It’s estimated that 43% of the UK population owns a pet. And yet most rentals explicitly state that pets aren’t allowed. Pet owners struggle to find privately rented accommodation that will accept them and their pets. All too often they are forced to live in unsuitable properties, or end up keeping their pets without consent from the landlord. In some cases they face having to give up their pets or becoming homeless.
Accepting pets into your rental property comes with risk. Many landlords are afraid of damage and smells that might result of having a pet in the house. But opening up your property to tenants with pets could maximise its rental potential, and by excluding pet owners you are missing out on a large chunk of the market. Pet-friendly properties are in demand, and tenants tend to stay longer as they find it so hard to find suitable accommodation. Responsible pet owners aren’t likely to do anything to jeopardize their tenancy either.
A new insurance product has just been launched by Endsleigh in collaboration with Dogs Trust and their Lets with Pets campaign. Designed to offer landlords peace of mind, it includes pet damage cover in the policy as standard. In a recent survey by Dogs Trust, 88% of landlords said they would rent to pet owners if there was suitable cover available to cover any damage the pet might cause. This new product might be just what they are looking for. The policy covers accidental pet damage, 120 days unoccupancy, theft and malicious damage by tenants, £2m owner’s liability insurance and landlords contents insurance.
Here’s a guest blog post from the guys over at moneysupermarket.com on insurance for lodgers and flatsharers
When moving into a house/flat share it is always important to have your possessions insured. Look around your new room. The laptop you got for Christmas is worth £800+ alone, your IPod, your Fender Guitar, your mobile phone and lots more I imagine. You could easily add up thousands of pounds worth of items.
The landlord may have buildings and contents insurance themselves but this will not cover your items. So this is your opportunity to search the internet and get a tailored package that suits you and your possessions at a minimum cost.
What Insurance do I need?
To cover your items, lodgers need to take out a contents insurance policy and finding it is easy. Visit moneysupermarket.com where you can compare hundreds of providers and make sure that all your personal possessions are covered against, theft, fire or damage. Here are some key points to look out for when taking out an insurance policy.
- Timeframes – You need to find out what is covered and when. Some policies will cover you all year round, whilst others may not cover you when you’re away on holiday.
- Underinsurance – If the worst happens and you have to claim on your policy, the last thing you want is to find it doesn’t meet all your costs.
- Reduce the risk – Ask the landlord to install window locks and an alarm, this will help reduce what you have to pay.
- Away from home cover – Make sure your provider protects those items you would take with you when your out an about. IPod, mobile phone etc.
- Bicycles – If you are a keen cyclist or just need a bike to get to and from your workplace, check your insurance covers bikes as not all of them do.
- Excess Payment – In some cases, the higher the excess the lower your premium, but this can be a false economy as it can cost you more money in the event of a claim. Always make sure you can afford and are willing to pay the excess payment.
Valuing your Contents
To get an accurate figure of how much your possessions are worth use the moneysupermarket.com contents calculator. Do not confuse the purchase price with the replacement cost, as this is often a common mistake made by a lot of people. Use up-to-date retailers’ catalogues to get current prices, as the price could have shifted up or down since you bought it.
Outbuildings – Garages, sheds and greenhouses can be rich pickings for a thief, so do ensure that you inform the insurer if any items are to be kept outside. Tools, bicycles etc
In the event that something is stolen or broken and you are thinking about claiming, it is always worth considering whether it is worth it for something that may be relatively minor. In doing so your premium will more than likely rise the following year. Once you have calculated this into the equation, plus the excess you have to pay, then it’s sometimes cost effective to pay for minor incidents out of your own pocket.