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A Helpful A to Z List for Landlords

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Data Protection

The privacy and security of your information is important to us. Our Fair Processing Notice can be found here http://www.towergate.com/fair-processing-notice. This explains who we are, the types of information we hold, how we use it, who we share it with and how long we keep it. It also informs you of certain rights you have regarding your personal information under current data protection law.

Direct Debiting in respect of payment of Insurance Premiums

Most insurers offer the facility to pay an insurance premium monthly by direct debit. It is standard practice for an administration fee to be charged for such a facility, which can either be a fixed fee or a percentage of the premium in question. Following the addition of the administration fee to the actual insurance premium it is just a simple matter of dividing the total amount into twelve to arrive at the monthly cost of the policy. Most Insurance Brokers similar to ourselves, where a direct debiting facility for some reason is not available, will in addition, also have the facility to ‘finance’ a customer’s premium by using a premium financing company. The methodology of calculating the monthly cost being exactly the same as above. Beware of those insurers who advise that they do not charge for monthly direct debiting as more often than not their premiums are that much higher to start off with.

Disclosure

You are responsible for providing complete and accurate information, which insurers require in connection with any request for insurance cover. This is particularly important before taking out a policy and at renewal, but it also applies throughout the life of a policy. If you fail to disclose any information when asked, this could invalidate the policy and mean that claims may not be paid. You should check all details on any proposal form, statement of Insurance or Statement of Fact and pay particular attention to any declaration you may be asked to sign. You should read all insurance documents issued to you and ensure that you are aware of the cover, limits and other terms that apply. Particular attention should be paid to any warranties, clauses and conditions as failure to comply with them could invalidate your policy. You should inform your insurer immediately of any changes in circumstances that may affect the cover provided by your policy. If you are unsure about any matter, you must contact your insurance advisor for guidance.

Excesses

Without exception all insurance policies have within them excesses. This is the amount the policyholder has to pay towards the settlement of any claim made. The standard excess for most policies is £50 which increases to £1,000 in respect of claims made for subsidence, heave or landslip. Beware of cheap policies that have high excesses.

Fire (Consumer Protection)

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.

Flood

Flood risk areas cause major problems for insurers because the size of any claim made. Flood claims should not be confused with burst pipes or any other escape of water within the Home. The accepted norm for flood claims is once every 200 years. For high risk areas the ratio is once every 100 years and for those areas that carry the greatest risks, once every 50 years. An insurer might ask for a higher excess for any flood claim for a property situated in a high risk area. The environment agency has an excellent website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ where it is possible to check out most postcodes for possible flooding problems.


Disclaimer: We hope you have found these notes helpful but please note that they are for guidance only. We do not and can not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions. You should always seek professional advice if unsure on any matter and refer to your actual insurance policy documents for full terms and conditions of your cover. You should always make sure that you fully understand what you are insured against and more importantly, what you are not insured for.