Friday the 13th – Is It Really Unlucky For Landlords?

It’s Friday 13th, and whether you are superstitious or not, we all know that accidents can and do happen! In 2017, Total Landlord Insurance (TLI) paid on average £759 for accidental damage claims, reminding landlords of the importance of having insurance cover and ensuring it is up to date.

Back in 2008 the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics found that Friday 13th was actually safer than average, with fewer claims. It could be that people take more care because of the superstition? On the flip side, a hospital study back in 2002 found that A&E admissions were up on Friday 13th, despite traffic volumes being reduced – go figure, as the Americans say.

According to TLI, the most common causes of accidental damage claims in 2017 were:

  1. Flooding due to tenants leaving bath taps on
  2. Tenants dropping the shower head and cracking shower trays
  3. Spillage up walls and on carpets e.g. tenant walking across the hallway, falling and spilling red wine up the walls
  4. Damage caused by children e.g. children kicking a football and accidentally smashing the policyholder’s window

The highest ever accidental damage claim received by Total Landlord Insurance was worth £19,000. The tenant left the taps on and went to work only to return at the end of the day to find the property flooded. The brand-new kitchen work surfaces, doors, hob/cooker and vinyl flooring were all warped.

The building was soaked throughout, and the ceiling and walls had bulged, along with the light fittings and smoke alarms which were destroyed. The tenant was unable to use the property whilst the property was repaired so loss of rent was also paid out.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance, comments;

Buildings and contents insurance needs to be based on rebuild or replacement values. Landlords should base their contents insurance on the cost of replacing all household contents, including all furniture and appliances provided to tenants such as fridge/freezer, television and sofa.  Landlords should be mindful they need to be as accurate as possible to ensure they have sufficient cover, and if you have a new kitchen fitted, for example, keep hold of the invoices so you can prove its value in the event something gets damaged.”

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