Were your Rental Properties protected during the COVID-19 Lockdown?

Prior to going into Lockdown we were happily working away in our old office, planning on moving at the end of March.

Then it struck, so – home we all went.

Luckily as we have a VOIP phone system we could still be available to our clients and work effectively, BUT – what a difference a National Emergency can create!

Within 72 hours of lockdown over 400 landlords decided that having a REAL Landlord Insurance policy in place, just in case, might be what they needed should their tenants not be able to pay their rent, damage their property, or even abandon it. 

Some very proactive professional Property Management Companies wrote to their landlords and reminded them of our policies and perhaps they should consider looking at the cover provided. And just like that a light went on, and many of their landlords could see the benefit of having a REAL Landlord insurance policy to support them, if needed. 

Many insurance companies at the time had embargoed any new business being taken out, but our underwriter Tower Insurance was not one of them. As a New Zealand company they wanted to enforce what Jacinda Adern was asking us all to do. ‘Be Kind’. So we were able to carry on offering our policies and ensuring that New Zealand investors throughout the country could insure against unknown losses that ‘might’ occur. Unfortunately we had to limit bringing on new companies who wanted to become an Approved Referrer during lockdown, however as of 1st June 2020 we will be able to do so again, so reach out if you are ready to become part of our exclusive group. 

What’s has been the most common claim during this period?

To date, the most common claim we have received during this period, is where the tenants abandoned their rental accommodation to go and isolate elsewhere. A few returned overseas, but some just went to family elsewhere. 

Remember our Landlord Preferred policies (Classic/Premier/Multi) only support a claim after the tenant has vacated the property. Many landlords thought they would be able to claim if their tenants had difficulty paying the rent during the Lockdown. We had to carefully explain this to all who inquired.

As the government has put a limitation on when tenants can be evicted for rent arrears, there may be many more claims to come and the losses could be large for some landlords.  Won’t it be much easier for those who have a landlord insurance policy in place? Unfortunately many people think they need insurance for predictable losses…but the worldwide event shows, that you sometimes have to think about the ‘what if’ scenarios as well.