Author Archives: Rachel Ewing

Renovating, refurbishing or extending your home?

Make sure you have the right cover is in place.

If you’re one of the many thousands of people who are considering turning their homes into building sites as you undertake extensive, renovation, refurbishment or the extension of your home, you need to be aware that your existing home insurance policy is highly unlikely to provide you with the cover needed to protect what is probably your most valuable asset.

Where major building works are taking place, the delivery of plant, machinery and materials, hazardous processes involving the application of heat, the creation of debris and disruption and access to your property by an increased number of individuals, your home is extremely vulnerable.

However, where the structure and contents of your home are concerned then some insurers will simply withdraw cover completely, even where your current insurer agrees to continue cover it’s likely to be on a significantly reduced and highly restricted basis.

To complicate matters further, employing a professional team to plan, oversee and execute your project will bring with it a range of contractual obligations which you, as the homeowner, will need to address.

Architects tend to work with ‘off the shelf’ Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contracts which offer a good template for dealing with all aspects of the works being carried out and the relationship between the builder and homeowner. So, under JCT contract conditions, you may be obliged to insure in ‘joint names’ with your chosen contractor, both in respect of the existing structure of your home and the works being undertaken.

In these circumstances your existing home insurer loses its right to pursue your contractor to recover the cost of any claim(s) they have to pay, even where the contractor has been negligent. For this reason insurers can be very reluctant to maintain insurance on a joint names basis and will reduce the extent of your cover, potentially putting you in breach of your obligations under the JCT contract.

At the same time, your existing insurer won’t normally cover the actual work being undertaken leaving your contractor to do this. Should your contractor arrange inadequate cover or, in the worst case scenario, not arrange cover at all then, should the worst happen, you will be left exposed. Equally, if the contractor breaches any of the policy conditions its cover might still not respond in the event of a claim.

Clearly, building sites can be dangerous places. If your builder injures a visitor you might think that it is its insurance that will pay. However, the injured visitor is likely to view you, the owner and instigator of the works, and hence the risk, as being responsible and claim against you.

Another risk is that there could be gaps between the policies and, in the event of a claim, two sets of insurers negotiating over what constitutes the existing structure of your home and what the contract works, is likely to complicate the position still further.

The answer is to take out the right cover for the job. At Green Park Insurance Services we can provide a single, unified cover that eliminates the risk of grey areas and cover overlaps and ensures your property and liability exposures are protected and that you have the cover you need against your contractual obligations too.

Our insurers policy have been designed to fit the requirements of standard JCT contracts – where required it can be written in joint names – providing a tailored, individually underwritten policy on what is termed an ‘All Risks’ basis (which includes theft, malicious and accidental damage and subsidence as standard).

If you’re planning to renovate, refurbish or extend your property, please contact Rachel Ewing on 07557970707 or email



Tailored Commercial Property Insurance

Green Park Insurance Services Ltd (GPIS) is a specialist general insurance broker in the private client and commercial property markets, providing expert advice and structured insurance programmes for high net worth individuals and investors in property. GPIS delivers a tailored approach to these very different areas of insurance.

Our Commercial Property Insurance team looks after over £10 billion worth of commercial property, catering for a variety of requirements, from providing straightforward office policies to arranging complex property insurance portfolios for developers and investors. Due to our enviable market position and reputation, we are well-placed to negotiate very competitive commercial property insurance policies with leading insurers, so you can rest assured that your business and it’s most valuable assets are protected by financially secure institutions.

We can package a commercial property insurance policy that includes public liability cover, either as a stand-alone product, or as part of a package to encompass other arrangements, which may include covers such as Directors & Officers Insurance or Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Whether you require an simple office policy, detailed cover that includes expensive equipment or extensive arrangements for a development portfolio, we have the experience and specialist knowledge to arrange a commercial property insurance policy that is both comprehensive and competitive.

Simply call Rachel Ewing on 07557 970707
or email:

Child’s possessions at University

A simple guide to looking after and insuring your child’s possessions at University

Did you know that…

Students take on average £4,000 of possessions with them to University

(Source: NUS)

As your children head off to University, whether they are staying in Halls of Residence or sharing a house with their friends, there are two things you need to consider to help them: How are they going to look after their possessions; and is there insurance for their possessions?
Simple tips for students:
  • Always ensure that you lock doors and windows when you go out- even if it’s just to the kitchen in a Hall of Residence.
  • Don’t leave valuables in full view of the window.
  • Get a cheap ‘pay as you go’ mobile to take with you on a night out – then it won’t matter if it’s damaged or lost.
  • Back up your essays and projects! That way all your work is not lost if something happens to your computer.
  • Get a laptop lock to secure your portable computer to your desk or workstation.
  • Rather than spending money on ‘specialist’ or ‘standalone’ policies which cost on average £150 per year, your home insurance may be extended to cover you with no additional outlay.

Ensure you are covered by following these simple steps:

  • Calculate the replacement value of the items your child will be taking with them.
  • Typically this will include clothes and bedding, laptop, mobile phone, mp3, camera, musical instrument, books, hair straighteners, sports equipment.
  • Call Green Park Insurance Services to check your level of cover. Most of our Household buildings and contents policies automatically cover student possessions up to at least £5,000 and some have no limit to the cover provided.

Green Park Insurance policies can provide the following within your Household insurance cover:

  • Cover for your child’s possessions on a Worldwide, All-Risks basis – no need to specify what is taken out and about
  • Accidental damage is covered as standard
  • Most policies include cover for “walk-in theft” (i.e. even if force / violence was not used to access the property)
  • Some of the policies will also cover your child for Tenant’s Liability, meaning damage caused to Landlords’ property can also be covered
Useful Contacts: Green Park Insurance Services – Rachel Ewing–07557 970707

Take steps to prevent damage to your home during cold weather….

Did you know that… Escape of water claims rose to £755 million in 2008 (Source: Datamonitor)

Here are some simple steps you can take to help you avoid this unpleasant experience:

Make sure you are prepared for winter by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure that exposed water pipes and tanks in the loft are properly insulated. Do not insulate underneath water tanks so that the warmth from below will help to prevent the water from freezing.
  • Leave your heating on constant i.e. 24 hours per day, during severe freezing temperatures.
  • Know where your main stop valve is located and make sure you can turn it on/off with ease.
  • It’s also a good idea to label it so that all the household are fully aware of its location in an emergency situation.
  • Repair dripping taps. It’s usually just a washer that’s needed.
  • A constantly dripping overflow pipe is a sure sign that your system requires some maintenance.
  • If, during freezing conditions, the heating fails or makes loud banging noises, this could indicate that a pipe is freezing. Turn off the boiler and call a plumber immediately.

When you leave your home unoccupied:

  • If you plan to go away, no matter how short a period, leave your heating on – constantly if a cold spell is predicted.
  • Check if any unoccupancy conditions will apply to your insurance policy.
  • Do isolate the domestic water supply if your home is to be left for a long period.
  • Leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate into the loft space.
  • Even if you leave your home for longer than one day, ask a neighbour or relative to check the house regularly so that any problems can be detected and dealt with immediately.

Follow these simple steps should you experience a burst pipe:

  • Turn off the water supply at the main stop valve.
  • Contact an approved plumbing and heating engineer for assistance.
  • If you should locate a frozen pipe, NEVER use a naked flame to thaw it out. A hot water bottle or hairdryer on low heat will assist in achieving a gradual defrost, always starting from the end nearest to the tap.