It may come as no surprise that this company is part of a Swiss group, with its headquarters in Zurich.
Nevertheless, it is one of the world’s largest insurance groups and operates on a truly global enterprise, being the 74th largest public company in the world.
The Zurich Insurance Group traces its roots back to 1875 when it was established as a marine reinsurance company. Its original name was “Versicherungs-Verein" (Insurance Association) and it is only relatively recently that the group’s present name was adopted.
The Group counts its customers in approximately 170 countries and is estimated to employ more than 60,000 staff – 11,000 of whom are employed in the UK. Recent accounts show a business operating profit in excess of $4 billion. Unsurprisingly, the Group enjoys high credibility ratings from the principal credit agencies Standard and Poor, A M Best and Moody’s.
Products are concentrated principally in life and in general insurance, pitched to every section of the market from individuals, to small and medium sized enterprises to large corporations.
Landlord insurance is a particular type of general insurance designed to safeguard the interests of owners of buy to let property – in other words, landlords.
Although it shares with standard home insurance the protection of the structure and fabric of a building and its contents, landlord insurance needs to be carefully distinguished from conventional household insurance. Indeed, if you are a home owner who subsequently decides to let out your property to tenants you may find any claim rejected if you rely on standard home insurance whilst the premises are in fact occupied by tenants.
This reflects the simple fact that the perils faced by a property let to tenants may differ significantly from those facing owner occupied property. Even more to the point, landlord insurance recognises that the property represents a business investment by the landlord who relies upon the income generated by rents and who wants to safeguard that business from any form of disruption.
Zurich landlord insurance
Zurich recognises the principal business objectives pursued by a landlord by describing its cover for owners of buy to let property as real estate insurance.
The detailed policy document for such cover of course features provisions relating to material loss or damage to the building and any contents owned by the landlord, but there equally emphasised sections relating to:
- business interruption – and the insurer’s need to be aware, and to include in the insurance schedule, the estimated rent normally receivable by the landlord;
- related to the loss of rental income, provision is also made for the increased cost of working the landlord’s normal business practice; and
- provision is also made for accelerated reinstatement expenditure necessary for returning the premises to rent generating accommodation as quickly as possible.
Zurich’s real estate insurance also makes provision for indemnity against property owners liability claims and for employers’ liability.