Trying to compare products can be hard work. You can place them next to each other and try and spot the differences or get the specifications and look at those side by side – but imagine if you have 20 or 30 to compare? Imagine if each product can have many, many factors. How would you work out which is the right one for you?
It can be like that with landlord insurance. It’s very easy to get quotes from multiple insurers but you can quickly find you’re struggling to find the best policy for your needs. To make things easier we’ve compiled the top ten tips when comparing landlord insurance products.
1) Check for additional fees for changes or cancellation of your product
Many insurance companies will hook you with a cheap premium, but should you wish to make any change further down the line then you could be charged some hefty admin fees.
Whilst checking these it is also worth checking payment options and payment charges as a cheap premium may become expensive if paying monthly.
2) Get a UK-based claims service
Insurance is a funny purchase, it’s one of those purchases you hope you never have to use. However, when it comes to a claim this is where you get what you pay for. Ensuring you deal with a UK-based company without outsourced calls centres should ensure you get the correct level of service.
3) Landlord insurance rather than home insurance
It may seem obvious but many people don’t realise that they need landlord insurance for their buy-to-let property. Home insurance is designed for owner-occupier properties. While some home insurance products stretch to renting out the property they are not designed specifically for it and in some cases could invalidate your insurance. Make sure you seek out adequate landlord insurance and don’t leave things to chance.
4) Check loss of rent is included
If your property suffers a claim, most landlord products should include cover to provide an income while the property is uninhabitable following a claim. Not having this cover could leave you out of pocket should a claim occur.
5) Make sure malicious damage by tenants is covered
Malicious damage by a tenant is a surprisingly common claim. When comparing the details of any policy look for malicious damage cover as it may be included or it may be regarded as an add-on which needs to be bought separately. Either way, you’ll want to seriously consider this.
6) Check excesses to avoid surprises
Some claims occur more than others and may have higher excesses applied. Escape of water is the most common property claim and will often have a higher excess. There is generally a standard policy excess that applies with specific excesses being highlighted in your quotation documentation. Make sure you read them and be happy with what you’re signing.
7) Read the important conditions of the policy
Insurance products all have conditions and requirements and it is essential these are adhered to. Examples of this could be ensuring a tenancy agreement is place. While this may seem obvious if you are letting to your friends or family you may not see the need for this, but failure to do so could invalidate your insurance.
8) Ensure cover for manufacture of drugs included
No, this is not an insurance for a sideline you may have, but cover should a tenant damage your property through drug production. Cannabis farms, for example, can lead to the destruction of properties and failure to not have these covers could destroy your investment.
9) Review unoccupancy rules
We would all love our tenants to stay forever and not change, but when the average length of a tenancy is under a year chances are you will have some period of unoccupancy. Insurers vary what cover is provided when a property is unoccupied, some will give cover for up to 90 days whilst others will restrict cover immediately.
10) Look at independent research
The internet is a fantastic way of checking the reputation of a company or product. Whether it be product comparisons, service reviews or company awards the internet is a great sense checking tool. Check out whether the company you’re about to place your trust in have the trust of their customers. For instance, we’re proud of our outstanding, independent customer reviews, which you can read on Feefo.