General Insurance FAQs
Why Choose Oncover Insurance?
We pride ourselves on providing clients with a first class personal service, with no call centres or automated messages. Our highly trained staff provide unbiased advice and can offer no-obligation quotes for any insurance cover that we offer.
We have strong working relationships with major insurance companies and always keep our offering up to date with the latest products.
What do I do if I haven’t received my documents?
If you do not receive your insurance documents within a reasonable timeframe, please get in touch and we will re-send them.
How much voluntary excess should I agree to?
Agreeing to higher excess can reduce the premiums that you pay, but it’s important to ensure that you can afford to pay your excess if you need to make a claim.
What are the immediate benefits of insurance?
Knowing that you are insured beings immediate peace of mind. You can be sure that you have the financial back up to cope with unforeseen events.
Will my claim history affect me?
Insurance companies look at all of your previous claims, including ones that were not paid out. If the insurer notices several claims in the last few years, they are likely to increase your premium. Alternatively, you will just lose your no claim discount and receive a standard rate.
What is voluntary excess?
Some insurers will save you money on your insurance premiums by stipulating a higher voluntary excess on your policy. There is usually a minimum level of excess that everyone has to pay, but by requesting a higher level you can reduce your insurance costs. Be aware that a higher excess means that you will have to pay more out of pocket if you make a claim.
What if my circumstances change during the time that I’m insured?
All insurance policies are based on the information you provide when you initially buy the policy, or at renewal. If, during the course of the year, your circumstances change e.g. you go away on holiday for a month, or you let your home out to tenants, or you have redecoration or building work done and perhaps you have tradesmen in to do the work, you must let your insurance company know. This is because it can affect the way underwriters assess the risk, and that means that the premium, or the terms and conditions of the policy, might have to change. If you don’t, the policy can be declared null and void just when you need it most.
If I told a white lie on my application to keep the premium down, would it matter?
You would be wasting your money, by lying on the proposal form you would invalidate the contract between the insurer and yourself, so no part of the policy would be valid. This also means that if you have a mortgage on your property you are probably breaching your mortgage lender’s terms and conditions by not having insurance in place. Not a good idea!
It really does pay to be strictly honest on the application and proposal. If you have made an error on your policy then please call to cancel it, or ask for the details to be changed. We’re happy to help, and appreciate that mistakes do get made.
Business & Liability Insurance FAQs
Do I need liability insurance?
You need liability insurance if you have visitors to your place of business, you (or your employees) regularly work off site, you offer advice or services for a fee, you aren’t legally protected by union membership, or if you employ/supervise people. If you are in doubt, please get in touch and we’ll provide information specifically for your business.
How are business insurance premiums calculated?
There are a number of factors under consideration when we quote premiums for business insurance. These include the size, location, and industry of your business. The amount of cover and previous claims are also taken into account, as well as the age of the business.
Is business insurance a legal requirement?
Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement. However, many businesses prefer to add more than the legally-required insurance to protect the business, staff, and stock, as well as the general public.
How can I make sure that my policy adequately covers my business?
You can begin by making a list of all of your business assets that require cover and check your policy to see whether they are included. This should include your fixtures, fittings, equipment, and stock.
How important is it to have a security system on my business premises?
Installing an approved alarm system could bring down the price of your business insurance policy, and the savings could actually pay for the alarm system while serving as a deterrent for thieves. You could also secure your premises with solid frame doors, 5 lever mortice locks on external doors, and window locks, which may be a requirement for some insurers.
Do I need business insurance if I am working from home?
If you are planning to run your business from home, do not assume that your household insurance will be enough. Home insurance usually does not cover business risks.
It is possible to get special ‘working from home’ policies, but you will need to speak to an experienced broker. The cost of this insurance will depend on your industry.
How much Employers Liability cover do I require?
Typically £5 million is the minimum legal requirement for Employers liability. However, in practice, most insurers offer cover of at least £10 million.
What sort of Public Liability claims are made against sole traders?
For example, you are a self-employed IT Consultant or Electrician and whilst you are at a customer’s office, you accidentally knock over a cup of coffee down the back of a computer, damaging it beyond repair. Public liability insurance would cover any claim from the customer.
Buildings & Contents Insurance FAQs
Should I get buildings insurance through my mortgage provider or bank?
Sometimes, this is a condition of your mortgage contract – in which case, it is essential that you follow the conditions of your contract. If it is not a condition, it is a good idea to shop around and get a number of quotes to get the best price and most suitable cover for you.
What is accidental damage cover?
Buildings and contents insurance policies do not generally offer accidental damage cover as standard i.e. you have to pay an additional amount for accidental damage cover. That is because, in addition to the standard cover, which protects your property against damage by theft, flood, fire and subsidence, for example, accidental damage covers you for those everyday spillages and incidents that happen in and around the home – especially if you have children!!!! So say, for example, you knock a cup of coffee over your nice pale sofa in the living room, unless you bought accidental damage cover, you would not be able to claim the cost of repair or replacement.
Landlords Insurance FAQs
Should I cover my property from exchange or completion?
This is usually done from exchange, but you should be guided by your solicitor on the exact date.
Do you need to know who my tenants are?
No, the tenant type (e.g Working, DSS, Student, etc) will help to determine your premium, but most insurers do not require the names or occupations of your tenants.
My property is let to the local authority, is that okay?
Yes, there must be a tenancy agreement in place between the landlord and the local authority. It is the responsibility of the landlord to find out what type of tenants will be occupying the property (e.g working, DSS family, etc), as this will affect your premium.
What do I do if my tenant type changes?
If your tenant type changes (e.g from students to working people) you must inform your insurance company as soon as possible, as this may affect the terms of your policy. You may also be required to pay an additional premium, or be entitled to a refund, depending on the circumstances.
Does “Loss of Rent” cover me if my tenants do not pay their rent?
No, “Loss of Rent” is included as standard with all residential property insurance. It protects you if your property is made uninhabitable, due to one of the insured perils, such as fire or flood. Defaulted rent payments can be covered under “Legal expenses and Rent Guarantee” insurance.
How long can I leave the property unoccupied?
The length of time your property can be left unoccupied varies from insurer to insurer, before you need to inform them of the change in occupancy. You should consult your Landlords policy wording for full details of the unoccupancy clause.
The property will need to be inspected at specified intervals if left unoccupied for a specified time.
What is FLEA, and what cover is included in FLEA?
FLEA cover stands for FIRE, LIGHTNING, EXPLOSION, EARTHQUAKE and AIRCRAFT. If you are covered for FLEA only, it means that these are the ONLY perils covered, however; public liability is still included.
A small percentage of the roof is flat, is this OK?
Some schemes require that you declare the existence of a flat roof. When asked, it is important that you give an accurate description.
Can I have my lenders mortgage interest noted on the policy?
Yes, simply advise of the name of your mortgage lender, and their interest will be noted on the schedule.
My property has gone up in value so should I increase my re-build value?
If the re-sale value of your property has increased, this does not necessarily mean that the re-build value has as well. In cases like this, it is best to contact a chartered surveyor, who will be able to advise you of your rebuild value.
If I sell my property, can I transfer the same policy to another insured address?
No. If you have sold one property and purchased another you cannot transfer the policy over. You will need to cancel the original policy and set up a new policy, for the new property.
Does my Insurance cover me for injury suffered by my tenants in my property?
Yes. Legal liability for injury to others or damage to their property arising from ownership of the building is covered. The indemnity limit will vary between insurers but is usually set at £1 million, £2 Million or £ 5 million.
Professional Indemnity Insurance FAQs
My business is a start-up – can I still get cover?
Turnover is usually the business’s annual gross income (or fee income for consultants).
For a PI or office quote, please enter your estimated annual gross income or fee income in our online quote facility.
How long should I cover myself for?
It is especially important with PI to make sure you are properly covered. PI claims can spring up at any time, either during new work, or on work previously completed suddenly revealing a fault/error.
One important aspect to consider with PI is to keep yourself or your business covered for a ‘run off’ period after you finish trading or retire. This is because there can be a delay before a claim is raised, for example, it may take a long time for a defect in a building or a bug in some software to have any effect on your client. Therefore you need to be covered both while the work is being done and when a subsequent claim is made.
Due to this, it is important to take advantage of retro-active cover when switching insurance companies/policies. When you take out a new PI policy, in most cases, you can back date the start of cover to the end of your last policy. This ensures you are covered continuously for your work.
What level of PI cover should I buy?
We can arrange five levels of cover, from £50,000 up to £1,000,000.
The level of cover you select is the maximum you would receive for the total of all claims and defence costs incurred during the policy period, irrespective of the number of claims made.
Probably the best advice is to buy the highest level of cover you can reasonably afford. If we advised you to take out a low level of cover, and you were involved in a court case where the legal fees exceeded your level of cover, you wouldn’t be very pleased with us. The level of cover you select covers two elements:
- the legal costs of defending a claim and
- the possible compensation award.
You should therefore select a level of indemnity that would be enough to cover both the legal fees and the damages you might have to pay if a successful claim was made against you.
Other details you should also consider include (but are not limited to):
- the size of your contracts in including potential new business
- the size of your clients
- the overall value of the projects you are involved in
- the size of claim that may be made against you
- contractual or professional requirements with regards to PI cover you need to have
For situations where higher limits of indemnity are required, we may still be able to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
What does PI cover?
- A negligent act, or error made duing the course of your duties
- Unintential infringement of intellectual property rights
- Loss of data or documents entrusted to you
- Unintential breach of confidence
- Unintential libel or slander
What is Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance?
It is insurance for a business that protects its financial interests and reputation in the event of a claim by dissatisfied clients. Even the most respectable companies can find themselves in a dispute, and everybody makes mistakes. PI can help protect you in the event of intellectual property rights infringement, damage or loss of someone else’s documents, dishonesty by employees and negligence in your professional field.
Motor Fleet Insurance FAQs
What is the difference between motor fleet insurance and motor vehicle insurance?
Motor Fleet Insurance provides the same cover as a Motor Vehicle cover for a reduced premium (as you save on the policy fees and charges).
Who can use motor fleet insurance?
This cover is available to Businesses with a minimum number of vehicles that need to be insured. Some companies allow for the Company Director’s personal motor vehicles to be insured with the Business Vehicles.
How many vehicles must I have to qualify for a fleet policy?
The minimum amount of vehicles that you must have for a fleet policy varies between companies. Typically four or five vehicles would be required to start a fleet insurance policy with the option to add further vehicles later. Fleet policies operate on a declaration basis, which means that at agreed time intervals you must declare what vehicles you have been running during a specified time period. Any adjustments to your insurance premiums are then made.
If I have 3 cars and 3 vans, will I need 2 fleet policies?
No, the vehicles can all go under one policy.
Can I have a mixture of insurance covers, such as TPO and Comprehensive?
You can have a number of vehicles insured as TPO and the remainder as Comprehensive or Third Party Fire and Theft.
Can I get a no claims bonus on a fleet policy?
Fleet Policies apply Fleet Discount rather than No Claims Bonus Discount. It has the exact same concept of a no claims bonus but it is important to consider that each driver will not be earning their own no claims bonus and, any accidents that they have under the fleet policy will impact the policy as a whole.
Will my policy cover any driver?
Most fleet car policies will be arranged on a any driver basis, usually with a minimum age restriction. You should be aware that any drivers with a previous claims or driving convictions history must be declared up front.