Simple Landlords Insurance at the Female Property Alliance
Earlier this month we were invited by the lovely Bindar Dosanjh from Smart Core Wealth - one of our team of in-house property experts - to speak at the Female Property Alliance - giving people the inside track on landlords insurance.
And no, it wasn’t in the least little bit boring!
Our dream team Jenny Mayes and underwriter extraordinaire Andy Wynne-Jones told people what to look out for in terms of cover, how to strip out the jargon from their policies, and how ultimately they could get their claims paid out hassle free…
We asked the audience to stop thinking of insurers as the enemy, and start thinking of us as heroes - coming in to save the day when things go wrong! Failing that, we asked them not to just auto-renew next time around, and to really look at their policies in detail to understand exactly what they were covered for.
Our top insurance tips:
Read the policy
The secret to getting the right cover, and to getting your claims accepted hassle-free, is to know exactly what you’re covered for and what you’re not. Read the details of your policy before you buy.
Investigate the cost of insurance
Take it into account when you’re evaluating the profitability of a property, and factor it in from the start.
Don’t just auto-renew
If you just automatically renew your insurance each year, you’re not checking your cover or making sure you’ve got what you need.
Don’t accept a hike in price
Your policy shouldn’t go up much more than 5-10% each year, unless you’ve had a claim or there’s been significant changes in your property, tenant type, or cover requirements. Look around to see what else is out there.
Compare like with like
Be careful of aggregators. They simplify/strip back cover to give you a comparison, and you could be missing out on the nuances of the cover you’re getting.
Cheaper doesn’t always mean better
Don’t just go on price. Check what cover your getting for your money. And remember that insurance is a taxable allowance!
Look for the reviews
Find out what other people are saying. Look for independent customer reviews from organisations like Feefo, and the Defaqto rating – a five star system used to evaluate the quality of financial services products.
Know your stuff
Know your strategy, your area, and your properties - and insure accordingly. Tailor your policies to cover your requirements, and remember that one size doesn’t fit all.
Consider taking out extra insurance to reduce your excess payments and cover for things like accidental and deliberate damage. They could pay off.
Update your BSI
Make sure rebuild cost (Building Sum Insured figure) is up to date and accurate.
Don’t skimp on the references. Focus on identity, history, and affordability. Use an external referencing agency or letting agent if you need to.
Tailor your tenancy agreements
You set the rules, so use these to help protect your property and make sure everyone knows exactly where they stand from the outset.
Conduct regular inspections
Ensure your tenants are taking care of your buy to let investment.
Make friends with your neighbours
They can tell you what’s going on at your property when you’re not there, and it’s in their interest to do so.
Prepare unoccupied properties
If your property is going to be unoccupied, prepare it properly. Drain the heating system, cover the furniture, and set the alarm.
Build your own team
Build your own team of experts who know you and your property – people you trust. Your insurer can provide contractors but there’s no substitute for local, personal relationships. Just make sure you ring them first to approve the supplier.
Get a portfolio quote
If you’ve got more than three properties, getting a portfolio quote could save you hassle, and money. You can usually add properties as the renewals come up, get a personal account manager, and no fees.
Stay in touch
Let your insurer know as soon as something changes at your property, or as soon as something goes wrong.