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Landlord insurance – What you need to know
Because landlord insurance is not compulsory, many people believe it to be an unnecessary expense. While it may be an additional expense you could do without, it is essential if a disaster occurs and provides you with security and peace of mind. Our experts suggest why you should have landlord insurance and what you need to know to keep you covered.
You may not be covered if you have tenants
While it is not a legal requirement to have landlord insurance, if you rent out a property and something goes wrong, it is unlikely that your standards home buildings and contents insurance will cover you. This is due to the fact that insurers consider the risk of the renters living in your building, and attempt to establish the chances of them making a claim on your insurance policy, rather than you, the owner. For example, students living in a rented property are more likely to pose a greater claims risk to the insurance company than a single professional in the same dwelling.
Not providing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms may invalidate your policy
It is essential that you, as a landlord, have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of your property. You must regularly get these alarms tested too, in order to make sure the property is safe for tenants. It is also equally as important to ensure that all of your gas and electrics are frequently inspected too, as failure to do so may mean that your insurer could deem your policy invalid. It also leaves you vulnerable to tenants taking you to court, which will be extremely costly, in terms of time, reputation and finance.
Consider your vacancy times
A significant number of landlord insurance policies will cover you for claims if your property is left empty for short periods, usually of up to 30 days. This ensures you are covered if you need to repair a leak or want to undertake a quick renovation. However, if you plan to have your property sitting empty for several months then you need to let your insurer know so they can update your policy. Adding an unoccupied property insurance policy to your existing cover means you are safe and insured for these periods of time, providing you with that much-needed protection against accidents, squatters or vandalism.
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