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The Portcullis Voice

Our latest blog posts are below

Subsidence insurance16-Nov-2014

Delighted to have been published in the Sunday Times - Ask the Expert - 16 November 2014.

I was asked to comment on a reader's subsidence issue - see what you think! 

The insurance expert


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Ever wondered what behaviors drive your insurance buying decisions? 18-Jul-2014

We all dislike the annual insurance review. Typically for your average consumer the first reference point will be Price Comparison Websites (PCWs), currently in the news following the FCA thematic review.

What you might not realise, as you key-in your details and are presented with a multitude of offers, is that PCWs rely on a number of buying behaviours to obtain your business, six of which have been identified by the behavioural economists Atticus:

  • Status Quo Bias - no not a prediliction for the aged rockers, but your tendency to do what you've done before, and resistance to change
  • ...

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It might sound strange but have you ever imagined having your own insurance company? 26-Jun-2014

It is probably something you have never considered or never wanted to consider but before you dismiss it out of hand, consider the benefits it can bring!

High net worth individuals, families, trusts and their businesses can now own their own insurance company through the formation of a Captive Insurance Company.

Captives have been used for years as an alternative risk strategy by corporates seeking to insure large complex risks outside of the traditional insurance markets. They benefit from lower insurance premiums, structure capital to generate investment returns, accumulate and...

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Follow the money - Ultra High Net Worth's invest in commercial property26-Mar-2014

Jeremy Waters, Head of International Investment at Knight Frank reported that UHNW clients were looking to diversify their investment portfolios and purchase commercial property, specifically hotels and offices, in the £100m ($167m) bracket, an investment strategy offering yields of between 3.5%-6.5%, with London a primary investment location.

Research carried out by Real Capital Analytics on behalf of Reuters, confirms renewed investor confidence in this sector - globally UHNWs spent $11.2bn on hotels, offices, warehouses and shops, up from $7bn in 2012, with the single biggest deal...

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Global High Net Worth individuals - how many!?31-Jan-2014

Across the globe:

  • We have ~12 million HNW individuals
  • 90% have investable assets of between US$1m and US$5m ( £608k - £3m)
  • Both HNW populations and HNW wealth grew a healthy 10%  in 2011-2012
  • There are 111k individuals, the Ultra HNW, with investable wealth of more than US$30m (£18m) who control more than 35% of HNW wealth estimated at US$46.2 trillion (“In British English, a trillion used to mean a million million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000). Nowadays, it's generally held to be equivalent to a million million (1,000,000,000,000), as it is in...

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Ski Insurance 2 - On the piste?11-Jan-2014

Alcohol taken in moderation and not directly influencing your ability to ski safely is fine, but beware of overindulging and then having or causing an accident.

All insurers include General Exclusions which are restrictions that apply to the whole policy. They are entitled to rely on them and, if appropriate, decline your claim. Personal Accident insurance policies will exclude any claim for your death, injury, illness or disability resulting from you misusing or being under the influence or effect of alcohol and/or drugs.

So, if you are contemplating the consequences of the General...

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Ski Insurance28-Dec-2013

Travelling to the slopes? The Times - Money section - has an excellent check-list for ensuring you and your family are protected.

  • 1 in 7 skiers do not have insurance, and a quarter of all skiers will have an accident or 'near-miss'. Direct Line report 3 or 4 fatalities per year, and Aviva pay an average winter sports claim of £740, although for more serious injuries this figure will be considerably higher
  • If you carry a European Health Insurance Card don't rely on it as an alternative to insurance - it doesn't always match...

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Who pays!06-Dec-2013

In 2013-14 people in the top 1 per cent of earners will contribute 29.8 per cent of all income tax received by the Treasury, currently approximately £150 billion a year. They are typically individuals with an income of more than £160k per year.

But that’s not the whole story. There are approximately 18k people who earn more than £1 million a year and contribute 11.8 per cent of all tax - £17.7 billion - a huge sum!

But add to the equation that there are approximately 5k high net worth individuals with assets of £20m or over, who have their very...

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Exemplary Customer Service03-Dec-2013

A key differentiator in any insurance contract is the quality of customer service at point-of-sale and more critically at point-of-claim. When choosing an insurance provider you should always consider the commercial trade-off between price paid and cover in force. It's like any other purchase, the better the quality the more you pay.

As I have previously advocated, with a lifetime career and experience in insurance and financial services, I view the claims process offered by insurance companies to be key in any decision to purchase insurance - after all insurance is a promise to pay for a...

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Are your assets valuable enough for specialist cover?12-Nov-2013

There are many official definitions of high net worth and what that means. Perhaps you’re not sure whether your assets warrant a Private Client insurer and are not convinced it’s necessary?

Well, here’s how we see it. Consider your hard earned assets for a moment and the total worth of your combined assets may well surprise you. The likelihood is you own a home and cars. Now think of your jewellery collection and if you have any artwork, paintings, ornaments, furniture or even musical instruments that are valuable in their own right and as a collection. If you actually...

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Is specialist insurance important?05-Nov-2013

Put simply, yes. All insurance is not the same and often, luxury goods, high value insurable items and bespoke assets need specific kinds of cover. Arranging the relevant insurance cover for your assets is vital to protect your investments and wealth as your protections and policies need to be designed for purpose.

Your choice is simple. You can go to generic insurers and endure the complex and time consuming task of setting up multiple polices, or you can transfer the responsibility to a company that understands you have a busy lifestyle and, frankly, one that appreciates you have better...

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