What is Buildings Insurance?
As a landlord, you should never forget that you are running a business. Whether you own a condo unit, an apartment unit, a house or even an entire building, your property is your investment; protecting your investment is crucial. Speaking with a management company like The Bahl Team can give you valuable insights into what provider will offer you the best coverage. We can help you to gain a strong grasp on what should be covered, and what isn’t covered. Let’s take a quick look for the time being:
Generally speaking, Landlord Buildings Insurance will cover accidental damage to or theft of: the building structure itself, outside structures such as gates, fences, car parks, drives etc that you own or are responsible for and permanent fixtures and fittings such as kitchen sink or bathroom showers. Some insurance packages may also cover things like ground rent during a period of time in which the property is uninhabitable, the removal of debris, damage caused to the gardens due to emergency services and more. When considering a policy, you can look at features in 2 different categories: “Necessary features” and “Good to have Features”. Let’s start with the “Necessary Features”.
Generally speaking, a good Buildings Insurance policy will cover damage to your home caused by:
- Fire, smoke, or explosions
- Natural events such as fire, severe storms and floods
- Car and lorry collisions
- Water Damage from leaking pipes
- Falling trees
- Oil leaks coming from your heating system
Good to Have Features:
Every insurance provider is different, and some of these features may or may not be available to you. If they seem important, you should ask your provider. Moreover, some of these features may be covered in other policies, such as Landlord Insurance.
Underground Services – This covers your pipes and cables supplying gas, electricity and water to your home, as well as sewage pipes.
Blockage of Sewer Pipe – If your sewer pipe becomes blocked, this will cover the cost to unblock it.
Burst Pipes – If a pipe bursts, the cost to repair will be covered.
Glass & Sanitary ware Breakage – If windows, glass doors, toilets and washbasins are broken accidentally, you’ll be covered.
Loss or Theft of Keys – If your keys are stolen, or misplaced, your insurance company will cover the cost of replacing all of the locks in your home.
Legal Expenses Cover – If you encounter issues related to bodily injury claims etc, than this will cover your personal legal expenses.
No Claims Discount – If you haven’t made any claims in recent years, this entitles you to a discount off your annual premium.
These are just a handful of the features that you can request, but you may not be granted the coverage. The exact policy would depend on the insurance company that you are dealing with, what they offer and what you choose to include. Unfortunately, more and more insurance companies are incorporating exclusions from their policies, so you’ll want to go over the policy with a fine toothed comb, and read all of the fine print.
What isn’t Covered:
Ok, so we’ve covered a good chunk of what is covered, and what may be covered depending on your insurer. You should also be aware of what isn’t covered, as you may need a separate policy, and you will also need to know what types of scenarios to avoid. Typically, buildings insurance will not cover intentional damage caused by tenants or their visitors. It also won’t cover willful neglect of the property. Moreover, you won’t typically be covered for damage to outside fences or gates caused by floods or storms. Faulty workmanship, damage caused by insects, birds or pests, and general wear and tear will not be covered, nor will damage from ageing. Lastly, “contents” or “non-permanent fixtures and fittings” such as stoves, free standing fridges, washer dryer, curtains etc will not be covered. Buildings Insurance applies strictly to the structure of your home such as the walls, roof and floors.
The cost of buildings insurance will vary greatly depending on the structure of your property, the age of your property, location, age of the policy holder, number of bedrooms, type of property, material of property, stability of the land and the risk of flooding. More importantly, every insurer is different and offers different options for coverage in their policies. Speaking with a team of property management professionals will give you peace of mind knowing that you have the best of the best handling your needs. Let The Bahl Team guide you in the right direction; we’ll handle your investment with the care it requires.