Landlords: Are You Adequately Insured?

1st May 2013

A recent claim from a guest of a tenant against a landlord has highlighted the need for all landlords to assess their insurance cover. The guest fell down stairs and is now claiming against the landlord for a sum which could exceed a million pounds. Whilst in this case the landlord had adequate insurance cover it could quite easily mean financial ruin for some landlords who may not have sufficient insurance or no insurance at all.

The case is ongoing and being handled by Total Landlord Insurance. The guest claimed the stairs were not fit for purpose and because he is young the claim is significant – covering ongoing costs and loss of earnings. In the last two years, public liability claims received by Total Landlord Insurance have reached an estimated £1.7m.

The firm says these claims are largely the result of slips, trips and falls by tenants that have happened at a property where the landlord is found responsible, and although often unavoidable, without insurance protection such incidents can prove costly.

In the case mentioned, the landlord is not only covered for any damages which might be awarded to the claimant but also the legal costs of defending the claim and the claimants’ legal costs if the landlord is found at fault. Legal fees alone in this case are expected to cost hundreds of thousands.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance, said: “This is a particularly extreme case, but without insurance, this landlord would have been responsible for all costs associated with this incident. Not only could he have risked losing his buy-to-let investment, but his own home to in order to cover the costs in defending his case”.

“Many landlords have very little idea of the level of their property insurance, but this should serve as an eye-opener for anyone who has inadvertently cut corners when it comes to both property maintenance and insurance.”

Fran Mulhall from GFWLetting warns landlords to check the detail of their existing policy. If they don’t have adequate insurance in place they should take advice as a matter of priority.

Whilst GFWLetting do not offer insurance cover we are in a position to put landlords in touch with landlord insurance cover specialists passing on any introduction fee to the client who therefore gains from lower premiums.

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