Landlord’s – Do they have the right Insurance?
The letting industry have issued a warning that with many people turning to buy to let property for a future pension investment or renting out their existing home when they relocate to new jobs, not all of them are aware that they may require specialist landlord’s property insurance.
Not all landlords are aware that a standard home insurance policy will not provide adequate cover if the property is being let or rented out. Many insurers would refuse to pay out on a claim where it had not been disclosed to them that the property was being let. This warning has come from Mairi Scott, Managing Director of Leaseguard, the specialist risk consultants who provide insurance and tenant referencing services to many landlords and tenants in the UK.
Mairi stated ‘The risks involved for a landlord can be substantial and can vary quite considerably from an owner occupying their own home.’
In today’s society many claimants attempt to win damages following incidents of injury or damage to property caused by alleged negligence. For a landlord it is essential that they protect themselves against any potential claim by ensuring that they have Property Owners Liability Insurance with a suggested minimum limit of £2,000,000.
Mairi also stated ‘Property Owners Liability Insurance is an essential requirement. Anyone with a legitimate reason to be on the premises could potentially raise an action against the landlord. Whilst it provides covers against action from the tenants it is not restricted only to them but potentially a claim could be made against the landlord by other parties such as the postman or even the meter reader.’
Even if the landlord takes out specialist landlord property insurance, they should consider cover for theft or malicious damage by the tenant as well as accidental damage. Not all landlord policies cover these events as standard and they may have to pay an additional premium or accept a higher excess for these elements of cover.
When the property cannot be occupied due to a major loss such as a fire a specialist landlord’s policy generally provides cover insured for loss of rent. This then provides a much needed income to the landlord at a time when most required.
Mairi Scott of Leaseguard advised ‘Leaseguard offer policies specifically for landlords with accidental damage being included as standard. Our standard policy also includes theft and malicious damage by the tenant, together with Property Owners Liability, and Loss of Rent cover included as standard. We also have a low cost policy that excludes Malicious Damage & Theft by Tenants. We would highly recommend that a landlord reviews their current insurance policy and consider whether the cover is adequate for their needs. It simply does not pay to take the risk .We have also recently up-dated our policy to include cover for Metered Water leaking following an insured event up to £1,000 as well as Trace & Access for reasonable costs incurred in location the source of damage caused by escape of water or fuel’.
Many people when considering insurance think only of the bricks and mortar and not the actual contents of the home but landlords must also consider other areas where things could go wrong. If the property is furnished by the landlord or even if they just have curtains, carpets and perhaps white goods in the property they should ensure that there is adequate cover in place
For further information please contact Maryann McGee, Insurance Manager, Leaseguard Ltd.
Tel. no. 0845 345 0315
Notes to editors:
Background to Leaseguard Ltd
Leaseguard is a Scottish-based risk management company based in Scotland, specialising in the buy-to-let sector and offering a range of products for both landlords and tenants.
The company was set up in 1999 as part of the Arnott Northern Insurance Group. In 2002 the father and daughter team comprising Chairman Richard Scott and Managing Director Mairi Scott arranged a successful management buy-out. Richard Scott has more than 50 years experience in insurance broking, while Mairi Scott has 27. General Manager Chris Knight, who has more than 21 years experience in insurance and compliance, joined the company in 2004.
Leaseguard has grown rapidly since 2002, from an original four employees to a current staff of 18. The company now arranges insurance for buy-to-let properties nationwide from Inverness in the north to Truro in the south – and from Newcastle in the east to Belfast in the west.
Leaseguard recently gained Investors in People accreditation.