Why do landlords claim?
Late night calls to fix the shower, or Sunday afternoon visits to repair the fence, are part and parcel of being a landlord.
Although annoying, such repairs can be dealt with quickly and easily. Sadly, a call from panicked tenants telling you about more serious damage is also a risk that comes with being a landlord.
Thankfully, landlord insurance covers the main reasons that you’re likely to need to claim. Having specialist landlord insurance is not needed by law, but your ‘buy to let’ mortgage provider may insist on it so you can prove your property is protected.
What are the top 3 reasons that landlords need to claim on their insurance?
Thanks to popular TV shows about nightmare tenants, you’d be forgiven for thinking that landlords claim on their insurance because of the accidental damage that badly-behaved tenants can cause. In fact, the most popular reasons for claiming are much less in our control.
1. Weather damage
Your landlord insurance policy will include buildings protection which is very likely to cover weather and storm damage. So, if a tile has blown off your roof or a fallen tree has smashed a window, you can claim for your property to be repaired and you’ll only have to fork out the cost of your excess.
1. Escape of water
Whether it’s a burst pipe or a faulty washing machine, escape of water is a messy business. Your tenant should have insurance in place to cover their belongings, but as part of your landlord insurance policy you’ll have landlord’s contents cover. This means that you can replace ruined items such as carpets and curtains without impacting your rental income.
1. Tenants injuries
As a landlord, it’s your duty to keep your property well maintained and not put your tenants and their visitors at risk. To give you peace of mind, property owners’ liability cover protects you if someone is hurt on your property and then sues you for damages. Hopefully this will never happen, but the cost of legal fees can be crippling if you don’t have insurance in place.
How can landlords limit the damage that these events cause?
We all know that prevention is better than cure, and this is the case for maintaining your property too. Even if your tenants take good care of your house, it’s worth arranging regular visits to the property to keep on top of any jobs that will help avoid unnecessary damage.
- Check and clear gutters, especially in the autumn when leaves cause blockages
- Keep an eye on any trees growing close to your property and consider cutting off larger branches
- Look out for leaky or rusting pipes and repair as soon as possible, and remember to keep them well insulated
- When bad weather is on the way, ask your tenants to secure garden furniture, bins and any other items that could cause damage in high winds
Make sure you’ve got the right landlord insurance in place – as well as getting your property back to normal after a claim, having insurance can also make life less stressful for you and your tenants. Cover such as ‘loss of rent’ protects your income as well as your property. What would happen if your tenants had to move out and be re-housed because of an insured event? Well, your landlord policy would continue to give you a rental income as well as covering the costs of alternative accommodation for your tenants. Happy days.