Could you afford to pay £20,000?

Published ¤ 14/03/2012 10:45:54

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Did you know that in August 2011, the MOD changed the License to Occupy (LTO), under which most forces personnel occupy their Service Family Accommodation (SFA). This change means that you are liable for up to £20,000 of damage to the buildings, a liability which is NOT covered by most home insurance policies.

Locally, we have seen a number of families who have suffered extreme stress and financial hardship following major damage to their quarter from incidents such as fires caused by chip pans catching alight, or major flood damage following burst pipes because the family has turned the heating off while away on leave during the winter months. If you are found to be liable for the damage, and your insurance does not cover the risk, the MOD will still charge you for the repairs and you will have to find the funds from your own pocket. We strongly advise families living in SFA or SSFA to take out insurance to cover for such an eventuality. You may well feel that this is yet another expense you can well do without at a time when household incomes seem to be stretched to the max, but if you damage your quarter, you could find yourself facing a bill of anything up to £20,000.
Extremes of winter weather, and the flooding which can follow, have the potential to create a real mess and structural damage to a property. Families affected can also lose valuable possessions and personal items, as well as having to cope with the inconvenience and stress of dealing with the situation. In addition, as outlined in your Licence to Occupy – if your actions are found to have caused the issue, you could be personally liable for paying for the repairs.
Whether you are home or if you’re going away, you are responsible for ensuring that your SFA is protected from cold weather. The following tips might help save the hassle and heartache of dealing with a flood or other cold weather damage.
Be prepared
  • Test your heating regularly, especially during the cold weather, and report any problems and other issues immediately to the Helpdesk.
  • Find out where your main stopcock is - so you can switch off the water in an emergency.
  • Arrange occupant liability insurance as outlined in JSP 464 - click on the "Online Quotes" button to get an instant quote.
  • Consider leaving your heating on permanently at a low setting (not below 15°c) – you can always turn it up for comfort when required.
  • Isolate and empty outside taps during the cold weather.
  • Report problems, such as trickling overḀow pipes, to your Helpdesk.
Protect If you are going away:
  • Leave the heating on full-time and never set the thermostat below 15°c.
  • Turn all your radiator valves on to full, and leave all internal doors open.
  • Turn off your water at the stopcock.
Patch mates
  • If you are going away, leave your keys and a telephone number with a trusted friend or neighbour.
  • Ask them to check the house regularly and report problems that arise – you can always return the favour another time.
  • Find out more by visiting the MOD website (opens in a new window).
    Click on the button below to get an instant quote, to cover your kit, your contents, and your libility under the LTO. Or call PKS on the number at the top of the page to discuss your requirements in detail.

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