The ins and outs of landlord insurance
Thursday 10th May 2012
If you are new to the business of being a landlord, you may be wondering what, if any, are your obligations for landlord insurance.
The first point to note is that while any insurance may typically be optional, if you have a buy to let mortgage, having landlords buildings insurance may be a condition of your borrowing agreement.
This element may typically cover the building, its fixtures and fittings.
Buildings cover may also typically include public liability cover, which offers financial protection against being sued for damages.
For example, if a member of the public is injured or has their property damaged and they believe that this is due somehow to your property they may decide to sue you. Court awards for damages may be significant so adequate liability cover may be important to you.
This feature of cover may also include legal costs, which you may be liable for even if you win your case.
If your property is let on a furnished or part furnished basis then you may wish to add contents cover.
One area of cover that you may wish to take special note of relates to times when your property may be standing empty for extended periods.
Standard landlords insurance may be based on the assumption that your property is being lived in. So if the property is vacant, typically for periods in excess of 30 days, you may need to purchase unoccupied property cover.
There may be many reasons why the property is unoccupied, including:
- Problems or delays in finding new tenants;
- Renovation or refurbishment work overrunning;
- Legal issues relating to divorce, probate etc;
- Extended holidays or business trips.
With this type of cover you may wish to note that the terms and conditions may differ from a standard buy to let policy.
You may find, for example, that you may be required to visit the property on a regular basis to ensure that routine maintenance is carried out and that problems are dealt with quickly. Keeping the external appearance of the property tidy may also be advised.
You may also be required under the terms of your policy to keep a log of these visits and any actions undertaken.
Editorial Contact Details - Rosalind Renshaw