Building Insurance

  OTT_Buzzard 12:29 17 Nov 2009

The time for our house move is rapidly approaching...this weekend in fact. Gulp!

After several weeks of brutal decluttering and packing I finally got round to changing my insurance policy for building and contents.

We're moving into a rented house up in the flat lands of South Lincolnshire while the house here in the south west sells.
I phoned my insurer to change the location of the contents insurance, while keeping buildings insurance on the current property here, only to be told that because the house is empty they won't insure it.

Ok fair enough, I thought, I'll go to another insurer then. Same thing. Time and time again. Even insurers who say they specialise in empty properties say that 'I don't fall within their risk profile'. I've never made a house / buildings claim in my life and have always had insurance.

Finally I have found an insurer who will insure the property, but only if I take additional flood insurance. This house is at the top of a hill, in a town that is built on a hill, miles from the nearest significant water source and not on an aquifer bedrock. If this place ever floods I don't stand a chance of a payout anyway since it would almost certainly be armageddon!

  Cymro. 13:00 17 Nov 2009

Just as we have the right not to buy something from someone that person or company have the right not to sell us something if they don`t wish to do so. At least I think so, or have I missed something.

  Brumas 13:07 17 Nov 2009

Just out of interest, where in South Lincolnshire?

  Pamy 13:36 17 Nov 2009

So is the additional flood insurance too much to make it worth insuring?

  OTT_Buzzard 13:38 17 Nov 2009

Cymro: No, I don't think you've missed anything. I'm just suprised how difficult it's been to insure a property in what can't be particularly unusual circumstances. The compulsory addition of flood cover is just bizarre!

Brumas: The highly unexciting area around Spalding. I've got family in the Bourne area anyway and while employment in and around Peterborough is bad, it is still vastly better than where I am now.

  Brumas 13:53 17 Nov 2009

The reason I asked is because until we moved here in 2001 we lived, for 16 years, in Bourne and I know the areas you mention very well.
What do they say?
"It's a small world but I wouldn't want to paint it!"

  OTT_Buzzard 14:17 17 Nov 2009

Brumas: Considering the size of Bourne (population by my reckoning about 0.02% of the UK), that is truly a bizarre coincidence!

  canarieslover 14:27 17 Nov 2009

I had a similar problem as Executor to my Mother's estate. I managed to get it re-insured by the same company but the price increased from £254 last year (to cover contents & bricks & mortar) to £566 this year for bricks & mortar only. Despite trying many other insurance companies it was only the one that she was already with that would extend cover to an empty house. The possibility of squatters & vandals is too great a risk for most of them.

  BT 16:50 17 Nov 2009

There may be some info here
click here

I've recently heard that someone in Forest Hill in SE London was recently declined a renewal by the AA because Forest Hill is 'in a Flood Plain'.
Having lived there for many years I can assure everyone that if Forest Hill flooded the only bit of London still visible would probably be the top of Canary Wharfe tower. Forest Hill is one of the highest points in London, the name is probably a clue, but the AA apparently won't be swayed.

  Woolwell 17:16 17 Nov 2009

I regret to state that I am not surprised that it has been difficult to get insurance on an empty property. Regrettably there have been too many incidents of squatters, vandalism and complete stripping of empty houses. It is nothing to do with the owner just the risk which they don't want.

  OTT_Buzzard 17:24 17 Nov 2009

I have finally managed to get a more sensible quote, which does not require mandatory additional flood cover.

Now the underwriter is quibbling over the temperature at which the Frost Protection Mode on the boiler cuts in at. They want 8ºC, my boiler does 5°C (can't be changed). Looks like the heating will be permanently switched on with the thermostat set to 8°C now. Why does this have to be so complicated? Arrrghhhhh!

BT: thanks for the link. As expected the town I live in is not a flood risk - the entire area to the north and west and east are, but not the town I'm in.

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