Landlord Insurance has now developed into specialist policies meaning you can apply to cover anything from standard buildings to loss of rent and damaged appliances.
It’s important to think carefully about what insurance you might need and get the right one for the properties you own.
That’s the first step in reducing the cost of your insurance as you don’t want to be paying for something you don’t need. But there’s a lot more you can do to cut down the costs.
By making a few security measures you can save loads on your insurance. If there’s less chance of theft or damage to the property, then the insurance company is likely to charge you less. While the crime rates of the local area and the risk of flood or fire play a role in the cost of your insurance, this cannot often be helped and in this case certain security measures are even more crucial.
Here are a few simple and easy steps you can take to begin reducing your costs.
It’s worth fitting the front door with a deadbolt, even a double cylinder one for extra security. This stops thieves from reaching through a nearby window and opening the door from the inside.
Other measures you can take include installing solid wood or metal doors, to prevent them from being smashed in, and can expose potential intruders by the noise they would have to create to break through these doors.
Between tenants, it is also a good idea to get the locks rekeyed, especially if the tenancy ended on unfriendly terms. While this may sound like an unwanted expense, it is cheaper than getting the locks changed but still maintains the high level of security desired.
Less obvious strategies are also important. You can deter intruders with motion sensor lighting as this threatens to expose their faces and illuminate any potential hiding places around the property.
The most effective form of security is an alarm system which will not only lower your insurance costs by up to 15%, but it will also increase the desirability of the property. These days insurance companies are happy to tell exactly what they look for in a security system and how much you can save on your premiums.
Monitored back-to-base alarm systems are particularly worthwhile investing in. The system alerts a central security monitoring center if the alarm system is triggered and someone from the security company will then respond. This means you get a high-quality service whilst also making savings.
You can also advertise that the property is secure, which deters potential thieves. Remove any potential hiding places such as large plants and bushes can also reduce the chance of burglary.
If you’re in the unfortunate situation where you do need to make an insurance claim, it’s important that you do so accurately. Make sure your tenants keep a detailed record of the value of their contents so that you do not claim above what you need.
Not all insurance will cover tenants belongings, however, if you have a semi furnish or furnished property, then you should also keep a record of your belongings as well.
You should make a note of antiques, artwork, bicycles, technological equipment, valuable collections, musical instruments and anything else of significant value. Some items might not be covered by the insurance so it’s important to check which ones are.
Details that should be kept include; manufacturer details, model name and number, serial number, colour, a photograph and the estimated value of the item. By maintaining these away from the property or in a fire-proof safe means that they won’t get lost or damaged.
In fact, most landlords now email these details to a safe email address so that they can keep a digital copy backed up on a computer system. It’s also important to make sure that you or your tenants do not add on additional costs or round-up the value of their content as this will increase the cost of the insurance premium, so make sure that the contents value details are regularly updated so that it is completely accurate.
Another effective recommendation is to engrave or use ultraviolet ink to mark your property with your postcode and name. While this technique does not reduce the cost of insurance premiums, it increases the chances of recovering stolen goods which mean you might not need to claim on the insurance.
Ultraviolet pen wears off over time and should be repeated annually. It is also advised to check with the insurance company first as sometimes engraving an item can void it from being covered.
Article Courtesy of: Nathan Hughes – Nathan is a locksmith specialising in commercial and property security. His professional team of locksmiths provide the resources and service landlords need to make sure their property is safe and secure.