Home Insurance and Contents Insurance at Christmas

16. November 2011

Christmas insuranceHave you heard this story?

A wealthy couple receive an unexpected surprise. They receive two tickets to the theatre in a competition neither of them can even remember entering.  What a nice surprise!

So, on the night, they get all dressed up, go into town and enjoy the show.

But when they return home later that night, they find that they've been well and truly burgled - ­ the thieves (who obviously arranged the whole thing) have taken the opportunity to clean them out of their valuables. Home insurance, or no home insurance, a cunning stunt, a good story and, if you've ever experienced a burglary, a very unpleasant and scary experience.

And so now, as we head toward Xmas, I thought it worth telling another story of an incident which happened a few years ago in our local area. More...

Curb Appeal

13. October 2011

Curb Appeal - House FrontPropped up in bed this morning going through my emails, watching TV, the programme's subject turned to the state of the UK property market. It's in stagnation apparently. We're not moving at the moment so that in itself wasn't of any particular interest.

However, to close the interview a property expert was asked what, in this stagnated market, was the one thing he advised property sellers to do to increase the chances of a sale.

We've all probably heard the stories about making sure the smell of freshly baked bread fills your house, that it's tidy of clutter and that all your best and most expensive collectables and electronic items should be placed sparklingly on show. But apparently, before prospective buyers walk through your door, the most important thing you can do is to give your property 'Curb Appeal'. The presenter on the TV thought the expert had said 'curve appeal', wondering if shapely young lady estate agents were the key to the sale. More...

Space. The Final Frontier. De-clutter Your House the Russ Wall Way

4. October 2011

Star Trek Enterprise D Bridge - Photo by Kreg SteppeBeen tidying the house this week. A sort of Autumn Clean, making space for newer clutter to take the place of the older clutter I'd done my best to forget about. It doesn't half help you focus, not only on how the years are rolling by, but also as to when is the right time to throw things away?

Videos and DVDs and, for that matter, old TVs, CD players, cassette decks and a worryingly large collection wide shouldered suits ­ will I ever really need them again? Will my insurance clients ever require me to 'power dress'?!

In the case of music and films (and my Star Trek 'The Next Generation' Video Collection), before long you'll just be able to stream them all (legally ­ don't get me started on digital piracy) anyway. So why keep them? More...

Cats, Computers and Home Insurance

19. September 2011

Cat drinking milkWhat is it about cats and computers? What is it about a computer keypad that's so irresistible to felines? It's not just about heat, it's like they are compelled to type sending us strange alien messages we're just too stupid to understand. For example, what does this mean I wonder?

;;;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;;;; 999990iii i00000 iiiiiioooo ooooo oooooooo oooo00

Probably on some distant planet of cats it's the meaning of life.

Cats also have a habit of discovering Computer Key Commands you never knew existed. For example, after one recent visit from Trouble (the cat) my computer started speaking to me. More...

Me, my home insurance and my wardrobe

31. August 2011

Goth Couple - Photo by Alan Johnson from UK (Goth)I think I dress normally. Others, it seems, think otherwise.

I suppose I do wear a bit more colour than most men (not difficult) and I suppose I do attempt to dress a bit differently from other men (not difficult), preferring to be an individual rather than a member of a herd.

It's not like I'm Quentin Crisp, the Marquis of Bath or anything, I don't go out of my way to be outrageous, I just find most High Street men's clothes unbelievably dull. Dull in colour, dull in design and, often, dull in cut.
Dull clothes for the dull sex?

And it's not just the high street. Try Camden Market. There's every conceivable sort of women's clothing on offer but for men?! More...

Not Playing at Home

24. August 2011

Football - image by Gordon FloodHere we are! It's summer, time of sun, holidays, shopping with violence (as UK rioting is now brilliantly termed), long overdue home improvements and... football. Hooray!

Football. Why? It's only just finished and it's back on again, omnipresent on the TV and in houses up and down the UK. Give us a break. OK, so I don't have to watch it - I don't - but its like it's here again, like an over paid alarm clock, ticking off my life, another football season (strike that; football YEAR) upon us, another year over, another year older and closer to death.

Sorry, is this getting depressing? Too right it is, same teams, same ones winning, same ones losing. Nothing changes, it's just an opiate for the masses, something seemingly exciting to take their minds off just how mundane their lives have become (apart form the occasional shopping with violence). More...

UK Riots: Making An Insurance Claim For Property And Vehicular Damage - Updated

15. August 2011

london met police in riot gearDue to the recent unrest in the capital and various other major cities in England, many people may have concerns regarding their insured property and vehicles and what to do in the event of loss or damage as a direct result of the riots.

Information regarding riot damage is laid out at the foot of this piece, but I will also sum up some of the crucial points to remember.

It is important to be aware that should you suffer from losses or damage as a result of the London riots that you now have a 42 day period from the onset of damages or losses occurring to report any claims against the local authority. We would still recommend that you should contact Performance Direct or your relevant insurer within 7 days to allow the processing of the claim to commence as soon as possible.

This concession was announced this morning (15 August) in Parliament. The increase from the statutory 14 days to 42 days in light of the scale of of the recent riots across the UK will allow for a more comprehensive assessment regarding each claim.

If you have been prevented from returning to your property (for safety reasons for example), you will still need to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can, even though the claim itself may take some time to fully assess. More...

Imagine No Possessions

8. August 2011

Photograph By Roy KerwoodI've just returned from a very brief trip to the USA staying in the Hollywood Hills in the home of a very famous songwriter. I won't mention his name but I guarantee you would have heard his songs. You probably even know all the words.

In short, this man is loaded. His home, perched on a cliff with an infinity pool and a forest for a garden must be worth millions. And it's not his only house of course. He owns homes and buildings across America and in the UK too.

But, and here's the amazing part, what do you think he chooses to furnish his luxurious homes with - designer furniture, the latest audio visual and computer technology, Persian carpets, rare artworks, painting and jewellery? Er no. The answer is basically, nothing. Well not much anyway. More...

Me and My Amazing Curtains

28. July 2011

curtainsA few years ago we did up our house. Basically the building was spilt into two flats in the 1960s and, when we got married in 2002, we managed to buy both flats and decided to turn the house back into one. Got that? Good!

There was a huge amount of work to be done ­ the building had two electric systems, two water and heating systems, two front doors and had to be decorated throughout. We needed new stairs, a new bathroom, new kitchen. The list went on and on.

But this blog isn't really about all the building work we had to do (although I may well return to this subject for later blogs), it's about the curtains in our front room. More...

The End of Habitat

25. July 2011

Habitat - Photography by John S TurnerI remember when I longed to fill my home with exclusive items from Habitat.
Not so long ago, the lighting, the suites, the swivel chairs, the kitchenware and even the rugs promised an enlightened new world of designer charm.

But now it's all gone - apart from the Habitat name which will live on in a few flagship London outlets. So where did it all go wrong and where did Sir.
Terence Conran's iconic 1960s brand lose it's way?

I feel like I should be mentioning Home Insurance here for a moment together with cheap buildings and contents cover but I'm not exactly sure why.

Back to homes and Habitat and why did it all end in loss and liquidation? More...