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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Landlord insurance - it pays to negotiate says the undercover landlord


Landlords if you ever needed any proof that its worth trying to negotiate with your landlord insurance broker, I've just found it.

My portfolio landlord insurance was up at the beginning of April. My existing landlord insurance broker Alan Boswell sent me my renewal quote. This was just under £1000 despite the discount of £104. Considerably more than last year which I managed to negotiate down to £850.
I thought I'd try a few insurance brokers before yielding to the inevitability of having to pay over the dosh.


Alternative quotes for one of my properties
I started by enquiring about the RIKY insurance scheme. This is because I remember seeing them quoting £1 per £1000 of cover. I thought if they could get near that I'd be well pleased. I phoned up and explained I wasn't a member of the scheme but wanted a quote. Eric of Cover Sure was very helpful. He took my details for just one of my properties. It always takes ages. A good 15 minutes. Then explained he was going to have to phone back with a quote as he was putting it out to the different brokers.

In the mean time I thought I'd try another landlord insurance broker to get the recommended 3 quotes before plumping for the best. Going to google I thought I go for one of the most popular landlord insurance websites. I elected for Endsleigh having recognised them from my student days. I proceeded to fill in their online form and was very impressed with it's simplicity and speed. From start to finish the quote for landlord insurance was not much more than 5 minutes and decidedly quicker than working through a quote with Eric on the phone.

The quote for my landlord insurance when it came back was not so good. £237 significantly more than my renewal quote of £154. They sent me an automatic email of the quote just in case they were able to tempt me.


Mean while Eric had come back with his quote. This was interesting. He had two figures one for non members of RIKY, the other was for members. The members quote was pretty attractive at £135 and below my renewal quote but at £1.31 per £1000 cover above their quoted headline rate. I didn't really want to splash out on membership of the RIKY scheme nor did I want to go through the laborious task of having to real of the property details of my portfolio to Eric.


Landlords it pays to ask
Instead, I thought I'd be cheeky. Lets try negotiating. So I phoned Alan Boswell with my pitch. I explained that I had received my renewal quote but had a lower quote from another landlord insurance broker which was kinda true. I put forward my scenario and explained that the alternative quote from cover sure was £910 (little bit of a white lie). Could they beat this? The very nice young woman at the other end didn't seem phased about this. You always worry that they are just about to interrogate you to test the validity of your story but no. Calmly she explained she was going to have to phone the landlord insurers to see what they could do but she would get back to me later that afternoon. I went off made a cup of tea and continued with my filing. Twenty minutes later, the call. The landlord insurers have said they can do it for £900. Great job done. I paid there and then with my card. Happy that I was covered for another year, saved myself £90 into the bargain and hadn't spent weeks filling in endless forms on the Internet or repeating my details to numerous landlord insurance brokers.

It got me thinking, is their a better way of getting landlord insurance? Something to ponder for next year.

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