Why do estate agents need insurance?
A viewing mishap
Taking customers to viewings is a core part of your work, but it always involves a degree of risk. If someone hits their head on a low staircase or a new build fixture falls on them, they could attempt to make a claim against an estate agent’s business – fortunately, insurance can help. With public liability cover, we’ll assist with your defence costs and any compensation settlements made against you, so you can get on with the day-to-day.
Vendor complaints are part and parcel of working as an estate agent. Someone might feel you undervalued their property and sue for their losses, or a landlord could allege you failed to conduct appropriate tenant checks. Not every deal goes smoothly, so if a customer feels they’ve received bad advice, they may bring a claim against your letting business. Even if their allegations are incorrect, your professional indemnity insurance helps with legal fees.
If your estate agency offices are damaged by fire, flood or burglary, you might find it difficult to continue business as usual. Without the necessary equipment to complete contracts, perform credit checks, list properties or schedule appointments, everything could stop. Tailoring your estate agents’ insurance to include commercial buildings insurance means investigations and repairs to the bricks and mortar can happen swiftly and you’ll be assisted with the cost. Plus, contents insurance helps to repair or replace what’s inside your office so you can be back to normal as soon as possible.
What insurance is available for estate and letting agents?
Insurance for estate and letting agents: FAQs
How much professional indemnity insurance do I need?
Estate agents often find they’ll need enough insurance cover for the costliest potential lawsuit.
If you’re a member of an association such as ARLA Propertymark or the NAEA, which now sit under a single brand, then there are also minimum professional indemnity cover (external link) limits to be aware of.
If you don’t let or manage properties, then the minimum limit of indemnity for estate agents is £100,000 – but this rises to £150,000 for those who do administer property lets. If your business lets or manages properties and has an annual fee income above £150,000, then again this rises to £500,000 for members of ARLA Propertymark.
What’s the difference between professional indemnity and public liability?
Professional indemnity insurance relates to service-based complaints, while public liability insurance helps if someone faces an injury or property damage as they interact with your business. PI steps in if the complaint or allegation comes from a client and is related to work you provided, while public liability insurance can cover you if someone files for compensation for injury or property damage.
Both insurance types can be beneficial for estate agents who need to defend their business from compensation claims. Learn more about the difference between professional indemnity and public liability insurance.
What insurance do I need for working from home?
Professional indemnity insurance could still be beneficial for estate agents who work from home since the nature of your work is still service-based and you’ll be making pricing judgements.
Even from a home office, employers’ liability insurance is usually a legal requirement for companies with staff.
Some types of cover, such as cyber insurance, might even become more important while you’re working remotely, since your colleagues will be uploading property listings and emailing vendors via home networks. They might not have secure IT systems like you would in the office.
Read about home-based business insurance to find appropriate cover options.
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