October 16, 2012 01:00 ET

Swinton Commercial Warns Landlords Not to Get Burned by Underinsured Properties Ahead of Bonfire Night

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2012) - With Bonfire night fast approaching, Swinton Commercial is offering advice to landlords to safeguard their properties and tenants against fire hazards, and make sure they are fully covered against fire damage.

A recent claim to one landlord insurer for £400,000, following a fire at a block of flats, highlighted the importance of landlords having the correct level of cover for their property.

The landlord in question was left £100,000 out of pocket after underinsuring the property for several years and finding that the policy was not sufficient to cover the rebuild of the premises.

Following Electrical Fire Safety Week which ran from September 24 - 30, the National Landlords Association (NLA) also warned private rented property owners that they must adhere to fire safety regulations or risk prosecution under the 2004 Housing Act.

With this in mind, Swinton Commercial is offering landlords the following tips for adhering to fire safety regulations and to make sure that they have adequate cover; enabling them to rebuild their property should they be affected by fire damage:

  • Equip properties with fire alarms - doing so will alert tenants if there is a fire in the property. Tenants may not regularly check to assess whether batteries in these work, so having mains-powered alarms is recommended.

  • Fit fire doors in the property - these self-closing doors will ensure any fires that do start will be contained, and prevent the fire from spreading to escape routes.

  • Carry out regular installation safety checks - you should also carry out annual visual checks of sockets, switches etc.

  • Ensure each property undergoes a thorough fire assessment - doing this will highlight any potential risks and allow you to rectify anything brought to your attention. It is recommended that an expert carries these checks out.

  • Check your policy documents - check your insurance policy documents to make sure you have the best level of cover for your property.

Brian Greenfield, Chartered Insurance Broker at Swinton Commercial, said: "It is important that landlords check their landlord insurance policy documents to make sure that they have the correct level of cover, allowing them to repair or, in extreme circumstances, rebuild their properties and avoid unnecessary costs.

"Ensuring your properties meet the legal requirements for fire safety will prevent your insurance from being invalidated, and ensure the necessary safety measures are available to your tenants should the worst happen."

Notes to Editors:

About Swinton Commercial:

As one of the UK's leading commercial insurance brokers, Swinton Commercial has the expertise and industry knowledge to provide you with highly competitive business insurance that's tailored to your needs.

With 34 branches across the UK, including 19 regional centres, Swinton Commercial has quickly established itself as the UK's local broker, offering a dedicated team of advisors with specialist industry knowledge in many sectors.

Your local Commercial Account Executive has an in-depth understanding of the insurance market in your area and will arrange a face-to-face appointment with you, taking the time to thoroughly understand your business and its specific requirements.

We cater for most types of business - from small start-ups to well-established organisations, comparing quotes from leading UK insurers to find you the right level of insurance, at the right price.

What's more, our award-winning offering has over 80,000 business customers - and we're growing fast.

Visit www.swintoncommercial.co.uk for more information or call 0800 954 3802.

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