We know that the word “insurance” causes you to want to fall asleep or you feel that you are being sold to, but sometimes it is worth its weight in gold.
We live in a world where we insure everything. So you should ask yourself this question: what’s the worst that could happen to your property investment in Medway?
I’m sure you are now thinking about flood damage, images of your investment being caught up in a fire, squatters somehow managing to get into your property, or a tenant tripping on a wobbly step and then suing you all that you have? I can guarantee that now you are feeling awake.
These are all worst nightmares stuff that I hope that none of those scenarios ever become a reality. But sometimes in life, the worst does happen – and this is where insurance comes in like a knight in shining armour.
Did you know that as a Landlord you aren't legally required to get insurance, but most buy to let lenders make it a condition prior to you buying your investment property. Specific landlord insurance is required as the standard home and contents insurance policies don’t apply or cover renting your property out.
Now the range of insurance products covers you for all kinds of eventualities, but generally speaking the broader the policies, the larger the premium is. We have spent some time putting together a short run-through of all the main types of insurance cover available to you.
Landlord liability insurance
This covers you from a compensation claim from a tenant if they say your property caused them an injury. for instance, as mentioned above if the tenant falls down the stairs due to a wobbly step or if a loose tile were to fall off the roof and hit your tenant or a passer-by.
This is one is pretty straight forward and protects the particular building from fire, flooding or vandalism. If you have a leasehold flat check with your managing agent to see if there is cover already in place.
This particular insurance covers contents like furniture, appliances, and carpets within the event of theft, fire, or flooding. It is worth noting though that this policy will only cover your items and not the tenants, who will be expected to get a policy to cover them for their own items.
This will cover you for things like holes within the walls and spills on the carpet. This is usually an add on through your contents insurance.
Loss of Rent
If your property becomes unliveable as a result of a fire or flood, then a proportion of the rent is paid out.
Legal Expenses Insurance
This cover provides you with legal advice and covers for legal costs should a dispute relating to your property and tenant arise. This could be if you pursue unpaid rent.
This is what we call Rent Guarantee insurance and this gives you cover you for a particular amount per month if a tenant doesn’t pay their rent. Some policies will also include legal fees. This insurance is usually dependant on the tenant passing referencing or having a suitable guarantor.
Most landlord insurance covers property liability, buildings insurance, contents, and loss of rent. you'll then be able to add in additional coverage which will increase the cost but it can pay for itself should you ever need to claim.
However, make sure you do your research and make sure you read the fine print before you agree to any policy. Also, if you would like to you can always ask us for advice if you are unsure of any the policy wording or advice on what policies to take out.
A Word of Warning
It is very common for you as a landlord to worry about damage from tenants to your property, but when the property is empty there is a significant risk as vacant properties often become targeted by vandals, squatters, and thieves. Many insurance policies become invalid if your property is empty for a period of time, this is usually when the property has been empty for at least two months.
One of the best protections you can do is to manage your property well and more often than not investing in a good letting agent like ourselves who come into our own.
It is worth treating any insurance policy as a last resort if the worst unfortunately happens.
An experienced, responsible letting agency like us may be a proactive force, which will keep off the worst-case scenario from happening in the first place.
– assist you in finding reliable tenants, this should help eliminate damage as we will have checked the tenant's suitability very thoroughly.
– keep on top of maintenance issues and using qualified contractors to stop accidents.
– Actively work on reducing any rent arrears long before a case reaches court.
– Having your property advertised professionally, to reduce the amount of time your property remains empty.
It’s impossible to predict the longer term, but having an honest letting agent working for you may be a wise investment to protect your property.
Here at Medway Premier Homes, we’re here to assist manage and protect landlords’ property investments. If you've got any questions regarding insurance or anything else please don't hesitate to get in touch.
If you're an existing landlord with us, or not an existing landlord. You could be someone thinking of becoming a new landlord in Medway trying to find advice and opinion drop me an email or call and let’s start a conversation, we are a friendly bunch who can help you.