Professional Indemnity insurance is different from Public or Employer Liability insurance which insures a business against claims which might be made if an employee or a member of the public suffers personal injury on your premises – e.g. a visitor, who trips over loose carpet in reception, twists their knee and requires surgery and months of physiotherapy.
The Property Ombudsman requires you to have Professional indemnity insurance. Details of the insurance that you must have:
Please ensure that the limit of indemnity (how much you can claim) is no less than £100,000 and that the excess (the contribution you are required to pay towards any claim you make) is no more than £1000.
If your excess is more than £1000 please ask your insurer to add TPO endorsement L1391 to your policy. *
The Property Ombudsman needs to see the Schedule of Insurance, NOT a proposal or policy document. The pages from the schedule must show that the policy is current, that it is for the correct company and both the limit of indemnity and excess are clearly shown.
IMPORTANT! The name on the insurance policy must match EXACTLY the details registered with Companies House. Most commonly, problems arise with abbreviations or extensions of the word Limited. If your company is registered as “Ltd”, your insurance policy must also be for “Ltd” NOT “Limited”.
* If you are part of a firm of solicitors covered by PI insurance approved by the Law Society the endorsement is not necessary.
Agents dealing in residential lettings are required to hold a designated Client Account with their bank, specifically for holding the deposits or rent payments before the funds are transferred to their client. A Client Account is seperate from your Business Account.
Importantly, if you experience financial difficulties, monies in your Business Account can be used to pay creditors. Monies in a Client Account are protected and cannot be used to pay creditors; they are safeguarded and must be returned to your clients directly.
The Property Ombudsman requires Lettings’ Agents to hold a designated Client Account. You are asked to supply a recent copy (within the last 3 months) of a Client Account bank statement. You do not need to show any transaction details.
If you are not providing us with a company registration number and/or VAT number we will require further identification as detailed below:
A copy of a utility bill or invoice addressed to the company, dated within the last 3 months
A copy of photographic ID (driving licence or passport) for the owner, principal or partner.
Membership of a government approved Client Money Protection Scheme is required for all Letting Agents in England who handle client money. This is a legal requirement which came into force on 1st April 2019 and enforcement is through local trading standards.
To read more about Client Money Protection Schemes, click here.