Home Insurance

We understand the importance of protecting you home from the unexpected. Buildings Insurance is a requirement when you complete on a mortgage.

If you own or are responsible for an unoccupied property this winter, there are some things you need to be aware of to avoid unnecessary property damage.

It all comes down to freezing water – if your property isn’t prepared, you may find yourself having to claim for escape of water! When water

in pipes freezes, it expands and can cause the pipe to crack. Then, when the water thaws again, you have to deal with some potentially serious leaks.

First things first – is your insurance adequate?

Check your policy or speak to your broker to find out if your property is covered for escape of water from frozen pipes. Be sure to review your policy schedule, endorsements and policy wordings for any reference to ‘escape of water’ cover.

Lag your pipes and turn off the water.

There are a couple of things you can do to try and prevent pipes freezing. Simple lagging of pipes will help to keep whatever heat is present inside the system, as will turning off the water at the stopcock or stoptap and/or draining the system.

Maintenance is vital.

As with all aspects of owning an unoccupied property, proper ongoing maintenance can save a lot of money. When the weather takes a turn for the sub-zero, make sure to refit washers on any dripping taps. If they freeze, they’ll cause blockages in your pipes.

Check your property!

It is important to make sure you regularly check your unoccupied properties internally over very cold spells – and that includes all attic spaces. It might seem like a chore, but just think of the effort and expense you’ll be saving in the long run!

Talks about flood insurance are at “crisis point” and could leave 200,000 homes without cover, according to an insurers’ body.

Many thousands more householders could see premiums rise if no deal is struck between insurers and the government

click here to Read full story

It’s so easy to buy Protect your bubble Bicycle Insurance online. Just a few clicks and you’ll be covered instantly.

But how much should you insure your bicycle for? The best way to calculate the level or amount of bicycle insurance cover that you require is to think about the value of your bike, plus the value of any extras that are attached to the bike such as locks, mud guards, pumps, bells, bottles, mirrors, computers etc to give you a total amount.

Bicycle Insurance

Think about how you use your bicycle. If you use it for a commute and have an expensive cycle bag attached, you will need to include the cost of that accessory when you choose a cover limit.

If you regularly take your children on the back of your bike and you have a child seat, you’ll need to take that into account when choosing the amount of insurance that you need.

If you’ve built your bike up from scratch, make a list of the parts and their cost, work out how much it would cost you to replace the whole lot, if it were to be stolen, or individually if it were to be damaged.

Always keep receipts to show how much your bicycle cost you and how much any additional extras cost too, as your insurer will ask you for evidence in the event that you need to make a claim.

What happens if I under-insure my bicycle?

If you insure your bike for less than what you paid for it, although you will pay a lower price for your insurance, in the event of a claim your bicycle insurance will only pay out a proportion of the bike’s true value and won’t offer a replacement service, so it is very important to give an honest evaluation of the cost of your bicycle and all of its additional extras at the time at which you get your quote.

Protect your bubble Bicycle Insurance starts at just £1.99 per month for bicycles (and their extras) up to and including the value of £250. You can pay your insurance premium in one go with a credit card or by monthly direct debit. Excesses start from just £25 per claim or to waive the excess, just tick the ‘no excess’ box during the online quote process.

Insure my bicycle today


Do you need gadget insurance?

Well, with things like mobile phones, laptops and sat nav’s a part of our everyday lives, imagine how much more difficult life would be if the items you rely on were not there anymore.

For example, have you ever tried to find a working telephone box when you are out and about? Or, if you relied on your sat nav, how would you get home when you are in unfamiliar territory without it? The impact of being without these things can be surprising!

Most of us probably don’t give much thought as to what would happen if these items were suddenly stolen, damaged or lost. However, without them, even putting aside the practical side of things as to how we’d manage, the financial aspect of having to replace these items can be substantial too.

And that is where Gadget Insurance comes in – this innovative product can protect your gadgets and electronic items against such things as theft, mechanical breakdown and accidental damage (including liquid damage).

You can insure your gadget against loss too. If you select the loss option, for an additional £1 per month, we will replace your gadget should you lose it. Loss cover isn’t available for laptops or iPads.

So, is Gadget Insurance for you?

Get quote for Gadget Insurance cover at Protect Your Bubble


Install security lighting – illuminate your visitors for their safety as well as your own. Unwelcome visitors are less likely to loiter if they’re in the spotlight.

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is causing some concern with some lenders and valuers. Some weeds are invasive and can grow through the brickwork of a property causing severe damage, as with the case of the Japanese knotweed.

Japanese knotweed was introduced to Britain in the 19th century as an ornamental plant but it has become widespread. Japanese knotweed can grow through concrete and tarmac, the plant can grow a metre in a month and a 1cm section of underground stem can produce a new plant in 10 days!! These stems can remain dormant in soil for 20 years before producing new plants.

With lenders reviewing the policy on Japanese knotweed it could now be a case that the lender will not go to offer, however some lenders will consider going to offer if you have the Japanese knotweed eradicated and can provide a certificate of guarantee for a minimum number of years.

If you think you might have Japanese knotweed you should Contact the professionals. Members of the Invasive Weed Control section of the PCA are qualified and regulated in Japanese Knotweed management and can deliver efficient, effective and reliable treatment.

Do not ignore Japanese knotweed when you see it in your garden or building plot. It can grow quickly and costs will grow as the plant does. If you want information on Japanese Knotweed, a good first step is to read through the Environment Agency Guide – Vegetation Projects.

Keys – Don’t leave them in obvious places such as under a doormat. Also beware of ‘hook n crook’ thefts – where house or even car keys are left so close to a door that a burglar can simply hook them through a letterbox.

Installing a good home security system – A NACOSS standard alarm can cut premiums with many of Insurance providers.

Home SecurityNACOSS stands for National Approvals Council for Security Systems.  It is an independent, none – profit making supervisory body. NACOSS exists solely for the purpose of ensuring that member companies comply with the industry standards and codes of practice.

Home Security

Have you had a system fitted, but not advised your insurer – you should as you might be able to reduce your premiums.

If you do not have a home security system fitted, then you may wish to consider getting one, firstly you are securing your home and personal contents and also your buildings insurance premium will be reduced.

For a personalised competitive buildings and contents quotation, give us a call on 01489 580020 or email on info@parkgate.net

Suitable locks, you should change the locks such as when you move to a new house as you never know who might still hold a key. It is important to change the locks to prevent others gaining access. Insurers state that you should fit Five lever mortise locks on your external doors and two bolt locks for your windows.

If you change the locks when you move to a new house, you will know exactly how many keys you have and who holds them.

For a personalised buildings and contents quotation, give us a call on 01489 580020 or email on info@parkgate.net

Home insurance Gutted by fire

Almost two million people in the UK have no home insurance.

Contrary to what many householders believe, it means even if damage is caused by someone else, they could lose everything.

The BBC’s Paul Lewis from Radio 4’s Money Box reports on the loss suffered by villager Violet Grainger, when her neighbour’s chimney caught fire.