Halifax Landlord Insurance Have Irritated Me

Just to avoid any confusion, this incident occurred on Friday, 23rd September, but i’m only just getting around to publish it now, 27th September. Anyhow, without any further ado, here are my tears…

I’ve been a satisfied Halifax Landlord Insurance policy holder for years up until now. Today it went wrong. They let me down with their sanctimonious bullshit.

I received a letter this morning from Halifax, stating the following:

I am writing to advise you that your Landlord Insurance policy has been cancelled with effect from 10/07/2011. If you have any queries regarding your cancellation or would like a new quote based on less or more cover to suit your current circumstances, please call the above number.

Oddly, I only renewed the policy in July 2011, and I had received a confirmation policy pack in August, dated 18th August 2011. So the obvious question, why the FFFF was my policy cancelled with effect from 10th July 2011? More importantly, have I not been insured during the majority of July and the entirety of August? What if my tenant went medieval and torched the place, would I have been able to make a claim?

As soon I read the letter, I buried my head into my filing cabinet to pull out my insurance policy documents, and then started dialing the home insurance enquiry line on the old dog and bone.

After being on hold for 5mins (credit where due. Not bad Halifax, good job), I was put through to an advisor. I explained my situation and her response was,

I’m sorry, but for some reason your direct debit payments were cancelled, that’s why we cancelled your policy. Your last payment was in June. It was a mistake on our end.

I was surprised because, as I explained, I hadn’t changed or cancelled anything. Can payments really just stop as randomly as that? Surely that’s a massive security issue, right?

I then proceeded to explain why the situation was even stranger that the policy was cancelled. I renewed 2 Landlord Insurance polices for 2 different properties in July, on the same day, during the same phoencall. Both polices were almost identical- they started and end on the same dates, and payments were even scheduled to leave my account on the same date/time. However, only one of them got caught up in this failure.

We were both perplexed by the situation. She didn’t have a clue why it happened, nor did I. But surely she should know what happened, or at least try to investigate the issue. It goes without saying, there was no sign of this lady wanting to investigate the root cause, she just wanted to rectify the problem and move onto the next call. The problem is, I have this personal demon inside of me that lives for explanations. For example, if I make a girl orgasm before I do, the demon wants to know why. Was I too good? Did I make love too beautifully, too quickly? I want to know the answer, so I can learn and be in-sync next time.

Anyhow, she said I could reinstate the policy from June, all I need to do is play catchup and pay for the two months I missed. My response…

Wait, what, hangon?!? You cancelled my policy in June, and I never made a claim since then, but you still want me to pay for July and August? That doesn’t make sense, surely? Let me ask you this, if my policy got cancelled in June, and I made a claim in July, would I still have been covered?

Yes. The error was on our end, so you would have still been able to make a claim.

I’m sorry, but for some reason I don’t believe that.

She was NOT pleased with my response. But I didn’t care. Halifax may have honoured my claim, but I wasn’t convinced and I couldn’t be sure because it was all hypothetical. I know how insurance companies try and do everything with in their powers to refuse a claim. They’ll try every trick in the book, and if that fails, they’ll write a new book with more tricks.

I thought it was pretty ridiculous that they wanted me to pay those 2 months that they wrongly excluded me from, in which I didn’t even make a claim. The only other solution, according to the advisor, was to start a new policy from today. That seemed more reasonable because at least I wouldn’t be paying for 2 months which I didn’t make a claim for.

This is when it started getting even moreso tedious. As I was going through the process of starting a new policy, I was informed that if I go ahead with a new policy, it would mean I wasn’t insured for the months of July and August, so I was uninsured for 2 months. Guess what? According to their policy, if a property is uninsured for over 1 month, then it loses it’s no-claims bonus.

Are you kidding me? They had me over a barrel.

So basically, I ended up paying for July and August just to keep my no-claims; in-turn they reinstated my old policy, so “on-paper” I was insured seamlessly from when my policy needed renewing. They were the one’s that wrongly cancelled my policy, and they were the ones that took TWO months to inform me. Talk about poor service.

I thought that was pretty shitty of them to handle the situation like that. I don’t go out of my way to get a free meal in life, far from it. But they got this all very wrong. It wasn’t about the money, because I only had to pay £30 for the 2 months I missed in order to keep my no-claims bonus. That’s nothing. However, it’s about principle and being accountable for your own mistakes. You’d think they would have let me off for July and August and reinstated my policy from June because it was their bloody mistake!

Right, anyways, rantover.

I can’t imagine I’ll be irritated by this for much longer, because after one look at Howard’s sweet and innocent face, how can I possibly continue with any rage?

Howard From Halifax

Anyone else have any moans about landlord insurance companies?

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15 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
YesAdam 27th September, 2011 @ 10:24

It took 2 months until they notified you it was cancelled. No call or letter to inform you of the "missed payments". Sounds like they have problems in their system.

I wont have effected your credit file, with two missed payments marked?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 27th September, 2011 @ 14:04

Yup, took them 2 months!!! It's not like I let the policy "expire" either, it was missed payments.

I actually never thought about my credit rating. I'm actually not sure how or if that was affected!

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Jack the lad 28th September, 2011 @ 23:45

Did the telephone clerk orgasm before you did though?!!
Ps. Really enjoy your blogs.

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Smithy 1st October, 2011 @ 15:19

I had two properties insured with Sainsbury's Landlord Insurance - which is operated by Halifax. When I bought another property last year, I rang them and said "I am an existing customer and will be completing the purchase of another btl property, so can you please insure it?" To which they replied "Will it be empty?". The house needed some - but not a lot - of work, so yes, it would be empty for a few weeks. I was then told that they do not insure empty houses. So I had to take my business elsewhere, and I have now changed the insurance on the other houses as well (and got a better price into the bargain).

It's my view that rental properties are more likely than those which are owner-occupied to be empty from time to time, so a blanket ban on insuring empty houses is not helpful - especially as I was an existing customer.

Do you think they are trying to lose their btl insurance customers? It does rather appear so.

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YesAdam 2nd October, 2011 @ 20:19

They are just protecting their money as an empty property is at risk of sabotage and such. So its good "policy" except it does not translate to BTL investors whom often have void periods.

I was looking at a HMO policy(s) the other day, every tenant has to be employed and no DSS tenants. I don't think they thought that one trough very much, considering the market.

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NS1 7th October, 2011 @ 08:43

I've never had to claim yet, but directlineforbusiness have always been competent in taking my money and the premium is certainly very low, I have one policy covering two properties.

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emma 2nd November, 2011 @ 11:36

I moved my landlords insurance to the Halifax yesterday !!! Eeek!!!

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Cardifflandlord 2nd November, 2011 @ 15:31

I used source insurance http://www.thesource.co.uk/thesource/insurance/insurance.html

They saved me approx £200 on renewal for 6 properties.

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Cardifflandlord 2nd November, 2011 @ 15:32

Ooops - sorry Landlord - should have checked with you before putting up the link. remove it if you wish but do check them out!

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lisa 20th January, 2012 @ 10:14

I think you where very lucky with what Halifax did to you. I had all my properties with Zurich back in 2007 on direct debit and the same thing happened to me. They just stopped my DD. It took them 2 months to tell me. I didn't notice as I was on holiday enjoying my rental profits. Much to my horror and very bad luck within those 2 months my tenants turned the house with the cancelled direct debit into a cannabis farm. Even though at first which was before I mentioned the farm they admitted it was a clerical error at there end. However they soon changed their tune when I told them the tenants had ran a cannabis farm and burned it down. After many complaint letters I lost the battle the big boys had more money than me and could afford better solicitors. Lucky the council bailed me out with a renovation grant.
Then 6 months later the big winds came and on a different property my chimney, ridge tiles and guttering fell off the roof due to the storm. This was a nice and easy insurance claim or so I thought. Once again Zurich sent roc around to quote. They said the house a 1930 semi was old and brittle so they wouldn't pay up. I had a long chat with the guy from Roc. He told me none of the insurance companies where paying out at that time unless the house was under 4 years of age.

It didn't cost me much to fix this house only £350 so I wasn't to bothered. However Zurich and I parted business. Has anyone been able to claim from an insurance company? If so what's the insurance firm?

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NS1 20th January, 2012 @ 10:30

Do Halifax still do landlords insurance? I can't see anything on their website?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 20th January, 2012 @ 10:40

Strange. There's nothing on their website about it. I'm not sure if there ever was or not. However, they definitely provide Landlord Insurance.

When I Google "Halifax Landlord Insurance" a lot of websites mention it, other than Halifax! Odd!

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EMMA 20th January, 2012 @ 15:45

I only found out about their insurance when I changed my BTL mortgage to them. It is strange that they don't have the option on their webpage. I pay £140 a year for landlords insurance on a 2 bed. Cheaper than most quotes I got from others

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Thomas Butlin 17th December, 2012 @ 12:26

Well from my experience heres what I know for what its worth about landlord insurance.

For one if they made the error of not taking your money as they should have then you should be able to go to the FSA and have them over the barrel not you.

Insurers and property assesors have recently expressed that the likelyhood of being able to reinstate a property for less than £100,000.00 is unlikely at best.

Quotes tend to come out at approximately £120 minimum for a half decent policy...

Check the small print and find out what your actually getting!

To not insure a unoccupied property just because its unoccupied is ludicrous. However, rating for a unoccupied property will be far higher than a tenanted property and further restrictions and conditions will apply !

Do not think that your covered if you havent notified your insurer if the property has been empty and/or you go past the unoccupied cover days on your policy.

We always provide a short term option for unoccupied property and will rerate the property from the date we are informed a tenancy is starting.

Yes I'm biased as a insurance seller ... but I hope this information is helpful.

Namedrop - I work for UK Landlord Insurance Services.

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Helen 1st February, 2014 @ 23:06

Just has BAD experience with Halifax Landlords insurance. last Summer my conservatory roof started to leak after a short bout of heavy rain, tried to contact builder who built conservatory in Feb 2004 he'd retired to ill health, phoned Halifax explained, they declined my claim saying we did not have winds up to xxx amount of miles that day so claim declined, no offer of inspector to look at roof. quotes to get roof replaced around £4000.OO. Quote for NEW conservatory £5085. so had new conservatory . phoned Halifax end Jan2014 put in complaint claim still declined saying "you said we had hot weather ". what do we have conservatory for,
it a room we can use in all weather very hot - to very cold, Was I ANGRY just a lot. Told Halifax I would Not be renewing landlords insurance with them but will be looking elsewhere.

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