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Customer case study: Sharon Hester

Friday 14 October 2016

All three of Sharon Hester’s rental properties in the UK are insured with Simple Landlords Insurance (SLI) because the process of claiming is ‘easy, straightforward and hassle-free.’

She became a landlord 17 years ago, while living with her young family in Spain.

“Our son had a heart condition which meant regular check-ups in the UK for three years,” she said.

“We bought a three bedroom terrace in St Ives, in Cambridgeshire, near the Hinchinbrooke Hospital, so we could be near him.”

Fortunately, Sharon’s son recovered and the family found had no more reason to use the property.

“It sat empty for a year and then we decided to rent it out,” she said. “We have some lovely tenants who have been there nine years. They’re great!”

In 2010 the first floor bath sprang a leak and water began to drip into the hall below, but Sharon says the process of claiming with SLI was very smooth:

“I went online and found my policy number and the telephone number to call. It’s really good because you don’t have to search all over the place."

“I gave them a ring and they told me to contact a plumber and get a quote, which I did."

“We called a plumber in. The bath panels came off and he got underneath to fix it."

“Water had dripped down into the ceiling in the hall. The damage to the ceiling was the real issue. But we put a bowl under it and got someone in to patch up the ceiling."

“Simple said ‘Yes, fine – go ahead.’"

“It was five or six years ago and I can’t remember if they wanted a picture of the damage."

“It is the only time I have claimed – touch wood. I submitted an invoice and was paid promptly."

“It was very easy and straightforward,” said Sharon. 

“It’s easy to use and hassle free. You’re not waiting weeks on end for paperwork to come back. It only took a short while."

“The tenants were pleased with how quickly it all took and how effortless it all seemed."

“There were no rubber dinghies and we didn’t have to call the fire brigade  - it wasn’t very dramatic I’m afraid!"

“There was a bowl in the hall and a soggy towel!”

A recent leak in Sharon’s Spanish home, where ‘half-a-tonne’ of water escaped from a burst water pipe, provided a lot more drama.

“A T-junction under the bathroom tiles had come apart. It got wider and the water force got stronger,” said Sharon.

“It seeped up from under the tiles and took four months to dry.

“We had a huge water bill and a swimming pool’s worth of water to deal with. It made the drip in St Ives seem very inconsequential!”

Ironically, Sharon and Lloyd run a company which sells infra-red heaters. The website has advice and help for damp properties.

She said: “They are economical to use and easy to fit. They require no ongoing maintenance and are an ideal solution.”

Since buying the terraced house in St Ives, Sharon has bought two more properties to rent out, and now lives in Warrington, with husband Lloyd and their three children, a son aged 18, and two daughters, aged 12 and 20. 

“My three UK rental properties are all insured with Simple,” Sharon said.

“I do go on price comparison sites and Simple still comes out as the cheapest. They tend to look after their customers.

“Unlike car and home insurance the renewal prices tend not to increase. So we’re very happy.”

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