Do I need a specific type of insurance if letting a house?

House Insurance Savings Brokers

In today’s edition of the Irish Independent Managing Director Jonathan Hehir answers readers’ questions along with Sinead Ryan in her Home Economics section.
The full question posed by the reader was:

“I am letting out a house I own for the first time. I have fitted it out with furniture which is sturdy but not expensive and just prints on the walls, Ikea fittings, etc. My question is about insurance. Should I maintain the contents cover on my policy on the house or is it enough a that my tenants do this? I see little point in having two sets of insurance in place for the same thing. Do I need to inform the insurer that I’m letting the property?”

Firstly it’s very important that you let your insurer know that the property is being let.

Jonathan Hehir adds:

This will impact on the type of home insurance policy you have. If you do not inform the insurer you are running the risk that if something were to happen and you needed to make a claim, the insurer would be entitled to refuse to pay based on the fact that the terms of the occupation of the house had changed. It is considered a material fact in insurance terms and you don’t want them repudiating a claim for want of a phone call. With reference to your double insurance you mention – in short if you want the furniture you mentioned to be covered, then yes, you will also need contents cover. However, you should be able to reduce the amount of contents cover you have in place as presumably all personal effects will have been removed so there will be no expensive “all risks” for things like laptops, bicycles and jewellery. The building insurance will have to remain in place and most policies will cover property owners’ liability which is very important.

If your tenants wish to take out renters insurance to protect their personal possession they can, however they are not obligated to do so and you shouldn’t rely on it.

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