Posted by Mandy Casavant, Partner
No contents insurance – what if the nanny takes a tumble?
No matter how much your house is worth, most people will have buildings insurance as it’s generally a requirement of most mortgage lenders. But it’s a little known fact that not buying contents insurance for your property is getting some wealthy individuals who employ staff on their properties into hot water.
Buildings insurance covers the structure of a house, permanent fixtures like bathroom and kitchen fittings, roof and usually extends to outdoor buildings too. Most mortgage lenders usually insist that a buyer gets buildings cover before they consider them for a mortgage as they need their asset (over which they take a charge) adequately protected.
Contents insurance protects personal belongings from theft, and damage from fire and flood. You don’t have to get cover for your contents, but it helps cover your costs if you have to replace a smashed TV, or deal with a room full of flood ruined furniture.
Do I need contents insurance?
Some people are tempted to take an educated risk/gamble by not getting contents insurance. They may feel that they could afford to replace an item(s) if stolen or damaged and so it’s an unnecessary expense. However, if you employ staff such as a nanny, dog walker, gardener, chauffeur, cleaner or cook and they have an accident in your home, you could be liable to be sued by them. A contents insurance policy would have:
- Occupiers Liability – for injury in the home
- Domestic Employers Liability – for domestic staff on your business
- Personal Liability – for your own liability when out and about.
This amounts to protecting the individual and their employees in the event of an accident or injury on their property. This also applies to visitors to their property such as the Amazon courier, a neighbour or a contractor working on the property such an electrician.
The Personal Liability cover included with contents insurance policies can help in situations with pets – injury or accidents caused by them, and other injuries such as non-professional cycling accidents or a clash in a street or on a train for example that injures a third party. This Personal Liability can also be extended to protect domestic employees should they cause loss or injury while working for the individual.
A decent contents insurance policy should also include a good level of Legal Expense Insurance (LEI) built into the cover. This provides the owner with financial protection in case a legal dispute is brought against them.
Russell Jones-Walker, from specialist insurance broker, Lumley Insurance says: “Buildings insurance, aside from material damage, will include your liability as the property owner, but not as the occupier. Under a Buildings insurance policy alone you would not be covered for Occupiers Liability, should a visitor suffer loss or injury in the home, Domestic Employees Liability, for any loss or injury to domestic staff, even that fortnightly cleaner visit or your Personal Liability, when away from the home should you cause loss or injury, for example your dog causes an accident, or a cycling incident.”
For more information regarding buildings or contents insurance on your property, contact our Residential Property team on
020 7282 4310 Email us
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