January 2010 - Property Protector News (Issue 5)

26 January 2010
 
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The new year brings yet another enhancement to Property Protector, and we are delighted to inform you that from 1st February 2010 (1 March 2010 for renewals) all Property Protector Residential Premier and Residential Lite policies will automatically include Property Emergency Insurance and also provide a far wider Landlords Legal Solutions cover.

These covers are included on all residential policies (either Standard or Lite) on a per policy basis rather than being charged on a per property basis, so for those policyholder owning several properties this an invaluable feature.

This new feature will help protect your clients in the event of a domestic emergency at their rental property. Property emergencies can be stressful and sometimes difficult to resolve, but with this new facility your client will have peace of mind knowing that we are with them every step of the way, by not only appointing a suitably qualified contractor to attend your rental property but also meeting the costs associated with this.

Cover is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for
• Call-out charge
• Labour up a maximum of 2 hours
• Parts & materials up to a maximum of £100
• Alternative Accommodation up to a maximum of £250
The maximum payable per claim is £1000

Emergencies covered are:
• Breakdown of the main heating system
• Plumbing and drainage problems
• Damage to or failure of your property’s security including locks and windows
• Breakage or failure of your sole toilet unit
• Loss of your domestic power supply
• Lost keys
• Vermin infestation

We know that this latest enhancement to the scheme will keep our product at the forefront of the rest of the market, and giving you confidence to recommend this to your clients in the knowledge that few can match this exemplary cover. The Emergency Assistance cover has been arranged by ARAG in tandem with our new

Legal Expenses cover.

Landlords Legal Solutions will help protect your client should they need to pursue or defend their legal rights. Legal issues can be complex and sometimes difficult to resolve, but with our new Landlords Legal Solutions they will have peace of mind by removing the financial burden that stressful legal situations can bring.
Landlords Legal Solutions is designed to help in a number of situations including:

• assistance with the eviction of squatters from the Property.
• defence of prosecutions brought against your client.
• help to repossess the Property.
• help to recover unpaid rent due from tenants.
• pursuing a claim against another party following damage to the Property.
• accommodation costs up to £75 per day whilst you are trying to regain possession of the Property

When a claim does occur, they will appoint a solicitor, or another professional with the expertise in the area of law that matches the problem; this being a key component to providing maximum impact at outset.
Your client can also access legal advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year plus have access to a web service that allows legal documents to be downloaded, such as a free will.

Legal & Tax Advice
In the event of a legal or tax problem we would strongly recommend that your client initially take advantage of the free confidential 24 hour legal and tax advice service which will be provided to them as part of this policy. The advice covers any business legal or tax matter and they can use this service as often as they like. The query will be dealt with by a suitably qualified specialist experienced in handling a range of legal and tax related matters.

Introducing ARAG

Both the Emergency Assistance and new Legal Expenses covers are provided by ARAG. ARAG is one of the world’s leading players in legal expenses insurance, operating across 13 European countries as well as the US. Founded in Germany in 1935, ARAG now employs over 3,700 staff and generates a premium income of over €1.3 billion. The UK team consists of a hand-picked team of experts in the UK legal insurance market who can count on the backing of the unique ARAG global heritage.

New Year – New Face Take a look at our new website
In readiness for our new online portal, we have completely overhauled our website.
We have also included some really useful additional features, many of which you will see added during the course of the next few weeks, some of which are shown on the following pages.

New inviting home page.
We made it easier for you to navigate around the site, and have included call to action points to enable you to access product specific pages with a single click, together with useful information for your prospective clients and testimonials from some of our supporting brokers.

Clear product specific pages together with supporting documents
Each of our product pages is now accompanied by its own download table; enabling access to the relevant
documentation for each product at a glance. There are also links to related products, such as our Residential Premier and Residential Lite without the need for further navigation and searching.

Interactive Comparison Table (Residential Policies)
One of the exciting new features is our “interactive product comparison table”. Many of you use our static PDF comparison table as a tool to sell the benefits of the Property Protector policy. We have now been able to build this as an interactive tool on the web site, enabling you to produce a personalised comparison for each client. By using a selection of check boxes, you can enable up to three additional insurers from a list of popular
Residential Property Owners contracts which are automatically compared with both of our Residential products.

Imminent Development – Find your nearest broker
We are always looking for innovative ways to drive business through your door, and our ‘find your nearest broker’ feature will enable prospective policyholders to find you interactively. Using a postcode look-up facility, and Google Maps, a prospective policyholder will be able to locate their nearest
Property Protector broker and will be presented with your contact details we have on file, including a link to your own website….watch this space and your inbox for the imminent launch of this feature.

New Online Portal – Quote and Buy online (Sneak Peek)
We are in the final stages of testing our new online quotation engine, and pleased to report that things are progressing well. We will make both our Residential and Commercial products available for online trading when the new portal is launched, with some new products following later in the first quarter of 2010 (watch this space).

You’ll soon be able to quote and bind cover online, and print your clients new policy schedule off straight away, as well as being able to process mid term adjustments !

Creating your client record is really easy, and once you have done that you are ready to go. Our “QuickQuote” facility will provide you with a premium indication with just the minimum amount of information, which you can store and retrieve later. You even have the option of converting your quotation to ResidentialLite at the click of a mouse too !

The quotation is delivered swiftly and we have made it simple to bind cover with just a few standard statement of fact assumptions…..We’ll keep you informed as soon as the portal is launched so watch your mailbox sometime in February for your username and password – we’ll be arranging training visits too, so watch this space !

Helping you compete in a difficult climate…..We’re waiving our policy fees !
Unlike some underwriters we could mention, we are here to help you to compete in a very competitive market place. Not only have we improved the features of the policy with our new Legal Expenses & Emergency Solutions covers, but we are also waiving our policy fees, making our product even more competitive!

Our usual £15.00 fee has been waived from 1 February 2010 (1 March 2010 for renewals) and judging by initial feedback from many of our supporting broker, this news has proved very welcoming.

We hope that this move will enable you to compete with the competition, whilst still providing your clients with
exemplary policy cover and service.

Reminder: Change of Insurers on Property ProtectorLite
We were delighted to announce in November 2009 that the Property Protector Lite policy would be underwritten by a specialist consortium of leading let property insurers. These insurers have been selected for their track record of delivering customer quality, innovative solutions, underwriting and claims expertise and any positive changes and services they may bring in the future.

- Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (Lead Insurer 50%)
- Allianz Insurance plc (30%)
- Groupama Insurance Company (20%)

As a reminder all general terms and conditions of the policy remain the same, however you will need to issue a new Notice to Policyholders which is available to download from our website. This notice should be issued for all Property Protector Lite policies falling due for renewal from 1 December 2009 onwards.

Reminder: Change of Contact Numbers
You may remember that we announced in November that we were phasing out our 0870 telephone numbers.
We have replaced these Non Geographic numbers with two dedicated numbers from our system, giving us greater control and flexibility in their use.

Please therefore take note of our correct contact numbers

New Phone Number: 0115 968 3293
New Fax Number : 0115 968 3292

The old “0870” numbers will soon be taken offline, so please update your records.

Advise your client’s of the pitfalls of ‘cheap’ insurance cover
What are the critical covers I should be recommending in a Property Owners Insurance product?
Material Damage claims represent the largest number of claims paid by insurers with the wet peril of burst pipes, flood and storm representing 40% of all losses.

Trace & Access*
Adequate Trace & Access cover for all types of pipes is an essential extension of cover as finding the internal or external leak is the key to factor in limiting your loss. Many of the cheaper premium contracts restrict or exclude the trace and access extension thereby limiting the total claim to the actual damage caused by the leak.

Malicious Damage by Tenant*
20% of claims made by landlords are for malicious damage, largely by tenant, with the average claim being around £7,000 mark. Cannabis Farm claims are normally paid under the malicious damage peril and these are normally large claims. The average claim paid under Property Protector Scheme for this type of incident has been over £40,000. Many of our competitors exclude or restrict this cover. We highlighted this risk in details in a previous newsletter, which we have repeated on this website with tips on how to spot a suspect tenant.

Fire Claims
Fire claims represent about 18% of the claims paid so again adequate cover is essential but without the above
extensions you can be left exposed to the more frequent incidents in your property.

Liability Covers
Adequate liability cover for both property owners and employer’s liability is essential, however many contracts offer employers liability as an optional extra.

This in our view is a risky approach, although the claim frequency is small these claims tend to be large as they
normally result in personal injury to people. Remember any casual labour used for cleaning, decorating or gardening your property are deemed to be employees under the terms of the legislation.
(You’ll find that all of these perils will be covered under our Residential Premier policy)