The scope of cover provided under property insurance policies can vary significantly, insurer to insurer. When undertaking a comparison of policies, it is important to ascertain whether, in addition to standard covers, quotes include:
- Accidental damage
- Terrorism cover
- and in respect of let properties, whether malicious damage by tenants cover is afforded and, where cover is included, any inner limits that may apply
Furthermore, it is important to advise insurers of any period for which a property may be unoccupied, pending letting or between lettings. Where works are being undertaken on a property, either basic decoration or structural works, insurers need to be advised and kept updated.
Most let property insurance policies will require there to be a formal tenancy agreement in force and for the property owner to comply with the HSE requirements in respect of let properties i.e.
Gas safety – landlord’s must:
- make sure gas equipment supplied is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
- have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety on each appliance and flue
- give the tenant a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days of the check
Electrical safety – landlord’s must:
- make sure that the electrical system is safe, eg sockets and light fittings
- make sure that any appliances supply are safe, eg cookers and kettles
Fire safety – landlord’s must:
- follow safety regulations
- provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a usable fireplace or woodburner
- check the tenant has access to escape routes at all times
- make sure any furniture and furnishings supplied are fire safe
- provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
For further details please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/index.htm
We have access to a comprehensive panel of insurers and can provide quotes for:
- Let Residential Insurance
- Let Commercial Insurance
- Property Owners Insurance
- Second/Holiday Home
- Unoccupied Commercial
- Unoccupied Residential
In respect of sums insured, when arranging buildings insurance cover, the reinstatement cost needs to include a provision for site clearance, debris removal, architects fees and other professional fees. If you are unsure as to the rebuild sum insured, or if this has not been reviewed for some time, we would recommend that you employ the services of a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) approved surveyor, to ensure adequate levels of cover are in force.
Most property owners policies carry an average condition, whereby in the event of a loss insurers would scale down a claim in proportion to the level of any under insurance i.e
(Sum Insured ÷ Full Value) x Full loss = The proportion that will be paid by the insurer.
Care therefore needs to be taken to ensure that declared sums insured are adequate.