What to do if: your landlord property insurance is getting too expensive?
The most obvious answer to this question is; strip your insurance down to the essentials and then shop around, given the limitations of the market – for example, there are a small number of providers (compared to normal home insurance) who are picky about what they cover – many won’t touch student, bedsit or holiday home properties, for example. So here’s the Upad guide.
Strip out unnecessary cover? You’d assume that landlord property insurance covers just the cost of rebuilding a building were destroyed by fire or damaged by water – plus the public liability cover should your tenant sue following an injury ‘at home’.
But many policies cover a raft of other insured risks including the cost of rehousing tenants following a fire or flood; boiler repair or replacement; damage to landlord-owned items such as fireplaces or kitchen units; lock and glass replacement and also cover for loss of rent. Such levels of cover are a good idea, but will add significantly to the premium’s cost so talk to insurers about what you really need and want.
Don’t overstate the rebuild costs Much of an insurance premium’s price reflects the rebuild cost following a fire or other catastrophe, so ensure it’s not over stated. Rebuild cost and value are very different things and rebuild cost is often less than a property’s likely resale value. The estimated cost of rebuilding is usually found on your most recent surveyor’s report.
Is your buy-to-let furnished or not? If you are renting out your property furnished then you’ll need to insure all the furniture and other items within the property – but if not there’s no point paying for it, so check you policy has the correct level of cover – although you will need some contents cover for items you’ve supplied with the property including fridges, cookers and bathroom furniture.
Fit the latest safety equipment The more security, fire detection (such as smoke alarms) and extinguisher kit you put into your property the lower the premiums will be – insurers charge premiums based on the risk of you making a claim, so these items will help reduce yours.