money. On the contrary, ignoring or refusing to carry out repairs suggests to tenants that you don’t particularly care about their welfare. And if you don’t care about them, you can’t expect them to care about you or your property.

Check possible tenants
Always do your groundwork so you can be sure possible tenants won’t give you trouble later down the line. There are a number of ways you can carry out tenant checks, and gut instinct will only get you so far. Additional measures include: conducting credit checks, getting possible tenants to fill in application forms, and asking to view a possible tenant’s current accommodation so you can get an idea of how they live.

Get the right person to do the job
When you’ve got essential work that needs to be carried out on your property, don’t just settle for the first tradesman that pops up on Google. Ask landlords for recommendations and make use of review sites such as RatedPeople. This will help to ensure that any work carried out is of high-quality, and that you’re not paying over the top for it.

Find the right insurance
It’s really important your landlord’s insurance provides thorough cover and will pay out costs in the event of an incident which results in you making a claim. Having quality insurance could save you thousands of pounds in the long-run – use a broker to make sure you is getting the right level of cover for the right price.

By taking just a few simple steps, you could save hundreds of pounds a year and maximise your property investment.

MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR LANDLORDS

SECOND INCREASE IN A YEAR FOR INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX

rising-interest-rates1

 

No sooner had we gotten used to the increased IPT rate of 9.5%, up from the 6% introduced in 2011, do we find that it’s going up again, albeit by less than the 3% predicted.

Why does IPT exist?
Insurance premium tax was introduced in 1994 at a rate of 2.5%. Insurance is exempt from VAT – the most common form of tax. The new rate of 10% will be introduced on the 1st October 2016, and by February 2017 it will be applied to all qualifying policies, regardless of when the contract was arranged.

Our IPT rate is much lower than the 19% in other European countries, however we still have the fourth most costly car insurance premiums in the world after the US, Austria and Germany.

What impact will it have?
IPT will be applied to personal policies including buildings and contents, pets, car insurance, and private medical insurance. It’s anticipated that the increase of 0.5% will equate roughly to an extra £2 on motor insurance and £1 on building and contents. This is less of a hike than that of last November, which estimates that on average £13 would be added onto car insurance and £10 onto home cover.

Travel insurance remains unaffected, as a new higher level of IPT was first introduced at 17.7%. This has since increased to 20%.

Because the tax is a percentage of the premium, location and circumstances of the policyholder could have a significant impact on how much they would have to pay in IPT.

Why is it being increased?
The extra funds generated by the increase are to be ring-fenced for flood defences and resilience strategies. Last year’s increase was anticipated to generate an extra £1.5 billion, while the extra 0.5% due in October should further boost this figure by 700million.

If you would like to know more about how IPT might affect you specifically, please call us on 01737 373222 or email info@cisl.co.

SECOND INCREASE IN A YEAR FOR INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX

Affordable & Reliable Tradesmen Liability Insurance

 

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For Affordable & reliable tradesmen Liability Insurance from as little as £45 Visit www.insureeasy.co.uk or call 01737 377250.

We promise to place you with an insurance company that covers all your insurance needs. On average we save our clients at least 10% on their liability Insurance.

Affordable & Reliable Tradesmen Liability Insurance