As well as helping customers secure mortgages, The Mortgage Brain in Gloucester can help with home insurance policies, too.
SoGlos spoke to its head of mortgages, Rupert Swetman, to get his expert advice on everything from when buildings insurance needs to be arranged, what landlords' insurance covers, how payment protection insurance could be beneficial, to why now could be the best time to invest in life insurance.
About the expert - Rupert
Swetman, head of mortgages at The Mortgage Brain
Rupert Swetman is head of mortgages at The Mortgage Brain, which prides itself on making sure its advisers are with you every step of the way, whether you’re buying you first home or have owned a property for many years.
The Mortgage Brain has over 30 years’ experience helping customers find the best mortgage. Its unique Mortgage Search System is continually updated with the latest offers from the widest range of lenders, allowing advisors to rapidly locate the best deal to suit a client’s individual circumstances.
Do homeowners need buildings and contents insurance when they take out a mortgage?
It is a requirement of your mortgage that you have buildings insurance in place and your solicitor will need a copy of your policy document in order to complete on your purchase.
Buildings cover is needed from the point of exchange, as this is when you become liable for the property.
If you are purchasing a new build home, cover will be needed from the point of completion, as the house builder will cover you from exchange.
We advise that you start looking at buildings and contents insurance as soon as you can to ensure you have time to look through any quotes in detail and have the cover in place ready for exchange/completion; we can provide a range of competitively priced policies for your requirements.
I'm buying a leasehold flat in a block of eight, how do I get buildings insurance cover?
If you are buying a leasehold flat, or one with an annual service charge, it's likely that the buildings insurance will be bought collectively by the managing agent and divided between the leaseholders, so it’s worth checking to see if buildings insurance is covered within this charge.
The leaseholder will be able to provide this information to your solicitor as part of the conveyancing checks.
If a buyer has never had life insurance before, but is now buying a property with their partner, should they both get it?
Life cover is generally set up to ensure that your mortgage can be paid off when you or your partner dies.
Ideally, you might want to exceed that amount to make sure that there are some funds available for those left behind, enabling them to get through a difficult emotional and financial period as painlessly as possible.
We highly recommend our clients have life cover in place. Once we have discussed your requirements in more detail, we can provide a quote to suit your budget and needs.
We also consider any employee benefits, such as death in service, and include these as part of your cover, so you only have the cover you require.
Now we have had children, we are worried how our family will survive financially if one of us dies suddenly. Is there any protection available to give us peace of mind?
You can look at family income benefit, which provides a regular, monthly or annual, tax-free payment for your loved ones left behind.
It can cover a 10- or 20-year term, whatever is more appropriate for you, and is usually designed to keep paying out until your children have grown up, so you have complete peace of mind that your family with be financially protected.
This type of policy does not have a cash value at any stage.
What is landlords' insurance and what does it cover?
Getting the right landlords’ insurance to protect your property against unforeseen issues with tenants or damage due to adverse weather conditions or structural problems is key to maintaining the value of your investment and protects your legal liabilities as a property owner.
Depending on your policy, it could protect you for fire, smoke, lightning, storms, flooding, earthquake damage, vandalism, subsidence, accidental damage to the locks or theft of the keys, and alternative accommodation for tenants while repairs are being completed.
Landlords’ insurance gives you peace of mind that if the worst happens, your property and its contents are protected from damage or loss, alongside your legal liabilities as a property owner.
Is there a way for people to protect their income if they fall ill and can't work?
If you have an accident, serious illness or find yourself without a job, having payment protection insurance in place will help you get back on your feet, providing you with another income when you’ve lost yours. You can have full accident, sickness and unemployment cover, or just standalone unemployment cover.
There will normally be a deferred period attached to the policy, which is the length of time you wait before the monthly benefit is paid.
We will consider any sick benefits you get through work if you are applying for the accident and sickness element of the cover – our expert advisers can show you a range of policies to suit your individual needs.