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Do Landlords Associations save money on insurance?

Whilst we agree that Landlords Associations do a great job in certain areas, we are not sure that insurance is one of them.

 

What is the cost of joining a Landlords Association?

There is no average as such on joining a Landlords Association but they normally start around the £80.00 mark per annum and upwards.  They often advertise that they can save you money on suppliers etc. but in such a competitive market we don’t necessarily believe that this is the case and it is definitely not on insurance. They are supposed to be an independent body that help you to reduce your costs but we have examples on a regular basis of where we have done quotes for clients who have their renewals through a Landlords Association and they are not cheaper.  We shall explain this later.

 

Will the cost for the landlord Association increase?

Now that the RLA (Residential Landlords Association) and NLA (National Landlords Association) are merging there is a serious doubt on whether they will be able to sustain their current module and their costs will only increase.

By merging together there will be some cost savings but overall it is more than likely that the cost over a period of time will start to go up.

 

Are they truly independent?

Yes of course they are an independent body, but this is only to a point.  For instance, on services and suppliers you will find that they use their own people and there is no guarantee that these are actually cheaper.  They will receive a commission as most will from their insurance which obviously helps the Association itself but does that mean that you are getting the best reasonable deal as well as the correct cover.  They have standard policies as most Landlords Associations do and this might not necessarily cover exactly what you want on your individual case.  We have policies that we can individually design for clients to include their own special circumstances as well as being substantially cheaper with more cover.

A good example in relation to one area is accidental damage. This is not in the standard policy with the NLA and therefore as such you have to take out a higher policy to have it covered. The NLA state that members save 30% on a standard policy and 15% superior policies but are they as cheap from day one?

We enclose some examples of clients that have saved substantially through ourselves so are they truly independent and worthwhile?

 

Example A

Block of 29 leasehold flats

Extremely high level of cover

Managing Agents premium = £26,198

iInsure365 premium = £19,321

Total saving for our client: £6,877 with the same level of cover!

 

Example B

Block of 9 leasehold flats

Managing Agents premium = £5814

iInsure365 premium = £3106

Total saving for our client: £2708

 

Example C

Portfolio of 10 properties

Landlord Association’s premium = £3,294

iInsure365 premium = £2,584

Total saving for our client: £710

 

Example D

2-bedroom Mid terrace house

Current insurers premium = £360

iInsure365 premium = £275

Total saving for our client: £85

 

Example E

£10,000 tenant contents only

Letting Agents premium = £240

iInsure365 premium = £104

Total saving for our client: £136

 

Surely if they were truly independent and giving the best possible price, they would have two or three supplier i.e. be able to go to the market as we would.

 

Do they not provide us with news?

Yes of course they provide you with a lot of information that is exceptionally helpful.  They will keep you up to date with the new laws which can be changed on a regular basis.  Did you know that the letting industry has had 127 law changes in the last five years?  However, we supply a huge amount of news doing at least a minimum of two articles every week through our news section of our website.  We also provide a monthly newsletter giving you access to more articles on up to date law and any changes that may take place.  The articles are written by the Managing Director Mark Harrington who has in excess of 25 years through the Law, Property and Lettings Industry. His knowledge is wide ranging and we are able to provide high content news information for you.

 

Should I not join a Landlords Association?

There is no reason why you cannot join a Landlord Association and get all of the benefits of the scheme.  However, just make sure with a second quote that will take no more than two minutes to ensure that the Insurance that you are getting from them is actually the best cover and at the best possible price.

 

Could you save more than what your membership fee is?

Yes, of course, there is a high likelihood you may save a lot more than your membership fee so in real terms the savings you make through our insurance can even pay for your annual membership fee in any event.  You therefore get the best of both worlds!

 

Why should I use iInsure365?

We generally believe not only can we save you money but can provide you with a much better cover than you currently have.  Our Company mission is as follows:-

  • Low cost insurance doesn’t compromise on cover
  • An unrivalled reputation for customer service
  • Flexible payment terms
  • Individual policies to suit individual requirements
  • Quality and a commitment to excellence
  • The facility with our clients to ensure that they have no surprises within their policy
  • Personal contact with the same people on a regular basis
  • To be transparent for all of our costs including commission with no hidden charges

 

How long will it take to get a quote?

It can only take literally a couple of minutes of your time in order to get a quote.  If you are going to save hundreds of pounds then a few minutes of your time is worth it.

If you forward us a copy of your policy/renewal then we will be happy to look at it and show you that we can do better for you.  In the event that we can’t we will tell you straight away.

 

How can we help you with your cover?

Not only do we have a large panel of insurers that we can go to, but we have specific policies for landlords.  These policies are not only comprehensive on cover but also low in price.  We are totally independent and therefore not beholden to any individual group etc.  We would be happy to give you an independent quote looking for the best possible price and cover for you.  We are happy to tailor the policy for each individuals needs and ensure that the process is as smooth as is possible.   You will always speak to the same person in the office and you will never speak to a call centre.

Why don’t you read our testimonials on what we can do?

 

‘Charlotte was pleasant, quick, efficient, answered all my queries and a policy was in place in less than 24 hours……3 different quotes, when she wasn’t sure of an answer, she checked and rechecked. I hope not to make a claim, but, if claiming is as painless as purchasing insurance….. Excellent, professional service, highly recommended!’

S.N Bouganim

 

‘Charlotte was my advisor. Very professional and helpful. Been with this company for a while now and never had any issues.’

Louise Williams

 

‘Friendly staff and the do what you ask them to do.

Prices are competitive and I would recommend them to anyone.’

Sally Hornsby

 

‘Brilliant service, these people are efficient and knowledgeable. And luckily for me they remind me when I need my property’s insuring “great weight off my mind“

Thankyou illnsure365’

Sherie Haines

 

‘First class service, all my problems sorted very quickly.’

Alan Dakin

 

‘Iinsure have looked after our rentals for many years and have always matched any competitive prices. We haven’t yet had to make a claim so can’t speak to their effectiveness on that score. However, we need cover in any case for mortgage purposes and tbh buildings cover is always a reassuring thing to have for what might be one’s biggest investment (apart from children!)’

Peter Lemer

 

‘Fast, friendly insurance at a very competitive price. 100% recommend!’

Edward Makgill

 

‘We use iInsure365 and will often speak with Charlotte when contacting them. Charlotte is always ready for action, and will take something on immediately when requested. We have also dealt with Joseph who was keen and willing to help when i have a situation needing some urgent quotes to send to a client. I could not advocate for a more reliable and efficient company to help with insurance needs, all our customers love how quickly things are resolved when iInsure get involved.’

Sian Bell

 

‘Dave and Charlotte are great! Both are very helpful and resourceful to find best products and services. Many thanks!’

Seonghwan Kim

 

‘Outstanding work every time! We’ve used iInsure for all our personal properties & our landlords working with our letting agency, they never disappoint – would recommend to anyone!’

Nick McCance

 

‘Always excellent customer service and very helpful staff. Provide a great service to me.’

Carys Rachel Dickinson

 

‘Great value for money and friendly helpful service every time.’

John Colwell

 

‘Very professional experience. I insure a few properties with them and they will contact me each year at renewal to discuss alternative options. Good if you do not simply want to auto-renew with the same supplier each year at an ever increasing premium. This way they always make sure you are on the best deal for your needs. Thank you for your help, Scott.’

Scott Dockerill

 

‘Iinsure are a treasure! Been using their brokerage for landlord´s insurance for three years now and they consistently find cover at unbeatable rates. All wrapped up in knowledgeable and efficient customer service. Thoroughly recommended!’

David Allen

 

‘Excellent company. I have used them for some years, and I feel that they have my back. I appreciate the care and attention to my insurance requirements.’

Paul Samson

How does the Insurance Act of 2015 affect leaseholders?

iInsure365 arrange building insurance for blocks of flats. We understand in detail the distinct requirements for these types of properties. We arrange flat block insurance for purpose-built and converted properties, owner-occupied blocks and rented flats.

Why is iInsure365 different from a managing agent?

iInsure365 make the business of insuring a block of flats as simple, straight forward and inexpensive as possible.

Block of flats insurance is traditionally arranged through third parties. With everyone involved possibly taking a part of the premium as commission. We are completely different and we only deal direct and don’t pay commission to managing agents.

iInsure365 will get the best possible terms they can offer. Work with a huge range of insurance companies to ensure they are always competitive. Insurance companies can often change their criteria when it comes to insuring blocks of flats. We are ideally placed to ensure that we can offer the best possible cover at the most reasonable and cheap cost.

Do iInsure365 deal with managing agents direct?

No, we have made it a point not to work with managing agents. We are open and transparent with all our fees and commissions and are happy to disclose any of these at any time. Many leaseholders aren’t aware that the managing agents are making commission. This involvement can lead to an increased premium. Landlords can often add to the premium in order to increase their commission on the policies. We do not.

What is the Insurance Act of 2015?

The Insurance Act of 2015 updated the law on disclosure and misrepresentation. It now requires insured parties to disclose every circumstance they know or should know that would affect an insurance premium. An insurer needs this information to decide whether to offer a premium at all and at what price. If the insured is in breach of the duty of fair representation the insurer can cancel the policy and keep the premium paid if the breach was deliberate.

How does the Insurance Act 2015 affect leaseholders?

Part II of the Act now creates a new duty of fair presentation encouraging active rather than passive engagement by insurers. They need to now tell the insured all that they need to know as well as clarifying if necessary the information disclosed.

Also, did you know that you can ask your managing agent for confirmation of what their commission is?

Summary

We have made it our number 1 priority to ensure that clients know what they are buying and know what the law is. It is important for people to understand that they may be overpaying for their building insurance cover. The Insurance racket has been going on long enough with property management in blocks of flats and it is now time for this to change.

Insurance – Do you know what you’re paying for?

How are landlords/Corporate Companies still ripping off lessees?

There was a recent case from a Tribunal regarding the Regis Group. Leaseholders now have a model example of how to fight excessive insurance costs via a Tribunal against the Regis Group.

Jeremy Peachy, a chartered surveyor, challenged the £13,000 insurance costs of a 30 flat site in Northampton. Regis Group/Pier Management owned the freehold.

The Tribunal found that the insurance costs were excessive. They ordered to reduce the bill down by at least two thirds to £4,364.00. The Tribunal made a Section 20C order barring the freeholder from putting any of his costs into the leaseholders account as well.

The Regis Group which owns over 30,000 freeholds argued that it bought insurance on a portfolio basis, not by individual properties. This is an argument used by many freeholders. The Tribunal made the following statements about the situation:

“It is the ability to buy bulk that enables them to earn commission of 15% on that portfolio as a whole for the return of work done.”

“The terms of the “block policy” were not so disadvantaged to justify a premium increase from £3,795.36 to £12,998.40 particularly when one of the virtues of a “block policy” for the tenant is that it carries a discount.

The Insurance Industry

It is not unusual for freeholders or managing agents to make a mark up of at least 15% on insurance.

Insurance commissions are a huge revenue earner for speculators in residential freeholds. Bumping up commissions when leaseholders are unaware as they are not part of the contract. This is also a practice known as padding the insurance. It basically means that freeholders will insure their properties and add a substantial amount to the premium via the broker.

Did you know that you are entitled under the Law to ask what commission the managing agent and/or freeholder earns? They have to disclose the full amounts of any money they receive. It is often not known or used. We find that most managing agents will try and state that they use the money for “claims” or to help to reduce your overall management costs. This should never be the case.

Summary

We do not pay commission to managing agents and are therefore more than happy to be transparent regarding any commission that we receive. Whilst we do receive money for providing the insurance itself we provide a completely transparent service. We are not beholden to any freeholders or managing agents. We provide a fantastic comprehensive cover at the best rate we can provide in the market. Not only in the first year but every year thereafter.

What Is Block of Flats Insurance, And Why Might You Need It?

When you own a house, buildings insurance is relatively straightforward and simple. Your premium covers the structure of the property, and any outbuildings such as sheds and garages against the costs of damage for insured reasons set out by your block of flats insurance company.

But what if you live in a block of flats? Do you insure just your portion, or should you also take into consideration the entire property?

Depending on your circumstances: whether you’re a landlord, freeholder or leaseholder, we could prove more beneficial to you than standard buildings insurance.

Here’s a look at it and why you might need it.

More cover than standard buildings insurance

Standard buildings insurance will cover your property should costs be incurred for repairing or rebuilding due to an sum insured event specified in your  insurance policy. This typically includes damage caused by:

  • flood
  • fire
  • burglary
  • storms
  • subsidence
  • lightning strikes
  • falling trees and branches

Most standard buildings insurance policies will also include damage to the building caused by leaks, faulty electrics, an electrical fire, burst water pipes. In most cases, buildings & block insurance will also cover outbuildings such as garden sheds, garden houses, pergolas, garages, loss of rent and even greenhouses.

However…
If you live in a block of flats, standard buildings insurance may not cover areas such as:

  • Communal areas, hallways, stairs, landings, gardens
  • Shared contents such as communal equipment or furniture
  • Property owner’s liability outside of your flat

Specialist covers all areas important to you and fellow residents in the block. It will give you the extra peace of mind you need and provide a more comprehensive cover than standard buildings insurance.

Who needs Block of Flats Insurance?

Just like standard buildings insurance, It isn’t a requirement by law. However, it can be particularly beneficial to:

  • Freeholders who own the entire building then rent out individual flats within the building
  • The property management company looking after the block of flats
  • Flat leaseholders who club together and decide to pay for blocks of flats insurance between them
  • Property developers and portfolio investors with a range of properties

What can Block of Flats Insurance cover?

  • It includes damage to the building caused by insured events such as flood, fire, storms, subsidence, vandalism and theft or attempted theft
  • Block Insurance covers trace and access costs of finding and repairing leaking pipes
  • Communal areas such as outbuildings, hallways, lifts, stairs and gardens
  • Property owner’s liability covers costs for claims made by someone who is injured in the block of flats insured
  • Employer’s liability to cover anyone employed to maintain the communal areas

Ilnsure365, landlords insurance specialists, can provide competitive buildings insurance for flats cover to suit your needs, including discounts for multiple properties. Whether you need insurance for a converted block, a purpose built property, or an entire portfolio of properties, we’ll find the right cover for you. Request a call back for a member of the team to discuss our policies with you.

Converting House Into Flats Insurance

So you have done the research, worked out the numbers and figured out that you could return a profit from converting a house into flats. But, how much will it cost you to do this conversion? What rental income will you get? Do you need to use an estate agent? Will you need to involve planning and building control? Will you need to speak to the local council? How many flats will you get? These are all questions that you need to ask and to ensure that you are aware of the situation.

Research the market

Before doing anything else make sure that the flats you are planning to build are actually wanted in the area. First-time developers often make the mistake of not checking this out. They build unwanted accommodation which sits and stagnates on the market and then they struggle to sell it. It is an essential step and you need to ensure that you aren’t investing in a project that you won’t be able to sell or make any profit from.

Some things you will need to factor in for consideration would be as follows:-

Social demographics – this can play a huge part whether there is demand for homes or flats in the area. Aging populations, young professional areas or places with high divorce rates will have a higher demand for flats. Whereas where there are families or couples they will be looking for houses.

Current property market – what is selling for more and what is staying on the market? You should speak to some local estate agents and find out what is not selling on the market. You will often need to speak to at least three or four to get a proper feel of what the local market is doing.

Does the property lend itself to a conversion? Some buildings have more room than others and it only takes minor changes to make a conversion. But, many people don’t use an architect to help them with a conversion. You may feel that you can gain two one bedroom flats, but an architect could manipulate the space to include two bedrooms. Thus improving your profit. Do you need to make extensions, entire central heating or structural changes? If so, you would need local planning and building consent from the council.

When doing your research you can work out the average cost of this type of property within the area. This needs a comparison with the cost of conversion to find out what profit margin there will be and whether it is a worthwhile project.

Cost of conversion

You will find that many existing structures can be sound and you can use kitchens and bathrooms in a house. There is no average on the conversion of a house as every project will be different.

The costs will differ depending on the size of the property, the number of flats you are converting. The cost of the builders and the materials you are planning on using. There are many things that you may need to consider when looking at the conversion as follows.

What the local council will need:-

  • Planning consent
  • Building regulation approval
  • What heating systems are in
  • The number of flats
  • The actual conversion of the house
  • Installing a new kitchen and bathroom
  • Decoration

These are only a few of the small items that are included.

You also need to take into account the length of the project, are you going to sell it or rent it? One of the biggest decisions you will need to make in relation to the development is if you get a greater return from selling or renting the house you converted. If you are after immediate input of equity then selling might seem the obvious choice but you need to take into account any tax you may have to pay.

In certain cases, your choice may be based on what the current market is doing. If people aren’t buying flats then you will have to rent them out but this could provide you with a steady income over a period of time.

Whatever type you decide on you will need to have building insurance for the property.

Once the conversion is complete you will need to consider what type of building insurance you will need. Insurers see two or more flats in the same building as a “block of flats”. Leaseholders or tenants will have their own insurance in place. Yet it is advisable to take out specific blocks of flats insurance when converting a house into flats.

Blocks of flats insurance cover the entire block and offer more coverage than a regular building insurance policy. This includes fixtures and fittings, rent guarantee, public employers liability, and public liability. Please see our article on blocks of flats which explains the different types of cover.

HMO licensing – does your property need one?

You will need to contact your local Council to find out whether the block of flats you are looking to convert qualifies for a house of multiple occupation (HMO). If it does, then you will need to apply for an HMO license which will cover extra legal responsibilities for landlords. Read our article for more information on houses in multiple occupation.

For competitive commercial insurance call us now

01273 827090


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