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Personal Liability Insurance
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# 1
Soubrette
Old 04-08-2008, 7:48 PM
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Default Personal Liability Insurance

Hi all

I wonder if anyone has any ideas for companies that provide the above insurance.

I used to work in the insurance industry and don't do what I would call unnecessary insurance, instead I have a pot of money which is supposed to cover eventualities such as vet bills, loss of contents etc.

However there are a few insurances that I do use (because my pot is limited) and those include statutory insurance, travel insurance and I think it should include personal liability. A friend was recently injured by a dog who had no insurance and it got me thinking about if mine escaped and caused say a car accident - I could be liable for possible thousands of pounds or worse.

Sou
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# 2
woodys wonders
Old 04-08-2008, 8:04 PM
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With regards to liability for pets, if you take out Pet Insurance this gives you the liability for animals.
For yourself your home insurance gives you liability cover.
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# 3
Soubrette
Old 04-08-2008, 8:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodys wonders View Post
With regards to liability for pets, if you take out Pet Insurance this gives you the liability for animals.
For yourself your home insurance gives you liability cover.
Thanks woodys wonder. My dog is an old boy though and having looked into the insurance and weighed up the pros and cons it is unlikely that pet insurance is cost effective for me - for example I have to pay a high excess and 35% minimum of any claims I do make for the companies I've looked at.

Similar to contents, I just don't have enough high value things to warrant taking out contents on its own.

I was just wondering if there an insurance where I could actually pay for the bit I do want

Sou
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# 4
woodys wonders
Old 04-08-2008, 8:42 PM
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Your best bet would be to contact a local broker, they would be able to give you the best advice.
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# 5
mattymoo
Old 04-08-2008, 9:31 PM
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Best bet might be to take a basic no frills home contents insurance policy, select a low sum insured and a high excess.
This would certainly give you cover for occupiers liability / liability for dogs etc.
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# 6
Soubrette
Old 04-08-2008, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattymoo View Post
Best bet might be to take a basic no frills home contents insurance policy, select a low sum insured and a high excess.
This would certainly give you cover for occupiers liability / liability for dogs etc.
I was wondering the same but if there were any buildings insurance that offered liability (buildings being another insurance I consider necessary).

Sou
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# 7
mattymoo
Old 04-08-2008, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soubrette View Post
I was wondering the same but if there were any buildings insurance that offered liability (buildings being another insurance I consider necessary).

Sou
Buildings insurance (liability section) covers you for Property Owners Liability - for instance a slate falls from your property and injures someone.

Contents insurance (liability section) covers you for negligent acts or omissions you commit as the occupier of the property. This bit would include escape of dogs etc.

Buildings insurance will usually be a mortgage requirement anyway and as you say, it is difficult to self insure against a total burnout. If you already have this cover, have a word with your insurer to see what they can do for you.

I am not aware of any general insurer splitting out the liability covers. Some specialist legal insurers may offer legal cover for pursuing and defending legal cases. The prices for these standalone policies tend to be quite high since most people who buy them have litigation in mind or have a litigous nature.
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# 8
Soubrette
Old 05-08-2008, 6:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattymoo View Post
Buildings insurance (liability section) covers you for Property Owners Liability - for instance a slate falls from your property and injures someone.

Contents insurance (liability section) covers you for negligent acts or omissions you commit as the occupier of the property. This bit would include escape of dogs etc.

Buildings insurance will usually be a mortgage requirement anyway and as you say, it is difficult to self insure against a total burnout. If you already have this cover, have a word with your insurer to see what they can do for you.

I am not aware of any general insurer splitting out the liability covers. Some specialist legal insurers may offer legal cover for pursuing and defending legal cases. The prices for these standalone policies tend to be quite high since most people who buy them have litigation in mind or have a litigous nature.
Thanks for the info mattymoo, very helpful.

I would actually even consider taking a chance on no buildings as we live in a non flood area and all occupants are non smokers which reduces an already low chance of claim to even lower. If the worst did happen then I could always get a second hand caravan to live in in the short term.

However, I have two kids so need a bit more than this to live in plus being attached to a rented house, I don't feel comfortable that if next door (smokers) caused a serious fire that they would be properly insured to cover my house damage too.

I think, though, I'll probably be looking at some basic contents insurance but at least you've given me some ideas on where to look.

Sou
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# 9
mattymoo
Old 05-08-2008, 8:59 PM
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Smoking is a factor in quite a small number of fires (less than 5%).
Major causes are arson, electrics, heating, hot works and cooking. That includes industry as well. Within residential properties, electrical and cooking are the two main causes.

Not all floods are down to rivers and sea levels rising. Flooding from blocked drains is all too common these days.

Not to mention lightning and impact claims.

Insurance is simply a means of risk transfer and in the case of buildings, most people want to be able to transfer that risk. There are very few buildings out there with no cover whatsoever. It does pay to select an increased excess. When I bought my Hiscox policy the premiums were as follows:-
£600 with a £100 excess.
£400 with a £250 excess.
£300 with a £500 excess.
That is for a 5 star highly regarded policy with quite a few frills. I selected a £250 excess but it goes to show premium can be saved if you are not adverse to carrying your own risk (the excess).
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# 10
Soubrette
Old 05-08-2008, 10:29 PM
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Some very good points mattymoo, although there seems to be some contention amongst the figures you've given. For example the halifax seems to agree with you but Avon Fire and Rescue cite smoking as the second biggest cause of house fires. Another website cites cooking as the number one yet another that it's chip pans (seems strange to me as I don't think I know anyone who has an old fashioned chip pan anymore:confused: )

I recognise that I am not usual in my approach to insurance - also that I view my risk as an overall risk plus affordability rather than by event. So I try and assess what the chances are of me having to claim on all insurance as a whole rather than each individual one (in fact this is vital in my self insurance where possible philosophy). So I know I am likely to claim on pet insurance but how much would I have to claim per year to make that insurance viable for me (worked out using excesses and premiums etc) and how likely am I to claim on contents insurance and pet insurance or contents insurance with accidental damage. An imprecise science to say the least but I always have the back up of, in the unlikely event of my 'pot' being depleted by say having to pay for more than 3 insurable events then I can always take out insurance then.

I admit to being reluctant to spread my risk by using companies who not only has to cover their overheads but have to build in a certain amount of profit. I would rather take on the risk myself, have a pot of 'insurance money' and some interesting contingincy plans and take out the minimal amount of insurance for when I cannot cover liabilities but I always have those companies as a fall back if necessary.

It's a gamble but I feel less so than taking out lots of different insurance and in the end only having one or two as worthwhile.

If I had less savings, I would have more insurance, if I were very rich I would probably have none

Sou
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# 11
mattymoo
Old 05-08-2008, 10:45 PM
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You're likely to be correct with your figures - I work in commercial insurance hence the high arson figure. Smoking in the workplace is banned by legislation these days as well.

I know what you mean about self insurance. Until recently we were paying out for 3 cat policies at £84pa each. We kept one policy (for the most idiotic, accident prone cat) and cancelled the other two and put an extra £170 away pa into the contingency pot.
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# 12
Dangermac
Old 06-08-2008, 10:45 PM
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I agree with Mattymoo. Without trying to teach my granny how to suck eggs, it will almost certainly be cheaper for you to obtain a household policy (Buildings & Contents) with a higher excess, than to obtain a personal liability policy. I dont know of any insurer who offers this. Any insurer who did offer such a policy is likely to be charging £500 + as insurers notoriously lose money on liability insurance. It is unlikely that you will get a cheap £50 policy anywhere for personal liability. I agree with self-insurance for things like pets/boilers/car breakdown etc, but a large household claim could be very expensive. Unless you are very cash-rich - which you may well be - can you really afford to pay for a large fire/flood/vandalism/escape of water claim etc. It is always the unexpected that trips people up. Claims do happen - it is a fact of life. It may be worth reviewing your principal - they can be expensive!!!
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# 13
Soubrette
Old 07-08-2008, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangermac View Post
I agree with Mattymoo. Without trying to teach my granny how to suck eggs, it will almost certainly be cheaper for you to obtain a household policy (Buildings & Contents) with a higher excess, than to obtain a personal liability policy. I dont know of any insurer who offers this. Any insurer who did offer such a policy is likely to be charging £500 + as insurers notoriously lose money on liability insurance. It is unlikely that you will get a cheap £50 policy anywhere for personal liability. I agree with self-insurance for things like pets/boilers/car breakdown etc, but a large household claim could be very expensive. Unless you are very cash-rich - which you may well be - can you really afford to pay for a large fire/flood/vandalism/escape of water claim etc. It is always the unexpected that trips people up. Claims do happen - it is a fact of life. It may be worth reviewing your principal - they can be expensive!!!
A fact of life is that insurance companies have to make a profit as well as cover their overheads - this means (as I'm sure you know) that the cost of my claim for example, for contents is not just the cost of my contents -even if old for new - but also the cost of admin including investigating and sometimes paying fraudulent claims plus enough profit to satisfy shareholders - I don't begrudge this, it's a fact of life.

For myself (and I'm talking about contents only here as I am not cash rich enough to cover a buildings claim) I do not have a vast amount of stuff. Most policies seem to have a maximum sum insured, the one I was looking at last night had upto £75000 with a maximum of £7500 for electicals - this is much higher than I need so I have to not only pay for the claim+admin+profit, I'm also subsidising people who have more valuable contents than I do.

Looking at the likelihood of a claim - I'm not convinced (obviously ) that it is a fact of life, companies must turn a profit which means that most people will put more into their insurance than will be claim from it. The more insurance that a person doesn't have, the more statistically likely that they will gain, so a person may lose out by not having pet insurance but may gain by not having dental insurance, contents insurance, life insurance etc.

I absolutely do not advocate that my philosophy is suitable for everyone, I have no debts and so am able to put any premiums saved into ISAs. As far as I'm concerned they are then 'invisible' to me - only available for insurance claims and not for holidays or other luxuries.

As I said before - if I had less savings, I would have more insurance. If I were extremely wealthy, I would probably have none That is a whole different ball game to not having insurance because you'd rather spend your money somewhere else. And as a final insurance, if my pot become dangerously depleted, I can get insurance

Here's a question though - why is personal liability so cheap when added onto a home insurance policy and yet so expensive as a stand alone policy?

Sou
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# 14
Dangermac
Old 08-08-2008, 1:24 PM
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The reason that liability as a stand-alone product is more expensive, is because there is 'selection against the insurer' by purchasing one aspect of cover only. I can see where you are coming from, however, liability claims are expensive, and the insurer needs a decent fund to pay claims and hopefully make a profit. Arguably, the risk is the same, but you then start to get into economics about bespoke policies, selection against the insurer, supply and demand (because few insurers offer a stand-alond personal liability policy). In all seriousness, you may wish to contact an broker who specialises in Islamic clients, because I think (please correct me if I am wrong here) that Sharia law does not permit insurance of possessions, and some of the Islamic community may purchase liability cover only.

With regards to your 'better off without contents insurance philosophy', I am sure that other people share your views. However, it is only once disaster strikes that you may realise how much it can cost to replace contents that have been acquired over a long period of time.

Additionally, the cost of a basic household policy (which automatically inlcudes liability cover) may be very inexpensive, depending on where you live, claims history and your requirements.

Without being rude, I get the impression that you are pretty strong-willed and dont often listen to advice. For what it's worth, my advice is that, if you can obtain a cheap household contents policy, that would be a better solution that messing about with stand-alone liability policies, and will provide you and your family with protection in the event of an incident. Claims ARE a fact of life. They DO happen. Usually when you are least expecting them. I should know - I have seen it often enough.

Sorry about this long ramble. It's just my honest thoughts.
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# 15
Soubrette
Old 08-08-2008, 11:10 PM
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Actually Dangermac I did take the comment about not listening to advice as just a little bit rude and personal. Not name calling rude but not entirely necessary either. I was also somewhat surprised as my response in post #8 to both mattymoos and woody wonders was that
Quote:
I think, though, I'll probably be looking at some basic contents insurance but at least you've given me some ideas on where to look.
. To be honest it reminded me of the heavily pro-insurance stance of a lot of the brokers I used to work with, understandable really as it is their livelihood.

To be fair Dangermac, I have nothing against contents insurance per se, I could have used pet insurance or dental insurance in my example. However, 6 years ago I was divorced and left with nothing except an empty house (and I mean empty - just carpets and a second hand 3 seater sofa a friend lent me while beds for me and the kids were on order) - and was just glad for the opportuntity to start again. I'm not that interested in stuff, it's people I love . Just to underline that you don't know much about me and so cannot assume that I don't know how much it costs to replace items (or the emotional side of having to do so).

I asked the question because I wanted advice, I have some interesting things to ponder, the idea of getting stand alone personal liability is obviously a no-goer but I like to have some information before I go to a broker, I think you'll be somewhat surprised to learn that last night I was looking into contents insurance with personal liability (I was surprised how many actually offer legal expenses but not Personal Liability!)

Do I listen to advice? yes, I listen to all of it. In the end though I make the decision and take the rap for the outcome. Too many people (not necessarily you) feel that their advice = right thing to do. Well it might be the person offering advice but not for the person asking for it. If that makes me strong willed then so be it:confused:

Thanks for your advice though - very detailed and useful.

Sou

Last edited by Soubrette; 08-08-2008 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Edited to add in quote from post #8
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