Select Page
Don’t Overlook Insurance, New Landlord Guide Warns

Don’t Overlook Insurance, New Landlord Guide Warns

New landlords have been warned not to ignore some of the costs they will face but might not have considered, one of which is getting insured.

Landlord Today advised those investing in property that there are “a lot of expenses to consider” beyond mortgages and repair costs.

Among these is landlords insurance. The article noted that it is not actually mandatory and may “go under the radar”. However, it added, this is an invaluable thing to have and it noted is generally one of the lower costs, at an average of £217 a year for the typical rental property.

This amounts to “a drop in the ocean compared to the money it could save you and all the other costs associated with being a landlord,” the article commented.

Among the benefits landlord insurance provides is protection against the costs of damage to newly-bought (and often expensive) furniture, as well as other forms of damage, the worst of which could be fire.

Not only will this provide peace of mind, but it will prevent a sudden large bill arising that could have been prevented for a modest outlay.

Other costs listed in the article include gas safety certificates, electrical safety checks and licences for houses of multiple occupation and also in local authority areas that apply licensing regimes (which only some do).

Less common insurance issues can include subsidence. Some insurers, though not all, will incorporate insurance against subsidence into wider insurance policies. Landlord Zone revealed that the experience of insurance providers in recent years has been that while these account for a small proportion of claims, they have risen significantly in recent years.

Extreme weather can cause this, either through excess rain causing ground to become saturated or drains to overflow with the same effect, or very dry weather than can cause shrinkage.

Other factors can include tree roots drying up the ground by soaking the moisture out of it.

New Landlords Beware – hidden charges trap the inexpe… (landlordtoday.co.uk)

As the weather warms up, the risk of subsidence rises – are you covered? (landlordzone.co.uk)

Own knowledge

How To Set Up Small Business Insurance

How To Set Up Small Business Insurance

If you’re looking for insurance for your small business, it isn’t quite as simple as just buying cover to protect it. There are many different parts of your business to consider insuring, and a raft of policies and packages available for different business types, giving you a lot to think about.

If you’ve just set up your own small business, then we will explain what you need to know, what to expect, and what to consider to get the right business insurance for you.

 

Do your research

Before starting the search for the right insurance, you need to know or have access to key information about your business, to allow you to know what type of policies you will need, and what insurance you’re entitled to, and what is best for your business.

This will include the nature of your business, the company’s annual turnover, the number of employees, and your insurance claims history. As with any insurance, it is best to shop around and compare quotes.

 

What insurance will my small business need?

There are different types of business insurance you can buy for your company, but some are required by law. These are:

  • Employer’s Liability covers your legal responsibility for the safety of your employees, and should they be injured and awarded damages, Employer’s Liability will cover this cost.
  • Motor insurance for any motorised vehicle that runs on a public highway (must cover third party property damages of at least £1 million under the Road Traffic Act).
  • If you have plant and machinery involved in your business it legally requires an engineering inspection, covering items such as forklift trucks, lifting tackle and pressure plants.

Certain insurances are a contractual requirement, such as insuring a building on behalf of your landlord, or holding a Public Liability policy when working for third parties.

Most insurance cover that is a legal obligation will come with a certificate of insurance, which you are required to keep as proof of cover for at least five years.

 

If you’re looking for a business insurance quote online, visit our website today.

Government Insurance Scheme Backs Live Music Events

Government Insurance Scheme Backs Live Music Events

As of September, UK music festivals and live events are to be supported by a government-led insurance scheme, which totalling £750 million, aims to cover the cancellation costs if shows are unable to go ahead due to COVID-19 constraints.

BBC News reports that as live music is only just making a return after lengthy lockdown restrictions across the country, the scheme has been welcomed by the music industry.

Festivals such as Wireless and We Are FSTVL have seen numerous re-arguments and pushbacks in the wake of the pandemic. Over 50 per cent of the scheduled festivals, this year have been cancelled, including the Truck Fest, Kendal Calling and Lovebox, among others.

The scheme will see insurance companies provide financial cover for live shows, with the government agreeing to act as a reinsurer. This means that necessary payouts will have guaranteed funding.

While there has been a mostly positive reaction to the news, The Musicians’ Union has said that the major problem with the scheme is that it does not provide cover for festivals that could face financial ruin if social distancing is reintroduced.

Michael Kill, the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “I am extremely pleased the government has decided to introduce an insurance scheme for the events and festival sector.”

“It stands testament to a government that is starting to acknowledge the varying issues within the sector and, through engagement, take the appropriate action to protect businesses and jobs… It is devastating that the timings of this scheme could not have been earlier, as we have already lost many amazing festivals and events to the uncertainty that this pandemic represents.”

Event companies can obtain the cover as early as next month, with the planned scheme set to run until September 2022.

 

If you’re looking for business insurance quotes, get in touch today.

Side-Hustlers Advised To Check Their Insurance Cover Needs

Side-Hustlers Advised To Check Their Insurance Cover Needs

Over one million people in the UK now have a secondary income from a business which they started during the lockdown, The Express newspaper reports. If you have started a side hustle lately, the publication warns that running a business from private premises can leave you liable to a multitude of compensation claims.

Whether out of necessity to generate income, or as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow their dreams after being furloughed, many people launched a small business from their homes or became self-employed in the last 18 months. However, without the correct documentation, these people could be putting themselves at great financial risk.

The article explains some of the most common risks for side businesses.

 

Home cooking

Baking cupcakes in your kitchen to sell online may seem like a harmless enough activity, but if your kitchen should catch fire and burn down while the cakes are baking, your regular home insurance may be invalid, and any equipment and stock may not be covered.

You will also need mandatory food safety licences, or you may be facing a compensation claim from a customer who has fallen ill with food poisoning. To protect you against being sued for any accidental damage or injuries, you must take out public liability insurance.

 

Personal training

With gyms forced to close for long periods, many employees started their own online or outdoor training sessions. However, trainers are advised to take on professional liability insurance, so they are covered in case anyone decides to sue for personal injury inflected during a class, equipment malfunction, incorrect advice, and a host of other risks.

If clients are invited into the trainer’s home or garden for exercise, then the correct type of public liability insurance must be taken out to protect them for loss or injury suffered on the premises.

 

If you are looking for small business insurance, visit our website today.

The Infamous Guarantee That Changed Takeaway Deliveries

The Infamous Guarantee That Changed Takeaway Deliveries

Different sectors require different types of insurance because the risks and issues can vary so wildly. Fast food delivery insurance is an excellent example of this, as it requires aspects of both restaurant insurance as well as insurance for fleets, drivers and other business risks.

These risks were brought firmly into the limelight as the result of one highly popular marketing campaign that turned tragic.

Domino’s Pizza is a hugely popular takeaway pizza chain that has had several marketing campaigns be both very popular and very controversial.

The Noid, a bizarre media concoction from 1986 that was so popular it even got its own video game, would allegedly be pulled due to a man who shared the name of the creature holding a Domino’s restaurant hostage.

Their other popular slogan was that pizzas would be delivered in 30 minutes or less or you get the pizza for free, although the slogan would eventually be reduced to $3 off by 1987.

However, given the complexities in delivering food, given people do not live the same distance away from a restaurant, as well as traffic conditions, weather conditions and every other factor that makes driving a risk, the hard deadline led to allegations of the company encouraging reckless driving.

This led to several lawsuits being brought against the company, the biggest happening in 1989 when a driver drove through a red light and crashed into her car, injuring her back and head. She sued and would eventually settle for $15m.

This, along with a similar lawsuit in 1992 where a 41-year-old woman was killed when a Domino’s lorry crashed into her vehicle, led to the company dropping their guarantee, although they claimed it was the “public perception” of recklessness rather than actual recklessness that caused the change.

Since then, similar guarantees and campaigns have been run based on quality assurance, or use systems such as GPS to ensure that food arrives in a reasonable time, although these are also not without controversy.

Small Businesses Warned Not To Scrimp On Insurance Polices

Small Businesses Warned Not To Scrimp On Insurance Polices

A report in Money Week suggests that some small companies stopped paying at least one type of insurance during the pandemic in an attempt to reduce their overheads. While in some ways this is understandable, as the lockdown left many businesses fighting for survival, the article warns that cancelling insurance policies is false economy.

It is illegal in some cases for a business to operate without certain types of insurance, and if it is discovered to be doing so, the business owner could face steep fines or other penalties. For example, it is a legal requirement for businesses who employ even just one member of staff to have employers’ liability insurance.

If the business uses a vehicle, it is also required by law to have motor insurance, with a minimum of third-party cover providing £1m of insurance for property damage and an unlimited amount for personal injury.

While it is not always a legal requirement to have public liability insurance, business owners are taking a huge gamble if the company interacts with people who are not employees.

For example, if customers or clients visit the business premises for any reason, and as a result sustain an injury, illness, or damage to their property, they are entitled to claim for compensation. Public liability insurance is designed to help cover any damages awarded to the claimant, and help with legal costs to the business owner.

The pandemic has also highlighted the need for business interruption insurance, which is designed to pay out if the business is unable to trade due to temporary closure of the premises. This could be because of a fire or flood, but small businesses recently successfully challenged for Covid-19 claims in the courts.

While all businesses are free to assess the risk in certain areas of insurance, it can prove a lot more costly in the long run to opt out of certain types of cover.

Looking to compare public liability insurance? Visit our website today.

Cumbrian Firms Warned About Under-Insurance

Cumbrian Firms Warned About Under-Insurance

Many firms in the county of Cumbria are at risk of being under-insured, a local broker has warned.

Ryan Roberts of RAW Insurance told Cumbria Crack that business property insurance is one of the areas where firms are taking out less cover than they need for the true value of their buildings and other assets.

He gave the example of a firm that insured its buildings for £500,000 when their true value was £1 million, which would mean they would be classed as under-insured.

“In this case, a fire at the premises with a repair cost of £100,000 would be settled by insurers at £50,000, leaving the policyholder seriously out of pocket,” Mr Roberts explained.

He added that firms should make sure that have their premises independently valued before they get insurance and emphasised the sum that matters is how much it would cost to rebuild the premises, not the present market value or how much it was originally bought for.

Similarly, the cost of replacing contents should also be the key metric, while for firms that have invested in machinery or equipment there needs to be a regular appraisal, as the old policy may have covered fewer items or less expensive equipment.

Mr Roberts said the cost of living should also be taken into account, observing: “While most policies are index-linked, factors such as an increase in the cost of building materials could directly impact on rebuilding costs.”

Of course, it won’t just be businesses in Cumbria that have to face these questions. Indeed, this is a widespread problem across the country. Premier Line estimates 40 per cent of firms are under-insured.

With many firms having struggled through the pandemic, it would be a tragedy now to be able to get back to something like normal trading only to be undermined by a problem they cannot receive sufficient payment to resolve. That is why you should take care never to be under-insured.

3 Ways To Profit From Your Empty Office Space

3 Ways To Profit From Your Empty Office Space

The pandemic has changed lives all around the world, and business closures have left hundreds of commercial buildings empty, from offices to shops.

With the announced closure of clothing retailer Gap meaning another shuttered storefront on the high street, landlords may be wondering what can be done with empty properties. We have a look at three ideas to help landlords make a profit from empty commercial spaces.

 

1. Private events

Post-pandemic, many people will be looking for clean spaces to meet up and organise private events, from book clubs, private parties, or exhibitions, your vacant office space could be the key to helping people get back together safely.

 

2. Professional training

Some companies may adopt a permanent remote work policy, and do away with the need for full-time office space. However, they may need a place to host meetings or staff training. Your commercial space could become a meeting room for hire.

 

3. Pop-ups

A pop-up is a short-term retail store, such as a holiday craft shop, summertime brewery, food market, or clothing retailer. They typically last a few days or weeks, which is beneficial if you don’t want to commit to a long-term rental contract. Pop-ups can be excellent ways for businesses to increase brand awareness and revenue.

Whatever you decide to do with your vacant premises, always consider any risks involved, and contact your insurer to find out what coverage you need, such as commercial or public liability insurance. Why not contact us for a quote today?

Are You Open To Lets With Pets?

Are You Open To Lets With Pets?

A campaign from the Dog’s Trust, ‘Lets With Pets’ has been informing landlords and letting agencies that exclude tenants with pets from their properties that they are missing out on a significant share of the rental market, with nearly half of UK households currently owning a pet.

Unlike this peculiar story of an unusual pet in Edinburgh, most pets are cats and dogs, and if one of your tenants asks permission to keep a pet on the property, do you know what your reaction will be?

It may initially seem like a risk to allow animals in your property, but permitting tenants to keep a pet can set you apart from other landlords, improve your relationship with your tenants, and even allow you to add a premium to the rental value you can achieve.

With almost half of all households in the UK owning a pet, by excluding pet-owning tenants, you could be missing out on a massive part of the rental market. Allowing pets can increase the demand for your property, and attract responsible tenants looking for a long-term let.

Once a tenant finds a tenancy that allows them to bring their furry friend, they are far more likely to stay.

While it is no longer possible to charge a ‘pet deposit’, most pet owners would be willing to increase their rent by a small amount to account for additional wear and tear, meaning more profit for you.

For the vast majority of pet owners, their four-legged friend is a much-loved member of the family, and they take ownership very seriously. Pets require commitment, a regular income, and a responsible nature – all desirable traits in a tenant.

You may need to check with your insurance provider to see if your policy includes accidental pet damage, as it is likely that it will not be included as standard.

If you’re looking for landlords insurance, get in touch today.

Top Tips For Lowering Your Premiums

Top Tips For Lowering Your Premiums

Ensuring your home is adequately insured is vital, and in some cases is either legally required or is a condition for successfully applying for a mortgage.

However, not all insurances are equal and there are many ways in which you can stop overpaying for your buildings, contents and combined policies.

 

Shop Around

One mistake many people make when setting up their insurance is taking the buildings insurance policy their mortgage provider offers them. Sometimes this is done for convenience but in other cases, it’s under the misguided belief that you have to take their policy.

Take advantage of home insurance comparison websites and compare different deals to see if there is a cheaper insurance policy that covers everything you need.

Avoid auto-renewing policies wherever possible, and be willing to shop around near the deadline to renew to get the best deal. Comparing deals and threatening to move away is the best way to keep getting the best deal.

 

Go Combined

Oddly, whilst shopping around will often get you the best deal for either buildings or contents policies, in many cases an insurance provider will provide a cheaper combined policy.

According to data from Money Supermarket, a combined policy can save over £30 a year.

 

Pay Annually

Making an up-front, annual premiums payment can save you money compared with monthly premium policies, so if you can pay a lump sum try to do so.

 

Pay For What You Need

It can be very easy to stack on different insurance add-ons “just in case”, such as for home emergencies, legal expenses and accidental damage. These can significantly increase the price of premiums for situations that are rare for most people.

 

No Claims Discounts And Higher Excesses

If you can afford to and do not expect to make claims, consider increasing your excess (the amount you pay before the policy kicks in) and start to build up a no-claims discount by paying the cost of minor repairs and little accidents yourself.

 

Make sure you are comfortable doing this financially; if you do not feel comfortable paying a higher excess or paying for repairs then it is fine to claim on your insurance or accept a lower excess.