Insurance Matters January 2011

Well Christmas has been and gone and the Christmas decorations stowed away for another year. The government have also given us all a good start to the year with the increase in Insurance Premium Tax from the 6th January 2011. The rate of tax has increased by 1% from 5% to 6% from this date. What this means is that any insurance policy renewed after the 6th January 2011 will have the new 6% imposed on their premiums by the insurers.

We are hoping that this increase will not see stealth premium increases by the insurers! So make sure that any increases are just 1% in this soft insurance market, it is not anticipated to see considerable increases in premiums in the short term. If you would like a free and competitive quotation then please call us.

January is the time when we are looking towards and booking our annual holidays, a lot of people these days have annual travel insurance with their bank accounts or credit cards. Whilst this seems a very good deal, please be sure that you tell them if you have any pre-existing health conditions and also check the age limits for these policies. The cover normally offered is not as good as that which can be purchased via local insurance brokers for as little as £12 a month for the whole family! The only time you get to know of quality of these added value travel insurance products, is when you need to make a claim. Always check the cover limits, as you could be delayed due to the weather conditions and receive just £20 for the first 12 hours and £10 an hour for every 12 hours thereafter to a maximum of just £120! This happened to me recently when I was stranded abroad for 5 days, at least it paid for the curled up sandwich and bottle of water at the airports exorbitant prices! Remember that any airline including budget carriers have a responsibility to you once they have booked you in for the flight.

For our Business Partners, keeping pathways and entrances clear of snow and slip hazards is more than ever important at this time of year. Unfortunately, slips and trips can happen, particularly when there is snow and ice on the ground. You have a responsibility to offer a duty of care to ensure that your staff, services users or visitors to your organisation or premises are safe.

You should take actions that are ‘reasonable in the circumstances’. this can include ensuring that entrances and exits routes are clear and kept free of anything that may cause a person to slip, and take preventative measures such as clearing and gritting paths. It is not necessary to ensure that each and every available path is immediately cleared as long as there is at least one safe route to access the building. Clearly the timing and the extent of any snow fall is relevant. Whilst it might not be reasonable for paths to be cleared during heavy snow falls, the longer the snow and ice remains on the ground after the fall has ceased, the greater the likelihood of it being considered reasonable for some attempt to clear it to be made.

We hope that this information is of use to you, and that you weather the cold long days and look forward to the spring. Highhouse Insurance Services Limited will be more than willing to give Free Advice and guidance on all property and business insurances, just call us directly on 0845 230 1477 .