January 14, 2013

Providing peace of mind: insuring your let property out of season

The British holiday season is somewhat confusing, it's fair to say. The unpredictable weather might in some years see the season extend into November with late warmth and sunshine, while torrential rain in other years could see bookings dry up in September. It's difficult to plan for the many effects of the weather, not only in terms of occupancy, but also when trying to limit the potential for damage in extreme conditions.

Needless to say, anyone that owns and lets a let property would be wise to take out adequate insurance, to protect against all eventualities. This is especially important out of season, when the home might lay unoccupied for a few weeks consecutively.

We naturally take out many security measures to keep our homes as safe as possible. Let property insurance could be considered such a measure; it's certainly a necessity that provides peace of mind when your home is being inhabited by strangers or is at the mercy of the elements.

Here are just a few of the important ways that let property insurance can provide peace of mind, out of season.

Empty homes

Unoccupied let properties are viewed a greater risk by insurers. The hesitancy is due to the potential scale of damage that could occur in an unoccupied home - if a pipe leaks, it can cause far more damage in three weeks than in three hours. Thankfully, some insurers will provide cover for let properties that are unoccupied up to a certain number of days - these might range from 30 up to 45 days. This means it's worth shopping around for cover that best suits your requirements.

Insured perils

Typical let property insurers will consider a range of incidents as 'perils' - that is, events against which you may be able to claim, should they occur and cause damage. They include the property being hit by falling trees, TV aerials or aircraft, theft and malicious acts, flooding, fire and civil unrest, to name but a few. Cover may be restricted, so check with your insurer. With so many perils, ensuring you have the right level of let property insurance is essential. 

Criminal activity

Your let property will not be occupied at all times, especially out of season, no matter how great your marketing efforts are. Empty houses are clearly vulnerable to opportunistic thieves and criminals. Whether they've got an eye on the domestic heating oil tank, or some metal pipes, appropriate insurance should ensure you are covered for the value of goods stated under the contents section.

Loss of rent

If an incident has rendered the property uninhabitable and it is covered under the buildings and contents section, then there is a good chance that your lost income will be in some part covered. What's more, some policies will also cover the cost of finding alternative accommodation for your guests and facilities for their pets, should such action be required.

Public liability
Should injury or incident befall any guest or third party who is carrying out work on your let property, public liability insurance will cover obligations that consequently arise, i.e. your legal liability for damages and claimant costs in respect of injury or damage to material property.

Operating a let property is quite different from running a domestic residence; there are many more factors to take into consideration - all of which should be reflected in your insurance policy.

Procuring appropriate and flexible insurance should guarantee that all of these additional requirements are accounted for, providing you with the peace of mind you seek when letting out your property.

Finley Talbot is a student with an interest in law and insurance. Other than studying, he keeps himself up to date about anything and everything related to insurance. In his spare time, he loves to catch up with friends and a game of squash.

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