Q. I was talking to an insurance salesman at a business exhibition recently and he told me I need special landlord insurance when I rent my home out (as we intend to do next year). Is this correct or is he just trying to drum up more business?
A. The salesman is undoubtedly trying to drum up business (that’s his job) but he is also correct. You should not use ordinary household insurance for property rented out to tenants. It is very important that you use a proper landlords’ policy. If you carry on using your household insurance you may find that claims will be rejected – particularly if you do not tell your insurance company that you are renting to tenants.
There are quite a few important risks associated with rented property which are not covered by ordinary insurance, for example cover during ‘voids’ when the property is empty, cover for malicious tenant damage, and loss of rent if the property is damaged and the tenants have to move out.
Q. My property was badly damaged recently when my tenants accidentally started a fire. I was not too worried initially as it is covered by insurance but I am told that they will only pay out a percentage of my claim as apparently, the property was under insured. Can they do that? The claim is for less than the sum the property was insured for.