Tenants urged to consider Home Contents Insurance Scheme (21/04/08)

Chairman of Housing & Social Work Committee, Cllr Margaret Davidson and Caroline Skinner launch the new leaflet.

Tenants of The Highland Council are being urged to consider insuring the contents of their homes to avoid the cost of having to replace furnishings and equipment lost by a major incident, such as flooding, burglary or fire.

With its insurance partner Allianz, the Council is providing low cost home contents insurance for tenants. In the last year, the scheme has helped more than 50 tenants replace items damaged as a result of fire, flood or burglary, with claims exceeding £22,000.

While the Council insures the bricks and mortar of its housing stock of 14,000 homes, it does not insure tenants’ personal possessions or furnishings against flood or storm damage or against other disasters such as fire or burglary. It is eager to increase awareness of the need for tenants to take out home contents insurance.

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee, attended the first in a series of awareness raising days at Inverness Service Point on Friday 18 April, when staff of the Council’s Insurance team were on hand to offer advice about the scheme and to help tenants complete application forms. Tenants also had the opportunity to complete a survey about insurance cover.

Councillor Davidson said: “We are concerned that many of our tenants have no home contents insurance cover in place and could be left with no means to replace their personal possessions or furnishings if the worst were to happen. The council is also aware that many people feel they cannot afford this extra cost when living on a tight budget. The risks involved have been highlighted by recent flooding and severe storms, which have caused substantial damage to homes, including those managed by The Highland Council.”

As an added incentive to take out this insurance, those signing up to the scheme as a result of this initiative will get their first week’s insurance cover free. If this initiative is successful, it will be rolled out to other areas. Council tenants can arrange home contents insurance through the Council at a special, low cost rate, and pay the premium along with their rent. This could cost as little as 46p per week for the over 60s, or 69p a week for everyone else.

This covers items such as furniture, TV, clothing, carpets, electrical items and general household goods and also covers the replacement cost of external locks if keys are stolen, as well as the contents of freezers.

Tenants can also choose optional accidental damage cover (with a £50 excess) – this can cost from as little as 21p more a week.

Application forms and information leaflets are available from the home page of Council’s web site www.highland.gov.uk or from Council Service Points or by telephoning the Council on 01463 702417. If anyone needs help with completing the application form, officers will be pleased to assist.

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