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Meet the experts: George Seatter, Insurance broker

In the latest installment of our 'Meet the experts' series in which we pick the brains of Cotswolds businesses, from surveyors to solictors, we quizz insurance broker, George Seatter on the benefits of a personal approach, the weird and wonderful items he's insured, plus his top tips specifically for Cotswolds' homeowners...

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After 15 years working for large corporates, specialising in the areas of private client insurance, George Seatter launched Vizion 3 years ago, supporting talented entrepreneurs and allowing them to start up their own companies on a profit share basis. The Vizion team include experts in a wide range of fields including commercial, private health and life insurance. George is able to visit clients in their homes to assess their sums insured to ensure adequate protection and tailor a bespoke single policy to their needs.

Are there any ‘Cotswold specific’ factors that property buyers should consider when looking for insurance?

One important aspect to consider is the reinstatement cost for properties in The Cotswolds is much higher because of the specialist materials needed. A larger number of listed properties and the necessity for Cotswold stone in particular is a factor. There is also a high percentage of clients who buy second homes in the region – most aren’t aware that these require specific cover as most household insurers will only cover a property designated as your primary residence.

I have all the basic house, car and life insurances in place - am I missing anything?

You need to consider the sums insured and whether they are adequate to put you back into the same position you were in prior to the loss. Many people don’t think about it in this way and only realise that they should have when they make a claim. Private medical insurance is a growing area and worth consideration for a lot of clients.

What are the benefits of going to an insurance broker over shopping around online?

Where do I start…….!! Whilst the advent of shopping on-line has undoubtedly increased choice it’s been at the expense of good advice and old-fashioned personal service. The majority of consumers cannot expect to be experts in a subject that they haven’t been trained in - it would be like operating on a family member just because you’ve watched a YouTube tutorial! Insurance is complex… I’ve spend 22 years in the industry and I am still learning!

What’s the weirdest (or most wonderful!) thing you’ve been asked to insure?

We have lots of clients with very diverse insurance requirements, and lots of collectors of art, antiques and memorabilia. One highlight that springs to mind (as I am a lover of books) would be a first edition of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, personally inscribed “to my dear friend Tolks (JRR Tolkien), with best wishes CS Lewis…. Apparently, they were contemporaries at Oxford University.

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Are there any factors that second-home owners need to consider when purchasing insurance?

As I mentioned in an earlier question, most household insurers will only cover the client’s primary residence and whilst it is possible to obtain specialist cover for a weekend or holiday home it is often more expensive. One tip in this area is to take specialist cover and insure your second home alongside your main residence, this will ensure you have much better cover and a more competitive premium.

How can consumers ensure they are covered at the correct level?

Engage a broker and ensure they get independent advice. Complete a contents checklist to ensure that they are not under-insured….or contact me and I can visit free of charge to carry out an inventory!

Do buyers of listed properties need to get specific insurances?

Absolutely, a listed property can often cost up to 50% more to reinstate in the event of a major loss, and this cost of reinstatement can be much higher than the cost of building a new property. Not to mention that English Heritage will insist that the property is rebuilt in keeping with how it was prior to the loss; which can often mean a very large bill!

How do insurance needs change from a young family, right up to retirement?

From a household insurance perspective the major changes are that their sums insured will increase over time as they make more acquisitions. It’s therefore important to annually check that the sums insured are still fit for purpose and that valuations for expensive items of jewellery are kept up to date with current market vaulations. The replacement cost of diamonds, gold and luxury watches for instance has increased dramatically in recent years…we recommend that these are updated as a minimum every 3 years.

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Are there any new laws/legislations coming in that home owners should be aware of in regards their insurance?

There is no new legislation on the way (as far as I am aware), but of course any new government could change this at any point in time….again, this is another strong reason to engage a broker who will keep up to date with what is going on in the industry!

Learn more, or contact George directly at

www.vizionbrokers.co.uk

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