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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September, 2003, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Getting your property insured
So you have found your ideal property? You've arranged to get a mortgage, started looking for your next sofa and then you discover it's going to be difficult to get insurance for your new place.

Insurance companies will look at an area and assess its risk.

If it deems the area too risky, then it will refuse to cover the property or will charge a prohibitively high premium.

The area might be perfectly safe when it comes to crime, but if you are in an area that is regularly hit by floods, the insurers will take no chances and, increasingly, will refuse to offer any cover.

Implications of not having cover

Without insurance, your mortgage lender will not feel comfortable giving you the money to buy the property and without insurance, if anything happens, you could be sitting on a huge bill to cover all costs.

Many insurers will cover existing customers who live in a high flood risk area, but will refuse to take on new business. Many say the risk is too great for them.

You may still be able to get cover in a flood-prone area. Insurers are increasingly looking to the government to make sure they offer protection to homes in affected areas.

If they can see improvements made to strengthen flood defences, then they may consider offering cover.

Take advice

To make sure the property can be insured it is worth speaking to insurers before you make any offer for a property.

You can go online and fill in forms on several brokers' websites to discover if you are likely to be declined or how much the premiums are likely to be.

Of course if you know the cost of insuring a property in an area is likely to be high, then you can always use this as a form of haggling when it comes to the price of the home.

You will know something to your advantage that a seller may not freely wish to talk about and you could be able to secure a cut in the price.

Beefing about home insurance
27 Mar 03  |  England



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