IT would appear that a number of landlords are failing to update their property insurance cover levels, with some taking the view that so long as they have a policy they will be protected.

A recent fire claim presented to Total Landlord Insurance for nearly £400,000 has highlighted the need for landlords to ensure that they are adequately insured.

A fire which broke out in a block of flats, after a tenant decided to clean car parts with petrol in the kitchen, is set to leave one landlord out of pocket to the tune of £100,000 after he discovered that he had under insured the property for many years.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Total Landlord Insurance, said: “This is a particularly extreme and unusual case, but it does highlight the importance of ensuring that your insurance policy is sufficient to cover the full value of rebuilding the property.

“In the current financial climate, it is more crucial to look at the levels of cover rather than the bottom line premium.”

Landlords that have taken out policies some time ago are being urged to ensure that their cover is still valid and in line with current market conditions.

It is also advised that landlords seek professional advice on the cost of rebuilding their properties.

Over the past two years, almost 20 per cent of all fire claims settled by Total Landlord Insurance were the result of kitchen fires, with 10 per cent due to tobacco smoking and a further five per cent caused by burning candles.

The remainder of insurance claims related to electrical faults.

Eddie added: “Properties in multiple occupation are among the most likely to be affected by fire.

“Prevention of risk is as important as having the correct insurance.

“Landlords, especially those who are new to the sector, need to understand the correct fire safety provisions, including fire exits and wired in smoke detectors.

“Ensure that your tenant understands their obligations, and make sure that you write fire precaution clauses into the tenancy agreement.”