The best way to get a quote is to call us. There are various questions which we will outline below. Which you will need to answer as insurance companies like to know the circumstances and the occupiers of your property.
These questions are very simple and it will take very little of your time to do so we could have a quote with you very quickly.
This will enable us to go into the market for you and see what is the best insurance price that we can get.
Why do I need landlord insurance?
There is no obligation on anybody to have landlords insurance but every buy to let mortgage will come with a condition that you must have it.
Being a landlord comes with risks that you don’t have when you live in your own home. For instance and a good example if one of your tenants gets hurt you could face a legal claim and be sued and your insurance if you had home insurance wouldn’t cover you.
If the tenant couldn’t stay in the property due to an insured event such as a flood or fire then the landlord policy can cover you for rehousing them. It could include cover for loss of rent for the time that your tenants cant live in the property. Landlord insurance is a specialised product and reflects your responsibilities and covers you for risks as a landlord.
What type of questions will you ask?
There are various questions and we outline them as follows:-
Is the applicant a Director, Partner, trustee or representative of an organization?
Have you ever had insurance cancelled, declined or special conditions imposed by an insurer?
Both of the questions above relate to the fact that an insurance company need to know whether you have been a Director and have been disqualified for the purposes of insurance. If this is the case they will not be able to cover you. The recent insurance Act put a requirement on commercial clients to ensure that they tell the truth. There is no point taking out an insurance policy if it would not get paid out because you answered the questions incorrectly.
Have you ever been convicted of an offence other than a driving one?
If you have then we would have to disclose it to the insurance company. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not going to obtain insurance for your property but they need to take into account any convictions you may have.
Have you ever been declared bankrupt or been subject to a bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings?
If you have it is unlikely that the insurance company will insure you. There is no guarantee that this is the case but insurance companies do not like it. It is important that you disclose this. It may be the circumstances around it could be explained and thus it may not be a problem but it is best to discuss it.
Are you subject to a County Court judgement in England, Scotland or Wales?
If you are again you must disclose it. There is no reason why an insurance company will not insure you if they understand the reasons behind it. It is critical to make sure that the full information is provided to your insurance company.
Have you ever been prosecuted for failure to follow any Health and Safety environmental protection legislation and are you confirming that the details are accurate and to the best of your knowledge.
If for instance you have been convicted it may be a very simple problem that can be resolved. Unfortunately, it is not always guaranteed that they will be able to insure you but there are various markets within Lloyds that we could look into for you who have specialist departments who deal with these type of things.
All of the above questions are pretty standard within any insurance quote for commercial landlords which is what the insurance industry class as buy to lets, commercial property and developments etc.
What other questions will be required? These are as follows:-
Name of the insured
It is so important that you get the name correct in respect of who you want to insure. You need to make sure that the property is insured in the same name that it is owned.
Date of birth and occupation
This is relevant for the insurance company’s point of view. They will need to know that you are of legal age to take out an insurance policy.
Are you living in the United Kingdom?
There are different rules within different insurance companies on whether individuals are registered in the UK for tax purposes. It is important that you understand that the premium can change if you are domiciled outside the United Kingdom. This is a material factor and needs to be disclosed to the insurance company.
The full address of the property being insured
Please make sure that it is accurate and it is the exact property you do wish to insure.
The declared value is the amount that you will need to insure your property for. This is critical as if you under insure the property you may not get paid out a full claim in future but if you over insure the property the insurance company may also reduce any claim that you may have. It is important that you get this right so please do not hesitate to see our other articles on this.
This is one of the most important questions an insurance company will ask. Often insurance companies rate individual policies on the occupants in respect of the property. Are they a professional, are they professional working or on housing benefit. Are they students, retired, owner occupier, holiday home, Airbnb? If you do not disclose the correct occupier then there is no guarantee that you will be covered for your property. This is critical that you fully disclose the tenants you have. If for instance your tenants change and they go from professional to students through a new contract it is also important that you inform your insurance company.
When the occupancy is known they will also ask the following:-
- Are vetting checks carried out before the tenants occupies the property?
- Do you consider the tenants referred from a Housing Association?
- If you have full control over who occupies the property?
- Subletting, do you allow this?
- Is the full rent received direct from the tenants?
- Is the tenancy agreement between the tenant and the landlord of six months or more?
These are all relevant questions for an insurance company. They will have an algorithm that rates it on a matrix basis on exactly what the property will cost to insure. The Insurance Act requires landlords to ensure that they fully disclose all information. Premiums are dependent upon the correct information.
Is the property occupied or vacant?
An unoccupied property carries a much higher rating than an occupied. It is also critical to know how long it will be unoccupied for. You don’t want to find that you are not covered for the property in the event that the property was empty.
Is the property commercial and if so what is the occupancy?
Commercial property i.e. let out as a business etc, are completely rated upon the occupants and the details of the building. It is thus important that you know who occupies the property and what they use it for. For instance if it is a restaurant does it have a deep fat fryer or not?
Property type? Is the house detached, semi-detached, terraced, mid-terraced, bungalow, how many bedrooms does it have? Is this a house converted to flats purpose built, does it have commercial and residential within it? These are all very relevant questions to a property. Is it made from wood, concrete or both? What are the floors made of? These are relevant for the purposes of ensuring that you have the correct insurance.
Does the property have a flat roof?
If the property does have a flat roof it is important that you fully disclose this to the insurance company. There are normally warranties with flat roofs that contractors give and there are often special conditions that an insurance company will add in this regard.
Is the property listed?
If a property is listed then it has a high likelihood that the building materials of it will be much more expensive to rebuild the property rather than a normal residential.
The insurance company will need to know this for the purposes of any special conditions and ensuring that you have the right amount of cover.
Is the property well maintained?
You need to ensure that the property is well maintained. You will find that you may make a claim but the insurance company reject it on the basis that the items you are trying to claim are wear and tear rather than an insurable peril.
Is the property made of brick, stone, concrete?
These are all relevant items especially on a roof where it may be made of slate or tiles. Are legal costs needed? Are contents cover needed? Is terrorism cover needed, is malicious damage needed? These will all affect your premium and it is critical you know what type of cover you want and need. Has the property ever had any form of arson claim? This could affect the premium and any special conditions.
Have you had any claims either between the last three or five years. Each individual insurance company will look at the claim that may have been made and could either increase an excess in respect of the property or make a special condition or a proviso that a certain item may not be covered if you made a claim before.
The Insurance Act now fully requires landlords to give full disclosure of all items as outlined above. This is now critical to ensure that you get the right policy with the right amount of cover and at the right price. Please don’t hesitate to call us on (01273) 827090 or fill in our call back request and we will go through these items with you which will take no time at all.
Please refer to our previous article for helpful facts for landlords, click here.