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Heritage Insurance Business Panel Q&A: 9

William Woodford, Senior Development Broker, at Heritage Insurance, offers some advice on whether all insurance policies appear to be the same. This article appears in the Guernsey Press Business Panel on Thursday 19 May.

Question 9:

I need some personal and business insurance and, looking at what’s on offer, can I assume all policies are more or less the same?

William Woodford, Senior Development Broker, replies:

The short answer is no, but this is a surprisingly technical question to answer. The reason is that the cover you think you have depends on the wording of the policy. While the more obvious things such as excess levels may be clear, matters like warranties and sub limits are less easy for the non-insurance expert to understand and can be extremely important to their assets or business.

For example, one policy may have a water leak limit for ‘trace and access’ of £5,000 and another of £25,000. While most insurers will cover the cost to repair water damage, some UK policies specifically or implicitly excludes trace and access, leaving the homeowner to foot the bill for finding and repairing the leaking pipe or other source of water incursion into the home.

Without this, any damage done locating the leak (removing wall board or floors to access plumbing, etc) is not covered.

In addition, some limits and sub limits in documentation on other policies may be changeable and, without knowing the insurer and the wording, this may never be known but can be vital.

That applies especially for business interruption cover, with items such as supplier extensions, which are designed to protect businesses from the failure of their suppliers, perhaps through a fire at its office or factory.

So the best advice is to get a broker who understands your requirements and who can ensure that you really do have the cover you thought you had.

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