Selecting appropriate insurance cover is not always easy, particularly when it is for something as important as property.
For landlords, the decision may be particularly difficult.
Landlord insurance can be a complicated area. While we at UKinsuranceNET welcome the opportunity to work alongside you and aid you in that selection, we are also committed to providing as much advance information as possible.
Below you will find a few thoughts that might help you think about some of the things to be taken into account when looking for this type of policy:
- make sure your particular type of property is covered. Not all policies necessarily cover all types of properties;
- be clear that your tenant categories will be covered by the policy. For example, some landlords might find that their policy does not cover DSS tenants, students or asylum seekers;
- check the risks covered by the buildings policy. That's important because some might exclude subsidence or flooding as risks they will take under cover;
- look closely at any excess. The excess is the amount of money you will be asked to contribute to any future claim and it is a perfectly normal feature of insurance in the UK. However, some policies may have relatively high excesses that might be a concern to you in the event of making a claim;
- be sure you can comply with all the conditions of the policy. It is perfectly routine for an insurance provider to ask the policyholder to meet certain conditions but some of those providers may be more demanding than others. Remember that if you are unable to comply with a condition of a policy, it may put elements of your cover at risk;
- look at a number of options. Some providers may only offer one type of policy and operate on the basis of one-size-fits-all. That is rarely in the best interests of an individual policyholder and being able to look at several alternatives is typically a good idea;
- ensure that you understand any geographical issues. For example, some policies may notionally offer flood cover but exclude that cover for properties that are located in postal code areas with a known predisposition to flooding. That is something you should know about in advance rather than discover in the event of a claim;
- think carefully about the levels of third party liability cover available. If you are successfully sued by a tenant, courts may award astonishingly high sums against you and you may need a healthy level of such cover if you are to avoid financial ruin;
- assess the level of contents cover carefully. In particular, it might be worth being clear that the policy does not contain exclusions for certain types of contents that you actually have in your property.
Sadly, some landlords only start asking some of the above questions in the event they have had a problem and need to make a claim.
That can be traumatic and expensive, which is a pity given that it can be avoided at the outset by asking us for our advice and guidance.