Landlords Insurance and empty properties?

by Readers Question

8:29 AM, 26th July 2019
About A year ago

Landlords Insurance and empty properties?

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Landlords Insurance and empty properties?

We are a portfolio landlord and due to the current S21 consultation we are disposing of some of the portfolio as they become vacant. Inevitably properties need a quick tidy up before being marketed.

Our current insurer (Hamilton Fraser) claim they offer 3 months full cover after a property becomes vacant, before it reduces to basic cover with an increased excess. However, we have found that even carrying out minor works, before placing the property on the market for sale, such as replacing a kitchen and redecorating, results in cover being reduced immediately. Even after the work has finished (in this instance the works took less than 3 weeks from start to finish) they will not reinstate full cover. In any case, even if we don’t carry out any work, unless we sell at auction it is very unlikely that we can find a buyer and complete the transaction within 3 months of the tenant vacating. We have asked HF if it would be possible to pay an additional premium to maintain full cover on empty properties, but they don’t offer this service.

Do any property 118 members have suggestions for alternative insurers who provide what we need or is it just normal to have cover reduced to Fire, Lightning, Aircraft and Explosion when selling an empty property?

Many thanks

G


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Comments

Neil Patterson

11:34 AM, 26th July 2019
About A year ago

Hi G,

We have an article "Do you need Unoccupied Property Insurance?" >> https://www.property118.com/need-unoccupied-property-insurance/

However, I will also ask our Insurance expert Jason to comment on your question if he can as well 🙂

Rob Crawford

13:14 PM, 26th July 2019
About A year ago

I would certainly recommend Alan Boswell Landlord Insurance.

Jason McClean

15:09 PM, 26th July 2019
About A year ago

Hi G

You need Unoccupied/Renovation Insurance during the period you are tidying and selling the property.

We can offer full cover for everything, including escape of water, malicious damage and all the normal perils. The policies are underwritten by either Legal and General or Channel at Lloyds.

We can offer lower levels of cover, but don't see the point as the prices are low to begin with and come with a pro-rata rebate less a £35 fee once cancelled.

A few things you need to comply with:
* You must visit the property every 7 or 14 days
* Normally you need to drain the water tank or keeping the central heating on
* Any renovations are normally excluded and covered by your contractor's all-risk insurance. We can offer full works insurance as well, but normally this is only on major renovations.

These are super flexible policies - even if you change your mind and rent again, they can morph into landlord insurance.

Happy to help and supply you a quote, a lot of our policies cost less than £200 and with the pro-rata rebate, you get a fair chunk back if you sell within 3-9 months.

If we can assist, do call Jason on 01832-735388 and mention this article on Property 118 - we contribute to 118's good work for every reader that buys from us.

Best

Jason

Darlington Landlord

18:13 PM, 26th July 2019
About A year ago

When I was selling a house last year I arranged empty property insurance through WTJ Insurance Brokers Ltd. in Leeds (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give contact details?) you should be able to google them.
It was a specialist policy and the conditions were similar to what Jason details above, there were 3 different levels of cover so it just depends what you think its worth paying for. When I sold the house I got a pro rata refund on the annual premium.

JonnyS

21:05 PM, 29th July 2019
About A year ago

I've just been through the same process with a property of mine that is currently empty. Ended up taking out unoccupied insurance with Towergate (was quite expensive). Again, conditions are the same as those mentioned above.

amarni

18:22 PM, 4th October 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 26/07/2019 - 13:14
Having spent tiring days with various brokers involving property insurance renewal in 2 days time for one and another for an existing home insurance to become a new landlord insurance on an unoccupied property - ready to be let out - no exact date yet for a Tenant to occupy, I read your email, Rob and thinking it is late in the day what have I now got to lose I called the Alan Boswell Group and spoke with Alice, specialist in smaller landlord cover.

So glad I did! Personal service and flexible honest and comprehensive cover. Understand landlords may have an empty property, commencing, between and post letting too, nothing seemed to present a problem and a flexible can-do attitude - they automatically insure for this up to 90 days, no quibble - compare this to being passed on to another department because you do not fit their criterium but where no-one actually answers the call.

Fair price and amendments to policy once let, very easy to carry out down the line. Really pleased with this so thank you for the contribution.

Kathy Evans

14:23 PM, 7th October 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by amarni at 04/10/2019 - 18:22
Do check what it covers, though. Technically I get the same as you, but the automatic 90 day cover really isn't much use if the property gets broken into only if it is damaged by debris falling from an aircraft or similar. So I end up having to pay for higher grade cover. Wouldn't be necessary in many "nice" areas, but is for most of mine.


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