In recent weeks, many properties in certain parts of the UK have suffered damage due to serious flooding. So, if you are a landlord, does your landlord insurance cover you for such an event?
Insurance companies providing landlords insurance usually include cover should the building me damaged as a result of flooding such as a river bursting its banks. However, you should check the policy wording to confirm if this is the case.
If the landlord has provided contents in the property that is let out such as furnishings and white goods then, as long as the landlord has arranged contents cover, those items would also normally be covered in the event of flood damage. Again, the policy should be checked to confirm if this is the case.
Of course, the damage caused by a flood could be so severe that the tenant has to move out of the property into alternative accommodation. Some insurers may provide cover to pay for alternative accommodation although the landlord would need to check if, under the terms of the rental agreement, they are obliged to pay for such accommodation.
If the tenant vacates the property due to flood damage and the landlord is not obliged to pay the rent for another property for the tenant to live in and the tenant arranges alternative accommodation themselves then the landlord may be able to claim on their landlord insurance policy for loss of rent for a period of time.
Obviously, if a landlord is aware that the property is at risk of being flooded then he or she should consider what action should be taken both to protect the tenants, the property and the contents within it that are owned by the landlord. For instance, should the tenant vacate the premises from a safety point of view? Should sandbags be placed at the outside doors? Should the furnishings and white goods be moved to first floor level well out of the way of the flood water? Should the water, gas and electricity be turned off? Should any carpets and rugs be rolled up and placed out of harm’s way of the potential flood water?
Hopefully, there will have been no landlords that have suffered flood damage that had not bothered to arrange landlord insurance when purchasing their investment property.