Monthly Archives: May 2012

The benefits of buying a multi property insurance policy

If you have a number of properties that you are letting out then you may appreciate anything that makes your life administratively easier and possibly also more cost-effective.

A multi property insurance policy just might be just one example of how to start achieving that:

  • if you have a number of properties under management, you may well find the frequent need to check insurance renewal dates and premiums to be one of the less enjoyable aspects of your day-to-day business operations;
  • insurance is something that may prove to be critically important to you but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to enjoy having to deal with it;
  • that may be true enough even if you are only letting out a single property but it may be considerably more the case if you have several;
  • fortunately, some insurance providers offer what they may describe as property portfolio insurance;
  • as the name suggests, this means that they will offer cover for a range of your properties under the one policy and administrative structure;
  • the advantages of this may be very real.  For example, you may only have one annual renewal date to worry about, one premium to pay and only one company to deal with as opposed to several;
  • the cost effectiveness may also be improved due to the fact that, as you might expect, insurance providers may offer preferential premiums because they are obtaining a more substantial chunk of business from you than might be the case if you were discussing only a single property with them. In other words, you’ll be a bigger fish in the pond and that is sometimes beneficial in terms of service and pricing;
  • different insurers may offer property portfolio cover under different minimum qualification criteria.  For example, some may insist upon a minimum of four or more properties to obtain such cover, whilst others may have lower thresholds;
  • the basic principles of your rental property insurance cover may not be significantly different to those associated with an individual policy.

Of course, as with the case of individual property cover, it is necessary to read the policy carefully in order to establish that it is suitable for your needs and circumstances.  That should also include, in detail, its terms and conditions.

Shopping around is typically advisable and there may be no benefit in simply jumping for the first policy that you see.

Finding a discount with a taxi insurance company

If you are looking for cheap taxi insurance company quotes and private hire insurance, you need to find an insurance company that is prepared to give you the best incentives. With increased competition, insurance companies offer lower quotes and incentives to attract and retain customers. Unlike general motor insurance companies, the taxi insurance companies only have a relatively small pool of customers to maintain. One good offer from an insurance company in competition and some offices will have to close up shop. Most insurance companies are prepared to offer specialty products, which help to reduce premiums in return for loyal patrons.

Try to find a cheap taxi insurance company and private insurance quote rental that come with all-inclusive offers. These offers usually include additional coverage for your vehicle.

The incentives that may be included in the offers of insurance companies are:

Matching Insurance Quotes
Most insurance companies are willing to match the insurance quote given by their competitors by taxi. However, make sure you go through the terms and conditions before you make a final decision. Some insurance companies have exclusions in their policies to reduce their quote. So be sure that all coverage required are included in the policy.

No Claims Discounts
If you have not had any previous claims, then there is a good opportunity to get a discount. Some insurance companies offer as high as 50% off if you have had no claims in at least 4 years. Make sure you read the small print of the policy that you intend to leave.

Fleet Insurance
Multiple taxi owners are able to get cheap taxi insurance by switching to the insurance companies that offer fleet insurance. Insurance companies offer bigger discounts when you take enormous fleet insurance under one policy. If you take taxi insurance for each vehicle, it might be expensive. To get a discount with fleet insurance, make sure your drivers meeting the rules defined by the insurance companies, fleet insurance might otherwise be expensive.

First Year Discounts
If you start a new business, most insurance companies offer huge discounts in the first year. This will help management to save considerably in the year in which your capital expenditure is likely to be high.

Always buy insurance from a reputable taxi insurance company like taxiprotection

Why there is more to being a landlord than simply getting tenants!

There are a lot of things a landlord has to think about when getting a property ready to be let out – unfortunately, it’s not as simple as getting some tenants in. You have obligations to fulfil and expectations to meet!.

Some of these may be cosmetic in nature, like repainting the property or giving it a good clean out, or the may involve having appropriate landlord insurance in place to help protect your investment.

There are other aspects of any letting that may be legal requirements for landlords, so making sure these are on a list of things to do may typically be a good idea.

Fire safety regulations

There are fire safety regulations in place for furniture and upholstered furnishings including items such as including beds, mattresses, sofas, cushions etc and checking everything over for labels declaring conformity to the standards may typically make sense.

Any furniture made before 1988 may not meet these regulatory standards and your simplest option may be to replace them.

Safety of gas and electric appliances

You may find that you have a legal obligation to have gas appliances checked and serviced annually plus prior to any new let.

You also have to provide your tenants with a copy of a safety certificate for the gas appliances as well as instructions on how to use them.

All electric wiring should also be checked on a regular basis and if you are leaving electrical appliances for your tenants to use these should be checked and serviced.

Tenancy agreement

When you let a property to tenants, you are entering into a legal agreement, which confers certain rights to your tenants as well as their roles and responsibilities – and importantly yours.

To protect everyone’s interests you should insist on the use of a formal letting agreement, which clearly sets out who is responsible for what and under what circumstances. This could save you heartache and problems further down the line.

This agreement should include:

  • how and when the rent is to be paid;
  • how long the period of the let is;
  • the notice period that you or your tenant is require to give to terminate the let early;
  • your responsibilities for maintenance of the property;
  • other charges that may be levied in addition to the rent like service charges, council tax etc.

Deposit

In all likelihood, you might ask your tenants for a deposit prior to them moving in to your property. This would cover the costs of any damage they may cause to the property or cover your rental income losses if they left without giving due notice.

At the end of the rental period, you have to repay the deposit to your tenants (minus any sums retained for valid reasons) and there are a couple of options open to you to ensure that you have this money available if and when it is needed:

  • a custodial scheme, where the deposit is held by an authorised third party;
  • an insurance scheme, where the landlord may be able to retain the deposit and pay an insurance premium.

Having Sufficient Landlord Buildings Insurance

Owning properties is an excellent source of income for landlords. Sure, there are potential headaches caused by some of the tenants that prove irresponsible, but overall buildings are perfect assets for the provision of monthly income.

Residential properties have the potential of being let out as standard residences, or else sublets of single rooms as student accommodation. There is always a demand, particularly if the property you are letting out is near to a college or university. Homes for letting as holiday accommodation are desirable for visitors in the summer season, and depending on the demand in some of the areas, are perfect for short lets throughout the year.

Commercial buildings provide tenants taking longer leases, for use of shops or office. This is particularly worthwhile if the location is in a popular business area where demand is at its greatest.

Nevertheless, the need for landlord buildings insurance is essential. Various policies are available, such as residential landlord comprehensive insurance to cover both buildings and their contents. It is also possible to have comprehensive insurance for holiday homes and second homes that you may have. The standard residential buy to let properties insurance rates are usually very reasonable and most insurance for all types of properties can be tailored and are negotiable for obtaining the best rate.

Benefits of policies

• Commercial and residential policy combinations
• Insurance for houses, bungalows and flats
• Property owner’s liability
• Cover for contents
• Up to 45 days unoccupancy cover is usually included
• Public liability insurance

As a rule, landlord buildings insurance includes cover for hazards such as fire, lightning, flood, earthquake, riot, landslip, theft and malicious damage to property.

Maintaining the properties, you let out in good condition is worthwhile long term. Repairing the odd problems that arise instantly instead of letting them enlarge is always beneficial.

There are no compulsory laws in the UK regarding fire risk or leaking gas, nor is it compulsory to provide fire extinguishers or smoke detectors to tenants. However, it is to the landlord’s advantage to provide as much potential hazard equipment as possible to avoid not only building repair costs but any compensation costs to injured tenants.

Get the right kind of landlord buildings insurance from landlordbuddy

A genuine accident claims company?

If you have been injured in an incident caused by someone’s negligence you may be looking for professional help to pursue your claim for compensation. How might you be sure, however, that you are about to contact an accident claims company who know what they are doing?

Why the uncertainty?

  • The reason for the question – and not a little potential concern – is because of the existence of so-called “claims farmers”.
  • These are companies whose advertising may give every impression of their being able to pursue such a claim on your behalf, but who simply sell on the details of your case to a solicitor in return for a fee which may, in turn, be deducted from any compensation you eventually win.
  • What indicators might help to point you in the direction of a claims company comprising professionally qualified solicitors?

Indicators

  • In order to engage in professional practice, such firms are authorised and regulated by the guardians of professional standards, the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • The website, stationery or advertising of such firms typically makes very clear that the company is so authorised and regulated.
  • In the particular case of personal injury solicitors, you might also look for accreditation by a specific professional body, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
  • The company’s accreditation by this body, which is likely to be made clear in its publicity material, may help reassure you that its solicitors have achieved certain minimum levels of experience and competence in the handling of personal injury claims.
  • Properly authorised and accredited firms of personal injury lawyers typically make very clear any scale of fees you are likely to encounter for their services. It is not uncommon for their services in this field to be offered on a “no win, no fee” basis.
  • A “no win, no fee” agreement means that you pay no fees in the event of winning your claim (since these are typically paid by the liable party) and that even if the claim fails, you still pay no fee

Process

  • You should expect a professionally staffed claims company to pay special attention to the assessment of your claim and the prospect of its being successful.
  • Evidence for this is demonstrated by the care with which the full details, circumstances and background to the accident are taken.
  • You may have more comfort and reassurance by being able to discuss these directly with the solicitor who is going to be handling your claim on your behalf.
  • Such attention to detail and concern for you as the injured victim of an accident are factors likely to set apart the genuine company from a third party service.

Eleven top tips on choosing mortgage insurance

If you’re a little concerned about how to go about choosing mortgage insurance, you might find the following information points to be useful:

1. it’s worth starting out by realising that there may be several different forms of what collectively might be called mortgage insurance – some of these may be more suitable for your circumstances than others;

2. to make an informed decision, you’ll typically need to have a good look around to familiarise yourself with the various types available – fortunately much of this information may be available online now through insurance sites (e.g. Drewberry mortgage insurance);

3. one of the key questions you may need to think about will be whether or not you wish to cover a single risk (e.g. your premature death before the mortgage is paid off) or several, including things such as redundancy or illness that stops you from working etc;

4. you may also need to ask yourself whether you believe short-term cover of your monthly mortgage payments for a specified period is what you require (this is sometimes called mortgage payment protection insurance) or full mortgage payoff (mortgage life insurance);

5. in practice, your degree of freedom to choose may sometimes be constrained because some mortgage lenders may require, as a condition of lending, that the loan is fully covered by mortgage life insurance – though in most cases they are no longer allowed to insist that you purchase it from them as a condition of advancing your loan;

6. it might not be unusual to find that some property owners with a mortgage may have both forms of what they may call mortgage insurance – to pay off the mortgage in the event of premature death or/and to cover mortgage payments in the event of misfortunes such as sickness or redundancy etc.

7. insurance that covers payments may, as you might expect, bring with it certain conditions – for example, only involuntary redundancy might be covered and not voluntary redundancy, resignations, some forms of dismissal or career breaks etc;

8. in the case of mortgage cover for sickness and critical illness etc, the policy may typically exclude pre-existing medical conditions. In other words, you may not be able to insure yourself against the risks of something that is, in effect, already known to have happened to you;

9. some insurance providers may require that you have a medical in certain circumstances and others may have it as a standard requirement;

10. you might also see a qualifying period with such insurance, before claims may be made. This may be relatively commonplace and is not an indication that you are being singled out;

11. some policies may have upper age limits, though in such cases, you may find that alternatives such as whole of life insurance cover, may be suitable to protect any residual mortgage debt you might have.