Spotlight on our Real Estate Team

Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes 47 seconds

At NIG, we’re taking steps to ensure our policies are up to date with the high standards our brokers expect.

We’ve recently refreshed our Premier Property Owners policy, hired new specialists, joined forces with our Social Housing Team and rebranded to the Real Estate Team. The change in name reflects the increasingly broad scope of our products.

To explain our updates, let’s meet:
• Peter Foulger, Head of Real Estate
• Ross Maitland, Senior Real Estate Underwriter
• Zoe Fleet, Real Estate Underwriter
• Katie Whitehead, Real Estate and Social Housing Underwriter

Updated Premier Property Owners wording

We’ve updated our Premier Property Owners wording, including additional clauses and enhanced limits. Look out for:
• Embedded cover for malicious damage by tenants with a £10,000 limit in any one claim
• Increased cover on residential risks for alternative accommodation up to 33.3% of the sum insured
• Capacity for any one property now increased to £100m sum insured

We asked Ross Maitland to explain why and how these changes came about:

“We want to offer brokers and their clients our best proposition and service.

“We’ve added a number of new things to our Premier Property Owners package. We now cover malicious damage by tenants, plus we offer provisions for obsolete building materials, tree felling and lopping, underground services, gardening equipment and emergency access.

“With alternative accommodation, we previously had a limit of 20%. We’re increasing that to 33.3% and our policy applies that percentage to the day one uplifted sum insured and not the declared value like some other insurers, giving our brokers and their clients comfort that the sums insured are more than adequate.

“And we have doubled our maximum sum insured, meaning we’ll now write properties up to £100 million. This will give us the opportunity to write larger commercial risks and shows our appetite to be the brokers’ choice in the market.”

Valuation bursary towards a professional valuation

We know many of our clients have difficulty providing accurate rebuild valuations, which leads some property owners to underinsure their properties. But, as Peter Foulger says:

“When our customers have a claim, we want to be able to pay it in full. The last thing we want is to have to go back and tell them they were underinsured and that we can’t pay all of their claim.”

That’s why NIG can now offer a free valuation as part of our proposition on selected quotations. As Peter puts it:

“We want to be able to help our customers by assisting them with the cost of getting an accurate rebuild valuation, so they have full indemnity in the event of a loss.”

Peter says this is especially important for clients who have listed or complex buildings, when calculating the true reinstatement cost can be more difficult than it is for a standard building. It’s the best approach for our clients and brokers, as well as for NIG, to ensure we provide the most accurate level of cover for all the buildings we insure.

Waiving underinsurance clauses for clients with a recent RICS valuation

In addition to the valuation bursary, NIG has a condition in the Premier Property Owners policy which waives the underinsurance condition if the client has a RICS valuation from the last four years and indexation has been applied at each renewal.

As Peter explains:

“This clause is designed to encourage our clients to make sure their rebuilding cost valuations are correct and up to date. If they are, they can sleep easy knowing that any claim won’t be reduced due to underinsurance.”

Specialist sector experience

Zoe Fleet is a new addition to our Real Estate team. She has a combined experience of over 11 years as an underwriter at AXA Insurance & AXA Corporate Solutions. Alongside her underwriting role, Zoe also worked for a period of time as Relationship Manager, which was great experience from a learning and development point of view and also provided an increased awareness of the London Market.

We asked Zoe, what is the most valuable asset you bring to the team at NIG? She said:

“In Real Estate, you need to have the specialist knowledge of what potential hazards to look out for, in terms of occupancies, construction, location etc. It’s essential for property underwriters to be able to spot risks quickly, including any associated perils including fire and flood risks, along with any trends in claims.”

Katie Whitehead is based in Manchester and travels regularly to London to meet our broker partners. Katie deals with our social housing accounts together with a portfolio of other residential property risks. She has worked for NIG for more than three years, has recently completed her Cert CII and she is now developing her technical underwriting skills. Katie says:

“One of the really good things about NIG is that they have a lot of expertise in property owner’s insurance, not only in our underwriting teams but our experienced surveyors are also a great source of expert knowledge. I really enjoy providing the best level of service I can to our brokers and believe that if you can form a great working relationship, it goes a long way in resolving the day to day problems we all face! I seem to learn something new every day. This helps develop my skillset which in turn improves the service I provide – and of course, it makes the job much more interesting!”

At NIG we have a range of products which can cater for the needs of property owners. Our Premier Property Owners product is tailored to meet the needs of mid-market property risks including commercial, residential and mixed portfolios. For a specialist and effortless Real Estate service, contact the NIG Real Estate team today to find out how we can help you and your clients.