Landlords are responsible for the bricks and mortar of their property. And, even if the property is let unfurnished, its worth considering home insurance contents cover for things such as carpets and curtains. Below I thought we would look at 5 of the most common claims and what steps you can do to lessen any problems.
Water Problems Cause Insurance Claims
‘Escape of water’ claims are at the top of this list. Check for leaks, and that joins between pipes are secure. Remember this means drainpipes too ( and gutters). In winter frozen pipes become more prone to bursting. Teach your tenants where the emergency stopcock is, and how to use it in an emergency.
Claims Against Accidental Damage
Number two in the list for landlord insurance tips is accidental damage to contents. For example; damage to carpets, broken televisions, cracked baths, broken white goods and so on. Whilst most tenants are unlikely to stain a carpet deliberately – accidents can happen.
You can minimise the risk of accidental damage by properly vetting your tenants. Get to know your prospective tenants. Party-loving students or couples with young children could be potentially more costly with accidents. Choose long lasting hard flooring in heavy traffic areas, and paint walls with silk paint that can be wiped down. Pay particular attention to flooring in bathrooms and kitchens to minimize water leak problems. Make sure all plumbing is easy to get to so repairs are cheaper.
Roofing can be a big insurance claim for landlords. Regularly check your roofing. Any loose tiles or holes need to be replaced or repaired swiftly-as this can also lead to water damage as discussed earlier. Check to ensure that pipes and gutters are sturdy, properly secured, and unblocked. See our Winter Water Proofing blog here for more in depth info on that.
If storms are expected batten down the hatches- secure any loose objects like garden ornaments or pot plants. If the property is in an exposed area doors and windows may also need to be reinforced. Fitting plywood coverings outside the glass can sort this out quickly and cheaply.
Unfortunately, this type of loss is difficult to guard against. If your property is in a inner city ‘party zone’ for example, you could look into fitting reinforced windows. Make gardens harder to get into and fit a lock to the garden gate. It could be worth investing in a prominent security system too if you think damage is probable.
And Finally…Those Contents
Don’t forget, furnished and partially furnished properties may need detailed contents insurance should any valuable possessions or expensive furniture remain in your property. The inventory you take at the start of the tenancy can be very useful for landlord insurance claims. Take pictures of the empty property before the tenant moves in, and be sure they sign the inventory.
You can also get additional cover for things like non payments of rent, or if they make a claim against you because they have had an accident in your property. Landlord liability insurance protects you should any harm come to your tenants while residing in your property, including damages and legal costs in case a tenant is injured or dies as a result of a fault in your property. Schedule it in your diary so that you don’t forget to update it the insurance cover every year.
Have you any tips for insurance that you would like to add? Please add them to the comments section below