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Winter Risks Advice

Winter risks advice for property owners – Our holiday home insurance and household insurance underwriters, Ecclesiastical have produced these useful Winter Risks Advice guides for property owners for us to share with you.

Winter Risks Advice

The extremely cold winters of the last few years have led to many businesses, let property, home and holiday home owners sustaining losses from burst pipes, weight of snow on roofs and ingress of water. With the weather once again turning decidedly chilly, now is the time for us to take action and protect our properties.

Last year our holiday home insurance and home insurance household scheme underwriters Ecclesiastical handled just under 2,000* burst pipe claims which caused considerable inconvenience to the property owner and cost an average of £3,627* each to put right. Unoccupied properties such as holiday cottages can be particularly at risk of very expensive claims during the winter months. A high proportion of the £50,000* plus claims last year occurred in properties where the owner was away for no more than a weekend break. There are a number of simple but effective steps property owners can take to both prevent and reduce the impact of cold weather on their properties.

These useful winter risks advice guides are full of hints and tips and are available to view, download and print:

For further information check out the following useful resources:

*Statistics from Ecclesiastical Household claims data, March 2011 – March 2012

Boshers website as displayed on a range of devices

www.boshers.co.uk our Specialist Insurance Solutions website has had a major makeover.

Boshers insurance all new web design - same friendly team

Boshers insurance website as displayed on a range of devices

Boshers insurance has continued to develop it’s brand by launching a new website and integrating it’s popular blog. From our HQ in Devon, Boshers deliver specialist solutions for holiday home insurance, home insurance, let property insurance and business insurance to landlords and business owners across the UK. With emphasis always on trusted advice and the service that you deserve from your insurance broker, Boshers website is a facilitator to the broker client relationship and not a replacement for real time discussions. We still truly believe “it’s good to talk”!

www.boshers.co.uk is a portal to enhance your customer experience, a resource for useful guides and information about Boshers and how to contact us. The design and build of the new site was undertaken by digital design company DGTL.net who won the contract for their beyond the box approach and eye for detail. The brief included improving accessibility across a range of browsers and devices whilst pulling together all the best parts of our previous site and insurance blog. DGTL.net developed the site around Responsive Web Design, an approach that suggests website design should respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on the device and browser used to surf the web.

Boshers new website is flexibly designed so we can change and develop the content to meet our customers needs. Please help us by viewing the site on your web enabled devices, whilst we have tested it thoroughly there are bound to be some gremlins. We welcome your feedback!

Somerset County Gazette

A holidaymaker died after a tragic accident at a holiday cottage near Porlock, an inquest has heard.

Somerset County Gazette

Angela Turnball from Bournemouth was 55 when she fell down stairs at a property on Horner Farm last year.

To read the full story `Tragic death at holiday cottage newar Porlock’ as reported by the Somerset County Gazette on the 3rd September 2012 visit their website here

This is an extremely sad story which we are bringing to the attention of holiday home owners via our holiday home insurance blog in the hope that similar accidents may be averted.

Guidance on making your holiday home safer for you and your guests can be found in our recent post:- Limiting the risks of slips and trips in your holiday home

For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:

Thank you for reading Tragic death at holiday cottage near Porlock.

For information on specialist insurance for commercially let UK holiday homes, cottages and apartments visit Boshers insurance website at www.boshers.co.uk/holiday-home-insurance

Listed Holiday Home Insurance

Whether your heritage self-catering holiday let or holiday cottage letting complex is a Grade 1 or 2 Listed Building in England or Wales or a Grade A or B Listed Property in Scotland our listed holiday home insurance may meet your needs. In this post entitled Scared Of Listed Holiday Homes? – Not Us! – Listed Holiday Home Insurance we explore how we can help you with your listed holiday home insurance requirements. Subject to standard underwriting factors including post code area and property construction being acceptable we will endeavour to help.

Holiday Home Insurance for Listed Properties

Our Holiday Home Insurance policy includes extra cover. This additional cover includes an extension to meet the local authority conditions made under the Planning ( Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and amending legislation (or equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland) following damage by any of the insurable events should these costs exceed the cover provided within the buildings  sum insured. Subject to a maximum payment under this extension of 20% of the sum insured. Costs are also included towards archaeological and rescue work that may be necessary following property damage.

Listed Holiday Home

Our holiday home insurance scheme is underwritten by Ecclesiastical who were the first UK insurer to offer bespoke heritage and listed building insurance and now insure more grade 1 listed buildings than any other insurance company. The benefit to you is that you can rest assured that in the event of an insured peril affecting your listed holiday home, together with Ecclesiastical we will have the expertise to understand your specific requirements as a listed buildings owner in the event of an insurance claim.

Treat yourself to an insurance quote for your listed holiday home!

You may find the following holiday home insurance articles of interest:

   

C500 Key Safe

C500 key safe
One benefit of our holiday home insurance policy is that the comprehensive cover provided to holiday home owners accommodates the use of Key Safes to make it more convenient for guest changeovers. All our underwriters ask is that you take sensible precautions such as those covered in our previous blog post, You, Your Holiday Home Insurance and Key Safes.

As part of our service to holiday home owners, we like to inform you of products, services, risk advice and legislative changes of interest to you as a furnished holiday let owner. Whilst we are not in a position to directly endorse the C500 key safe ourselves we were suitably impressed with it to warrant this blog, with the proviso that other key safes are available..

Read on for details of the C500 – The UK’s first Police approved key safe.

For your guests, gaining access into your holiday home is often a challenge. A key safe can provide immediate access for authorised visitors using a unique combination. This guarantees secure access 24/7, allowing visitors to arrive and depart whenever they need to. It’s why 86% of Local authorities use this method to deliver care into the homes of vulnerable people they support.

Police Approved – Key safe designs can vary greatly, not just in terms of looks but also levels of security.

Supra UK were concerned that some key safe products actually put people’s homes and vulnerable people at risk. This concern prompted Supra to carry out extensive market research to understand what customers wanted from a key safe. It highlighted that 80% of people said that the most important key safe accreditation was gaining Police approval. This was a tough challenge but essential to meet customer requirements.

Supra are absolutely delighted to announce that the Supra C500 KeySafe ™ has now achieved LPS (Loss Prevention Standard) 1175 level 1 security rating; this is the same level of security provided by a domestic front door. Gaining this independent security rating then enabled the C500 to be Police approved, through the Secured by Design (SbD) scheme.

This makes the C500 and only key safe on the UK market to be approved by the Police.

installing a key safe

What experts think of the C500 KeySafe:

“Now that the C500 KeySafe has achieved LPS and; SbD accreditation this should be the only key safe that is specified – it is a very good product”

Peter Bennett, Thames Valley Police

“We have no hesitation in saying that out of the five key safe products evaluated, the Supra C500 is the only key safe worth considering.”

Dr. Kevin Doughty – Centre of Usable Home Technology (CUHTEC)

Supra are confident that the C500 KeySafe is the most attack resistant on the UK market. If you are in any doubt on the suitability of a particular key safe, please contact your local Crime Prevention Officer.

Find out more at www.keysafe.co.uk

Find out more about holiday home insurance from Boshers Ltd by clicking here.

Installation from Supra UK Ltd.

C500 key safe | longer screws for rendered walls

Please note that with effect from September 2014 The Key Safe Company have made a small but important change to the installation fixings supplied with the C500 police approved key safe. They are now supplied with 60mm long self-tapping masonary screws, these longer screws are more suitable for fixing through rendered walls, negating the need to knock the render off of the wall before fixing. Find out more about the C500 improvements to key safe installation fixings.

Holiday home owners considering a key safe will also find this blog post of interest: You, Your Holiday Home Insurance and Key Safes.

UK Holiday home owners may find our latest email news bulletin of interest:

Seven Tips For Safe Holiday Home Letting 

We are pleased to announce that we will be moving to newly refurbished purpose built offices on Monday the 22nd November 2010.  

Our new offices have extensive IT and phone sytems to further improve our efficiency and service standards.

That said, it is possible that our phone systems will be down for a time between 3:00pm and close of business at 5:00pm on Friday 19th November.  Apologies in advance for any inconvenience.

Our office opening hours remain unchanged, they are 8:30am until 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Please call us on 01237 429444 if we can be off assistance or visit https://www.boshers.co.uk/ for more information.

Our new address is: Boshers Ltd, 14 Habat Enterprise Park, Bideford, Devon, EX39 3HN 
  

We look forward to servicing the home, business, let property and 
holiday home insurance needs of our clients from our new location.
 
Find us here – Boshers Ltd on Google Maps
 

BBQ Safety for holiday home owners. Barbecue summer or not, if you provide a BBQ for your guests to use at your holiday home you would be wise to give this consideration in your risk assessment and provide some safety guidelines for your guests.

You may wish to consider some of the following tips:

Many people are injured each year because they did not take a few simple safety measures. The following guidance will make sure that your barbecue is a SAFE success:

  • Ensure that the barbecue itself is stable and located on level ground
  • If there is a wind blowing, make sure that the wind is blowing away from you when you light the barbecue (just in case it flares up).
  • Ensure that you are not wearing any loose clothing that could flap onto the lighted barbecue and ignite.
  • Keep the barbecue well away from overhanging obstructions such as tree branches, and keep a safe distance from fences, etc.
  • Under no circumstances use any flammable accelerant (such as methylated spirits, paraffin or petrol) that has not been recommended by the manufacturers.
  • Should you choose to use lighting fluid, the manufacturer’s instructions must be adhered to.
  • DO NOT SPRAY THE LIQUID ONTO A LIGHTED BARBECUE.
  • When lighting the barbecue, do so at arms length (rather like Fireworks) and do not put your face over the range.
  • Keep children away from the barbecue when lighted and after cooking has finished, as it may still be hot.
  • Dispose of the charcoal safely after the barbecue has cooled completely.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or garden hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Once lit, never leave a BBQ unattended.

Gas Barbecues

  • Always check the condition of all pipes and connections before lighting.
  • Make sure that the barbeque controls and cylinder are turned off fully before changing the cylinder.
  • If possible always change cylinder in the open.
  • Do not keep more spare cylinders than you require.

When you have finished with a bottled gas barbeque, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbeque controls, this ensures that any residual gas in the pipeline is used up.

  • If a gas leak is suspected check connections and pipes for leaks by brushing with soapy water and looking for bubbles. Tighten but do not over tighten joints. If unsure do not use and seek specialist advice.

Beware – many BBQ accidents and injuries have occurred as a result of drinking alcohol. Don’t cook and drink.

FOOD SAFETY HYGENE TIPS

  • Buy food from reputable suppliers and ensure it is fresh
  • Wash salads and raw vegetables well to remove surface contamination. Do not prepare these foods too far in advance.
  • Cleanliness is important – make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and keep them clean at all times
  • Thoroughly clean out the barbecue removing any food memories of last summer
  • Defrost meat and poultry before cooking them
  • Keep raw and cooked foods apart and use separate utensils for each to prevent the transfer of germs
  • Don’t add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat
  • Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has been used for raw meat.
  • Cook food one batch at a time
  • Keep all meats and perishable foods refrigerated until you are ready to use them . If food can’t be kept in a fridge then place them in a cool bag or box with ice packs.
  • Barbecue meat thoroughly until the juices run clear and no pink bits remain
  • Check food is piping hot before serving
  • Keep serving bowls covered to protect them from dust, insects and pets.
  • Eat food as soon as it is ready and throw away any leftovers.
  • Remember: Meat that is burnt on the outside does not mean that it is cooked on the inside. If possible pre-cook chicken and sausages then transfer straight to the barbecue for that barbecue taste. When you reheat food on the barbecue, always make sure it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.

For other informative articles check out these blog posts of interest to holiday home owners. They contain information and guidance to challenges faced by you whilst managing your holiday home, holiday cottage complex or holiday apartments.

For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:

Campaign Launched to fight rural tax bombshell. A campaign has been launched to fight proposed tax changes that could impact on thousands of rural business across the region.

Hidden in the small print of last week’s Budget were plans to change the tax regime for people who let property as holiday accommodation.

The Government, in an effort to bring the UK in line with EU law, is planning to scrap various tax reliefs available on furnished holiday lets.

Cornwall-based accountants and tourism specialists Winter Rule say the changes could have far-reaching implications for the rural economy by severely reducing the stock of quality holiday accommodation in the south west.

The firm is now gathering evidence to present to Treasury Ministers before the new Finance Bill – which is published on today (April 30) – is given Royal Assent in June.
The South West has around 40% of the UK’s self catering sector, and 20% of visitors to the region come on self-catering holidays.

The campaign is being led by Winter Rule tax partner John Endacott, a national expert on entrepreneurial tax issues who makes regular representations to the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs on tax policy.

He said: “The Government is content to suggest that this is all about second homes but the impact could be felt by real businesses such as hotels with self-catering accommodation, backpacker lodges, holiday parks, static caravan sites and purpose-built holiday complexes with shared facilities like swimming pools.

“It seems that Ministers simply haven’t thought this through and what we will be arguing – with the support of the industry – is that there needs to be a clear definition of what constitutes a trading business in this sector. Instead the Government is suggesting it will treat them as something different, thereby losing them the tax advantages they are entitled to.
“There is a big risk that the proposed changes will cause the stock of high quality holiday accommodation in the West Country to reduce, which will have a damaging impact on our economy at this difficult time. Perversely, this change could even lead to an increase in second homes if holiday accommodation is sold off.”

Endacott is planning to host a round-table discussion with industry leaders to gather evidence on the potential impact of the changes for his Treasury submission, and is already in contact with colleagues in holiday regions across the UK including Scotland, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Dorset.
The current rules include tax relief for expenditure on furniture and equipment in rental premises and relief for current year losses. The Government is planning to abolish the rules from April next year, although the full details have not yet been published.

Tracey and Jeremy Griffiths run Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre in Newquay, and have furnished rental property on the site that currently qualifies as a trading activity.
Tracey Griffiths said: “Small business always seem to lose out in these kind of changes. Larger businesses have the ability to absorb changes such as these but for us it has a fundamental impact on what we are trying to achieve, which is a successful business employing local people and trades people.”


The campaign is already attracting widespread support.
Malcolm Bell, chief executive of
South West Tourism, said: “Our region has around 40% of the country’s self catering sector and it’s a massive contributor to the rural economy. But there seems to be a view in Whitehall that this is not a real industry with people running real businesses, and that’s a total misunderstanding of the whole sector.
“This is a classic case of the law of unintended consequences and what Ministers have to understand is that these properties can have 35 to 40 families going through them a year, supporting local shops, pubs and restaurants, and aren’t just let out for a handful of weeks. Looking ahead in a difficult market, the self-catering sector is likely to become even more important and is a very good quality offer, so we do not want to see punitive tax changes that stifle investment.”