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How to get property portfolio insurance the right way

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The more properties you add to your portfolio, the more onerous and complicated becomes the administration of your buy to let business.

One area in which this is likely to be all too apparent is in managing the insurance cover needed for both your properties and the financial security of your business.

When you started out, you almost certainly recognised the importance of insuring the first buy to let property you bought. As you added properties to that buy to let portfolio, you probably made sure that each one was also sufficiently covered by landlord insurance.

The time for multiple property insurance

If you have such a portfolio – and certainly if you are thinking of growing it still further – the time has probably come for multiple property insurance.

By combining the insurance needs for all of your buy to let properties, landlord portfolio insurance has the advantages of:

  • a single renewal date, in place of the multiple dates which need to be remembered and accounted for when each of the properties is insured separately; 
  • being able to cover a wide range of different property types (e.g. HMO’s, mixed use properties and commercial and residential properties) all under one property portfolio insurance policy; and
  • cost savings through the purchase of insurance for more than one property at a time. 

Managing the operating costs of your buy to let business is even more important as your portfolio grows. Any application you make for a further mortgage to grow your portfolio needs to be accompanied by a thorough assessment of the entire business case for your operations – following new rules introduced by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRU) with effect from the end of September 2017.

That means an examination of the overall profitability of your buy to let business – taking into account the whole of your portfolio and not just individual properties. One of the principal factors affecting that profitability, of course, is your management of operating costs – for which essential landlord insurance is a major component.

By managing your landlord portfolio insurance – by eliminating some of the time and costs in maintaining insurance across all of your properties under a single policy – therefore, you are in a much stronger position to continue to grow your portfolio.

Essential cover

Although your needs and requirements as a landlord are united under a single multiple property insurance policy, this continues to provide all of the safeguards you otherwise enjoy when each property is insured individually. 

In other words, you continue to enjoy:

  • full protection for the buildings in which you have invested (against the many and varied risks of loss and damage each one faces); 
  • if required, cover for the contents you own;
  • indemnity against your liabilities as a landlord – in the event of a tenant, one of their visitors, a neighbour or a member of the public being injured; and 
  • compensation for loss of rental income following a major insured event which leaves one or all of your properties temporarily uninhabitable.

As the size of your buy to let portfolio increases, you are more likely to employ others to help run your buy to let business. The moment you take on any such employee, the law requires that you hold a minimum of £5 million employers’ liability insurance – to enable claims from any employee, past or present, who is injured or contracts a longer-term medical condition whilst carrying out their duties for you.

That employers’ liability insurance may also be incorporated into your landlord portfolio insurance.