Making an insurance claim: from the perspective of a landlord

March 13, 2013 2:43 pm

Over the years, we’ve dealt with a large number of insurance claims for landlords. One common thread between them all is that the landlords involved are completely overwhelmed by making the claim: they nearly always seem to be incredibly busy people, often with multiple properties and businesses to run.

If a rented property becomes uninhabitable because of fire or flood, then this can have severe financial consequences for the landlord. A speedy settlement is vital, but they often live a distance from the property in question and this complicates the claim even further. There are so many meetings they have to attend with the insurers, or their loss adjusters, or with surveyors and contractors.

They need business as normal

So having the correct insurance which also includes a ‘rent guarantee’ element (see our earlier blog) is critical. But if that’s not in place, then the claim needs to be settled as quickly as possible so the landlord can resume business as normal. And that’s often the reason why landlords turn to us for help.

Mr Laughton, one landlord we worked for whose property was gutted by fire, faced a significant insurance claim but he lived 50 miles away from the property: “The practicalities of getting over there so often, to attend meetings and sort the claim out, made it impossible. And I realised there is an art to dealing with insurance people. So I decided the best thing to do was to bring in a professional. Using a loss assessor allowed me to carry on with what I needed to do while the claim was being processed.”

Another, Mr Khimji, owns a number of commercial and domestic properties and has a very stressful and busy working life. When one of his properties was the subject of an arson attack, he realised he simply didn’t have the time to handle the claim himself: “I didn’t have a clue about what to do – I’d never been faced with anything like this before. I was incredibly stressed with what I needed to do in connection with all my properties and I was able to hand the whole claim over to Morgan Clark.”

Avoid knock-on damage

Both of them had successful outcomes to their claims. But, more importantly, they both continued running their businesses, eliminating the risk of any knock-on commercial damage. Insurance claims can often have unforeseen repercussions if they’re not handled in the very best way.