GA policy relaunch gets down to basics

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The Independent Online
GENERAL Accident is relaunching its household and motor insurance policies. The aim is to cut insurance costs by letting policyholders buy the basic levels of cover they need and pay extra for added benefits.

Policyholders can also cut premiums by agreeing to pay up to pounds 250 on each claim (the excess).

Householders and motorists who are insured with General Accident's existing policies can continue to have these renewed if they wish, but all new policies sold through brokers will be under the new terms.

The new products are called HomeOptions and MotorOptions. The basic HomeOptions contents policy includes cover for fire, flood, theft and accidental damage to home entertainment equipment. For a higher premium, householders can add accidental damage cover for freezers and for removals carried out by professional firms. The customer can also buy worldwide accidental loss or damage cover on any item likely to be removed from the home, including money. This option covers fraudulent use of credit cards.

Homeowners who want both these extra forms of cover will be advised to take out the more comprehensive HomeMaxplan policy.

Premiums for all the policies are based on the number of bedrooms. The standard excess on HomeOptions is pounds 50 but this can be increased to pounds 250, for reduced premiums.

The MotorOptions policy offers basic comprehensive or third party, fire and theft cover. Customers pay extra for breakdown assistance, replacement car hire and legal expenses. There are discounts for restricting the number of drivers.

A 35-year-old man living in a three-bedroom house in Wimbledon, south London, could insure his contents under HomeOptions for pounds 169.94 a year if he just wanted basic cover. The added option of accidental loss or damage on a worldwide basis would cost pounds 214.74 a year. The policy has a pounds 50 excess.

Under GA's existing 3 Star policy, which includes accidental damage on unspecified items, he would have paid pounds 243.88.

If the man has an 1,800cc Ford Sierra and full no-claims bonus and only wants one other named driver to be covered, he could buy basic motor cover under MotorOptions for pounds 517 a year. If he included the option of car hire benefit, he would pay pounds 549. The nearest existing GA policy, Keep Motoring, with car-hire benefit, would cost pounds 574.

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