Insurance Advice for Buy-To-Let Landlords

Insuring buy to let investments – good value for money or not?

It is a statutory requirement for landlords to insure the freehold building for all Buy 2 Let dwellings. But with the increasing costs of mortgages plus more and more legislation over deposits and safety matters particularly with the Housing Health and Rating System ( will you maybe tempted to try to save money choosing cheaper insurance?

Demand for Buy 2 Let dwellings continues to increase with pace and with it so are the risks! The number of migrant workers is growing rapidly. Many of these people do not speak or read English fluently and many have very different cultural standards, which may affect how they live and how they use the dwelling.

All landlords should insure to protect themselves and their asset from a claim in respect of their legal liabilities to their tenant, their agent or any visiting contractors. This list represents some of the important points a policy should cover protecting you and your investment:

  • injury to your tenant, a visitor, a contractor or a third party

  • accidental damage caused by the tenant a visitor or a contractor

  • malicious damage caused by tenant or caused by a third party

  • rent if the dwelling is rendered uninhabitable due to an insurable incident

  • legal expenses relating to physical  possession of the property

  • legal expenses relating to disputes over dilapidations

  • legal expenses relating to tenants causing a nuisance

  • legal expenses relating to disputes over repairs and renovations

  • legal expenses relating to disputes over health and safety

Many standard policies exclude malicious damage by tenants, accidental damage by tenants, cover for your furnishings, and are restricted cover when the property is empty between tenants.

Check to see if your letting agent is Authorised or Regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the mediation of general insurance. If so, like Belvoir Lettings agents, they should be able to provide you with advice to introduce or sell you suitable insurance cover for your rented property .

In my next article I will go into how you can insure yourself against the tenant defaulting on their rental payments.

5 Steps To Successful Property Investment

When looking to invest in property it’s always important to take a structured approach to ensure you get only what you are looking for. Over the years I’ve developed the following structure and I’ll always stick to it so that I know I have done all the homework necessary to make a sound investment and reduce any potential risk to a level I’m comfortable with.

Step 1 – Research Research Research

This is possibly the most important aspect of any investment decision. When I talk about ‘researching’ a potential investment, what I mean is to do all the necessary homework to find out if the investment is right for you and if it will provide the return you’re looking for.

Sometimes it is tempting to overlook research and maybe follow a tip from a friend on a potential investment. Many people also don’t do research because they don’t know where to find the required information and so they may make a blind investment, hoping on good returns. Even worse, they may put off making the decision (to invest or not to invest) and stay stuck in procrastination while the asset starts to show strong growth.

So what needs to be researched before investing in property?

Location – such things as the population, main industry, main employers, future investment in infrastructure, tourism, local universities.

Property prices – average, median, recent sales, potential rental returns, previous and predicted growth.

Tax and ownership laws – country and state laws, occupier/investor tax rates.

There may be more areas you need to research depending on your situation but the main objective here is to carry out the research to a level you are comfortable with. You can never do too much research.

Thorough research will give you peace of mind to make confident investment decisions.

Whatever you are trying to achieve, someone has already done it before and the information is out there. It may be in books, newspapers, special reports, published on the Internet or available from real estate agents. You can find the information you need to make a confident investment decision.

Step 2 – Know your Numbers

Note: This step primarily deals with rental returns and does not take a property’s annual appreciation or depreciation into account.

Before investing in property it’s important to do the numbers to know

What you can afford to purchase

Purchase and ongoing upkeep costs

Potential rental returns

Monthly cash surplus or deficit

Once you know all of these figures you can then decide how much you can afford to spend within your budget, what rental return you’re looking for and whether you will gain a monthly cash surplus or if you will need to contribute towards its monthly upkeep.

So what are the common numbers to know and calculate?

The Purchase Price

Purchasing Costs – items such as Stamp Duty, legal fees, real estate agents’ commission, legal fees.

Rental Income – If the property is rented to tenants, how much rent can you charge?

Ongoing Costs – Management Fees, mortgage repayments, repairs and maintenance, letting fees, Municipal or Council rates.

Net Return – this is the end result once you have accounted for all of the income and expenditure and it will show if you will have a cash surplus or deficit.

The more properties you calculate returns on, the better idea you will have of what is available in the market to suit your requirements. You’ll also protect yourself from any surprise costs. It’s wise to be conservative with your calculations and maybe add in a contingency amount.

Please remember, there may be more costs you need to factor into your calculations according to your situation

Step 3 – Create your Criteria

Before you go shopping for your investment property it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for so that you buy a place that suits your requirements. The best way to do this is to create a list of certain criteria that a potential property must meet.

You may choose to be stringent on some of the criteria such as a set limit for the purchase price but then you may be a little more flexible on other criteria like accepting $10 less than the expected weekly rent.

So what would you include in your criteria? Here are a few suggestions:

Town population no lower than 10,000

Expected rent at least 7% of the purchase price

Brick house on land, no more than 10 years old

Initial repairs to cost no more than $1,000.

Whatever criteria you choose is up to you but it gives you control over what you buy and will certainly decrease the time you spend looking for a property. From carrying out your research and working out the numbers you should find it easy to create your criteria. Now you can go and buy the property that’s right for you.

Step 4 – Property Insurance and Management

Like any investment, we always look to minimise the risk of loss or damage and it’s no different when it comes to property. There are a number of ways to do this including taking out a suitable insurance policy and finding the right property manager.

Whether you buy a property to live in or rent, it is potentially at risk for various reasons and so you can insure the property against these risks. Insurance policies can cover you for loss in the case of structural damage, theft, flooding and many other instances.

Landlord insurance policies are also available for extra cover of instances such as malicious damage, legal fees, loss of rent etc. So shop around for the policy that’s right for you.

If you are buying a holiday home or a rental property you might consider employing the services of a Property Manager. The role of a Property Manager is wide and varied and a good one can save you a lot of time and money.

They can find new tenants, arrange to have your property cleaned, collect rent, keep an eye on your property, pay your bills out of incoming rent and much, much more. Finding the right Property Manager will pay off rather than choosing someone who won’t look after your property the way you want them to.

It’s important to shop around to seek out the best Property Manager and you can do this by asking the right questions. A good Property Manager will communicate regularly with you and be available to address any concerns you might have.

Additional measures to secure your investment include the local neighbourhood watch, security alarms, window locks and smoke alarms.

Step 5 – Tracking your Investment

Once you’ve invested your hard earned cash you’ll want to know how it’s performing and what sort of return you’re getting. Again, we’re only going to look at rental returns rather than growth as the growth is only speculative.

Every month you should keep all receipts of income and expenditure concerning the property. This includes:

Statements from the Property Manager

Bank mortgage statements

Receipts for repairs

Payment receipts for Municipality or Council rates

Any correspondence regarding the property

All we are doing here is tracking the income and expenditure so we can see what the return is. By tracking the figures regularly you can see how your investment is performing and this information can then be filed with your annual tax accounts.

Your accountant will be able to advise you on what extra records to keep ensuring you get the best annual deductions.

And that’s the final step to Successful Property Investment. All it takes is one step at a time to become familiar with the process and although there are many other ways and processes advocated by many other investors the end result is ultimately to leave you empowered to make the correct investment choices.

Term life versus cash value life insurance

I’m going to tell you all I know about insurance in five minutes. So here we go.

When it comes to houses, we all know the difference between renting and owning.

With renting, each month your landlord gets a rent check. You get to live on their property for a month. If you don’t pay you’re out! Lather, rinse, repeat.

Stay in the same place and you can count on one thing – your rent will go up.

If you stay for a long time, what do you get back? Absolutely nothing, unless your landlord is also your mother.

Term insurance is like renting a house.

You pay the insurance company a premium. They give you life insurance. Like a lease, the premium is fixed for a “term” such as five, ten or twenty years. Thus, “term” insurance.

What happens if you stop paying premiums? The policy lapses and you have no protection, just like a renter who doesn’t pay.

What happens if you pay faithfully for the entire term? Just like renting, the price goes up!

If you pay your premiums for a long time, what do you get back? Nothing they are definitely not your mother!

Cash value life insurance is like owning a house.

Part of your monthly mortgage payment pays interest, and part goes into your “piggy bank”, home equity. The value of your property can go up, also increasing your home’s “piggy bank”. Plus, mortgage interest earns you a tax break so Uncle Sam gives you money back.

What happens when you pay your mortgage faithfully? You own your home free and clear, and you don’t owe another penny. You have a permanent, no-cost dwelling.

With cash value life insurance, part of your premium pays for “pure insurance” and part of your premium goes into a “savings account”. This account compounds, growing on its own. As well, Uncle Sam gives excellent tax advantages to this “savings account”.

What happens if you don’t pay your premium? Your “piggy bank” will pay it for you, for as long as there is cash. This can make all the difference during tough times, maybe from illness or layoff.

What happens if you pay your premiums faithfully for thirty years, just like a mortgage? Eventually, the interest from your savings account gets big enough to pay the premiums, so you don’t have to. The policy will never lapse, guaranteeing your heirs a tax-free payoff. Thus, the name “permanent” insurance.

With a good policy held for the long-term, every penny you pay in premium is returned to you, with a bank-like return.

Owning a house costs more at the beginning, and in the end pays you. In the same way, term insurance costs less in the beginning, but much more in the long-term.

These are the two extremes. There are hybrid products that combine term and cash value characteristics. Just like a condominium is a hybrid between renting and owning.

That’s everything I know about insurance.

What should you do? Is term or cash value right for you? Just like renting vs. buying this decision depends on your circumstances and your goals. A seasoned insurance professional representing one or more top companies can help you sort this out for yourself.

Why Is Renters Insurance A Good Idea?

Some renters tend to neglect to provide insurance for their valuables. It may just be a simple oversight not willful neglect of insurance coverage for the renter’s apartment or house. The landlord usually doesn’t mention it or offer to insure the tenant and his valuables, so the renter may not have insurance.

Renter’s insurance functions like homeowner’s insurance because the main element of protection is for the renter’s personal possessions against theft or damage. Those who are not familiar with renter’s insurance should find out what insurance agencies offer renter’s insurance policies what kinds of protection is offered by them.

A few different policies offer different levels of coverage for all the policyholder’s personal property. These elements of coverage include furniture, clothing, appliances, electronics, and other personal items. They will be protected from fires, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. This gives the renter the means to seek compensation for the loss of property. Coverage to protect the renter from accidental injuries sustained by other people while they are on the rental property is also available.

With renter’s insurance, one can find extra types of coverage in other areas in order to provide more complete protection. If you want to add this more complete coverage, it will be necessary to pay more for your coverage. This should be an obvious observation to most people. The wise idea is to find coverage that will protect you and others on your property.

The four main types of renter’s insurance coverage to look for; they are personal property coverage, personal liability coverage, improvements coverage, and fire legal liability coverage.

When you choose personal property coverage, the main area of protection you are seeking to cover is your personal processions. If it should be damaged or stolen a claim can be filed to receive compensation for the lost items. This compensation will be based upon a percentage of the total estimated value. The renter is responsible for determining the value of his processions and adding them to an itemized list that the insurance provider will keep.

Personal liability coverage is for the protection of the renter and anyone who may visit the premises. If a person who is visiting you or just happens to be on your property and is injured in some manner, you will not be held liable for the injuries. You will not be responsible for legal or medical costs. These types of policies offer about $100,000 in protection and sometimes more.

Renters who want protection from lawsuits when their rental property is damaged need to obtain improvements coverage. This coverage provides the money to fund repairs or improvements to the property.

Fire legal liability offers protection against legal liability in case there is a fire on the premises, so the owner of the property cannot hold the renter responsible or liable.

There is not one set type of renter’s insurance that is best for every renting circumstance. You are the one who knows exactly what you need in the area of insurance coverage. There is a definite advantage to being protected against liability in all the possibilities of damage or loss or injury. If renter’s insurance is something you can afford, it is a wise investment for you.

Affordable Renters Insurance – Where to Get it Online

Looking for renters insurance? Want to know where to get affordable renters insurance with a reliable company? Read on …

What Renters Insurance Covers

Many people think their landlord’s insurance will pay to replace their belongings if they’re damaged or stolen. Not True. Your landlord’s insurance only covers the building and the property your landlord owns, so if you don’t have insurance you could lose everything you own.

Renters insurance pays to replace your personal possessions in the event they’re stolen, or if they’re damaged by fire, water leaks, vandals, or acts of nature. There are two types of coverage:

* Actual cash value coverage which pays to replace your personal possessions, minus a deductions for depreciation.

* Replacement cost coverage which pays the total cost of replacing your personal possessions. If you can afford the extra cost, replacement cost coverage is the way to go.

Renters insurance also pays for court-awarded damages and legal fees if a lawsuit is brought against you and you’re found guilty of injuring another person, or damaging their property.

Last, but not least, if your residence is damaged and you need to live elsewhere while it’s being repaired, renters insurance will pay for your additional living expenses such as your motel and restaurant bills.

Where to Get Affordable Renters Insurance

In order to get affordable renters insurance you need to do a little shopping to compare rates. You have three basic choices:

1. You can spend hours on the phone calling insurance agents.

2. You can spend hours on the Internet visiting insurance company websites.

3. You can spend a few minutes at an insurance comparison website.

Using an insurance comparison website you only have to fill out one simple online questionnaire to get quotes from a number of companies so you can compare them and choose the most affordable one. Most of comparison sites deal only with A-rated companies so you know you’ll be getting good service with a reputable company.

Visit or click on the following link to get affordable renters insurance rate quotes from top-rated companies and see how much you can save. You can get more tips and advice in their Articles section, and get answers to your questions from an insurance expert by using their online chat service.

The author, Brian Stevens, is a former insurance agent and financial consultant who has written a number of articles on affordable renters insurance.

Buy To Let Mortgages and Landlords Building Insurance

A buy to let mortgage is a type of mortgage loan obtained to buy a property. The property is obtained to be let out by the buyer. With this type of mortgage you would typically pay mortgage interest only and can be used for up to 90% of the estimated value of a property.

Landlords building insurance is not only a requirement by your buy to let mortgage company by also for your own protection if something was to go wrong. A good policy should cover your liability to tenents and also the cover of rebuilding your property.

Landlords house insurance, which is a separate policy will cover emergency eventualities such as leaking roofs and blocked drains. It is normally up to your tenent to take out household contents cover. Unless your property is rented out furnished. A Buy to let mortages company normally make this very clear when you complete with them.

A buy to let mortgage sum is allowed to be spent on the purchase of more than one property and with this type of loan (after paying interest every month) you pay off the rest of the mortgage sum if you eventually sell the property.

Banks and investors want to expand and promote the private housing market. This is why the policy that was maintained a few years ago (charging those who buy a property to create income for themselves a higher interest rate and lending fee) has been changed significantly.

Only paying interest on a mortgage loan helps to keep expenses at a minimum so that the owner of the property (the landlord) can earn money on his investment. However, buy to let mortgages do usually have a slightly higher interest rate than normal mortgages.

Before you think of buying a property for letting it is very important to consider every single detail before you buy. The common return on a buy to let property varies between 7 and 10 percent. This is the return after all expenses such as landlords building insurance have been deducted from the gross income generated by a property of course.

The average rent that should be taken by a property owner should be about a 120-130 percent of the mortgage repayment. This is the standard minimum rent payment that should cover all your costs.

A professional letting agent will be able to advise you on the best buy to let mortgage plan available for you. There are slight differences in interest rates and the small print on the loans on the market.

A letting agent is also the right person to talk to when it comes to releasing your property onto the market. He or she will know how to find the right people to rent your property and will be able to sort out all the details with your prospective new occupants and they understand the market when it comes to pricing.

Knowing the area in which you are purchasing a property is the most important factor when it comes to buying to let. If you do not know your area you might end up with a buy to let property that people simply do not want to live in.

Buying properties to let and making money from it can be a lot of fun if you know how to pick your properties and if you find the right buy to let mortgage plan. Find a property with the right price and research the potential of the property and get a mortgage plan.

Check if the home needs new fixtures or any repairs before you can start letting it out and find the right tenants with or without a letting agent. Make sure your finances are in place or you may end up with an expensive buy to let bridging loan. Always follow the advice of someone who has already been through the minefield!

Rental Insurance For Students Apartment

The students living off-campus has to consider purchasing the rental insurance in order to protect their personal property. As your landlords insurance doesnt cover your property, you have to think of buying a renters insurance. It is an essential requisite that youll recognize when you fairly need it. Many students consider renters insurance as an unnecessary expenditure, because they think that it will never happen to them. But, it costs you less amount and protects all your properties in the apartment. If youre staying with your roommates, it would be cheaper, as you can share the insurance premium. Why Rental Insurance Is Required For Students:The students living in the rental apartments may possess certain belongings. To protect them from various disasters, rental insurance will be helpful. It safeguards your belongings from the causes like fire, robbery, and destruction. Moreover, it will protect you against your personal liability. Rental insurance is a suitable and an economical method to secure your possessions. To obtain rental insurance for your apartment, you can search online and get the policy quotes and other related information from the websites. Else you can call an insurance representative and find the estimation of your possessions. Get The Right Insurance To Cover Your Property:Usually insurance doesnt cover the expensive items like jewelry, or art collections. It requires additional coverage called rider or floater. Many rental insurances offer two types of coverage, Personal Property: This coverage pays for the repairs and replacements of your possessions, when they are damaged or stolen. This is the regular insurance policy every student purchases. Liability Insurance: It provides protection against the claims of the third party damages for particular perils. Here payment is not made to the insurance holder, but for the loss caused to others by them. It covers your liability for the damages caused to the third party. Important Elements While Buying Renters Insurance:There are certain issues that you have to consider while buying a renters insurance. Some of them are: Get a complete list of your belongings including its price and model number. It would be more viable to take pictures to attach them for documentation. Note the value of your belongings. It helps you in estimating the value of your damaged or stolen belongings. Examine the feasibility of buying a policy together with your roommates, as few policies extend the coverage for the households who are suitable for a domestic partner. Enquire about the coverage limits of your rental insurance and about any other coverage options available in your policy. This information helps you to know how the renters insurance can protect your personal property from causing certain disasters.ApartmentLinks helps you make the best decision when looking for your next apartment by providing all the information you need at one place. ApartmentrLinks helps you in searching for apartments in your target area like sacramento apartment. If you are looking for minneapolis apartment search or apartments in Houston then apartmentLinks will help you in choosing by providing all the information you need to take the decision.

Renters Insurance in Dallas – Where to Get the Best Rate

If you’re among the 57% of Dallas residents who rent an apartment, condo, or house, and don’t have renters insurance, you need to invest in renters insurance today.

Why? Because if you don’t have insurance you could lose everything you own. For only a couple hundred dollars a year you can protect your belongings from theft, fire, vandalism, and other disasters.

Finding Cheap Renters Insurance

When you shop for renters insurance, you need to get quotes from several companies so you know you’re getting the best rate.

The best way to comparison shop is to go to an insurance comparison website. Here, you fill out a simple questionnaire with information about yourself, your insurance needs, and the place you’re renting. You’ll then receive quotes from multiple A-rated insurance companies and you can choose the company with the best rate.

On the best insurance comparison websites, you can also talk online with insurance professionals and get answers to all your questions. (See link below.)

Save Even More with Discounts

To save even more on your Dallas renters insurance, ask about discounts you may qualify for. Insurance companies give many discounts that reduce your premium. Some common discounts for renters insurance include …

* Auto/home discount if you insure both your car and home with the same company

* Senior citizen’s and non-smoker’s discounts

* Discounts for having safety features in your home, such as security systems, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and deadbolt locks

You can also keep your premium down by setting your deductible as high as you can afford. With a higher deductible, your premium will be lower, though you’ll have to pay more if you ever have to make a claim.

The Bottom Line

Your possessions are not covered by your landlord’s insurance policy, so if you don’t buy renters insurance, you’re in danger of losing everything you own. Act now to buy this affordable coverage.

Visit or click on the following link to get Dallas renters insurance rate quotes from top-rated companies and see how much you can save. You can get more tips and advice in their Articles section, and get answers to your questions from an insurance expert by using their online chat service.

Renters Insurance Guide – Renters Insurance Simplified

Confused about renters insurance? Here’s a renters insurance guide that will help you understand it.

Renters Insurance Guide

Many people think their landlords insurance will cover them if their possessions are stolen or damaged. Not so. Your landlord’s insurance only covers the building you live in, not your possessions. If you want to protect your possessions you need to get renters insurance.

Renters insurance is one of the least expensive types of insurance, yet it provides invaluable protection for you and your possessions. Renters insurance covers three basic categories:

Personal Property

Personal property coverage pays to replace your possessions if they’re stolen, or damaged by vandalism, fire, smoke, lightning, explosions, windstorms, burst water pipes, or electrical malfunctions.

There are two types of personal property coverages available:

Actual cash value coverage – which pays to replace your personal property minus a deduction for deprecation.

Replacement cost coverage – which pays to replace your personal property with no depreciation deduction.

Standard policies only provide limited coverage for expensive items like jewelry, furs, silver, and collections, so you may need to purchase additional coverage for these items. Standard policies also do not cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes, so if you want coverage for these disasters you’ll need to purchase additional insurance.

Additional Living Expenses

This coverage pays for your living expenses – hotel, motel, and restaurant bills – if your home becomes uninhabitable due to the causes mentioned above. Most insurers will reimburse you for the difference between your additional living expenses and your usual living expenses.

Personal Liability

Personal liability coverage pays for another person’s medical expenses if you, a family member, or your pet injures that person. It also covers damages to that person’s property. Some policies do not cover pets such as as pit bulls or rottweilers.

Standard policies usually come with $100,000 to $300,000 worth of liability coverage, but you can purchase more if you have a lot of assets you want to protect from a lawsuit.

Cheap Renters Insurance

Because renters insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars from one company to the next, the best way to get cheap renters insurance is to visit an insurance comparison website to get quotes from multiple companies.

Visit or click on the following link to get renters insurance quotes from top-rated companies and see how much you can save. You can also get more insurance tips there.

How to Buy Cheap Renters Insurance Online

Looking to buy cheap renters insurance online? Here’s how to do it the easy way and get the best rate possible.

Where can I buy cheap renters insurance online?

The best place to find cheap renters insurance online is at an insurance comparison website. These sites let you compare renters insurance quotes from a number of different companies so you can choose the cheapest rate.

The best insurance comparison websites have an Articles section where you can get money saving tips. They also feature a chat service so you can get answers to your renters insurance questions from an insurance expert, and make sure you’re getting the best rate possible. (See link below.)

How can I get the cheapest possible rate?

Here are seven tips that will help you get the cheapest renters insurance rate:

1. Consolidate Your Policies – By purchasing your renters insurance and your auto insurance through the same company you can save up to 15%.

2. Raise Your Deductible – Raising your deductible – the amount you pay toward a claim before your insurance company pays – can save you 15% to 40% on your insurance, depending on how high you raise it.

3. Install Safety and Security Devices – Insurance companies offer good-sized discounts for installing safety devices like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and for installing security devices like dead-bolt locks, window locks, and burglar alarms.

4. Quit Smoking – Because smoking accounts for more than 20,000 home fires every year, insurance companies will give you a discount on your renters insurance if you don’t smoke.

5. Maintain a Good Credit Rating – Many insurers now base your renters insurance premiums on your credit rating, so maintaining a good credit rating can significantly lower you renters insurance premium.

6. Get a Senior Discount – If you’re retired and 55 or older, most insurance companies will discount your renters insurance premium by up to 10%.

7. Ask About Other Discounts – Renters insurance companies give discounts for a number of reasons. Ask your insurer about the discounts they offer and get all the ones you’re eligible for.

Visit or click on the following link to get cheap renters insurance quotes online from top-rated companies and see how much you can save. You can get more insurance tips in their Articles section.