8:45 AM, 26th August 2022, About a month ago 4
While the number of landlord insurance claims increased by 13% during the pandemic, those for malicious tenant damage were among the fastest growing causes of a claim, research reveals.
And the firm’s lead claims specialist says the huge rise for malicious tenant damage could be that ‘Some tenants might have grown to feel resentment towards landlords who still expected them to pay the rent.’
The analysis from Total Landlord Insurance highlights that during the pandemic, landlords were unable to access their properties as the government prevented them from doing so.
Despite this inability to see the state of their properties first-hand, landlord insurance claims increased by 13% between 2019 and 2021, from 536 annual claims up to 603.
During this time, the fastest growing reason for an insurance claim was for storm damage which increased by 93%, from 70 claims in 2019 up to 135 in 2021.
However, malicious tenant damage has also become an increasingly common reason for landlord insurance claims during the lockdown and they rose by 50%.
During the pandemic, the average landlord insurance claim size also increased.
The firm says there has been a rise of 29% between 2019 and 2021 as the average claim rose from £5,773 to £7,429.
The biggest rise in claim size was for liability insurance claims.
Liability insurance protects a landlord against any harm or injury that befalls a tenant while inside the property, and during the pandemic, the average claim grew by 270% from £1,306 to £4,827.
At the same time, the average claim for storm damage increased by 140%, break-in claims rose by 101% and claims for underground services went up by 95%.
Melissa Choules, the lead claims specialist at Total Landlord Insurance, said: “The pandemic made it almost impossible for landlords to gain access to their properties and along with the direct impact of the pandemic on tenants themselves, this suggests this may have contributed to an increase in insurance claims.
“With landlords also unable to maintain their rental properties for such a prolonged period, the average size of a claim has also increased as they look to rectify multiple years of damage and wear and tear.”
She added: “It’s also interesting to see such an increase in claims resulting from malicious damage.
“This could suggest that, during the pandemic, tenants were feeling increasingly frustrated, trapped and unable to move.
“At the same time, some tenants might have grown to feel resentment towards landlords who still expected them to pay the rent as normal despite significant reductions in income and job security.
“It was an incredibly difficult time for so many people, and with this new cost of living crisis now upon us, life for tenants isn’t going to get any easier.”
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