This month at Property Claims Loss Assessors Ireland, we came across several potential claims where there was indeed a valid claim, but the client unknowingly had either no cover, or not enough cover, in place.
Being uninsured or under-insured is a nightmare realization, especially when coupled with the stress the client is undoubtedly already under, so here at PCLA we thought we would outline a few common pitfalls that might lead to this arising and how to avoid them from happening to you.
- The Client Had Moved House – One of the most frequent cases which has led to a client being uninsured is that they had moved house recently, and therefore did not receive the renewal invitation which was sent by post to their old address. The Insurers did not follow up the letter via email or phone and the client is left completely unaware that their policy has lapsed until it is too late.
We would always advise you to ensure you notify your insurance company of any changes to address to avoid this from happening, it is also advisable not to pay the premium in one go but instead to set up a monthly rolling direct debit which will ensure cover is in place continuously.
- The Client had paid off their Mortgage – Another frequent offender is the lapsing of insurance due to a mortgage being paid off in full. Many people with mortgages set up cover when initially taking out their mortgage which is great… but only for the life of the mortgage. There is no legal obligation to insure once a mortgage has been repaid, so oftentimes people put insurance to the back of their minds or forget about it completely once there is nobody reminding them to renew.
We would advise people to always check that there is insurance in place after a mortgage has been completed in order to avoid your insurance from lapsing.
- The Client is Under-Insured – similarly to the above, people take out property cover at the beginning of their mortgages for a fixed amount assuming that this amount is an adequate sum insured for the duration of the mortgage which is not the case. The cost to rebuild has rose steadily throughout the years, therefore the cost to rebuild a house in 2000 will not be the same in the year 2020, and the onus is on the insured to check that they are fully covered.
In this case, we would always advise you to check the website of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI.ie) for the most up-to-date rebuild costs. This should be done annually to avoid being underinsured at any stage.
If you have any questions at all regarding any of the points mentioned above, please feel free to reach out to one of our qualified team members at info@PCLA.ie and we would be delighted to advise you.
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