Unlimited Abode


Specialist listed property and building insurance broker, Abode are best-placed to offer a wealth of knowledge when it comes to correctly insuring your property. Natalie Flaum spoke to expert Steve Hook to explore more

What advice would you give to homeowners of listed, historic properties?

Take time to walk around your property and grounds and look at what makes it truly unique - then ask yourself a question – if there was a fire, storm, damage or a large escape of water, would your insurer pay the actual cost to repair your home with all its listed features?

What is bespoke insurance and what does it cover?

Listed properties are unique - a ‘standard’ insurance policy doesn’t give the level of cover required. There’s only a limited number of insurers that will cover a listed property, so unless you’re an expert and can make an informed decision without advice, it’s very likely that you’ll have gaps in cover which will result in what the industry refers to as ‘underinsurance’. When it comes to repairing or rebuilding a listed property following an incident (e.g. flooding, fire etc) the repair costs tend to be much more than you would expect. Why? Basically, because materials and specialist tradespersons are hard to obtain and more expensive, so your insurance policy needs to allow for this.

What key services do Abode Insurance offer?

We offer access to a team of listed property insurance specialists. We only place insurance for listed and period homes. Over time, our advisors have become very experienced at guiding clients through the process of insuring their homes correctly with minimum fuss. We don’t follow call scripts or a fixed process. Each advisor is responsible for their own clients and will learn as much as they can about each individual property. We are entirely focused on what is important to each client, so that when we approach insurers to negotiate terms, we always recommend a policy that meets their individual needs. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach, whether we are insuring a listed cottage, townhouse or a country manor, they all have specific challenges, which is why we always take the personal approach to match a client’s needs with the appropriate insurer and not the other way round.

Why use a chartered insurance broker?

Chartered status is only awarded to firms that satisfy rigorous criteria relating to professional qualifications and ethical good practice as laid down by The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Clients can be confident that they’re dealing with one of the UK’s leading insurance advisory firms that’s committed to providing the best possible advice, service and support to its clients. Chartered firms must adhere to the CII’s continuing professional development requirements, ensuring that their employee’s skills and qualifications are up to date.

What’s the most important piece of advice when insuring a new property?

Take your time. Rushing into arranging insurance is like driving a car wearing a blindfold. We know insurance is often thought of as a necessity and not a priority. When it comes to insuring a listed property, you’ll be so grateful when an expert gives accurate and sensible advice in plain terms, so all you have to do is decide which option is best.

Any pointers on insuring fine art, antiques or valuable possessions?

Let’s face it, very few people have the time or inclination to check regularly if their fine art and valuables are insured to the correct value. What you purchased 5 or 10 years ago can cost double, treble or even quadruple to replace today. An experienced advisor will check this for you. When your insurance renewal occurs, our advisors work with their clients to check that high-value items and insurance terms match up. If you’re not sure about the values, we can even arrange for a professional valuer to visit and appraise for you. We often advise clients with a large collection of high-value jewellery and watches to insure these with a ‘floating limit’. In simple terms, this means that the insurer offers cover to an agreed financial value to allow for items that are worn regularly while the rest of the collection is stored in a rated safe. This allows clients to ‘mix and match’ what they want to wear, without paying a premium based on the total value of their high-value items. You’ll still need to keep items in a safe when they’re not being worn, but this is a more flexible and cost-effective option over insuring everything at the same level.

Have you witnessed any demographic trends emerging in the last few years relating to client needs?

Breaking and entering has gone digital. Just because a property is several hundred years old, it doesn’t mean that the insurance policy shouldn’t protect the owner from digital fraud or theft. Insurers are still finding their way in this regard, as the amount of data available to assess risk and exposure is still quite small. I expect to see a gradual increase in costs for Cyber protection as it becomes more and more prevalent in everyday life. The more it happens, the more insurers have to pay out. The good news is that insurers are meeting this need head-on, with a large number of new products and providers entering the market every year – so, hopefully, this will still allow policyholders to obtain cover at a sensible cost.

What are the biggest challenges clients face in the world of insurance?

The issue of ‘underinsurance’ is a real concern to the insurance market. It’s estimated that nine out of 10 properties in the UK are insured for the wrong amount with the vast majority (79%) of them being underinsured for an average of 69% of the amount they should be insured for.* Why is this? Partly as a result of the growth of digitisation, online distribution and price comparison websites. Insuring a property and its contents is simple to manage yourself using the Internet. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t automatically mean that it is the most accurate method. We know small properties, recently constructed using cheap materials, can be insured for less than £200. Generally speaking, the value of contents will be proportionate to the value of the property. It’s only when the property is larger, older and built with specialist materials that the value of an expert advisor pays real dividends. Contents collected over many years gather value over time. There’s little point in paying an insurance premium if the level of ‘underinsurance’ is so significant as to make the premium worthless.

What are you currently working on and how do you approach each client project?

You won’t be surprised to hear me say ‘underinsurance’. This is a problem that could be compared to painting the Forth Rail Bridge. By the time we’ve finished, we’ll need to begin all over again. The rapid increase in the cost of building materials and labour means that most property owners will find that the limits included in their policy are probably insufficient to fully cover the cost of repair or replacement in the event of a claim. Over just a few years, the gap in cover can become worryingly significant for many property owners. Our focus is on working with informed clients who understand the need to seek qualified, professional advice, who want a relationship that’s accessible and reliable and, in the event of a claim, who know that their decision to appoint Abode to look after their insurance arrangements was undoubtedly the right one.



Abode Affiliates

  • Alleyne Real Estate
  • Blevins Franks
  • Coldwell Banker
  • Crane Resorts
  • Monaco Real Estates
  • RDO
  • St Francis Links
  • Unique Home Stays
  • Yoo
  • Worldwide Dream Villas
  • Enigma Yachts Limited
  • Cornerstone Tax Advisors
  • Pedini London
  • Alexander James
  • Moore Stephen
  • Ibiza Transit Express
  • Oyster Yachts
  • Jumeirah
  • Wall Street Luxury
  • Heron Real Estate
  • Edenhurst
  • MG&AG
  • Gama Property
  • Touch Design Group
  • St Edward
  • Ultra Villa
  • Luxury Italian Living
  • Habitat First Group
  • BDO
  • 7Storeys
  • Worldwide Property
  • Dimora
  • Dominic McKenzie Architects
  • Harry Manning
  • Smart Living
  • Isle Blue
  • MAS Marbella
  • Millgate
  • Jersey Finance
  • guernsey-relocations-logo
  • viberts-logo
  • kpmg-logo
  • author-interiors
  • Wilkinson Beven
  • BoConcept
  • Ante Vrban
  • Deborah Garth
  • You home
  • Ra Shaw Designs
  • Caudwell Collection
  • accanto-interiors
  • Fritz Hansen
  • capital-rise
  • jarrods-staircase
  • neil-davies-logo
  • Tina Shone Group
  • Taplow riverside
  • Aimo
  • ns-ceramics-logo
  • Rusk
  • Consilium Expert Group
  • Ben Krupinski Builder
  • Swoffers
  • Guernsey Relocation Services
  • Douglas Graneto
  • Strutt & Parker
  • wilsons
  • MJC Associates
  • plainspace
  • Fine & Country
  • Bramble Ski
  • Penthouse queen
  • Sarco_Affiliate_Logo
  • taylor wimpey
  • cooper-gardner
  • M Design Architects
  • codan
  • Lovells
  • London DE
  • Prime Lands Group
  • Bellegarde Estates
  • Sinclair
  • Pippa Paton
  • Ecole d'Humanite
  • Benedek Lewin
  • Inspired Villages
  • Huelin Homes
  • Gaudin
  • Lovells Property
  • Racecourse Lodge Logo
  • Paseo
  • Lemay + Escobar
  • Octagon
  • Locate Isle of Man
  • Newlands of Stow
  • Hawksford
  • Holdun
  • Schule Schloss Salem
  • AR Architecture
  • lazaro
  • Sella Concept
  • Blakstad
  • miller interior
  • Wealth Club
  • Yellow House Architects
  • Designer Touches
  • Zafiro
  • Nicole Murray
  • Scout Boats
  • Emerson Insinkerator
  • Forsters
  • https://www.cullenhomes.co.uk
  • https://www.londonlight.works

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