Managing a portfolio of properties can be challenging. There are lots of things to consider from managing tenants to legal requirements such as carrying out property and safety checks.
So, if you get the dreaded phone call that one of your properties has been damaged, what do you do next?
Handling an Insurance Claim
First things first, you need to determine the cause of the damage. In some instances, this may be quite obvious but for others there may be some investigation needed. This may involve leak detection companies or bringing in a contractor to look at the damage. Be aware, that you will need to cover the cost of these but may be able to claim these back from your insurer depending on your policy terms.
You will also need to inform your insurance company and start the claim process. Your insurer may ask you to complete a claims form, detailing the damage and asking that you gain multiple quotes from local tradespeople to determine the cost of the repair. Here you will need to be as detailed as possible when describing the damage to ensure the full extent is visualised, a trying task if you are not familiar with property construction.
Know your Policy
Your insurance policy is a contract between yourselves and the insurer. As part of the contract there are requirements that need to be met by both parties.
For a landlord such as yourself, your policy conditions may state the following must be carried out and evidenced:
- Formal identification of tenants
- Written references for tenants
- Signed lease/tenancy agreement in place
- Documented inspection records for the property
Reading your policy terms will be useful to ensure that you have everything you need in order to make a claim. Knowing your policy will also help when negotiating the settlement with the insurer or their appointed loss adjuster.
Where will your tenants live?
In some cases, damage to a property can leave it uninhabitable. If you have tenants in your property, they will likely need somewhere to live whilst the property is reinstated and therefore your rental income could be affected. However, your insurance may cover alternative accommodation or loss of rent. If so, this will need to form part of your property insurance claim.
Alternative Accommodation arises when an insured event has caused the home to be uninhabitable. It can take the form of staying with friends or relatives, a hotel or moving into rented accommodation. This can be an expensive element of the claim and needs to be managed carefully with the insurance company.
Loss of Rent may be claimed if your tenants can no longer live in the property and your rental income has been affected due to the insured event.
Managing the reinstatement works
In most cases, you will need various contactors to complete the reinstatement works. Whilst working on your property, you are liable for their health and safety.
Aside from health and safety, managing contractors may mean being available to give them access to the property and check work is being completed. If you don’t live near the property, as is the case with many landlords, this may become difficult.
How can a Loss Assessor Help?
Our loss assessors take control of the claim and, as property experts, put together a thorough scope of works for the insurer. This allows us to effectively negotiate with your insurer directly to secure a fair settlement. We will also manage any alternative accommodation or loss of rent that has arisen due to the damage.
As part of our service, we also project manage the reinstatement works using vetted contractors. Acting as the principal contractor, your Aspray representative will manage the health and safety, meet the contractors onsite and ensure the work is completed in a timely manner.
In essence, we do everything for you.
Do I need a loss assessor?
You can manage your property insurance claim yourself, but why take on the hassle when Aspray can manage it for you?
There is no cost for the loss assessing service, providing Aspray can complete the reinstatement works using their vetted contractors. However, your policy excess will still apply.
Instructing a loss assessor, such as Aspray, allows you to get on with other aspects of your life. Find out more about how we helped this landlord in the video below:
Need to make an insurance claim for damage to your property? Contact Aspray