For home owners, insurance is part of the tick list when buying a property. But what about if you’re living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA)? Cat Calder, AFF Housing Specialist, explains why it is still vitally important that you are adequately insured against all eventualities…
Living in SFA and SSFA means that you are a licensee and are not classed as tenants, so standard home insurance policies don’t cover the potential liability for damage as a result of fire or flood which is proved to be your fault. AFF strongly encourages all families living in SFA or SSFA to take out liability insurance to the value of £20,000 – the amount currently recommended by DIO – in addition to contents insurance.
CarillionAmey, or your local maintenance provider if overseas, will not pay compensation for damage to your belongings unless it is clear that the issue was a result of their negligence. Even if they are found to be liable, they will pay to the national standard – which includes depreciation – so you may not get enough back to cover the purchase of new items. While you may be advised to put in a claim as part of a complaint, be aware that it is very unlikely that it will be authorised. When moving, make sure that you transfer your contents insurance to your new house so that there are no breaks in cover.
It’s important to note that your home contents insurance most likely does not provide adequate insurance coverage whilst your items are in transit. Your household contents insurance will only usually be adequate for a local move and not for moves overseas (including Europe), storage and self-pack moves. Remember that if you make a claim against your own household or motor policies, there may well be a sizeable excess which you will need to pay and the claim will ultimately go on your record and affect the premium you pay at the next renewal. This will not be the case with proper removals insurance.
If you’re taking out insurance to cover goods while in storage you will find it very difficult to ensure against damp and mould – AFF advises you to check the small print so that you are sure you are adequately covered.
Finding the right insurance
The Services Insurance & Investment Advisory Panel has a number of insurance providers on its website that can organise policies designed specifically for Army families. Visit siiap.org/l2o for more.