Terry Lucking, owner of one of Cambridgeshire’s most successful letting agencies and buy to let advice centres predominately covering Cambridge looks at what the real costs are when you buy cheap landlords buildings insurance.
So many people don’t like to talk about insurance and prefer to opt for the cheapest product on offer such as online deals from Direct Line or the NLA. Landlord buildings insurance is a very competitive market and there are lots of brokers trying to attract your money many offering not to be beaten on price.
In Terry’s experience very few landlords ever check in detail what they are not covered for. High excesses and various exclusions for what Terry would say are essential points to cover such as tenants or their visitor’s malicious damage.
If you’ve instructed a letting agent to manage your property Terry recommends you use the buildings insurance the agent offers or introduces you to.
You might save some money buying your buy to let buildings insurance from a remote 3rd party or on line but how much money will it cost you when there is a claim. Your letting agent will have a pre agreed format for reporting claims, providing evidence and liaising with loss assessors enabling them easy access if needed. Loss assessors and contractors who are instructed by an insurer that is not linked to or introduced by the letting agents are less helpful over times of visits and rarely collect keys from the agents offices. This causes delay and additional charges for landlords providing cover at the property waiting for a loss assessor or contractor.
Cost of a Frustrated Tenant
Delays arranging loss assessor and contractor visits cause your tenant frustration. In Terry’s experience one of the most popular claims is for damage to ceilings beneath showers or baths. This often requires a sample of the ceiling board being sent away for asbestos sampling before works commences. If the damaged ceiling is in the lounge or kitchen it is likely the tenant will look for a rent reduction or even temporary accommodation depending on the severity of the damage.
Summary and Recommendation
When you make a claim you want the claims experience to be simple and swift. You don’t want a claim being dragged out for weeks owing to issues arranging access for loss assessors and contractors. Use the insurance your letting agent recommends. It may not be quite a cheap to buy but it will save you money and reduce frustration as the letting agent will keep all parties upto date and reduce frustration between the tenant and landlord.
Free Buy to Let Advice
Terry Lucking is the owner and director of Belvoir Cambridge. Terry and his team are willing to help investors and landlords maximize their rental income. Terry offers a free one to one review. During these reviews Terry and his team will look at the various options to protect and increase your rental returns.
Belvoir Cambridge is an accredited and regulated letting agency, members of ARLA, Safe agent, Safeagent and the Property Ombudsman. One of the requirements for membership of ARLA and Safe Agent is to have Client Money Protection and all client monies independently audited and accounted for annually.
For more information or to ask Terry a question send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org