Landlord Building Insurance Renewals- Saving You Money!

Couple of weeks ago I received 2 fat A4 letters from Halifax’s Home Insurance division. The contents of the packages was no mystery, I knew my landlord building insurance policies for 2 of my rentals were shortly due for renewal, so they were eager for me to resign and seal the deal.

Clearly, there’s nothing exciting about what they had sent me, and they knew it. I can’t physically think of anything more snooze-worthy than reading through thick insurance policy packs, and neither can they, and that’s precisely why they’re hoping I just ‘do nothing’ and allow the policy to automatically renew itself.

Don’t be lazy, save money!!

That’s the thing with insurance companies, and in fact most companies that use automatic renewal systems, they prey on laziness. They literally masturbate over people being lazy, so damn lazy to the point that they can’t even be bothered to shop around for all of 10 minutes to salvage better deals, which inevitably means they’ll remain on the same old policy, which is rarely ever the most competitive product on the market. I dread to think how much money insurers’ make from laziness.

Holding onto existing customers by boring them to death is easy money for them. Cunning plan, and they almost had me.

Fortunately, the mundane and gloomy task of opening and reading through the newly proposed policies only remained untouched, gathering dust on the kitchen worktop, for 2 weeks. Had the extend of my laziness and disinterest stretched for another 2 weeks, they would have had me hook, line, and sinker. I would have automatically rolled into their new policy, which of course, had increased from last year’s premium. Obviously we can’t blame them, why would the super rich multi-billion corporation allow just one bloody year to go by without jacking up their prices, even though I didn’t make any claims or change any of my circumstances?

In reality, we mostly have to renew policies annually, and with all the comparison websites knocking around these days, it takes all of a few minutes to determine whether there’s a better deal on the market. That’s dedicating approximately 10 minutes of our precious time every year to potentially save hundreds of pounds, yet so many of us still don’t bother. If someone said, “fill in this form, should take around 10mins, and I’ll give you a £100”, would you do it? Fuck yeah, that equates to £600 per hour.

But still, we never really value “saving money” like we value “earning money”, when we probably should, because it’s the same thing depending on which way you look at it.

I’m not going to lie, I was almost tempted to remain sunk into my lazy-boy chair, with the residue of cheesy Wotsit crumbs smeared all over my face, while bowing down to the new premium rate Halifax had offered me. That was the easy option. Easy is good. Easy is sexy!

But for the sake of 10 minutes work, it made very little sense to go with my urges, despite how lazy I was feeling. What’s 10 minutes? Takes me longer to peel an avocado.

We don’t have any excuses, and we shouldn’t even need to be looking for any, because the outcome can only be beneficial- we either get a better deal or get confirmation that we currently have a good deal! It’s win/win.

How/where I got my insurance quote

The funny thing is, I even link to a landlord insurance quote generator on this blog, yet I was still contemplating shrugging it off. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and laziness was a rare second place.

I filled out the quote form (took about 2 minutes), and literally 1 second later, my phone was buzzing. I knew had an insurance broker calling me. It was kind of freaky how quick it all was. I also had 3 missed calls from other brokers during the conversation. It literally was a case of, ‘you snooze, you lose’

I can only imagine how frantic the chase is when a new lead comes in. Kill or be killed. In any case, the valiant broker I was striking a deal with drew first blood, so he had my attention, and he seemed reasonably cool. He went over my details and requirements and gave me his best quote.

Insurance policy requirements/spec

  • Both the properties are pretty much identical, in the same area as well.
  • They’re 2 bedroom, mid-terraced houses.
  • The rebuild cost for each property was set at £150,000. (here’s a rebuild cost calculator so you can calculate what yours should be set at)
  • £250 excess fee
  • £5 million public liability
  • Includes accidental damage cover

Renewal policy proposed by Halifax

Halifax quoted me £260 for each property, totaling £520.

New proposed offer with ‘Lloyds of London’

My new quote was £130 for each property, for the exact same policy, which totaled to £260.

I was also told that if I can find a better deal with in their 14 day grace period (which starts after the policy starts), they’ll happily cancel the policy and return my money, no questions asked.

I just want to point out that I didn’t opt for the cheapest product available. For example, I could have paid less if I lowered my rebuild cost to the lower bracket, increased my excess fee, and didn’t opt for ‘accidental damage cover’ (apparently that’s not always standard). It’s important to never under insure!

There are literally hundreds of policies available on the market, and new ones are being introduced every day, so it’s important to use due diligence when choosing the best policy to suit your needs. An insurance broker should be able to provide assistance and guide you in the right direction if you’re unsure about what you need.

Total saving

£260

50% saving in 20 minutes

It took me 20 minutes in total to fill out the landlord insurance quote form, talk to an insurance broker, and renew my policy for a much better rate. That’s a pretty big saving I made for such little work.

I paid there and then, and the policy will automatically takeover on the last day of my existing policy. Beautiful.

I also contacted Halifax to cancel the renewals. Even though I made it clear why I was switching (the 50% saving), the adviser was still adamant on trying to keep my business, yet couldn’t provide any valid reasons. There was a lot of fluff talk. I guess he was only doing his job, but when you’re competing against such a big price differential for the same product, there’s very little you can do. Perhaps he could have won my sympathy vote by crying and begging.

Always get quotes!

Obviously this isn’t the most exhilarating or gripping of blog posts, and I can only apologise for that. And it’s not like I’m disclosing any ground-breaking messages here. You can find 12 year old ‘Money saving’ bloggers preaching the same shit, get quotes.

But the reason I wanted to continue spreading the word is because people STILL don’t value their money, and the more it’s preached, the more likely it is that people will see the light. I want to encourage EVERYONE that isn’t already doing so, to invest 10, 20, 30 minutes every year, just to look into renewing policies. Not just regarding insurance, but mortgages, savings accounts, utilities etc. I know so many of us don’t bother and I completely get it. We all just want easy lives. However, while being lazy is so God damn compelling, it’s also incredibly expensive. The money saved can go towards much better causes, like improving your actual property and improving conditions for your tenants. However you spend it, I guarantee, you’ll feel better once you make the saving.

I was genuinely surprised by my saving, and I feel like I actually made an extra £260 today simply by investing 20 minutes. You could do the same today!

Most of us in the real world work our asses off to earn £260 (at least, definitely more than 20mins work). We have to deal with bullshit conditions and unreasonable people, yet we’ll happily overspend and completely lose value in the work we put in. It’s pretty sad.

So if you’re one of those people that are reluctant to shop around because you think you’re already getting a great deal, I hope this post encourages you to reconsider. If you’ve got a policy that needs renewing any time soon, at least try it, and let me know how you get it on and how much you saved. In particular, let me know if you use the landlord insurance quote form.

As they say, “any saving you make is better than an oversized dildo being shoved up your ass.”

Good luck, and God bless xo

P.s. always read the terms and conditions of all policies and don’t forget about the small print! Some times the cheapest isn’t always the best, particularly with insurance! If you’re going to renew a policy, ensure you’re getting quoted for a like-for-like product (or something even better) so you can accurately compare!

25 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Benji 11th August, 2014 @ 12:30

I reckon you might have been shafted on the rebuild costs.

£150K seems steep if this is just an average quality build 2 bed. Depends on area of course but even average London doesn't come out that high.

Try it on this rebuild calculator (it links to the BCIS without having to register);

https://www.lea-financial-services.co.uk/rebuild-calculator/

I reckon you could ring them back up and save another 30 quid- if you can be arsed.

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th August, 2014 @ 13:00

The broker initially suggested setting it at £120k, but it was the same price for £150k, so it made sense to leave it at the top end of the margin.

Useful calculator though. It estimated the rebuild cost at £125k.

2
Guest Avatar
graham 11th August, 2014 @ 19:17

Took your advice and had the brokers falling over themselves to give me a cheap quote ,and the quote was good ,but a water leak i pay the first £500 ,so hoping nothing goes wrong with the water works ,told the tenant to only have one shower a week and not to flush the toilet to often about once a fortnight should do ,my own water works needs a bit of attention but cant seem to find a good plumber who speaks English these days ,the only plumber i know lives in Spain ,i just knew i was paying him too much .

3
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th August, 2014 @ 19:29

haha, yeah, they come in thick and fast!

So was the saving worth taking, despite the £500 excess for water leaks? I'm assuming that wasn't the case with for all the policies, was it? What's the deal with your current policy and water leaks?

What did you decide to do?

Thanks for letting me know Graham!

4
Guest Avatar
Andy 11th August, 2014 @ 19:35

Each year i put my house portfolio insurance out to various insurance providers to see who is competitive in that year. I try to use a local agent if at all possible as i like to be able to pop in to talk about things as and when changes occur during the year, this is something I think is important and thus price is only one consideration. The rebuild valuation is key, i have either a rebuild valuation from surveys when buying a house or i work out sq mtrs and calcualate (and document on file) a rebuild value, always adding a sum for headroom. Do not cut under insure as this will bite you if you ever need to claim. My houses are mainly terraced or semi detached, this year my provider got a great deal on a 'flats' policy through AXA, it covers houses as well. Had quotes that work out between £100 and £225 per property from various sources. The message is clear, with a bit of groundwork, with a few calls and emails you can save money and get better cover.

5
Guest Avatar
David 12th August, 2014 @ 14:05

Nice article, one word of warning, never under insure, they pro rata it to the payout.

Also check you are comparing apples with apples, they are very clever at structuring terms to dig themselves out of having to payout.

BTW I think you mean adament rather than amendment.

6
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th August, 2014 @ 14:46

@Andy,

Definitely agree, price is one consideration. And I definitely don't think the cheapest product is necessarily the best.

For example, I could have paid less if I lowered my rebuild cost to the lower bracket, if I increased my excess fee, and didn't opt for 'accidental damage cover' (apparently that's not always standard). But like you said, it's always better to add sum for a little extra breathing space!

Looks like you got quite a price range with your quotes!

@David
Thanks David!!

Yeah, goes without saying, insurance companies will do everything with in their power to refrain from paying out, so as you said, it's crucial, if you're renewing, to actually ensure the policies you're comparing are similar, if not identical.

Thanks for the typo spot, you're right (although you spelt 'adamant' wrong ha) :)

7
Guest Avatar
Nige 12th August, 2014 @ 17:38

Its one of the simple rules of economics.

2 guys each earn £1000 per year.Their total living expenses are each ..£1000 per year.
One gets a £100 raise to £1100 a year.
The other pulls in the horns and saves £100 a year
Both should have an extra £100 in their pockets.
Wrong.
The guy who saves is not subject to tax etc on the extra £100 and is better off.

8
Guest Avatar
Jace 13th August, 2014 @ 06:59

Is Landlords Insurance still necessary for a flat in a block that already has Buildings Insurance?

Thanks

9
Guest Avatar
Andy 13th August, 2014 @ 09:06

Jace - this is my opinion on your question. Your service charge on the block of flats is part paying for insurance and the freeholder should give you a copy of the cover, to this ends the bricks and mortar are covered. What you may wish to consider is the contents of the flat that you own as these will not be covered by buildings insurance. The other consideration should be liability cover for things like a tradesman having an accident in your flat and claiming against you. Where I have had a flat in the past I tend to put a small amount of contents cover of say £10k that includes public liability cover, the cost is minimal but gave me peace of mind. Every situation is different and you should consider yours on its own merits.

10
Guest Avatar
Nige 13th August, 2014 @ 09:30

Take care with flats. I had one where the freeholder vanished . Nobody collected a charge of any sort so it wasn't insured. Make sure that you actually see the policy.
Although mine were in a block of 4 I insured mine separately as that gave me a degree of security.

11
Guest Avatar
Pawel 4th September, 2014 @ 07:26

My suggestion is - try cashback sites as well. At the moment going through quidco.com could earn you around £90-95 commission per policy if you go for Direct Line or More Than - which were one of the cheapest policies anyway.

12
Guest Avatar
Evan Kennedy 12th September, 2014 @ 09:39

Choosing the right insurance policy for your property is a tough job as there are hundreds of policies available in the market. Before signing a policy, it is better to note down your requirement and then see which policy is covering your requirements to the maximum. I will suggest taking the services of Pick Fords to buy the land insurance policy.

13
Guest Avatar
Johnboy 5th August, 2015 @ 13:50

Hi. Just purchased and let a 2 bed terraced house in West Yorkshire.
1st timer.. Would anyone recommend loss of rent insurance should the tenant fail to pay.

14
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th August, 2015 @ 15:50

Hi Johnboy,

I think you're referring to RGI (Rent Guarantee Insurance), I personally think it's definitely worth it. More info here

15
Guest Avatar
Kerry 8th August, 2015 @ 10:18

Hi I just wanted to say a big thanks. I am about to become a first time landord and signed up for your latest landlord tips a few months ago. I saved your April tips on insurance and have just completed the form this morning. In 1 minute of my pressing the send button Emily an extremely professional lady rang me from Peacock Insurance of Coventry. She found me a quote of £126, yet the cheapest quote I had managed to find on line was £216. So thanks for saving me a hefty £90. Filling in the form, receiving the call and paying over my dues took as you rightly say no more than 20 minutes. Cheers

16
Guest Avatar
Jackie Cain 1st November, 2015 @ 21:48

Hi your email came just at the right time for me. My building insurance was due on my buy-to-let property. I had my renewal through at £314. I completed the form and within seconds got a phone call from a number of insurance companies. The best quote I got was £197.97 like for like.
That's a saving of 116.03 :-)

17
Guest Avatar
Aileen 8th March, 2016 @ 15:30

Thanks a lot Landlord for shaking me up from my cosy butterfly and sunshine world and making me think (and act!). Used your form to get some quotes for Landlord Insurance and saved myself £300! Think I was being totally ripped off before and my laziness has cost me hundreds over the years! I have learnt my lesson. Quotes will be requested every year now - I won't get caught again.

18
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 14th March, 2016 @ 23:08

Love it!! I love hearing about the savings everyone is making from such a simple and quick process!

Thanks for the feedback everyone, really appreciate it! Hopefully more people will continue to be encouraged.

19
Guest Avatar
Marcia 9th May, 2016 @ 22:06

I am in the process of buying my share of freehold for my flat (which is in a terraced house comprising a total of 2 flats)and with my neighbour will need to decide for a Building Insurance cover for both flats. On top of that, though, I will need Landlord's Insurance, as I will be letting my flat. How does this work? Can we get a Building Insurance for both flats and a separate Landlord's just for me? Would I be paying for Building insurance twice though? Kind of confused!! Thanks

20
Guest Avatar
Brian Hatley 3rd July, 2017 @ 18:44

Ever since Motor Insurance marketing changed (about 10 years ago?), I have become paranoid about the whole business. I invariably renewed with the same company because I thought being a loyal customer was appreciated (it is - sucker!) So many changes were happening then, companies abandoning motor insurance altogether or being taken over by other vultures.
When one renewal notice came through at well over twice the premium (oh, and told not to worry since they will renew automatically, and "you won't be uninsured"), I started to search online and of course came up with much cheaper quotes.
I applied this process to Breakdown Cover, then with Buildings Insurance (both home and my lettings). Unfortunately, only motor insurance seems to be catered for by the likes of "Compare the Merecat" etc, so this form will be a godsend.
A word of warning though: Even the comparison sites are not without skullduggery,
hence my mention of paranoia. I've found that proper timing is vital. If they twig that you are over a barrel - the price goes up, rather like Holidays do during school vacations. So plan well ahead if you can. Naturally, they are aware of that dodge too, so they have time limits before the quote expires. Forget, and try again nearer the time, and they will remember your previous searches, thus realising you are at their mercy!

21
Guest Avatar
David 4th July, 2017 @ 08:02

@Brian

People talk about Rip Off Britain, I call it Mugs Britain.

Do you remember when we joined the EU we were told that it would bring greater competition and lower prices?

What actually happened is our insurance companies were acquired by EU companies who could not believe what UK customers put up with.

A friend of mine has been on a long term contract in Germany for nearly 10 years, his insurance has not increased in all that time, in fact it has got lower. A few years ago he was hit by another car whilst visiting family in the UK. He made no claim because his car would be beyond economic repair for an insurance company. The other driver did the same (they were at fault).

His premium did not increase, a year later the UK driver started one of these fake medical claims, a scratch on his finger became "tissue damage". The insurance company settled even though it was a fake claim, simply because it was cheaper to settle.

Despite this the German insurance company still did NOT increase the premium.

In the UK, a tree can fall on your car in a street where you will never visit again but your premium will be increased.

Even if you make no claim they increase your premium in the UK.

In Germany you have to be at fault and you have to make a claim for them to increase the premium.

In addition this we have the ABI, data sharing and insurance companies excluding this that and the other. All of these work against customers.

It is high time this disgusting industry was highly regulated.

On this blog we often talk about the deregulation act of 2015 because of the changes affecting landlord. Yet there was also a change in insurance policies. Previously an insurance company had to give you 28 days notice before dropping cover on a car policy, the dereg act allows them to terminate at midnight on the day they tell you and they can tell you via email!!

As far as I am concerned insurance should have no exclusions (especially for medical), i.e. we all share the risk and before they start saying it will be prohibitively expensive, that is nonsense, exclusions were only created to find ways to make more profit.

END OF RANT

22
Guest Avatar
Brian Hatley 6th July, 2017 @ 09:41

Excellent "rant" David! I couldn't have explained all that better myself! Especially the bit: "What actually happened is our insurance companies were acquired by EU companies who could not believe what UK customers put up with."
I concur with everything you said in your post, although there will be many who will say we are simply paranoid.
The question is, what can be done about it?
I'm just 80 years old now, so have (realistically) only another 10 years of car ownership ahead of me, and will probably give it up before then, but I feel sorry for my adult children and grandchildren who actually think the EU is a good thing!

23
Guest Avatar
David 6th July, 2017 @ 12:52

The solution is REGULATION, whether it be banks or any other business, if you are soft they abuse the market.

As long as there is the ABI coordinating cartel like behaviour there will never be competition.

I heard on you and yours how if you shop around on price comparison websites they put your price UP!

When the ABI was queried about this they said "it is too complicated for you to understand".

By simply removing exclusions and the 80 page terms and conditions for all insurance we will have a truly competitive market because they will all be insuring the same risk.

That, dismantling the ABI and maybe breaking up the biggest companies.

All loss adjusters should also be banned then taken out at dawn and shot!

I have noticed how the insurance companies are encouraging their legal customers to say nothing, refuse to provide evidence unless compelled by a court and playing BLAME THE VICTIM.

24
Guest Avatar
Sarah 1st August, 2017 @ 10:49

Would have loved the form to have provision to state when existing insurance is due for renewal, as I don't want to cancel mine I just want a competitive quote ready for when mine runs out.

What happened was, minutes after I filled the form in the phone started ringing starting from 8.45 in the morning (while getting the kids ready to leave for school)almost like it was a national emergency that I get a quote right then and there!of course they all had several questions to ask, and being morning rush time had to ask them all to call later or email me.I appreciated the enthusiasm though!
I though would have personally preferred to give more details on the form and they email me quotes for me to read in my own time and compare quote for quote.

Every year when my insurance renewal rolls around I know I should do my ' homework' but never get round to do it..now was my chance to do it at liesure !

For instance,the form asked how many bedrooms the property has, whereas mine is a Victorian conversion with 5 flats in the building..it got tedious explaining that to each caller..

Just my opinion, being that I'm a busy landlord and Mum of young kids, never enough time in the day...

Otherwise great article as usual and def got me to start the ball rolling come renewal time..

25

Please leave a comment...

Nobody

Nobody

Landlord

Landlord

Tenant

Tenant

Agent

Agent

Legal

Legal

Buyer

Buyer

Developer

Developer

Enthusiast

Enthusiast