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Do I need Contents Insurance?

We often find that landlords don’t realise that contents cover can be an additional extra. The new Commercial Insurance Act puts the responsibility on landlords. For them to ensure that they have the correct cover for their property. It is now law that landlords are responsible if they are not insured fully in the event of an insurance claim.
Landlords contents insurance usually covers single items such as damage to appliances that aren’t part of the building. These include freestanding ovens, washing machines and fridges. As well as beds, sofas and other freestanding items of furniture. Each individual policy is different therefore you need to ensure and check.
 
Not all landlord insurance policies cover landlord’s contents. It is difficult to define what landlord’s contents are. In practical terms, imagine you were to turn the house upside down, the items that fell out would be included as contents. The building insurance covers fixed items such as the following:
  • Fitted kitchens
  • Fitted bathroom units
  • Damage to floor coverings – includes carpets, lino and laminate floors but again each policy is different
  • Replacement of locks – in case they brake due to burglary and need replacing because of theft of keys
  • Alternative accommodation for tenants – This covers the cost of accommodation for when the tenants cannot live in the property

 

All of the above are individual to each policy, therefore, ensure that you check your cover on this.
You will also find that most policies have public liability, this covers the cost of damage to someone else or their property. For example, the legal costs involved after a tenant injury or damage to a neighbours property following a burst pipe would be covered.

Are white goods covered for landlords contents insurance?

 
Not everyone’s insurance policy covers white goods insurance. We have an exclusive policy with Aviva insurance which includes landlord’s contents cover up to £5,000. This includes white goods whether fitted or not. Not all policies are the same though. Some landlord insurance policies do not include contents cover or it may be an optional extra. It is so important that you insure your house correctly.
 
Are you a student landlord and have furniture? Is this covered in your landlord’s contents insurance?
 
Most if not all insurance companies would not cover furniture within the property. They would treat this as an added extra. It is therefore important that you check what the policy includes for a furnished property. Look for a policy that will replace belongings on an old for new basis. This means that your possessions will be replaced with shiny new ones should you make a claim. Most student landlords don’t realise that their furniture isn’t covered in the event of a claim against theft, loss or damage by fire. Think how much it would cost to replace such furniture for you?
 

Summary

 
I would suggest that all landlords have a minimum cover of at least £5,000 for landlords contents cover. It is important that the exact amount of goods in the property are insured. Also to consider is whether the insurance company accepts fitted or freestanding white goods insurance. It is important that landlords check their insurance as all insurance companies can be very different in their cover. You can normally take out additional cover at very little cost. It will be a small price to pay for what could cost you thousands in the future. It is better to be safe than sorry.
 
Mark Harrington
 
Managing Director
 

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01273 827090


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