Refused insurance over tenant
Sir, – Today, I came across a new type of discrimination in Ireland. As a landlord, I was refused insurance on the contents of a property that I have let, because my tenant is “not in full-time employment or a stay-at-home parent looking after a child”. I have been letting this apartment for some years and dealing with the same insurance broker for approximately 10 years and have never been refused insurance or have never made a claim.
Because my tenant is an international medical student, 23 years of age, in her final year, and although she is reliable, pays her rent and is of excellent character, the insurance broker/company refused to renew my policy for contents insurance. When I asked why, I was told that students and social welfare tenants cause more damage and therefore more claims are made. (This does not make sense as accidental damage is never covered for rental properties). I was also told that I would not be able to get contents insurance elsewhere either, unless my tenant was in full-time employment or a stay-at- home parent looking after a child. (The sales person checked with his supervisor, and the refusal still stood).
I replied that this was terrible discrimination against the unemployed, part-time workers, disabled people, pensioners and students and that it would lead to landlords refusing to let to these people and increase homelessness etc. I was told “We are regulated by the Central Bank”.
Would this indicate that the Government and Central Bank are happy with this?
I could understand if I had been told that the policy excess would be greater, but to refuse contents insurance on these grounds surely contravenes the Status Equality Act of 2000 and also contravenes the UN Convention on Human Rights, as it could adversely affect a person’s right to a home. – Yours, etc,