Home protection warning for Scotland as recession threat looms

James Cuthbertson

AN insurance expert is advising property owners in Scotland to scrutinise their cover as economic forecasts suggest a potential recession is on its way.

James Cuthbertson, of insurance broker Lycetts, highlighted the importance of homeowners understanding the risks involved and conducting a comprehensive review of their insurance policies.

He pointed out that economising on home insurance could result in insufficient cover.

“It is sensible to check contents policies, and those who own high value items, such as watches and jewellery, would be advised to make sure they are regularly revalued.

“Such items may have increased in value since purchase, and the sums they are insured for may no longer reflect their true value. In cases where the single item price limits set by insurers – the highest price they will pay out for individual items – is exceeded, it may be necessary to have them listed individually on your policy and insured to their full value.”

He said homeowners embracing the ‘improve not move’ trend, or extending their properties, should be mindful of the risks of building works invalidating policies.

“Contractor liability insurance may not always suffice if anything goes wrong. A contract works insurance policy, however, can provide protection for the property owner and their contractor, the property for the duration of the works, work in progress, building materials, hired-in plant equipment, liabilities, third parties and optional non-negligence cover.”

Cuthbertson also drew attention to cybercrime, which is a growing threat due to the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals and fraudsters, and advances in AI technology.

“People take precautions to lower their risk of being victims of ‘traditional’ crimes by installing security cameras or alarms, but cybersecurity is sometimes an afterthought.

“Cyber security insurance can provide effective protection. Additionally, personal information should be tightly guarded, and anti-virus software kept up to date.”

He highlighted the need for those looking to make longer-term savings by investing in heat pumps, solar thermals or biomass boilers to ensure their insurance company know of their plans.

“Renewable technology can be expensive to purchase and install, so it needs to be included in the sums insured. Homeowners need the security of knowing insurers will pay for any renewable technology that has been destroyed in, for example, a house fire.

“By addressing these considerations, homeowners can better protect themselves and their properties in the event of an economic downturn.

“Seeking guidance and advice from a specialist insurance adviser is recommended, as they can explain how to avoid the pitfalls.”  

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