When insuring a property that you intend to let, the risks associated are quite different to those insured through normal Home insurance policies. With this in mind it is important to find a specialist landlord policy.
Landlords or 'Buy-to-Let' insurance is different from home insurance in many ways. One key element of cover is the unoccupied property limitations. On a standard home insurance policy this is 30 days. That is to say that if you leave your home unoccupied for more than this, your insurer can refuse to handle a claim. Endsleigh offers up to 90 days cover for unoccupancy on its landlord policy. This is particularly useful for student properties where unoccupancy can occur over several summer months. Landlords should check carefully the levels on their policy.
When letting a property it is vital that you inform your mortgage lender, insurer and lessee (for leasehold properties). Failure to notify these parties can result in insurance claims being refused.
When completing an application for insurance you will be asked for the re-build cost. It is important that you enter the amount of money necessary to re-build the house NOT the market value. Making the mistake of entering the market value could considerable affect the premium quoted.
In some instances the re-building value will be considerably lower or higher than its market value. Older houses in the lower priced areas in the UK will cost much more to re-build that their market value.
Frequently insurance providers will not issue cover for properties being let to 'High Risk Tenants'. 'High Risk Tenants' can include tenants such as students, multiple single sharers and tenants who receive State Benefits.
Many insurers offer a home emergency cover option which provides cover for a tradesman to call and remedy a home emergency situation, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This extra cover can prove invaluable for landlords who do not live near their property or who do not use a property management company. It must be stressed, however, that this type of policy provides cover for emergencies only, this does not cover general maintenance.
The majority of property in the UK is let unfurnished or part-furnished. It is worth enquiring into limited contents cover for your property that would cover fixtures and fittings. In addition to this, cover for liability can protect you against large compensation claims as a result of loose carpets, faulty light fittings and defective cookers.
Finally, it is common for your insurance company to insist on an annual gas appliance check and an electrical wiring test if your property was built before 1970.
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