Newest Review: ... new looking hall which is significantly brighter than the old style. Overall I'm quite impressed with Norwich Union, they run an efficie... more
Insuring my Manhood
Member Name: freediveheaven
Date: 19/01/08, updated on 19/01/08 (270 review reads)
Advantages: Simple to arrange and good claims handling
Disadvantages: Need to specify your contents amount
I have been with Norwich Union now for two years and I feel it is difficult to fully review an insurance company until you have had reason to make a claim; you also need to have experienced the renewal process and also some contact with their pre and post sale customer services centre.
When I took out my policy it was because my long standing insurer and former employer had messed up so I was looking for someone who could arrange cover quickly and at a lower cost than I was paying previously. Initially I used a comparison site and NU were reasonable on price however I have found these sites are useful for an initial search but often you can get cheaper premiums by dealing direct and certainly that was the case with NU where I got the same cover £40 cheaper by going to their website direct rather than through the comparison site. At the time this was also £85 cheaper than my old insurer on a like for like basis (with one exception).
The application process was completed online as this also meant a reduction in the premium rather than using the call centre, it was a smooth process however you do have to have a certain amount of information at your finger tips before proceeding such as the insurable value of your property and in the case of contents insurance the amount of cover you require. Once all the data has been input the cost was confirmed and then you can change things around with regards to the optional extras such as accidental cover, legal protection or change the amount of excess you are prepared to have. All of these options enable you to tailor the cover to suit your needs and also to alter the final cost.
Once completed I found the final paperwork to be sent out quickly within a matter of days and although there was a lot of information included the main policy document was well set out and easy to read. It clearly showed the level of cover opted for and more importantly what was not covered. The key levels of cover were included such as the total sum assured for contents with a break down of other areas such as the cover for items in the garden or garage, loss of personal money and the like.
The premium is then broken down for each category. If you pay by direct debit be aware that an additional 6% will be added to the cost if you pay monthly however I was pleased to see that no additional change was made for paying annually with a credit card.
The renewal process was just as easy, as I have had a claim this year I decided not to shop around and I found the premium very similar to the first year with them, one simple call was all that was needed and I found the call centre staff to be very efficient and polite and able to answer the couple of questions that I had. I even got a bottle of wine and box of chocolates for my trouble.
The real test for a company is how they handle a claim and following the heavy rain in the summer some water got through the roof and leaked through the landing ceiling at the highest point above the stairs. No chance that I would be able to repair it so it was a case of claiming especially as the excess was only £100.
Phoning through my claim again was completely hassle free, they even checked the weather reports for that day to confirm that the storm level was sufficient to include cover to the roof as well as the repairs to my ceiling. Within forty eight hours a loss adjuster arrived to survey the property, he took a few pictures and immediately arranged for a roof inspection to take place the following week. He also agreed that the ceiling would be plastered and have two coast of paint. The previous occupant had artexed the ceiling (which I think is naff) and part of the work was to remove that. At the time I was happy with this and thought nothing more of it as there was only a small hole to the ceiling and nothing else was affected.
The following week the tiles were repaired and I had a call from the decorating contractors to arrange times to plaster and paint the ceiling. They were very flexible with regards to dates (I had to fit in with school holidays) and the work dates were set. The workman arrived on time and completed the plastering in the time agreed. When the decorator arrived I had a stroke of luck as he was not happy with the work agreed and felt that actually the walls should also have the paper stripped and decorated otherwise a dark line would remain on the ceiling. At first I was expecting a request for a back hander however no mention of money was made and after a couple of calls suddenly he whole of the landing and hall were going to be decorated. This did mean that I had to arrange another date but I was getting twelve hundred pounds worth of decorating done for the cost of a £100 excess.
Apparently this disagreement often happens between the loss adjuster and the professionals who do the work so it did not feel like a scam. The rest of the work was done to an acceptable standard, personally a friend who is a professional decorator would probably critique some of the work but I was happy with the job and the whole process was hassle free and I now have a nice new looking hall which is significantly brighter than the old style.
Overall I'm quite impressed with Norwich Union, they run an efficient operation based upon my experience and the service is good. My only criticism is the fact that the contents cover is not unlimited and you do have to specify the contents amount which is a bit tricky and important that you do not understate the cover you need otherwise if you had the misfortune to make a large claim due to fire you may run into problems if they find you are under insured. Given that they offer a range of ways to apply, internet, phone or via an agent I would have no problem recommending them.
Thanks for reading and rating my review.
Summary: Home insurance provider
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