LV, which stands for Liverpool Victoria, got their start in the mid-1800s by providing life insurance to working-class families in the midst of the industrial revolution. They currently work with Asda and several trade unions to help them offer a variety of insurance policies to their customers and members. In 2017, LV partnered with insurance heavyweight Allianz and currently, this means LV is offering several rebranded Allianz home insurance policies through their network of brokers.
Review: Is LV Insurance any good?
If you are looking for simple homeowners building and contents insurance, then LV Insurance is worth looking at. As long as you don’t need to include any optional cover, such as personal liability cover, to protect your home then being insured by LV can save you some money.
However, if you go beyond their barebones cover by attaching options like home emergency help, you will find that LV premiums are above average in cost, although not necessarily give you the comprehensive cover you were looking for.
Personal Possessions Cover can be a luxury with LV
Their personal possessions option costs extra to protect belongings you might carry around with you, like your iPhone, engagement ring, leather handbag or a mirrorless camera. You can opt to buy anywhere between £2,500 and £6,000 in insurance cover. Possessions itemised under this additional cover will be protected while you are on holiday in Europe and even around the world for 60 days in a given calendar year.
While worldwide protection is a welcome detail, LV does fall short in terms of pound for pound protection with Ageas easily besting them by insuring up to £15,000 in this category.
Moving Home cover - peace of mind if your mover drops the vase
Professional movers can vary greatly in how they care for your belongings and furniture. Getting your things through a narrow staircase or window can be a perilous balancing act. Dropping an unwieldy vase that was passed down through generations can be an unmitigated disaster.
Home insurance can help because your belongings and furniture being moved can count as contents in the eyes of the insurer. As long as you are moving within the UK, LV contents insurance will cover accidental damage and even theft while you move. Your belongings will also be covered for a fortnight if they are to be put in storage for any reason.
As with all insurance, there are stipulations that can let the company off the hook. Taking the heirloom vase from earlier as an example, LV will not cover damage to it unless it was wrapped and loaded by a professional mover and you can prove that was the case.
New for Old - Something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue
Home insurance can be a little like a shotgun wedding or prenuptial agreement. In case of a claim, you could get lucky and receive something new, such as a replacement for a flat screen TV falling off its wall mount.
The other scenario is that you could get an indemnity, which is compensation based on the estimated value of what was damaged. This will always be less than what it was when new, which technically makes it old and borrowed at the same time, if that happens you might find yourself blue in the face.
LV prides itself on offering New for Old across the board. The only exception is for clothing, which is understandable. The indemnity is less because it will take into account wear and tear.
Pairs or Sets - Where did that other earring go?
This is a classic home insurance oddity and LV are far from alone in keeping up with the Joneses. If something that is part of a pair or matching set goes missing, is stolen or gets damaged. You only get compensation for the missing or damaged piece even though you may have to buy a completely new set.
One way that LV does show they care a little more than the competition is by adding some more compensation for up to 50% of the value for the remainder of the set.
- You don’t have to look through a litany of plans when you get home insurance quotes directly from LV. You can adjust one basic policy with the options you need to insure your home. They cover home contents ranging anywhere between £25,000 and £150,000. Home buildings insurance can reach up to £1,000,000.
- If you get LV Insurance from a financial broker you have access to extra home insurance policy products based on what Allianz offers to their residential customers in the UK. These are called Clear Home Essentials, Clear Home Advance and Clear Home Complete.
- Possible extra cover options include extra accidental damage protection, bicycle underwriting, home emergency cover, personal property insurance for when away from home, legal insurance to advise you on liability and cover for legal fees.
Policy Pricing - Is LV good value for money?
LV Insurance can be up to 25% cheaper than some of the competition if you like to live dangerously and stick to just barebones cover. The sweet spot to maximise savings is with a contents insurance policy in the £75,000 region while the buildings insurance should remain around the UK average detached home price of around £250,000.
The downside is that any savings on the base policy are cancelled out when you add in insurance options, which are really not that optional if you are a cautious person. Things like full accidental damage, personal liability and possessions cover for contents can cost anywhere between 30% to an astonishing 50% more than the rest of the competition in the insurance market.
By using the home insurance calculator from LV’s own website to retrieve insurance quotes, we can see where they stand in terms of their policy pricing. We used the example of a middle-aged policyholder with a 2 bedroom mortgaged home in Essex without any recent claims.
|Level of Excess||LV Home Insurance||Market Average|
With LV, just like with all other residential insurers, you can pick a level of excess that you are comfortable with, anywhere between £100 and £1,000. Excess is what you agree to pay upfront when your claim is accepted with the insurance company picking up the rest of the tab. So if you go for a low excess amount, your premium (the cost of your insurance cover) will be higher than if you pick a higher excess amount, which will end up discounting your final premium price.
While the above comparison works very much in LV’s favour, it’s not all fun and games because the above numbers do not take into account the options that anyone with a modicum of caution will want to add on. It is unclear why things like accidental damage cover are not included by default.
Insurance Option Cost
Many things that you consider common sense are not included in most baseline home and landlord insurance policies. Take for example accidental damage to buildings, if a neighbour is trimming a tree branch and it accidentally falls on your roof, knocking off a few tiles, you would be out of luck without extra cover.
Below we have gathered up the most popular insurance options and compared between LV and the rest of the market. Across the board, LV is charging higher premiums for the most popular insurance options.
|Popular Insurance Extra Options||Extra yearly cost with LV||Market average|
|Home Emergency||£59.99 (+£16.12)||£43.87|
|Away From Home Cover for Belongings||£53.58 (+£14.19)||£39.39|
|Legal Costs Cover||£26.49 (+£4.60)||£21.89|
|Bicycle cover||£44.78 (+£11,66)||£33.12|
- Relatively affordable and imple protection.
- New for Old is offered extensively throughout the policies.
- Very basic accidental damage is included by default.
- Disaster protection for storms does not take into account damaged fences, gates or hedges.
- Subsidence protection is heavily dependent on external assessment from loss adjusters and engineers whose impartiality is sometimes questionable.
- While new customers can get a 25% discount on their insurance premium, there is no recognition for returning loyal customers which is a shame as LV have a large percentage of long-standing customers that have been with them through thick and thin.
Policy Details - What do they actually cover?
Whether you are looking at starting up an insurance policy with LV or a different insurer, it is extremely important to check policy documents thoroughly to understand what is covered.
These details are available as online documents in pdf format. For your convenience, we have linked to the relevant policy documents so you can review them before making a decision on which policy is best for your household.
LV Home Insurance (Online/Phone Only)
This policy can only be purchased through LV’s website or by requesting a residential insurance quote over the phone.
Clear Home Essentials
This is the most affordable and basic of three policies that LV offers exclusively through insurance brokers. Since 2017, LV has been partnering with Allianz who designed the policy originally. This is why the documents are under the Allianz name.
Clear Home Advance
This is the mid-tier policy that LV offers through its partnership with insurance brokers and Allianz, another insurance company. This policy is identical to the one offered by Allianz and this is why we link to their document.
Clear Home Complete
This is the flagship policy that LV offers through its insurance broker network. Like the others, this is an identical policy to the one by Allianz.
Below you can find a quick overview of the extra cover options available as add-ons to LV insurance policies.
- This does not come with the base policy which means it costs extra.
- This provision focusses on emergency home repairs to things like plumbing, roofing, boiler and heating system.
- It maxes out at £500 all-in for parts, labour and VAT, which helps with the rapidly increasing costs of such call-outs.
Away From Home Possessions for Personal Possessions
- This is an option that covers disappearance, damage and theft of wallets, bags, jewellery and phones even when you are not at home.
- The maximum value that is covered by default is £1500 although you can pay more to increase this limit.
- Travel within Europe is covered as well as 60 days outside the EU.
- Stolen money, travel cheques or credit cards are covered by up to a value of £500.
- This is an optional extra that you will have to opt-in to protect your set of wheels from theft and damage when outside the home. This cover has stipulations about how bikes need to be fitted with effective and well-maintained anti-theft locks for it to take effect.
Accidental Damage Cover
- Entry-level protection comes with your policy. It protects TVs, set-top boxes, radios, hi-fi equipment, consoles, DVD / Blu-ray and computers from accidents.
- To deal with accidents involving furniture or soft-furnishings, such as spills or scratches, you need to opt-in for extra cover and pay more.
- To protect your house from accidents, such as a tree branch damaging part of the home, there is separate building-specific accidental damage cover you will need to get, at an additional cost.
How to complain about LV Insurance
LV wants their customers to know that when a complaint occurs they will respond as quickly as possible.
They usually answer within a week of the complaint being made. However, more complex issues may delay a fully-formed response by up to a month and a half.
- If the complaint is about legal representation due to a home property dispute then LV requests that the legal representative is contacted first.
- If the complaint is about how a claim was handled then the best thing to do is to call the phone number in the claim documents. Alternatively, you could try these contact numbers to get more advice.
Going Further - the Financial Ombudsman
If LV’s response to a complaint is unsatisfactory, contacting the Financial Ombudsman will be the next step. It is mandatory to reach out to the financial ombudsman after receiving a reply from LV but before six months have passed, otherwise this free service may not be able to help to its full capacity.
Contact the Ombudsman directly:
Financial Ombudsman Service
By phone: 0800 023 4567
LV Insurance doesn't have currently have an online portal where users can view their specific account details. They do have an online chat to help their customers with most issues.
Data and information correct as of December 2018.
All material on this page and the selectra.co.uk website is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of financial advice. Selectra.co.uk is not responsible for any consequences that might arise from your use of the information provided.
Other providers are available and the best deal for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Please do your own research and seek professional advice if necessary (moneyadviceservice.org.uk offers free, independent advice on all financial issues).