As an inventory clerk you are responsible for curating detailed inspections of rental properties both before and after a tenancy. Being an independent body means you are completely impartial to the tenant and the landlord and your role includes reducing any potential disagreements between the tenant and the landlord. This impartiality ensures a fair and unbiased inspection of the property. This may include:
- Inspecting a property – Capturing the front of the property on camera when you arrive. If visiting flats, then capturing the whole block will be adequate.
- Testing fire alarms – Doing this at the start is incredibly important as it gives the inventory clerk the opportunity to flag any potential safety issues before and after the rental period.
- Checking the Property – This includes both cleanliness and condition of the property, including doors, walls, taps, fixtures, furnishings and white goods in addition to handles, locks, keys and gates.
During these inspections you will be collecting and documenting any evidence both online and on a hardcopy, giving you peace of mind against any loss of information.
Then comes the report on the condition of the property. This is important for both the leaving tenants, landlord and any potential new tenants.
- Exiting tenants – Will have the chance to see the report and make any changes or finish any cleaning that may not be up to the desired level. This ensures that they have a chance to leave the property with their full deposit.
- Landlord – Shows the landlord the condition of the property as the tenants leave. This will be compared to the photos taken before the tenants moved in to see if there are any damages that are not the result of acceptable wear and tear. This saves them from having to pay for the repair of any damage that has been caused by the tenants.
- New tenants – Gives them a full inventory for them to look through and the opportunity to flag up any issues they may come across during their first few days in the property.
A property inventory provides evidence of the condition of a property at the beginning of a tenancy, to cover both the tenant and the landlord.
Although it may seem that inspecting a property and recording its condition and contents might not have any risk attached, it is often a minefield for litigation. Therefore, the responsibilities of your job demand that you must be able to produce inventory clerk’s insurance on request. It is also important to remember that it is likely that you will be operating as a sole trader/self employed individual and as such will not have the backing of your company’s own insurance policies. It has also been found that most high street agents require clerks to have inventory clerks insurance as it gives them extra insurance from claims brought by tenants and landlords.
Protecting yourself and your staff with the correct level of cover is absolutely integral to the smooth running of your company. Even operating individually you are open to risk, so creating a tailored insurance package for you and your business will be of utmost importance.
If you are unsure about any of our products or need more information about what type of cover will be best for you or your business then get in touch with our team of experts, who will be more than happy to discuss the wide range of cover available to you.
What Does Inventory Clerk’s Insurance Include?
Working with landlords, letting agents and tenants mean you get the pleasure of working with and for a range of individuals. But with that comes a higher level of risk. Inventory Clerk insurance can assist in protecting you from any risks you may encounter during the course of your work. As standard, an insurance package for an inventory clerk should include:
1. Professional indemnity insurance
Although you as an inventory clerk do not need to be covered by law, most letting agents will require you to be covered. Not only will it cover your work and contractors, it will also cover your reputation in the case of something being flagged up. Professional indemnity insurance is a crucial part of your inventory clerk’s insurance package, as if you were to make a mistake in your inventory report which led to a financial loss for your client, for example if you missed a piece of damage in the report and the new tenants needed it fixed, then the landlord would be required to pay for it. They could then seek to recover any costs from yourself. Your policy would cover these legal costs and the cost of the repair.
A professional indemnity policy might include cover for:
- Loss of documents
- Loss of client data
- Breach of confidentiality
- Employee dishonesty
You may be expected to be able to show a professional indemnity certificate on request to show you are covered.
2. Employer’s liability insurance
Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement. If you employ others – even a single employee – in your inventory clerk business, then you will need employer’s liability insurance. This type of insurance provides cover if an employee sues you for damages due to injury or illness as a result of their work. Whilst the most obvious cause for concern may be in visiting properties – tripping on damaged flooring or falling off a chair whilst checking a meter reading – it will also cover you from injuries sustained in the office – such as tripping over a trailing computer wire.
3. Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance covers you if a member of the public or a client accuses you of damaging their property, whether it be from damaging the fire alarm during a test or losing keys after the inventory has been completed. Even if you believe these damages were not the result of anything you did, without any obvious evidence you will still be liable. Public liability insurance covers you for these outcomes.
Should you choose to dispute a claim the costs could quickly escalate for compensation and legal fees. As part of your job you will be visiting other people’s property on a daily basis and you will be responsible for their keys and locking up and securing the property afterwards. You could easily be accused of damage to the property at any time, whether it was your fault or not. This type of insurance protects against any such issues.
4. Office insurance
Office insurance covers your office essentials including furniture, fixtures and fittings from damage caused by fire or flood, plus loss from theft and damage from vandalism. You could be forced to temporarily close your business if you do not have the equipment you need to operate, so it is important to make sure you are covered for any loss of earnings and extra expenses as a result of damage to the building.
As an inventory clerk you will be away from the office for large portions of the day. As such you will be using mobile devices for a lot of your work. This is especially true when collecting evidence. Making sure your insurance covers this is a must, as any loss here will impact your business and also possibly make you liable to separate claims.
5. Business contents insurance
Business contents insurance cover is a key addition to your inventory clerk’s insurance package as you may have valuable equipment to insure within your business premises. Business contents cover will pay to replace your equipment if it is lost, damaged or stolen.
5. Cyber liability insurance
Even the most comprehensive computer security is at risk from a malware breach. Due to the personal nature of your business, you will most likely be holding confidential and sensitive data of tenants and landlords. Cyber liability cover can protect you from GDPR breaches which left unprotected could result in steep legal fees.
An unsuspecting employee could open a malicious link, leading you and everyone on the system to be locked out of computers and emails. This is known as phishing. Cyber insurance can cover the costs lost from being unable to work as well as covering the software engineers rates charged when getting you back into your system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Inventory Clerk Insurance a legal requirement?
Inventory clerk insurance isn’t a legal requirement, however without it you put yourself at significant risk of liability. We recommend that even if you don’t wish to take a full level of insurance, all Inventory Clerks should be covered by at least Professional indemnity insurance which will cover you from any financial loss incurred if your client suffers financial loss due to your negligence or a mistake you’ve made at work.
Why do I need Inventory Insurance?
As an Inventory Clerk you will be handling a lot of individual data whilst also having access to secure properties. The risks involved in this are possibly endless. Inventory insurance is there to back up your claim or pay costs in case of accidental breakages, loss of data and GDPR breaches, damage to both your office and property and injuries to yourself or an individual whilst in the course of your working day.
What limit do I need on my Professional Indemnity Insurance?
In other professions there can be a minimum level of coverage in place in order to enter relevant associations. Within the UK the three main inventory clerk groups, ARLA, the Association of Inventory Professionals and the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks do not have minimum levels of cover required.
That being said all associations do require Professional Indemnity and Public Liability coverage in place as a precursor to membership. Limits vary so it’s important to understand this if you are, or plan to be, a member of these.
Do I need Public Liability Insurance?
You’re not legally required to take out public liability insurance, but if you’re a business owner the chances are that you’ll need it. Public liability insurance covers your costs if a third party brings a claim against you for any property damage or bodily injury.
What types of Business Insurance should I get?
The only legally required business insurance you need is Employers Liability Insurance. This covers any compensation claimed by your employees for injury, illness or damage suffered at work. However it’s a good idea to get at least some of the following
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Employers Liability Insurance
- Public Liability Insurance
- Business Building Insurance
- Business Contents Insurance
- Personal Accident Insurance
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Business Legal Protection Insurance
- Cyber Liability Insurance
- Self Employed Insurance
How much will Inventory Clerk Insurance cost?
There is not one set price for all. The price of cover will vary due to your individual needs. Numerous things will impact the cost of your insurance quote. The area you work in, the value of your equipment you take to properties, your annual turnover and how many staff you employ. The level of cover will also play an important factor in determining how much your policy costs. Call and speak to our expert advisors for an in depth, specifically tailored quote.
If you’re interested in Inventory Clerk’s Insurance, please fill in the form below with your contact details and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.