Finding the right cover
The HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) insurance market is very limited as few insurers are willing to take the gamble of insuring such risks. As a landlord this is very frustrating and it can be expensive and time consuming in finding the right type of insurance. But even when insurance is purchased, do the terms and conditions of the insurance policy exclude every imaginable incident or do they even know about the terms and conditions? Any insurance needs to be understood prior to accepting cover as it can be costly to cancel a policy midterm. All polices are different and will have different coverage and wording, this is even more so when dealing with building insurance for HMO properties.
So who is responsible for reading and understanding a policy? Is it the insurer’s job to explain the endorsements, terms, coverage, excesses etc.? Is it the broker’s job to do this? Or is the onus on the policy holder to make sure they are buying the right policy? Well it is everyone involves job to explain key aspects of the policy and understand the terms and conditions of the policy as this is a contract in which all parties are buying into.
So where do you go to find the right policy?
Well going direct to an insurer for a building insurance policy occupied by students, bedsits, or unemployed persons is an option. This may be a direct way of buying insurance however you will only get one price and product to choose from so how do you know if this is competitive? If you go through a broker with commercial agencies then in all likelihood you will receive a whole host of quotations through various insurers offering different terms and coverage. The broker will filter the policies and explain which ones would be suitable for you and advise on the levels of cover and any exclusions from the various insurer panel.
What information will they require?
When going through the quotation process all questions are carefully chosen to ensure the relevant information is collected. Questions about the property, the tenants, the claims history, the tenancy agreements etc. are asked so the insurer has a clear understanding of the risk.
Questions regarding alterations are also asked so the insurer can amend the policy mid-term if required, this could be for the reason that an extension is planned and another bedroom will be added. Some insurer will cater for alterations and some will not so it is important to disclose your future plans so as not to jeopardise your insurance in any way.
It is best to speak to your Broker whatever your requirements in order to find a suitable product. We have more options and plenty of experience to deal with your inquiry; also with an ever growing panel of insurers we are confident of being very competitive.