“I’ve just been informed by my tenants that they have been burgled; the back door has been severely damaged and all of their Christmas present have been stolen. I need to know what is covered by my Insurance so that these damages can be repaired and hopefully my tenants can receive some compensation for the contents that have been stolen.”
The Crime that Spikes Around Christmas & Why
It is not uncommon for there to be a spike in the number of break-ins around this time of year. With it being common for many households in the UK the have homes full of easily transportable presents, there are many opportunistic thieves out there who will seize this opportunity.
In this case the burglar has damaged the back door in order to gain access to the property but other than this damage, they have left very little evidence of them being there. By causing minimal damage and mess they are making themselves hard to trace.
What Some Insurance Policies Cover
Every insurer will have their own terms and conditions which will result in a variety of levels of cover. For example many insurers will only provide your property with cover if you have an active and regularly tested burglar alarm, whereas other insurers will offer a lower level of cover if you do not have this level of security. A strong recommendation of ours is that your tenants must have insurance in place as part of the tenancy agreement.
The Landlords’ Insurance Policy
In the majority of generic Landlord Insurance Policies they are likely to have cover for any contents that belongs to the Landlord that has been stolen. They will also have cover for any damage caused to the building itself as well as any permanent fixtures.
So in regards to this scenario, the majority of Landlord Insurance Policies will provide cover for the damaged back door but will provide no cover for the tenants stolen Christmas presents.
The Tenants Insurance Policy
If your tenants have their own Insurance Policy, the majority of Contents Policies will cover; the theft of their possessions, any damage caused to their belongings caused by a break-in and any personal injuries that were sustained following the discovery of a break-in within their home.
What to do as a Victim of a Burglary
Being burgled is an awful thing to experience but in the event that you find yourself victim to such a selfish crime be sure to report it as soon as possible. If you are at any risk when discovering the break-in you must call 999 immediately! If you are certain that the property is safe and that the buglers have left we advise that you call 101 where an officer will work with you the gather all of the required information and take action from there.
Once you have reported the crime to law enforcement, you must contact your insurer. Not only will this get the ball rolling on claiming expenses for the damage caused, they will also advise you on any measures that you need to take to ensure that your property will remained insured after this event has taken place.
Make Sure That You’re Prepared
An individual can never predict that this will happen to them but there are some steps that you can take to make sure that you are covered in the event that it does. As a Landlord you want to make sure that your property is protected and as a tenant you want the piece of mind that your belongings will be safe.
If you have informed your insurer that the property is fitted with a burglar alarm it is then the Landlords’ responsibility to ensure it is functioning correctly if you don’t want your Insurance Policy to be void. It is also your responsibility to ensure that the police have been informed of this crime if your tenant has told you about a burglary taking place.
As a tenant you would have been given terms & conditions when taking out a Contents Cover Policy. A general rule with many contents policies is that the property insured must not be left vacant for more than 30 days, if this is the case you must take out Unoccupied Property Insurance which you will need to discuss with your Landlord. Many policies will also become void in the event of a burglary if the tenant has left a door or window open meaning that the burglar would not have had to make a forced entry into the property.
Each Policy will be different so be sure to read yours carefully so that you know exactly what you are covered for. If you need any advice on this issue, do not hesitate to contact our team on 0800 515 381; they will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.