2012 to be 'the year of risk' says AXA
Taking out landlord property insurance could be more important for buy-to-let owners this year than any other, with AXA dubbing 2012 'the year of risk'.
According to the insurer, a combination of factors means there is a higher risk of property and contents damage over the next 12 months than during the average year.
Factors contributing to risk include the high number of events taking place in 2012 which are likely to lead to gatherings of family and friends, such as the Olympics, Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012.
AXA's claims data shows that whenever large groups get together in the home the risk of loss or damage increases by up to 78 per cent, while the many people leaving a property vacant to attend such events increases the chance of theft.
Another factor that could lead to a greater number of insurance claims is the UK's current economic difficulties.
Economic pressures contributed to theft and attempted theft claims increasing by 12 per cent in 2011 and the situation shows no sign of improving in the immediate future, said AXA.
Finally, the weather could play an important role in upping insurance claims again this year, with AXA estimating that more than 50 per cent of people have still not taken precautions to protect their property from the effects of another severe cold snap like those seen in the previous two winters.
Furthermore, the drought conditions of recent months could lead to a substantial rise in subsidence in 2012, the company warned.
"We sincerely hope that our predictions turn out to be wrong but we would urge people everywhere across the UK to think about what they can do to avoid the stress and potential financial loss of a burglary or accident around the home," commented Christine Matthews, head of household claims at AXA.