It’s important to be clear that you have the most appropriate landlord insurance in place if you are to protect your business interests.
Although it is perhaps well-understood by most landlords, it cannot be restated enough that you cannot use standard owner-occupier policies to protect your interests in situations where you are letting out your property.
That’s because insurance providers differentiate between properties that are being used for ordinary home or related residential purposes and those that are being used for the generation of rental income. This is all about risk assessment and the risks with let property are perceived by insurance providers to be significantly different to those associated with an owner-occupier situation.
It also needs to be re-stressed that the requirement for let property insurance also typically applies in situations where you are letting only a part of a property you also reside in as the property’s owner.
Do keep in mind that in the event of making a claim, if you are found to have inappropriate insurance cover for the property concerned, your claim may well be rejected.
Landlords’ buildings cover
This is typically one of the universal components of let property insurance.
In broad terms, it covers a range of perils that might threaten your investment in the bricks and mortar of your property. In operational terms, this functions on the same basic principles as it would for owner-occupied properties though there may well be significant differences in the exact nature of the cover, the specific perils included and the terms and conditions.
Landlords’ contents cover
This type of policy offers protection against a range of threats that might put any contents you have (in the property) at risk.
Yet again, this should be largely familiar in concept but there is a complication for landlords that can arise in circumstances where the property is being let unfurnished. That’s because some landlords may consider that they have no need for this type of policy in such cases, as they have no contents involved.
That logic may be sound but caution should be exercised.
That’s because what you might assume to be a fixture and a fitting in your property, thereby covered by your landlords’ buildings insurance, might not be seen as such by your specific insurance provider. If they consider it to be contents and not part of the structure of the property, then you may have a gap in your cover.
You should discuss the specifics with the let property insurance providers you are considering.
Third party liability cover
This is an exceptionally important area of protection and let property insurance may well offer higher levels of such cover than that associated with standard owner-occupier policies.
That’s because, by virtue of the fact you have tenants in your property, you may be at considerably higher risk of third party liability claims than might be the situation for an ordinary owner-occupier.
Ancillary business protection
As a landlord, you are running a business.
That means you will be exposed to a wide range of business risks, just as would be the case with any other enterprise. Your business risks may be different to those of, say, an engineering company but they will exist nonetheless.
Some let property insurance can offer a range of additional protection against such risks. For example, some may be able to offer a degree of income protection in situations where your property cannot be let whilst it is under repair, following a problem defined as being included under your policy.
It is worth thinking carefully about your let property insurance and making sure that the policy you purchase is appropriate for your circumstances and requirements.
It may be something you need to rely on one day in order to keep your business.