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How to get the most appropriate property insurance

For the first time ever, the total value of investment in residential property in the UK has surged past the £6 trillion mark, said the Guardian newspaper on the 29th of November 2017.

Add to this the estimated £883 billion invested in owner-occupied and tenanted commercial property (according to figures published by property agents Costar on the 21st of July 2017), and it is apparent just what a massive slice of the nation’s wealth is tied up in property.

What every property – whether owner-occupied, held as an investment, let, residential or commercial – shares with its neighbour is the need for adequate and appropriate property insurance.

Appropriate property insurance

Type of property

In order to assess the relevant risks, insurers need to know the type of property for which cover is required – primarily, whether it is residential, commercial or mixed use (the most obvious example of which is a flat or flats above a shop).

If the property is your home and you are the owner-occupier, for instance, your requirement is for standard home building and contents insurance, or simply home insurance as it is commonly known.

If the property is in commercial use, then the appropriate form of cover is provided by commercial property insurance.

Property use

As important to insurers as the type of property is the use to which it is put – and the possibilities are various:

  • a home which is owner-occupied;
  • a residential property which is let to tenants;
  • commercial property from which you are running your own business;
  • commercial property let to tenants or leaseholders for their business use; or
  • mixed-use residential and commercial property, in which the residence may be occupied by the owner and the commercial space let to tenants;
  • or the commercial space used by the owner and the residential accommodation let to tenants.

When arranging insurance for any property, therefore, it is important to distinguish the type of property concerned and the use to which it is put. These are the factors which determine the appropriate property insurance. Get the classification or the use of the property wrong, and you may find that your property insurance is invalid and the insurer rejects any subsequent claim.

Some of those critical distinctions, therefore, may be:

  • whether you need residential or commercial property insurance;
  • whether you require insurance to cover your residential or commercial uses of the property as the owner-occupier;
  • whether you need landlord insurance for either a residential or commercial property; or
  • whether you need insurance appropriate for a mixed-use or combined residential and commercial property.

Specialist property insurance providers

Given the number of possible permutations and combinations – not to mention the risk of getting inappropriate and, therefore, invalid insurance – you might want to draw on the expertise and experience of a specialist provider in all these various forms of property insurance.

These are specialist providers who may not only help you determine the appropriate type of property insurance you need but are also well placed to offer competitively priced quotations for that cover.

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