Insights

ReBuild Cost Assessment

ReBuild Cost Assessment 1920 1280 James Hallam

DON’T FALL VICTIM TO UNDERINSURANCE WE CAN HELP…

We’ve all seen the rise in building costs reported in the press, with building materials and labour at an all time high, but have you considered the effect this could have on your buildings insurance?

How can you make sure you don’t suffer the consequences of underinsurance?

The only reliable way to do this is use a ‘Regulated by RICS’ property professional.

James Hallam can help

We are working with RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com, the UK’s affordable and professional provider of buildings insurance valuations. They will calculate how much your building would cost to completely rebuild without even visiting your property.

They can produce a reliable and perhaps more importantly, an insurance industry trusted assessment of your building’s rebuild cost.

We are pleased to offer the discounted price of
£160
per property to all James Hallam customers.

To take advantage of this offer contact your James Hallam client manager or call 0330 024 0755

Put your buildings insurance right by arranging a Rebuild Cost Assessment today.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE
James Hallam Limited will introduce customers to RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com who provide a rebuilding cost valuation service. This service is not regulated by the FCA and therefore does not benefit from the protection offered by FOS or the FSCS.
This service does not apply to Grade 1 and Grade A properties. Grade 2 properties can be valued however we would recommend an on-site survey as certain materials or characteristics of a property may not be evident digitally.

Don’t fall victim to underinsurance. We can help.

Don’t fall victim to underinsurance. We can help. 1920 1280 James Hallam
We’ve all seen the rise in building costs reported in the press, with building materials and labour at an all time high, but have you considered the effect this could have on your buildings insurance?

79%

Underinsured
79% of the UK properties are underinsured. This can severly reduce the amount paid out following a property damage claim.

14%

Overinsured
14% of UK properties are overinsured. If this is you, you are paying more than you need to for your insurance.

How can you make sure you don’t suffer the consequences of underinsurance?

The only reliable way to do this is use a ‘Regulated by RICS’ property professional. James Hallam can help

We are working with RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com, the UK’s affordable and professional provider of buildings insurance valuations. They will calculate how much your building would cost to completely rebuild without even visiting your property.

They can produce a reliable and perhaps more importantly, an insurance industry trusted assessment of your building’s rebuild cost.

We are pleased to offer the discounted price of £160 per property to all James Hallam customers.

To take advantage of this offer contact your James Hallam client manager or call 0330 024 0755

Put your buildings insurance right by arranging a Rebuild Cost Assessment today.

IMPORTANT NOTICE
James Hallam Limited will introduce customers to RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com who provide a rebuilding cost valuation service. This service is not regulated by the FCA and therefore does not benefit from the protection offered by FOS or the FSCS.

This service does not apply to Grade 1 and Grade A properties. Grade 2 properties can be valued however we would recommend an on-site survey as certain materials or characteristics of a property may not be evident digitally.

Preparing your holiday home for the high season – your contents checklist

Preparing your holiday home for the high season – your contents checklist 1920 1280 James Hallam

With another busy season ahead, if you have a holiday home – in the UK or abroad – that you let out to guests, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve taken stock of all your contents so that you can make sure nothing goes missing and that you can keep an eye on the condition of your furniture and other items over the course of the year. It will also help you to make sure you have the right levels of contents insurance in place.

Why create a contents check list for your holiday home?

If you regularly let out your holiday home, your contents are likely to get a lot more use, and therefore wear and tear. With a checklist, you can make notes on the condition of your contents at regular intervals, meaning you can keep track of damage deposits and make sure your guests are more careful with your things.

Your checklist is also a great way of showing your holiday homes extra features and benefits to your guests – even if that’s just as an aide memoire for you to use when you are marketing your property.

What to include on your holiday home contents checklist

As well as listing each of your contents, it’s a great idea to include some notes on each of the items, including any features and existing damage. You could include the cost or worth of each item on your personal copy. Photographs are also a great addition, especially if you need to make an insurance claim.

Your checklist will be easier to manage if you separate it into zones – living, sleeping, kitchen, bathroom and outdoor. Remember to include the smaller items, as well as larger and more expensive items, as well as fire alarms, extinguishers, hose pipes outside, etc.

How often should you check the list?

It’s probably not feasible to run through your checklist between every let, but it’s a good idea to schedule in a full inspection every quarter, or at least every six months.

Hygiene is top of the agenda for holiday lets, hostels, hotels and any other accommodation that checks guests in and out regularly. It always has been. But now, more than ever your customers will be looking for good hygiene measures to be in place.

If you’re looking for insurance options for your holiday home, or if you’re looking to buy a property abroad and want to check what cover is available, contact our Private Clients team on 020 7977 7846 or PCL@jameshallam.co.uk.

Protecting your Workforce

Protecting your Workforce 1920 1280 James Hallam

It has been widely reported that staff are fleeing the hospitality industry, following the uncertainty of Covid, Brexit and long working hours. Protecting your staff will always have been a priority, but now holding on to a good loyal team is more important than ever.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their working environment, but sometimes when tempers are running high or customers are experiencing longer than intended wait times, it can be your team that bear the brunt of their anger.

The James Hallam team have been looking at ways to protect your team’s personal safety in the workplace.

Working Environment

It is important you are committed to creating and maintaining an environment within your hospitality business, that is healthy and where your employees are shown respect and dignity by others.

Where it is expected that all staff, guests, visitors, contractors and any other persons who are on your premises behave in a respectable manner.

You could display a poster for staff and customers making it clear what behaviour is not tolerated. You could include the following:

  • Bullying of any kind
  • Violence of any kind in the workplace
  • Abusive or aggressive behaviour of any kind
  • Harassment, especially of a sexual nature

If any of this behaviour is brought to your attention, take immediate action to investigate and deal with the relevant parties. If employees are found to be guilty of any wrong doing they should be disciplined. If other parties are at fault then the appropriate actions must be followed, this may involve criminal proceedings being brought against an individual.

Violent or Abusive Customers

Whilst we’re sure on the whole your customers are friendly and respectful, it is wise to offer some ‘best practice’ guidance should an incident occur.

Occasionally customers may become embroiled in altercations with other customers or aggressive to staff especially at busy times or when alcohol is involved.

You could ask your employees to look for the potential triggers that could lead to a violent situation:

  • Raised voices, shouting, or use of swearing and offensive language
  • Racial slurs or comments said with the intention of causing offense to others
  • Aggressive gesturing, pushing, to others
  • Veiled or open threats to others

If these potential triggers are identified then there are a number of steps that can be taken with the intention of preventing an actual act of violence or physical abuse occurring.

Firstly, staff should always think of their own personal safety and never try and deal with the situation alone, they should always call for assistance.

  • Advise another member of staff at the earliest opportunity if they sense that there is potential for an incident to occur
  • Talk to the relevant parties and remind them that such behaviour will not be tolerated – advise them not to raise their voice as this may aggravate the situation
  • Instruct that the Police will be contacted if the issues are not addressed

Actual acts of violence and physical abuse are thankfully very rare indeed but it is wise to have procedures in place to make your staff feel protected and safe.

As well as protecting your staff, protecting your business premises, income and liabilities is also key. For more details about insurance for your hospitality business speak to our Hospitality Division today on 020 7977 7856.

The law on fire alarms in Scottish homes has changed – home owner or landlord this is what you need to know…

The law on fire alarms in Scottish homes has changed – home owner or landlord this is what you need to know… 1920 1280 James Hallam

Every home in Scotland must have interlinked fire alarms. Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off, so you will always hear an alarm wherever you are in your home.

The new law has come about because of the Grenfell fire in London in 2017, and it applies to all Scottish homes.

It is the property owner’s responsibility for meeting the new standard, with any costs to be met by the home owner or landlord, what you need will depend on what you currently have in place and the alarms you choose to install.

What each home needs

Every home must have:

  • one smoke alarm in the living room or the room you use most
  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

All smoke and heat alarms should be mounted on the ceiling and be interlinked.

If you have a carbon-fuelled appliance – like a  boiler, fire, heater or flue – in any room, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector in that room, but this does not need to be linked to the fire alarms

Help with costs

Older and disabled homeowners on low incomes can get help with costs.

If you are a private tenant, your landlord is responsible.

If you are a council or housing association tenant, work is ongoing to make sure your home meets the new standards.

Two types of alarms

You can use either sealed battery alarms or mains-wired alarms.

Both types of alarm are interlinked by radio frequency and do not need WiFi.

What the alarms must have

If you use battery alarms, they must be sealed tamper-proof units and have long-life lithium batteries, which can be up to 10 years. You may be able to fit these types of alarms yourself and they do not need an electrician.

Mains-wired alarms are cheaper but if you use them, they must be fitted by a qualified electrician and must be replaced every 10 years. You may also need to redecorate after fitting them.

If you also need a carbon monoxide alarm and it is battery-operated, it must have a sealed battery for the duration of its lifespan.

You can find full details and further guidance here.

Source: GOV.SCOT
Photo source: GOV.SCOT

Independent Hotel Show 2021

Independent Hotel Show 2021 1920 1280 James Hallam

A fantastic start to the week for the James Hallam Hospitality and Leisure Team by sponsoring this year’s Independent Hotel Show in Olympia, London. The event was incredibly well attended with two days of inspiring showcases, seminars and outstanding networking opportunities.

David Noble, Our Director of Hospitality and Leisure, is pictured below presenting this year’s Outstanding Contribution Award to Peter Hancock. Many Congratulations Peter!

We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Water leak detection

Water leak detection 1920 1280 James Hallam

Understand how to avoid costly water damage to your property by way of installing a water leak detection or prevention system and those that are available on the market today.

At some point you may have heard of a friend or family member who has suffered a water leak or burst pipe at their home and you may think that this will never happen to you, but how sure are you that your plumbing system will not fail at any given moment?

The Household Insurance market has seen a dramatic increase in both the frequency and severity of claims relating to Escape of Water from pipes, tanks and general apparatus with 1 in 4 claims being attributed to Escape of Water, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The amount of water that can pour into your home when a pipe bursts is unfathomable which can be very distressing. A Household Insurance Policy will, of course, operate in the event of an “Escape of Water”, and insurers will arrange for the property to be dried out, replace damaged belongings and even provide you with alternative accommodation, but subsequently, how will your insurance policy be impacted?

For example, insurers may increase premiums payable at your next renewal, apply larger policy excess and even request a plumbing system survey be carried out.  In addition, there may be the requirement for a Water Leak Detection System to be installed.

Post loss, some insurers will provide a contribution towards the cost of installing a Water Leak Detection System, but do you want to risk being in the position where you have to leave your family home for months to enable insurers to carry out the required remedial works.

Why not act first and install a system that will monitor your plumbing, giving you complete peace of mind, preventing this awful scenario from happening.

How does a water leak detector or prevention system work?

Water Leak Detection Systems detect potential plumbing problems by monitoring the water flow within the pipes, which could result in a water leak and damage to your property.

These systems can detect and notify you of a leak via an application on a smart device. This will enable you to receive the alert no matter where you are, allowing you to return home to shut off your water at the mains supply and arrange for a plumber to attend your property before major damage has been sustained.

The prevention systems can help to safeguard your home further, by automatically shutting off the water in approximately five seconds after a leak has been detected, saving you the worry of rushing home wondering what awaits you, and of course a large insurance claim which could take months to rectify the damage caused.

These systems can also be linked to your intruder alarm monitoring station so that when you are away from home you will still have the peace of mind that should a leak occur it will be taken care of in your absence.

For more information please contact our Private Clients team on privateclients@jameshallam.co.uk

Is it safe to travel in 2021?

Is it safe to travel in 2021? 1920 1280 James Hallam

After Boris Johnson unveiled his lockdown exit plan many people will find summer holiday deals very tempting, but the risk that plans could be disrupted due to Covid-19 is ever present. The roll-out of the vaccine has seen a surge of optimism that travel will be possible again this summer. But many won’t have had their first vaccination, or will be uncertain whether individual counties will allow British nationals to travel.

Here is everything you need to know: from the latest on package holidays, vaccinations, and flight cancellations.

What do we know about foreign travel?

In England the earliest that foreign holidays will be allowed to resume is 17 May however another surge in Covid cases in Europe, as well as a slow roll out of vaccines has cast doubt whether foreign travel can go ahead. A review into the safety of reopening borders will need to be conducted, considering the infection rates and vaccine take-up.

Currently, travellers are required to test for Covid-19 at their own expense both when leaving the UK and returning home. These measures are likely to stay in place until at least mid-May along with the need to quarantine for 10 days for arrivals from red list countries. However the latest legislation, set to come in next week, will be for those attempting to take a holiday abroad without a reasonable excuse will result in £5000 fine.

What is the travel traffic light system and how will it work?

Travel destinations will be ranked green, amber or red according to vaccination rates, Covid variants and number of cases and various other factors.

The guidelines haven’t been released yet, but it is likely to look something like this:

  • Travellers returning from low-risk “green” countries will need to take a Covid test before they return to UK, followed by two further tests on day 2 and day 8 after they arrive.
  • Travellers returning from medium risk “amber” countries will have to take a pre-departure test, then self isolate at home for ten days. They will also have to take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine, but could also take a private test on day 5 in order to leave self-isolation.
  • Travellers returning from high risk “red” countries will have to take a test before entering the UK and then pay £1,70 to quarantine in a hotel for 11 days. They will then have to take two further Covid tests at their own expense on day 2 and day 8 of isolation.

What Covid restrictions are likely to be in place in other countries?

If their borders are open at all, most destinations will only allow travellers with proof of two Covid vaccinations however some may accept a recent negative Covid-19 test result. Check the government website for each country’s specific requirements.

How can I protect my holiday booking?

This year a package holiday could be the safest way to travel for one simple reason: if the tour operator is forced to cancel because of restrictions, you are entitled to a full refund via the package regulations.

Please note that Coronavirus remains a known event and therefore cancellation claims through some insurers will not covered on trips booked during the lockdown period.

Are airlines issuing refunds?

If your flight is cancelled by the airline, you are due a refund. This applies for all flights on any airline that departs from an EU country. Outside the EU it is slightly more complex and you will need to contact the individual airline. For those wishing to cancel their own flight, the majority of airlines are allowing cancellations but in some cases this has taken over a month to process.

What about vaccine passports?

To be able to travel this year you may require proof in the form of a vaccine passport. A vaccine passport can be defined as a piece of documentation, likely to be in the form of a mobile app or similar system, proving someone has been inoculated against COVID-19.

I don’t want to be vaccinated – will I be able to travel abroad?

You may find certain avenues closed to you. Some countries and holiday firms may require you to have been vaccinated, and to be able to prove it.

If you currently arranging you travel insurance through us at James Hallam please get in contact before arranging your trip so we can provide you with up to date information. privateclients@jameshallam.co.uk

You can find the latest travel advice and warnings on the Government website here.

UK Govt. reverse Vnuk motor insurance rule

UK Govt. reverse Vnuk motor insurance rule 1920 1280 James Hallam

he James Hallam Sport team is pleased to note that the UK Govt. is to withdraw from the ‘Vnuk’ legislation passed by the EU in 2018, which has been a regular talking point and threat to the UK motorsports industry since 2014, when the law was first considered.

The law, which forms part of the EU’s MID, requires all motorised vehicles to be insured for compulsory and unlimited liability risks, including those whilst being used on private land, so captured the use of racing vehicles, pit scooters, and all other working vehicles operating within the confines of a motor sports venue, including whilst on track.

Securing coverage at the limit of liability required is just not feasible, from either the specialist motorsport liability market who cannot provide such capacity limits, or the motor insurance providers who have no appetite for such risk exposure, so it is timely that the Govt. has made their decision to scrap the ruling.

Our team had highlighted this matter to our clients over the preceding years, and encouraged them to support the Motorsports Industry Association’s campaign to lobby both EU and UK legislators to overturn the ruling, so its good news for the industry to see common sense prevail, at least in the UK.

Within the EU, there is no such liability insurance for motorsport risks available either, and it is understood that there is an appeal to exempt motorsport from the law, let’s hope their policy makers follow ours to keep motorsport on track!

Preventing Storm Damage

Preventing Storm Damage 1920 1440 James Hallam

If your home has been damaged by a storm, dealing with the aftermath can be emotionally and financially exhausting.

To help you avoid the worst, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can help protect your home from suffering a significant loss in event of a flood.

Before a flood

The best thing you can do at any time of the year is to make sure your property is safe. Regular checks can help your home stand up to bad weather when it comes.

  • Check your roof for any loose or missing tiles, crumbling pointing or any other signs of damage.
  • Remove hazardous branches in your garden, particularly those close to windows or power lines. Be careful as some trees are safeguarded, so if you’re unsure whether a tree can be cut check with your local planning authority.
  • Keep gutters clear of moss and leaves. If your gutters overflow during a downpour, it’s time to give them a good clean.
  • Prepare a storm emergency kit, just in case you need to leave your home during the storm. Pack warm clothes, medicines, a torch and batteries.

Find out if your postcode is at risk from a flood at Gov.uk here.

During a flood

  • Prevent water getting into your premises where possible by using flood barriers such as sandbags.
  • Move any furniture and possessions to a higher floor level or raised location
  • Check to see if your gas/water/electricity supply is working, and if not, call the suppliers to report it.
  • Switch off any gas/electricity supply that might be affected.

After a flood

Experiencing a flood can be frightening, and the activities of normal life can be disrupted. It is important not to underestimate the stress and strain of being flooded and cleaning up after floods. Here are a few steps to help deal with the aftermath.

  • List any damage to your property and don’t throw anything away in case it’s needed for the claims process. Don’t dispose of anything until you have photographed it for your records.
  • Check in on vulnerable neighbours or relatives and help them make any arrangements for repairs
  • Remember to keep clear of electrical or telephone cables that have been blown down or are hanging loose
  • Make sure the building is structurally safe
  • Ventilate and dehumidify the property.
  • Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions they give to leave the property.
  • If you are told to wait for the rescue service please do so.

If you have been affected and need to make a claim you can contact our team here.