There are a few critical steps to take in order to ensure a landlord public liability insurance claim is successful. To claim on landlord public liability insurance, one of the first steps is to check the policy wording.
The policy wording should include information on what to do, and what not to do. For example, most landlord liability insurance policies will include a condition that the policyholder does not admit fault or negotiate or make any offers.
The policy will also stipulate how and when to contact the insurer. If a broker was used to arrange the policy, it’s likely that you’ll need to contact the broker first. They can help you with the steps to make a successful claim. Brokers are accustomed to dealing with claim situations, so they know what to look out for.
It’s also important to gather any evidence, which can include photos or emails to support your case. For example, if a landlord had contacted the tenant multiple times to ask permission to enter to make necessary repairs, but the tenant was not responsive, this could be supporting evidence for the landlord if the tenant later was injured due to the repairs not being carried out.
For instance, if the landlord attempted to fix broken tiles, the tenant later tripped on and subsequently sued the landlord. If the landlord could show proof that they’d attempted to gain entry to fix the tiles, this evidence could support the landlord’s defence in a liability claim.
Does landlord insurance provide public liability cover?
Landlord insurance should include a form of public liability cover that you might see referred to as landlord liability or property owners’ liability insurance. It protects against the costs of third-party damage or injury claims and associated expenses. For any claims that are due to loss, damage, or injury, including death, a landlord liability policy will ensure that the property owner is not personally responsible.
As there is a reasonable risk of tenants or visitors suffering an accident or injury while living in or visiting a rented property, landlord’s liability insurance (a form of property owners’ liability insurance) offers the same protection to landlords against claims brought by a third party. Typically, the majority of landlords’ insurance policies will contain some type of liability coverage.
According to NimbleFins, landlords’ public liability insurance limits often fall between £2 million and £5 million, but limits can be higher depending on the level of coverage needed. Value of the property, assets and other factors will need to be considered to determine the appropriate policy coverage level. It may be best to seek professional guidance to ensure the correct amounts are set.
Premiums are relatively reasonable, with the average landlords’ liability policy costing in the region of £55 a year. However, it should be noted that this will protect the landlord from liability claims only. Other important types of coverage such as buildings coverage, contents cover, and extras like loss of rental income, rent guarantee, legal expenses and more will increase the level of protection and the associated premium payment.
The landlord’s content insurance protects only the fixtures, fittings, materials, and non-built-in appliances owned by the landlord for items in the property. It will not cover any of the tenant’s belongings in the case of theft or similar losses. Therefore, tenants will need to obtain their own contents insurance to cover their personal property and pay for the cost of repair or replacement.
Do I need landlord liability insurance?
Given the rising risks of personal injury claims, landlord liability insurance makes a lot of sense to buy. It’s quite cheap, especially when you consider the amount of cover it provides in a worst-case scenario. Without this cover, a property could be at risk. For example, a liability claim for a very large sum of money could result in a landlord needing to sell their property to cover the costs if they don’t have landlord liability insurance in place to cover the costs of the claim.
That said, there is no legal requirement for landlords to obtain liability insurance.
The law does not insist that landlords have liability insurance. Still, it generally is a very sound and sensible business risk management tool for any landlord that rents and leases out property. There can be a higher risk of legal action for those landlords that rent multiple properties, but whether one or several buildings are owned it is important to have the proper insurance. Having adequate protection in place will limit the expense and financial obligation associated with successful claims and protect the landlord’s personal finances and assets.