Churchill Insurance is a brand name synonymous with the nodding British bulldog, in what is perhaps one of the most indelible and successful advertising campaigns in British insurance.
The company was founded in 1989 by Martin Long, with the backing of what was then a Credit Suisse subsidiary Winterthur. Its initial, principal line of business was motor insurance and in particular the direct sale of motor insurance to customers.
One year later, home insurance was added to the company's product offering.
The bulldog mascot first appeared in Churchill's advertising in 1994 although it was not until 1996 that the iconic nodding dog was launched.
The company enjoyed quite rapid growth and was in a position to buy out the insurance business of Prudential in 2002, before itself being taken over - together with Direct Line - by the RBS banking group in 2003. Following the publicly-funded bail-out of RBS in 2008, the bank was forced to spin off its insurance business and so divested itself of both Direct Line and Churchill, with the latter becoming a part of the Direct Line Group (which had also originally been founded by Martin Long).
The Churchill Insurance Company has its main office in Bromley, London.
At first sight it may seem that landlord insurance is simply another way of describing home insurance - after all, both have at their heart the protection of the structure and fabric of a building and any contents which the owner may have installed.
Standard home building and contents insurance, however, is rarely the answer for landlords. Many policies may become invalid if the property changes use from owner occupation to tenanted accommodation. More to the point, perhaps, is the fact that home insurance is designed for the owner occupier, whilst landlord insurance is designed with the specific business interests of a let property owner in mind.
Landlord insurance, therefore, might be better understood as a form of commercial insurance - whether the property it covers is for residential or commercial use.
Churchill landlord insurance
As already mentioned, Churchill launched its home insurance products in 1990 and continues to market these today.
It is worth bearing in mind, however, that Churchill does not offer any policy designed for landlords or the owners of buy to let property. These policies are available only through Churchill's parent company Direct Line.
Direct Line's commercial landlord insurance is intended for the owners of both residential and commercial let property. Key features of the cover provided are:
- buildings cover;
- optional contents cover - available only for residential leasehold premises;
- accidental damage cover as standard;
- property owner's liability cover of up to a maximum of £2 million;
- optional cover for loss of rental income following an insured event; and
- optional employer's liability cover for up to a maximum of £10 million.
When considering landlord insurance cover, note that the Direct Line group rather than Churchill Insurance Company Ltd offer home insurance policies.