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Need to make a claim? You need an expert!

As everyone knows, living in a Listed Property comes with the responsibility to maintain its position in history. However, not all insurance companies appreciate this fact- which is why you must seek the advice of experts in this field – or face the consequences!

How can you test an insurance policy? Sadly, you can't really until you come to claim – and then it can be all too late. It is generally at this time that people read for the first time the 'small print' and discover all the caveats included - and the things for which they are not covered.

When you make a claim it's because something has gone wrong - a tragedy has befallen you, or you have a very real problem with which to deal. Therefore you are at your most vulnerable and need support, guidance and sympathy – not a string of excuses why your claim falls outside of the terms of the policy.

It is vital that listed property owners feel confident that their claims handler understands the different circumstances and requirements that they have – when you are stressed and over-wrought, you don't want to have to explain the intricacies of owning a listed property. Usually a listed property owner will have a claim of some size – they are not renowned for their smaller claims and they need assistance, help and sensible advice immediately. Trust is vital –as is the requirement for professional, pragmatic, practical help – and sympathy.

The variety of claims arising from the listed property market is quite varied, but a common thread is those relating to plumbing! Original installations of pipes and drainage were not designed for modern day living and so any problems with these result not only in their repair, but also perhaps in the restoration work involved in putting right any water damage which may have occurred. Insure with a company who does not understand the complexities of listed properties and you may find that you are not covered for this often very expensive work! The traditional methods used to build listed properties mean that craftsmen are often required to make good damage to the fabric of the building and to ensure that the repair blends in and matches the building exactly.

Being able to choose the tradesmen whom you trust, or have perhaps worked on your property already, is vital to the peace of mind which listed property owners are entitled. It's no use being told by your insurers that you have to use their approved builders – their methods and techniques may not be suitable for your property, and in the long term could cause more harm than good.

When you are buying your insurance it is the time to think ahead and consider how you would want any claim you may have to make to be treated. If you want the peace of mind of knowing you are dealing with caring professionals who understand the special requirements that listed properties have, find an insurance company who is experienced in this market. That way, should you have to make a claim you will not have to waste time and effort explaining what you need and instead you can put your energy instead into getting the problem fixed.

Posted on 5th May, 2010