How to avoid being scammed

Four common mistakes to avoid as a landlord

iStock_000049150118_Small copyIt has recently been reported that a growing number of people throughout the UK have become victims of insurance scams. At the moment the main offenders are false car insurance providers, however with the private rental market being so lucrative right now there are those that are also trying to take advantage of landlords. Getting the right insurance product at the right price is the ultimate aim for most landlords, however if you aren’t careful you may find that you are paying for something that isn’t protecting you at all. So here we look at how you can avoid insurance scams:

Be wary of ‘Too Good to be True’ quotes

At the end of the day, we know that all landlords want to save money on their landlord insurance as it is one of their biggest outgoings after mortgage repayments. This is why here at Just Landlords we try and offer our customers competitive prices for a variety of landlord insurance products. However, fraudulent companies will usually offer prices that seem too good to be true, and are way below those of most other providers in the market. By offering prices that are way below other companies’, scammers entice customers to hand over their money straight away in order to not miss the boat.

The problem is that the customers then find out too late that they aren’t actually covered, meaning they both lose their money and could even have to pay out themselves if damages have occurred. The best way to avoid this issue is to be wary of landlord insurance quotes that look too good to be true, as often this is the case. If a company does offer a lower price than all their competitors it is important you get in touch with them and find out how they are able to do so, and if they can’t provide you with enough information, or try and convince you to pay up quickly, you may be better off going somewhere else.

Do Background Research into Providers

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you aren’t caught out by an insurance scam is to do some research into a company before you choose to take out a policy with them. For example, do they have a website or contact details that you can readily get hold of, and if so when you contact them do they reply? Even if the company is legitimate, if they don’t make an effort when it comes to customer service then you may have issues with them in the future when you try and make a claim.

You should also look into how long the company has been in business, as the ones that are fraudulent are often not around for too long as they have to shut down before they are caught out. Don’t forget that you can find out more information on established landlord insurance providers from your local letting agent or groups such as the National Landlord Association (NLA).

Make sure your provider is FCA registered

By law, all insurance providers throughout the UK must be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and nearly all have their Firm Reference Number clearly displayed on their website. Insurance providers must also adhere to certain regulations set out by the FCA including letting customers know that if they provide false information they may have their policies cancelled, which could affect their ability to purchase insurance in the future.

If you do have an issue with an insurance provider then the FCA is who you should call to discuss your issue. The FCA is the authority when it comes to any form of financial investment in the UK, and as such they are responsible for ensuring that all banks, insurance providers and financial advisers adhere to their criteria and treat their customers fairly. However, you also have a responsibility to make sure that you provide all the information required to your insurance provider, and failure to do so could lead to you not receiving the right insurance policy.

Avoiding insurance scams ensures that not only will your business always remain protected but also that the money you pay for your insurance policy will actually be used for the right purposes. The main thing to remember here is that if you are ever concerned about a provider do some research on them, and never rush into a deal if you feel uncomfortable.

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