Property Owners Liability

There seems to be some confusion when it comes to Property Owners’ Liability (or POL insurance for short). It is sometimes referred to using a variety of different terms, both by customers and insurers, including:

But when customers call us asking for any of the above, they usually mean Property Owners’ Liability insurance. Which is how it will commonly be printed on the policy itself. But it’s important to know that they all refer to the exact same type of protection.

What does Property Owners’ Liability insurance cover?

Landlords’ building insurance will normally include Property Owners’ Liability as standard, covering any illness, injury or damage caused by the property that the owner of said property may be deemed liable for. Example scenarios include a tile falling off of the roof and injuring someone standing beneath or damaging a parked car outside, or someone (such as the tenant) tripping down a poorly maintained set of stairs and injuring themselves. The owner of the premises would be liable for the accident. Collapsed walls, gas explosions, faulty structures… If your tenant, one of your tenant’s visitors or any member of the public on your property suffers an injury or damage caused on or in connection with your property, then Property Owners’ Liability will protect you financially should the third party claim compensation.

If you are the owner of a residential private property, then you should already be covered under your home insurance policy. If you operate a business, then this protection should already be included in your public liability cover. This policy, property owners’ liability, is more commonly purchased by landlords.

So what’s the difference between Property Owners’ Liability and Tenant’s Liability cover?

As you may guess, tenant’s liability cover is for any accidental damage that a tenant may be liable for whilst living at the property. This can include things such as spilling a glass of wine on the carpet or accidentally causing damage to the interior property of the landlord like the furniture or fittings. Sometimes the tenant’s liability cover is a requirement for the tenancy agreement, and perhaps this is why some landlords get confused into believing that it is them who is responsible for it. A tenant’s contents insurance policy will normally have tenant’s liability cover within, and is sometimes also referred to as occupier’s liability or tenancy liability cover.

The numerous variations in phrasing for the same types of insurance is usually where the confusion stems from when customers call for a quote. If you are a landlord, you do not need to purchase occupier’s liability cover, as you are not the occupier. You do not occupy the building; your tenant does. So tenant’s liability insurance (or occupier’s liability insurance or tenancy liability insurance) is their responsibility. What you may be looking for is the Property Owners’ Liability, as you own the property.

So next time someone tells you that you need “landlords public liability cover”, what you need to be looking for in your policy are the words: “property owners’ liability”.

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