Tuesday, 10 February 2009

In the Property Game?

This is the headline in the rather neat Insurance Company’s brochure that I came across last week. The theme is one of a chess board with the line “Protecting your every move”.

The brochure goes onto say that the UK has seen a massive increase in the number of property investors in recent years. As on of them, it’s crucial that you do everything you can to protect your investment, whoever your tenants are.

Whether you’re simply letting out a second home or have several properties ready for your retirement nest egg, you need insurance that totally tailored to your needs.

Apparently 53 per cent of all UK Landlords are not insured for the risks they are exposed to. That is really worrying. Even with properties going down in value in the UK at present, they still should be adequately insured.

In my time as a letting agent I have come across numerous landlords who have taken out buildings insurance and not bothered with contents. Why, well the reason I was given was that “I am letting out the property on an unfurnished basis, so why do I need contents insurance?”

I used to say to the client, supposing there is a burst pipe and your ceiling came down (as I have come across on several occasions in my career) and the property suffered a lot of water damage.

The building insurance would cover, the ceiling, the flooring below the carpet, but not the client’s carpet or curtains. The client would often reply, well if it did happen we can claim on the tenant’s contents insurance. Unfortunately that would not have been possible as the carpet and curtains belonged to the landlord and the landlord would end up paying out for replacements.

Many of the specialist insurance landlord and tenant rental insurance companies now offer limited contents insurance for landlords. This is a very good idea as naturally the premiums are cheaper.

Many Landlords don’t realize that like agents fees, mortgage interest on investment properties, insurance premiums are tax deductible in the UK which saves more money.

There really shouldn’t be a reason why a Landlord is not adequately insured these days. They should have public liability insurance which normally comes with the buildings cover, but until there is legislation in place making it obligatory like with gas safety certificates and energy performance certificates there will still be numerous Landlords who choose to take the risk without insurance.

It is very easy to buy insurance and property insurance sites like http://www.jml-property-insurance.co.uk/ act as introducers for Tenant and Landlord rental specialists like HomeLet and Endsleigh. You can usually make arrangements on line and pay on a monthly or annual basis using credit, debit card or direct debit.

Don’t forget to make the correct move and keep your investment rental property properly insured.

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