Choosing best insurance can prove a minefield...

A Stagecoach bus in Havant. 
PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN

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Whether it is to cover a car, pet, home or holiday, choosing an insurance product can be a complicated minefield involving endless small print and countless variations between what different policies do and do not cover, writes specialist insurance manager, Charles Foster.

For landlords, the right home insurance cover is vital, but it is all too easy to get it wrong and doing so can result financial devastation, as one ill-fated couple discovered.

Richard and Rosalind Meryon, whose story was reported recently in the Telegraph, rented out their £300,000 home to tenants while they were overseas and returned to find their house and all its contents completely trashed. The tenants had stripped the property of the furniture and other fittings and there was extensive water damage to the walls, ceilings and floors caused by extremely high heat and humidity levels, indicating the tenants had likely been growing cannabis in the house.

The couple mistakenly thought their home insurance policy – which was sold to them as suitable for a tenanted property - would cover them for the £56,000 worth of damage incurred. But when they tried to claim their insurer refused to pay out, pointing to small print in the policy stating that it did not include cover for malicious damage or theft caused by people lawfully in the home. The only cover provided was for one-off incidences such as fire, escape of water, subsidence, storm damage, flood, theft and damage following a break in.

Although it may seem reasonable to assume that an insurance policy for a rented property will provide cover for damage caused by tenants, when it comes to insurance one should never assume anything. Every detail should be checked so you have a thorough understanding of exactly what you are - and are not - covered for.

Sadly this couple’s experience is not unique. Too many landlords inadequately insure their property, some mistakenly believing that a standard home insurance policy will cover them. This story is a salutary reminder of the importance not only of choosing the right insurance product but also of regular professional property inspections in protecting your investment and mitigating your risks.

Fortunately the minefield of landlord insurance can be safely and easily overcome with specialist help. Leaders, in partnership with Hepburns Insurance Ltd, have put together a specialist landlord policy which is designed to provide landlords with all the cover they need. It draws on more than 30 years of letting experience to ensure that everything a landlord is likely to need cover for is included for complete peace of mind.

To discuss your insurance requirements and get a no obligation quote call: 01534 515161 or email: hisl@hepburnsinsurance.com. For more information visit leaders.co.uk/pages/landlordinsurance