Home & Contents Insurancearrow
At Higos we understand your home and its contents are your most valuable possessions. It is essential you have peace of mind your buildings, contents and personal possessions are properly protected, in case the worst should happen.
Higos has access to a number of leading insurers, allowing us to tailor your home insurance policy to your specific needs, providing you with a competitive quotation which matches your exact requirements.
We can provide home insurance for all types of properties, from flats and apartments through to semi detached and detached houses and estates. Our dedicated Specialist Property department can assist with hard to insure properties, such as those in flood risk areas or those which have suffered subsidence. For more details on our Specialist Property team click here.
All of our high street branches have qualified staff who will provide you with expert advice on your home insurance policy, making sure you have the cover you need.
We are here to support you should the worst happen. Higos will be with you throughout the claims process, offering advice and liaising with your insurer on your behalf. You can discuss your claim with us face-to-face in one of our local branches or you speak to us over the telephone if you prefer. All our staff and offices are based in the UK, so you will not have to deal with overseas call centres.
What does household insurance do?arrow
There are two types of household insurance policies. Buildings insurance protects you against damage to the structure of your home together with its fixtures and fittings and home contents insurance protects you against damage or loss of the possessions that you would normally take with you if you moved. Both policies cover you against a stated list of perils for example; fire, subsidence, theft, flood and storm, as well as providing important cover for your legal liabilities as a homeowner and occupier.
Is there anything I should ask or think about when buying household insurance?arrow
Putting both your contents and buildings insurance with Higos means that we may be able to help to streamline claims handling if you suffer damage to the building and its contents.
Exclusions and excesses - These explain what your policy does not cover. You should read your policy to be sure you are clear about the cover it provides. If there is anything you do not understand, ask for an explanation from the provider of the cover either a broker or the direct insurer.
In the event you make a claim you may be required to pay the first part yourself - this is called an excess. Excesses are applied to a range of claims. Check these when you buy your policy and at each renewal date.
Extensions of Cover - The risks for which you are covered are listed in your policy. However, for an additional premium, you can widen your policy to cover "accidental damage". Under a conventional contents policy ("indemnity" or "new for old") your carpet, for example, would be insured if it were burned, damaged by leaking water or ruined by malicious vandals. It would not be covered if you spilt a tin of paint on it. This is known as accidental damage and can be a valuable extra protection.
"All Risks" is cover for items which you regularly take out of the house such as binoculars, cameras etc. These can be listed in the policy under an "All Risks" section, again an extra premium is payable.
Paying your premium - We may allow you to pay in instalments - but you must keep up the payments or cover will stop so be clear on the requirements of the policy you are considering before you sign up.
No-claim discounts - We can offer a no-claim discount system when policies are renewed with us. Check on your renewal notice to see if this applies.
Security - We may require the installation of approved alarms and/or minimum-security fittings before providing cover. Check whether this applies.
What should I do if I need to make a claim?arrow
If you have suffered from theft, malicious damage or vandalism, tell the police immediately.
If you have lost credit cards or cheque cards, tell the company that issued them immediately, a delay of even a few hours could prove expensive for you.
All insurance policies set out clearly the risks they do and do not cover. Read your policy and make sure that the loss you have suffered is covered by your policy.
Decide which policy - buildings, contents or both - to claim under. If you are not sure, telephone your insurer(s) for advice. Many insurance companies provide telephone helplines for policyholders facing an emergency. They can give you the names of good tradesmen for emergency repairs and, of course, give detailed advice to those having to make a claim. Your policy booklet gives you a contact number.
Ask us for a claim form.arrow
Complete the form as soon as possible and return it with, where available, estimates for the cost of repair or replacement of the damaged property.
If you have a replacement as new/new for old policy you can claim for the full cost of repairing your property or replacing it with new items if they´ve been stolen or destroyed. If you have an indemnity policy then you must deduct an amount to represent wear and tear on the claim form.
If you find it difficult to get estimates quickly (for example, if damage is widespread in your area as a result of flooding, builders and plumbers may be hard to track down), send the claim form to the insurance company straight away and tell them you will send estimates as quickly as possible.
If temporary repairs have to be done to prevent further damage, arrange for the work to be done and keep bills. The cost may form part of your overall claim.
It is important to keep damaged items because the insurance company may want to see them. Burnt or soaked property can be kept in a shed or garage.
As soon as we get your estimates we will ensure that either:
- Your claim is paid, or
- Arrange for a claims inspector to call on you, or
- Send a loss adjuster to handle the whole claim.
The claims inspector is employed by the insurance company and will arrange with you the basis on which your claim will be settled.
Loss adjusters are independent experts with a good knowledge of the area in which they operate. They are skilled in assessing claims and in advising on the best repair and reinstatement methods. They will recommend to the insurance company the way in which your claim should be settled. There is usually no need for you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. If you do, remember you will have to pay their fees yourself.
Insurance companies usually want to see evidence of ownership and value of property which has been lost or damaged. It is important to keep, if possible, receipts and professional valuations. If you do not have these ask the insurance company what other evidence they will accept.
Other useful informationarrow
How are premiums calculated?
In setting premiums for buildings and contents cover, most policies will start with the postcode of the property to be insured. Postcodes enable insurers to identify a geographical area, thereby allowing premiums to better reflect their claims experience in that locality. However, postcodes have two major disadvantages - first, the insurance industry has no control or influence over the Royal Mail's allocation of postcodes and second, an individual postcode may contain within its boundary, areas of higher or lower risk than the average. This information is generally not known to individual companies or the industry as a whole.
The postcode is the base upon which insurers calculate premiums. A number of other factors are taken into account when calculating the full premium such as a policyholder's previous claims history, the sum(s) insured and the nature of the items to be insured.
Not all insurers place particular postcodes in the same rating bands and competition between insurers means premiums can vary considerably for similar risks in the same locality. It is worthwhile shopping around.
Liability - Householders - like everyone else - have a duty to exercise reasonable care in everything they do. If you are careless or negligent, and this results in injury or damage to someone else or their property, then you could be held legally liable for this and have to pay compensation. Contents and buildings policies cover you against this risk. The buildings policy covers you as owner of your home while the contents policy covers you as its occupier.