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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!

holiday home gutted by fire

Holiday Home Insurance specialists, Boshers Ltd advise furnished holiday let owners to review their cover and in particular to check that sums insured are correct.

Mark Lavington, Director of Boshers Ltd said that, “many holiday home owners will find that their holiday home insurance falls due for renewal during the Spring and early Summer as this is often when properties were purchased or began their life as furnished holiday lets.

This is therefore a poignant time to ensure that you have sufficient cover and especially that your sums insured are correct, as underinsurance can cause holiday home owners major financial issues”.

Please read Holiday Home Insurance | A guide to calculating your Sums Insured for more information.

Should you require any additional guidance, a holiday home insurance quote or a revised quote to increase your sums insured, please contact a member of Boshers Holiday Home Insurance Team on 01237 429444 or visit http://www.holidayhomeinsurancequote.co.uk/ 

Furnished holiday lettings have for many years benefited from being treated as a trade for income tax purposes giving commercially let holiday home owners some tax advantages over other lettings. 
The special rules for Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL) for 2011-2012 have changed and they will change again in 2012-2013. There are significant changes regarding the Qualifying tests and it is for this reason that HMRC have released an advanced copy of Helpsheet 253 – Furnished Holiday Lettings to help owners plan their lettings in order that they may continue to qualify.
FHL Qualifying Tests for 2011-2012 and for 2012-2013 and later
All three of the following tests must be satisfied if a letting is to qualify:
1. The availability condition (availability test/threshold) – during the period (normally the tax year), the accommodation is available for commercial letting as holiday accommodation to the public for at least 140 days (210 days for 2012–13 onwards).
2. The letting condition (occupancy test/threshold) – during the period the accommodation is commercially let as holiday accommodation to the public for at least 70 days (105 days for 2012–13 onwards).

3. The pattern of occupation condition – the accommodation must not be let for periods of longer-term occupation for more than 155 days during the year.

 
For those contemplating longer lets of 31 days or more, be warned that these will not qualify towards your qualification. More information is available in HMRC’s Helpsheet 253 – Furnished Holiday Lettings and your normal tax adviser. You may also wish to begin discussions with your holiday home letting agent on what measures you may need to take in order to maximise your occupancy rates and therefore continue to qualify from the valuable FHL tax benefits. 

As furnished holiday lettings insurance specialists our holiday home insurance policy holders benefit from cover that is designed around the needs of commercially let holiday homes, apartments and cottages. We have no restrictions on the number of weeks that your second home may be let throughout the year. For more information about holiday let insurance, visit www.boshers.co.uk 

As all good holiday home agents and owners know, there are responsibilities that come with letting your holiday home commercially, one of the most important responsibilities at this time of year is gas safety – Boshers Ltd the UK holiday home insurance specialists says that agents and their landlords really must ensure that their gas appliances are safe. Landlords and holiday home owners can face large fines and potentially harm their tenants or guests if gas appliances don’t comply with gas safety regulations.

Recently a landlord was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay over £2,000 in costs after breaching Gas Safety regulations and failing to fulfil his responsibilities as a landlord, according to the Central Office of Information. 


Landlord Anthony Brownson persistently ignored requests by the council to produce a landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate and in the meantime his tenant had been left with a faulty boiler system and without a safely working fire during one of the coldest winters in recent times. 


The landlord pleaded guilty to a breach of gas safety regulations by failing to carry out an annual safety check on gas appliances between April 2007 and March 2011. He also admitted an offence of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice between December 2010 and March 2011. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,089.25 in costs. 


HSE Inspector Dr Angus Robbins, who investigated the case, said, “In addition to the risks of fires and explosions from faulty gas appliances, many people are made ill, and some 20 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year owing to poorly-maintained gas appliances. Landlords’ duties are very clear – they must ensure gas appliances are checked for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer and provide their tenants with a copy showing that the appliances and flues were operating operating safely at that time. HSE will not hesitate to bring landlords before the courts when they are prepared to risk their tenant’s safety for financial gain.”


Mark Lavington Cert CII, Director of Boshers Ltd, says, “Holiday home owners must, by law, make sure gas appliances in their rental properties are maintained and have a gas safety check carried out every 12 months by a registered Gas Safe engineer. If holiday home owners don’t ensure their gas appliances are safe, they could end up with a hefty fine, harm their guest’s health or even potentially kill them through Carbon Monoxide poisoning.” Guidance on gas safety for holiday home owners can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/gas/landlords/index.htm 

As Britain is once again being battered by rain, wind and snow we would like to remind our holiday home insurance policyholders of the conditions applying when your holiday homes are unoccupied.

It is likely that over the coming months your holiday home may be unoccupied for periods of time. It is for this reason that I would like to remind those of you who benefit from Boshers Holiday Home Insurance cover, of our Unoccupancy Conditions.

The wording is as follows:
Unoccupancy – It is a condition that whenever the premises are left unoccupied you will arrange that the premises are inspected at least every 14 days by you or by an authorised person responsible to you.

In addition the following applies between the months of October to March inclusive: 
You will arrange that either:

  1. ..the heating system is brought into operation and a minimum room temperature of not less than 45°F or 7°C maintained throughout the property or
  2. ..the water is turned off at the stopcock inside the premises and the domestic water system drained and other services such as electricity and gas disconnected (other than as necessary to maintain the central heating or security systems).

If you fail to fulfil the above conditions cover will be restricted to damage by Fire lightning explosion earthquake and by any aircraft flying object (or items dropped from them) vehicle train or animal colliding with the buildings.

Full pdf policy wordings are available to download in the left hand column of the Holiday Home Insurance page on our website.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to phone our holiday home insurance team on 01237 429444.

Treating your holiday let to a maintenance check will help keep your holiday home safe for you and your guests and reduce the risks of holiday home insurance claims.

  1. GAS AND OIL SAFETY – Do you have Gas or Oil fired appliances? If yes; arrange for a registered gas or oil engineer to service your appliances in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and to carry out annual safety checks as applicable. Inspect and test your Carbon Monoxide detectors.
  2. SWEEP CHIMNEYS – have your chimneys swept if you have an open fire, gas fire, stove, woodburner. As well as reducing the risk of chimney fires, keeping your chimney clean will prevent blockages and the build up of poisonous carbon monoxide in your holiday home.
  3. ESCAPE OF WATER – Mains water tap – ensure you can turn it off and on. Check for dripping taps – repair them if necessary. Check your loft space, water tank and pipe lagging. If unoccupied, programme your heating system in order to maintain a minimum temperature to prevent burst pipes and water damage, or turn off the water and drain the system.
  4. UPDATE RISK ASSESSMENTS – Have you updated your risk assessment? Record your results. Include a visual check of portable electrical items, checking for damage such as fraying power cables. If in doubt have your portable items inspected by a qualified electrician or replace them with new ones as necessary.
  5. STORM DAMAGE – Inspect the roof for signs of slipped slates or tiles and have repairs carried out where needed.
  6. FIRE SAFETY – Have you checked your Smoke Detectors and replaced the batteries? Diary for periodic checks.
  7. FLOODING – Have you cleared your drains, gutters and down pipes to keep them free of leaves and debris?
  8. SECURITY – Repair broken fences, gates and boundary walls.
  9. SLIPS AND TRIPS – Have you considered cleaning garden paths to remove build up of moss, lichen and algae, which can often be slippery?
  10. FURNITURE – inspect your furniture to ensure that it is sturdy and fit for purpose. This should include your garden furniture which you should consider storing undercover for the winter to prevent it rotting or degrading in the cold weather. Replace as necessary.

Boshers Ltd have compiled this list as an aide memoir for owners of commercially let holiday homes in the UK. It is not designed to be exhaustive and Boshers Ltd will not be held responsible for errors or omissions.

Boshers are Independent Insurance Intermediaries and have been arranging specialist holiday home insurance for owners of commercially let UK holiday homes since 1990. For further information and quotes visit www.boshers.co.uk/holiday-home-insurance or contact the holiday home insurance team on 01237 429444.

Holiday Home Insurance Specialist, Boshers Ltd has received the 2010 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than 400,000 small organizations worldwide. Boshers is one of Constant Contact’s 2010 top performers and most prolific user of its email marketing tools.

Boshers Marketing Director, Mark Lavington, commented; “We’re happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for our use of email marketing tools to update our Holiday Home Insurance clients and prospects.” 

A BIG THANK YOU to all of our holiday home owners who have engaged in our newsletters!” 

To access back issues of our newsletters please click – Holiday Home Owner Newsletters

Theft Of Heating Oil

The cost of heating oil has increased significantly recently and this has resulted in more thefts of oil from holiday homes and elsewhere.

The first indication that a theft has taken place is usually when a holiday home’s heating system fails to work. The assumption is often made that the boiler is at fault, but regrettably the problem is often simply no oil. Thefts vary from small amounts being stolen, to the whole tank being drained. The methods used by the thieves can be very crude, including drilling or punching holes in the side of the tank and then filling jerry cans. Resulting pollution of the ground and water by oil is a costly business and can lead to your property being unavailable for holiday letting to guests whilst the environmental damage is put right. It’s not hard to see how a few large claims like this can result in higher premiums for all to cover the costs.

Theft of heating oil from holiday homes

So what can holiday home owners do to prevent such losses?

  • Monitor the level of oil in your tank regularly and ask your housekeeper, caretaker and/or a friendly neighbour to do the same in your absence.
  • Conceal the location of the tank by using hedging, fencing or walling.
  • Securely lock doors at all times if the tank is situated within a building.
  • Install security lighting to cover the tank if the holiday home is overlooked from nearby buildings.
  • Ask nearby residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.
  • Encourage high occupancy rates, which reduces the time available to thieves.
  • Padlock the valve. This may not always be the correct course of action, as thieves may smash the valve completely, but it can deter a less determined thief.
  • Install an alarm devices which creates an alert if the oil level suddenly drops or if the lock is attacked.
If you are unfortunate enough to have a theft of oil at your holiday home, ensure that you report it to the police immediately and inform your holiday home insurance provider of the incident. Check your policy carefully to ensure that you have sufficient cover for loss of oil and adhere to any inspection warranties.

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Boshers commerical insurance and holiday home insurance teams have settled into our new office without too many hitches.

Our phones have been busy with both new enquiries and a flurry of claims as a result of the very cold weather experienced across the UK recently.  

Details of our new location and a link to our google map can found at https://www.boshers.co.uk/ or call us on 01237 429444 for quotes or general insurance enquiries.