Archive for the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Category

Who do I speak to if I have concerns about the way my insurance is handled by SiB?

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by t34testarea

We understand that from time to time things may go wrong. We will always listen to your concerns and do our best to put things right. In the first instance you should refer the matter to one of our Team Leaders or Account Executives who will take full details of your concern. They will then give priority into resolving any issues and into putting things right. If you are still not satisfied you may ask for your case to be referred to a Director. In the event that you feel you have a valid complaint you should then follow our complaints procedure.

How do I make a complaint?

If you wish to make a complaint, please contact Jeff MacCalman at:
SiB Insurance
36 Hoghton Street

or contact our office on 01704 500999. If we cannot settle the complaint satisfactorily, you may be entitled to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Details of how will be provided to you in these circumstances.

What is an excess?

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by t34testarea

An excess is the amount of the claim you have to pay. If your claim is £1,000 and you have a £100 excess then your insurer will pay £900 and you will pay £100.

What is a compulsory excess?

A compulsory excess means that the policy you have chosen has that amount of excess, you have to pay it if you make a claim. It is very unusual for a policy not to include a compulsory excess although there are certain sections of your policy which will may be exempt i.e. Employers Liability.

What is a voluntary excess?

In return for a lower premium you can opt to include a voluntary excess but of course this will increase the amount you have to pay if you make a claim. If you don’t make a claim, then you have saved money by adding a voluntary excess.

Does the rent cover under my property owner’s policy pay me if my tenant doesn’t pay his rent?

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by t34testarea

This is a common question and one which is very easy to answer: no.

Rent cover is automatically paid to you if a claim is made under your policy for an insured peril. For example, should your property suffer a water damage claim and your tenant has to move out your insurers will automatically pay the loss of rent to you as part of the claim. All insured perils are detailed on your policy schedule but if you are unsure please contact us.

Can I obtain cover for my tenant not paying his rent?

Yes – Rent Guarantee Insurance will protect you in the event that your tenant fails to pay the rent.

Rent Guarantee Insurance is a relatively small premium and you can tailor the level of cover to suit your rental income. It can help protect you by providing rent arrears cover and can assist you with up to £50,000 of Legal Expenses cover to recover those arrears.

As well as helping you recover rent arrears, the Legal Expenses cover also helps you in the event that you need to evict someone who is occupying your property without your permission or in the event that a person is pursuing civil or criminal proceedings against you as a result of your ownership of the property.

Please contact us for further information or quotation

What is IPT?

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by t34testarea

Insurance Premium Tax is a form of tax that must be added to all general insurance premiums within the UK. The most common form of tax, VAT, is not applicable on insurance, instead the government require you to pay IPT (as it is also known) instead. This amount is collected by us but passed to HMRC. The main law relating to IPT is in the Finance Act 1994.

What is the IPT rate?

The current IPT rate for most insurance policies, including all of the policies sold by us, has been set by the government at 10% but this is due to rise to 12% on the 1st June 2017 following last year’s Budget (there is a higher rate of 20% which applies to some other types of insurance such as travel insurance). All our quotes and invoices will always include the IPT amount. If your policy attracts both rates for different sections of cover we will apply the correct rate per section.

Can I claim back IPT?

The simple answer is no – IPT is different to VAT and cannot be reclaimed. For further information visit

Are there any exemptions?

Some examples of exemptions include:

Insurance for risks outside the UK i.e. overseas holiday homes
Insurance on commercial goods in international transit
Commercial aircraft insurance
Commercial ships and lifeboats insurance

My motor insurance policy says I can drive other cars. What does this mean?

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by t34testarea

If your motor policy provides comprehensive cover then the standard wording on your certificate will be something like:

‘Provided the policyholder is 25 or over, and not employed in the motor trade, he/she may also drive, with the owner’s permission, a car not belonging to, nor hired or leased to them or their partner.

Provided that the person driving holds a licence to drive the vehicle or has held and is not disqualified from holding or obtaining such a licence, and is driving on the policyholders order or with his permission’

This will provide an extension of cover to allow you to drive someone elses vehicle and should be viewed as an emergency cover only. Although your policy may be comprehensive this extension provides third party cover only so any damage caused to the vehicle you are driving will not be covered.

If you require clarification please contact us.

If I have a commercial vehicle policy will I have the same cover?

No. Because the vehicle is often driven by many drivers i.e. the policy may provide cover for any driver over 25, then the exposure to insurers is deemed to be too high to include the extension as part of the standard policy cover.

Why should I use an Insurance Broker?

Posted on: May 20th, 2013 by t34testarea

As an insurance broker we are professional advisers who work on behalf of their clients. We have knowledge of the insurance market and the ability to negotiate competitive premiums on your behalf. We provide expert advice in relation to the risks associated with the property you own and/or the business you operate. We provide professional, technical advice which can be exceptionally useful in the event of claim. We will help to arrange and place your cover with the chosen insurer and can provide advice on how to make the most of your insurance budget.

Because we deal with a wide range of insurance companies we have access to many different insurance policies and solutions. We will be aware of the benefits, exclusions and costs of competing policies. It can be very tempting for a client to source their own quotes without seeking proper advice, understanding the fine print or considering whether they are getting true value for money. This is where we are able to assist you in determining the level of cover that is required. This means that you will always be properly and adequately protected.

As part of our commitment to our clients we assist individuals and businesses to design appropriate risk management programs. These programs are often essential to risk prevention which in turn reduces losses and claims. These strategies often result in reduced premiums.

Because of our extensive knowledge and technical expertise we will always ensure that your claim is dealt with quickly, fairly and with the best possible settlement for you.

Who are the FCA?

Posted on: May 20th, 2013 by t34testarea

They are the Financial Conduct Authority (previously known as the Financial Services Authority). They regulate the financial services industry in the UK.

Why do they do it? The FCA ensure that the insurance markets and financial systems are sound, stable and resilient. That pricing is clear with information that you the consumer can easily understand.

How are they governed? They are accountable to the Treasury and, through them, to Parliament.
The FCA is operationally independent of Government and funded entirely by the firms they regulate i.e. insurance companies and insurance intermediaries.

What are rebuilding costs?

Posted on: May 20th, 2013 by t34testarea

The rebuilding cost or reinstatement value of your property is the amount it would cost to rebuild if it was destroyed. In addition to the more obvious costs of materials and labour, it also requires provision for professionals’ fees – such as architects and surveyors, removal of debris etc

Rebuild costs should not be confused with your property’s market value as they are not the same. Market value is generally higher than the rebuild cost because it includes the land on which your property sits (land and location can account for over 25% of a property’s market value). Rebuild costs do not include the value of the land because when a building is destroyed often the land is not affected.

Why do you need to know the rebuilding costs?

The rebuild cost is how much your property should be insured for and is the amount your insurers will need to pay if it is destroyed. As the owner of the property, the onus is on you to get the rebuild cost figure right. If it’s calculated too low then you may be underinsured. This means that if your property needs to be rebuilt your insurers will not be able to pay the full mount and you will then have to pay the shortfall between the amount the insurance company pays out and the total cost of the works. If it’s calculated too high, then you could be paying too much for your insurance.

How can we help?

Our Risk Manager is on hand to offer help and advice and is qualified to calculate the rebuilding costs of both commercial and domestic properties. Sometimes this is chargeable and sometimes the service is free of charge but either way you will always be provided with a full report.

Can I calculate them myself?

Absolutely, to get a general idea for yourself, speak to a local builder about the building cost per square foot for a property of your type in your area. Then calculate the total square footage of your property, and multiply by the building cost per square foot. Remember to include all storeys, any outbuildings and any significant improvements or upgrades you may have carried out.

What is the MID?

Posted on: May 20th, 2013 by t34testarea

The MID (Motor Insurance Database) is a database of all insured vehicles in the UK and contains information about the policy and policyholder with data loaded by the insurance companies (in the case of commercial motor insurance it can be a requirement that the policyholder updates his own vehicle information).

If you are uncertain as to whether or not your vehicle is on the MID you can check yourself by using If your vehicle doesn’t show up you should contact us immediately as if your vehicle IS insured but not on the MID you could be inconvenienced. The police have access to the MID and ANPR technology (automatic number plate recognition) uses the data stored on the MID. When you take out or renew a policy, or make an alteration to an existing policy, it can take up to 14 days for the MID to show the correct information.

How long have they got to do it?

Insurance companies have a target of 7 days to get your data onto the MID, which is increased to 14 days for commercial, fleet or motor trade policies, but the vast majority of the data is on the MID within a couple of days.

Why was the MID introduced?

The UK has one of the worst records in Western Europe for uninsured driving. It is estimated that one in twenty cars on the road is being driven without the correct insurance in place. Uninsured drivers cost the industry approx £500m per year which adds approximately £33 to each policy.

In view of this the MID was set up by the insurance industry to help combat this crime, reducing the number of uninsured motorists on the road, therefore reducing the cost to the industry of compensating victims of accidents involving uninsured motorists.