You’ve done the right thing. You’ve gone to the trouble of insuring your rental property with landlord insurance but when it comes time to claim, suddenly it’s not so easy as you thought.
Sound familiar? Landlord claims are heavily scrutinised by insurance companies and often the reason why a claim will fail, isn’t because the cover is inadequate but because the landlord failed to comply with simple record keeping procedures.
IAGB and our authorised representatives deal regularly with landlord claims and the most common reasons for a claim to be rejected include;
- The insured does not use a property manager. A landlord does not have to use a property manager but one thing that a property manager does is keep records. If the insured does not use a property manager, the insured needs to keep comprehensive records of all income and expenses; list of all inspections, signed leases, maintenance requests, any complaints, records of repairs, costs of repairs, maintenance costs, a record of rent collection and insurance costs.
- There was no written lease agreement with the tenant or, if there was, it expired some time ago. Most policies require that the rent default cover will only operate if the landlord has a written lease with the tenant.
- There is no program for carrying out regular inspections of the premises. We have had claims where the property was not inspected by the landlord or an agent for three to four years. The insurer denies indemnity on the grounds that the loss is the result of gradual deterioration or wear and tear. Regular inspections of the building are an important source of evidence required to refute those allegations.
Keeping track of your property records can be a laborious process but with modern technology, at our fingertips, there are some tools and tricks that can make this a whole lot easier for both EOF and in the event of a claim.
Check out these handy, free spreadsheets from SmartSheet
Try Rental Hero
Or if you’ve got multiple properties to manage you might want to invest in some serious software such as