Guide to Landlord Insurance: Everything You Need To Know
Your property is probably one of your biggest investments, but it can come with a whole range of risks you may not have considered. To really reap the financial rewards of being a landlord, you need to be prepared for the worst and be sure that you will be covered in the event of any major issues which will require a lot of time and money to resolve.
Luckily, you can avoid potential stress by taking out a comprehensive landlord insurance policy, which has been designed to protect you in all sorts of unexpected circumstances. However, before you start thinking about quotes and providers, it’s best to get a solid understanding of just what goes into landlord insurance cover — read on to learn all about this cover so you can secure the best policy.
What is landlord insurance?
Landlord insurance (also known as buy to let insurance) is a specialist cover for property owners who rent out their homes, providing them with specialised cover from the risks associated with letting out a property. Most policies concern issues regarding the building itself and the items inside it, but providers also cover things like loss of rent, and claims for injuries or damages sustained at the property. Sometimes landlords with more than one property can also take out a portfolio policy, allowing them to safeguard multiple sites at once.
What are the different types of landlord insurance?
Residential landlord insurance
Landlords who rent out properties to be lived in need residential landlord insurance. These policies can provide them with compensation for damages, theft, and relocating tenants if the building becomes uninhabitable.
Commercial landlord insurance
Commercial landlord insurance is for those who rent to commercial premises such as shops, restaurants, offices. These properties are considered more high risk than residential ones due to the increased number of people coming and going every day.
Block of flats insurance
Landlords who own buildings containing multiple dwellings, like a tower block, or a house that has been converted into flats, can take out a specialist block of flats insurance policy. This is designed to cover more than one home at a time.
Unoccupied property insurance
Whether a landlord is away travelling or selling a property, empty buildings are at high risk of theft, vandalism and other forms of damage. Most providers will offer unoccupied property insurance, which often covers a fixed period of time.
Why do I need landlord insurance?
Although you don’t need landlord insurance by law, it’s vital protection that is certainly worth investing in. You probably have home insurance for the property you live in, and landlord insurance is equally important for any that you rent out. In fact, if you have a mortgage on your property, lenders will usually require you to have insurance in place before you accept tenants.
Aside from this, it’s important to remember how much money the cover could save you if something does go wrong. Whether your building is damaged in a fire, or vandalised while unoccupied, the repercussions of these incidents are often incredibly expensive. Landlords insurance can give you peace of mind that your property is safe, and therefore, that your finances will be too.
What does landlord insurance cover?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to landlord insurance, and different providers will cover different things. However, the following will normally either be included in your policy as standard or as optional extras:
Landlords building insurance
Buildings insurance covers the property’s structure in the event that it is damaged by fire or a flood. Your provider will pay for repairs, or even a complete rebuild. It’s possible that you already have home buildings insurance on your property, and if you’re not opting for a comprehensive landlords insurance package, you will need to amend your current policy to cover your rental activities as well.
Landlords contents insurance
Contents insurance covers the cost of fixing or replacing lost, stolen or damaged items inside the property, including fixtures, furniture, curtains, carpets, and appliances. The value of the contents inside the building could total thousands of pounds, so it’s important to get sufficient cover — but it is worth noting that your tenants’ belongings won’t be included in your policy.
Property owners liability insurance
Property owners liability concerns any legal claims made regarding injuries or damaged possessions relating to your property. For example, if a tenant was electrocuted due to some faulty wiring, they could demand compensation. Even if your building is always well-maintained, accidents do happen, so it’s a good idea to have cover for incidents like these.
Legal expenses insurance
It’s useful to have legal expenses insurance in addition to property owners liability insurance, as it means that your provider will pay your legal fees if anyone using your building decides to take legal action against you.
Alternative accommodation insurance
You could take out alternative accommodation insurance to make sure your tenants have another building to occupy if yours becomes unusable for any reason, such as a natural disaster. Your provider will find and pay for this, and some will also cover the loss of rent until your tenants can return.
How much is landlord insurance?
The average cost of landlord insurance depends on many different factors, including your property, tenants, the type of insurance, the level of cover, location, and existing security measures. You also need to remember that the price of landlord, building, and contents insurance will depend on the estimated rebuilding and replacement expenses. And while it may be tempting to choose lower levels of protection for a cheaper premium, you must make sure your insurance covers the costs of any claims you could make.
Who provides the best landlord insurance?
Every landlord insurance provider will offer varying levels of protection, and charge accordingly different rates, so it’s no good choosing one based on its name or reputation alone. The best company for your needs depends on your unique circumstances, which is why it’s so important to thoroughly explore all your options. We compare landlords insurance quotes from the leading UK providers to help you secure the best policy, which can save you money while ensuring that you have all the protection you need. Start comparing now to secure cost-effective cover.