Owners and Tenants Say Insurance is Low Priority

Property insurance comes dangerously low in the list of concerns for owners and tenants, a new survey shows.

Specialist property insurance broker Marsh & Company found insuring against risk was at the bottom of property owners’ and tenants’ scale of priorities – until something goes wrong.

Managing director Rob Marsh says: “Many property owners and tenants think ‘it will never happen to me’, but it does.”

He adds: “Modern property ownership and tenancy is now a minefield of possible risks. Terrorism, health and safety, failure to meet managing agents’ fees, the possible breakdown of crucial electrical items, including lifts, and litigation against directors and officers – it’s not just about protecting against fire and theft.”

Insurers now offer enhancements in addition to standard buildings and contents cover, but Mr Marsh advises both owners and tenants to consult a broker to make sure they are risk aware, fully covered and get the best value insurance package rather than just the cheapest possible premium with inadequate cover.

The survey also found that provincial commercial property owners and tenants do not see terrorism as a threat. Only one in ten take out extra cover to protect against it, with this figure failing to increase following the July 7 terrorist attacks.

An MI5 publication, Protecting Against Terrorism, urges individuals and companies to consult their insurance broker to ensure that they have adequate insurance to cover against terrorist threats.

Mr Marsh comments: “Terrorism is a real threat, yet for the provinces terrorism is regarded as a big city issue.”

Changes in the nature of residential property have also prompted insurers to offer new policies.

An increase in high-rise accommodation and the development of new communities has led to an increase in the number of management or residents’ associations.

The trend towards no-win-no-fee litigation is making it easier for individuals to take legal action against directors and officers of these associations, whose responsibility has increased due to right to manage legislation.

Mr Marsh comments: “It is essential that directors and officers in these kinds of organisations protect themselves and their associations.”

He adds: “No two property owners or tenants have the same needs so using a broker who can provide tailor made policies is a must, to ensure that you are paying for a policy that covers your specific needs. Property insurance may be the lowest of owners’ and tenants’ concerns – until they need it, but it is too late then to make it a priority.”

For further information on how to protect your private or commercial property, telephone Marsh & Company on 0116 204 3400.