If you have invested in any type of property, you are probably aware of the wide range of different insurance products designed to safeguard it against loss and damage and to protect yourself against the liabilities which come with being the property owner.
The types of property insurance fall into a number of broad categories according to the property’s use:
- the Association of British Insurers (ABI), for example, publishes guidelines on standard home building and contents insurance typically purchased by home owner-occupiers;
- the Consumers’ Association’s Which? magazine describes the need for landlord or buy to let insurance – if you choose to let your property to tenants; and
- commercial property insurance – which protects all kinds of commercial property, from shops and offices to factories, workshops and even leisure centres (whether used as your own business premises or let to tenants).
Added to this is the requirement of lender that if you have a mortgage, adequate insurance must be maintained on both residential and commercial property.
Insurance for mixed-use property
So where does all this leave you if the property is not only used as commercial premises which has residential quarters, but part of it is occupied by you to live in, and the remainder let to tenants? It has mixed commercial and residential use, where you are both landlord for one part and owner-occupier for the other.
Probably the most common configurations for this type of property are:
- the shop or other retail outlet on the ground floor, with a flat or flats above;
- an office or doctor’s surgery downstairs and living accommodation upstairs; or
- a pub with its entrance at street level and rooms above for bed and breakfast guests and living quarters for the landlord and his family.
In any of these or similar mixed-use arrangements, the insurance solution is mixed commercial and residential building insurance. This insurance for mixed-use property is specially tailored to meet your needs, whatever the configuration of commercial and residential use and whether you are using the business premises for your own purposes or living in the accommodation or letting either part of the building to tenants.
In this way, insurance for mixed-use premises combines cover against a broad spread of risks associated with the different uses and occupation of the property:
- building insurance, which safeguards the structure and fabric of the whole of the property – including both its commercial and residential parts;
- contents insurance for the protection of any possessions you own in either your own business premises or living quarters, together with any of your contents in parts let to tenants;
- property owner’s liability insurance – for indemnity against claims by members of the public, neighbours or visitors who claim your liability for injuries they sustained or property damage they suffered because of contact with your premises;
- landlord liability insurance – for indemnity against your liabilities as a landlord and your defence of claims made by your tenants following their injury or damage to their property;
- compensation for loss of rental income – if an insured event makes any part of the premises unusable by your tenants and you lose the rental income you might otherwise have received; and
- alternative accommodation – if an insured event, leaves the residential quarters temporarily unsuitable for use.
Rather than trying to arrange separate insurance for the different parts of your property – or still worse, obtaining inadequate or inappropriate cover – mixed commercial and residential building insurance typically provides all the protection you need in a single, cost-effective policy.