Blog - 09/11/2015
’Tis the season… to be burgled
In the last year in London the Metropolitan Police recorded a total of 45,487 reported burglaries of residential properties, and 26,054 reported burglaries of non-residential properties, which included damage caused by burglars in attempting to enter the premises. As the excitement of the impending festive period begins to grow, unscrupulous characters across the capital will be waiting to seize the opportunities presented by residential and office premises being left empty whilst their occupants take a well-deserved break.
Although property owners can often take comfort in the various security measures put in place, even the most modern and sophisticated systems do not always guarantee protection. Indeed, the one saving grace in many instances of burglary is an adequate insurance policy that pays out in respect of the losses suffered.
To ensure that your insurance needs are met this Christmas, you should be advised to consider the following:
- That the sums insured in respect of contents and other valuable items (such as stock and jewellery) are adequate, as the most you will recover is the amount insured, and often items worth more than a certain value must be named on an itemised basis, as they will not form part of your general contents cover.
- That you are not under or over insured, as either instance could result in any claim being adversely affected.
- That you discuss the sums insured in detail with your broker and ensure that you receive adequate advice as to how to calculate the relevant figures and what additional cover you might need.
- That you obtain accurate and up to date valuations of valuable items and provide copies of the valuations to your insurers and/or insurance broker.
Compliance with Policy Terms
- That you review the terms of your policy carefully, to ensure that you are complying with the relevant provisions, particularly warranties and those that are labelled as a “Condition Precedent to Liability”. The policy may include requirements to install specialist locks, safes, and CCTV or approved alarm systems. Failure to comply with such terms could result in any subsequent claim being avoided in its entirety.
- If you have any queries, and because your insurance broker is required to draw to your attention any onerous policy terms, you should ensure that they explain what is required of you to satisfy the policy requirements.
Having an adequate insurance policy in place, which meets all your needs, is crucial. It is also essential that you are aware of the terms of the policy and ensure strict compliance. Failure to give careful consideration to the factors mentioned above could result in a subsequent claim being rejected by insurers (or its value being significantly reduced). It is in those circumstances that we have experience advising both businesses and high-net-worth individuals, following substantial burglary and theft claims, in pursuing their insurers and/or professional advisers.
If you would like further information, please contact Roger Franklin – Partner, Oliver Pannell – Associate, or a member of our Insurance Litigation Department.
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Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.
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