Should an Insurance Claim on BTL affect my House Insurance?

by Readers Question

17:29 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Should an Insurance Claim on BTL affect my House Insurance?

Make Text Bigger
Should an Insurance Claim on BTL affect my House Insurance?

I have a small portfolio of four BTL’s and a few years ago I was unfortunate enough to have a buildings insurance claim on two of the BTL’s within the space of two years. Both claims were c.£800 and are through a specialist Landlord insurance provider. Should an Insurance Claim on BTL affect my House Insurance?

When I came to renew the house insurance on my own home, where I have lived for 14 years without any claim, I was asked if I have had any claims in the last five years.

I explained that I have never claimed on my own house insurance but as a landlord with several properties I have indeed had two claims on my rental properties. I was told by this provider and by several others I subsequently called that as I have had two claims in a five year period then I was too high risk to insure and they declined to offer a quote for home insurance on my own home.

I am certain that this can not be right. After all, a landlord owning 100 BTL’s is surely expected to have more claims than somebody who owns no BTL’s but this doesn’t make them higher risk.

So, in summary, what I would like to know is; when I am insuring my own home and I am asked about my claims history, am I obliged to disclose claims on my BTL’s or only claims, if any, that pertain to my home?

Exasperated and looking forward to your comments!

Thank you.

Paul Baker


Share this article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Comments

Mark Alexander

17:31 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi Paul

I don't know the answer to your question but what I do know is that our recommended insurers GUARANTEE to beat any like for like quotation. They also assure me that all risks are insurable. Please see >>> http://www.property118.com/landlords-insurance-landlords-buying-group/
.

Jonathan Clarke

17:45 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Yes very annoying for you. Differing companies may ask different questions. I now lump all my BTLs together in one policy but when they were on numerous separate policies one company when asked this specific question said they were only interested in previous claims on the risk property and not any other properties I owned . But they all may not be as generous as this

From a risk perspective if 50% of your BTL`s have had a claim in 2 years I can see why you are seen as a risk to them. It doesnt bode well for the future for them tbh . Over the years I have taken the hit and absorbed several insured costs myself so to keep my history looking not too bad.

But I don`t claim to understand the intricate inside workings of insurers so someone hopefully will come on and expand on an answer to your question

Paul Baker

18:25 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi Jonathan, thanks for responding so quickly.
I should just clarify that I have held the 4 BTL's for 20 years now and only had the two claims. When coupled with no claims on my main home for 14 years I wouldn't consider myself a high risk! Surely that equates to 94 years of insurance with just 2 claims??!!
Also in response to how generous or otherwise any insurance company is, my experience is that every insurance company will ask if I have had any claims in the last 5 years.
You, and I and any sane person will know that this should only relate to the property at risk, but I would not wish for the house insurance on my main home to be declared void in event of a claim due to not declaring claims on my BTL's in the past.
Surely this is something almost every landlord has encountered.. when applying to insure your own home do you disclose any claims on any other properties that you own?

Neil Patterson

18:26 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

You absolutely must disclose any claims when asked, because if you don't you will find yourself without insurance when you need it most.

It also very much depends on the type of claims you have made eg water damage from poor maintenance that could have been prevented will put you at higher risk than something unforeseen.

Paul Baker

18:51 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "07/05/2014 - 18:26":

Hi Neil, I agree that all claims on any property should be disclosed but why should the type of claim on a BTL effect the insurance on my own home?
If there was a claim on a BTL which was due to poor maintenance this should bear no relevance to my own home insurance surely?
Anyway in my case I was never offered the opportunity to explain the claims or the amounts it was just a case of the computer says No as I said I had 2 claims in the last 5 years. There was no differential between these being BTL's and no recognition of 14 years of unblemished home and contents insurance history on my home.
I should add, I did resolve the matter by going through an insurance broker and explaining my circumstances. They told me is has no bearing and won't affect my own home insurance.
However if I want to visit the comparison websites for my own home insurance when it's next due for renewal I'd like to know what I should declare as websites just ask for claims history and again I will find myself without the opportunity of explaining my circumstances and being declined insurance or being loaded if I mention two claims.
Hopefully an insurance industry expert can clarify for us if the questions regarding past claims are supposed to relate to the at risk property or every property you own wherever it is, and regardless of how many.
Thank you for your comment.

Neil Gammie

18:56 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Nei Patterson is right. Meanwhile Google Jelf - after a £100,000 fire my then insurance company (Alan Boswell - who provided no support or help whatsoever during an incredibly stressful refurbishment year)) doubled my premium after 20 years of no claims - Jelf brought it back to where it should have been. As a rule of thumb seek new quotes at every renewal date and remind your current insurer that you are doing so - at least you will have the satisfaction of having someone wake up temporarily at the other end to go over their renewal quote. It really is worth it.

Mark Weedon

20:15 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

You must always disclose previous claims. If you do not the insurers may repudiate any claim. These days insurers have many different ways of finding out about previous claims.
The advent of computer quotes means, if you do not fit the system, it will not quote.
Find yourself a professional broker locally, who will be there to hold your hand in the event of a claim.
A good broker will speak to the underwriter and explain the situation. Many of my clients have suffered claims on their business but it does not effect their personal insurance.

Sally T

20:50 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

After 2 fires at the same property in the space of a week no insurance company would touch us except a specialist one (through Alan Boswell). Although I have to pay high premiums for that property none of my others were effected when I disclosed it.

DC

21:28 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

If asked the question you have to disclose any insurance claims, however, I feel that there should be a line drawn between business and private affairs. I say this because in my previous employment I was involved in work that resulted in frequent unavoidable insurance claims and due to this there was an official agreement that business and private matters were not generally disclosed together. Your property rentals are a business so you could argue the same point.

I have used Alan Boswell Insurance for the past 5 years or so and unlike Neil Gammie's experience I have been very satisfied, possibly lucky and found them very helpful. This is to the extent that somebody high-up in the company took on a claim on my behalf because the underwriter turned it down and he physically went to the underwriters head office (in the same locality) and over a period of many months successfully argued my case resulting in a pay-out.

Unfortunately Mark, as I pointed out to you last year I did try the Landlords Buying Group Insurers but they couldn't match Alan Boswell's quote let alone beat it so I assume they now stand by their claim?

Paul Baker

21:36 PM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Weedon" at "07/05/2014 - 20:15":

Mark Weedon - you've hit the nail on the head.
As you say, if you don't fit the box, the computer won't quote.
I would agree with your comments and it would seem the best way of being entirely truthful but not penalised for being so is to find a decent, local broker where individual circumstances can be catered for.
This will however mean no more cuddly meerkats though : )

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

13% of properties sell for over asking price

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More