With government guidelines and regulations rapidly changing on a daily basis to accommodate the economic pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic, property technology company Goodlord have updated their rent protection insurance product to ensure claims can still be processed under the latest rules.
With eviction proceedings typically having to begin before a claim can be processed, the three-month moratorium on evictions means many landlords formerly protected by rental insurance products may find themselves facing uncertainty around policies. Over recent days, a range of products has been pulled from the market for this reason.
Goodlord has instead made key changes to their Rent Protection and Legal expenses product to ensure they can continue to offer the service on new lets and continue to renew existing policies, protecting landlords for as long as possible. They have also introduced new support services to help all parties navigate the changes and any challenges.
Going forward, if tenants are no longer able to meet their payment obligations, Goodlord will first help landlords and tenants build and execute viable repayment plans. This process will begin as soon as the letting agent has been notified that the tenant will be unable to pay rent, and will include hands-on guidance on legal obligations, financial assessments, template payment plans, and bespoke advice if tenants do not engage in the process.
Following this phase of engagement, claims will then be accepted subject to criteria. Coverage will include 100% of rent owed, including rent arrears accrued during the three-month period in which legal proceedings could not be started. Existing policy benefits will also still apply, including property damage cover as standard and legal expenses coverage up to £100,000.
Oli Sherlock, Head of Insurance at Goodlord, comments: “In what has been an unprecedented few days we are seeing Covid-19 affect nearly every aspect of business and how businesses operate. In regards to the lettings industry, a particular effect has been the introduction of new legislation restricting the ability to evict a tenant for a period of three months, alongside arrangements for three month mortgage holidays. Goodlord welcomes the government’s commitment to helping tenants and landlords through the immediate crisis. But this decision has wider-reaching implications for products like Rent Protection and Legal expenses cover.
“In the last week, we have seen numerous suppliers in the industry remove such products. We understand the challenges this sector of the industry faces, especially in regards to the new legislation relating to evictions, however, our view is that letting agents, landlords and tenants need more support than ever right now. Our changes will provide this to all parties. The situation is extremely changeable and we will continue to review our products accordingly, but as we stand today we are very pleased to provide the support with a Rent Protection offer.”