General Insurance provider, Berkeley Alexander (BA), has today announced it has partnered with Auto Legal Protection Services (ALPS), to launch a Landlord Legal Expenses and Rent Guarantee product appropriate for use during the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
Many insurers stopped sales of this type of product earlier this year following enactment of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which amongst other things suspended all possession hearings by the courts, making eviction impossible. In addition, there has been a 70% increase in the UK jobless total and a rise in Universal Credit applications, with predictions for a significant and severe downturn in the world economy over the coming months, leading to concerns within the insurance industry about rent arrears.
Mark Hutchings, Managing Director of Berkeley Alexander, explains: “Whilst the impact of the Coronavirus on the UK public is obviously devastating, landlords too have suffered financially from rent arears and quite rightly are unable to evict non-paying tenants during this period. However, mediation is still available, and the associated legal costs and rent arears continue to accrue. At the outset of restrictions it was no surprise that many insurers pulled out of landlord legal expenses and rent guarantee products but I’m delighted that in partnership with ALPS we are able to provide this product for our brokers and advisers, giving them a valuable point of differentiation and providing their landlord clients with surety.”
The product is offered on a 12-month policy term. It will pay 100% of rent arrears paid up to possession and has a range of benefit levels and indemnity periods, up to a maximum of £2,500 and for up to 6-months. The product will also cover the policyholder for legal disputes in relation to the tenancy agreement, pursuit of rent arrears and legal defence cover. It provides mediation and eviction costs up to £25,000.
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, Berkeley Alexander currently provides services to over 3,500 firms in the UK. It provides a wide choice of quality general insurance policies to suit every level of customer need and budget across a range of product types, including standard and non-standard home, mid & high net worth, property owners (both residential and commercial) and all forms of commercial insurance.