Securing the right landlord’s insurance can seem complicated, daunting and perhaps an unnecessary expense for a first-time landlord, especially when there’s so much else to consider.
Having provided cover to the UK’s landlords for more than 20 years, here are some commonly asked questions about landlords insurance – so you can decide whether you need it or not.
Is landlords insurance a legal requirement?
It isn’t, but it is recommended. Plus, a basic level of buildings insurance is generally required when securing a mortgage, which tends to make up the basis of most landlord insurance. However, if you employ a cleaner or a caretaker, you may be legally required to have employer’s liability insurance. Our landlords insurance includes this as standard.
Do I need landlord insurance and building insurance?
No, you don’t. The main component of landlord insurance is buildings insurance (unless you decide to buy landlord contents insurance on its own). This covers the fabric of your property and is generally required when you take out a mortgage. There are also additional covers that come as standard with landlord insurance that you don’t get with regular home buildings insurance. These include unoccupied property insurance and loss of rent cover, if your property is uninhabitable due to an insurable event.
What is landlord buildings and contents insurance?
This is basic landlords insurance, which we recommend every landlord take out. It’s important to note that if you’re renting out a property, standard home insurance isn’t valid. As a landlord, you face different risks to an owner-occupier, so you need a specialist product designed for your needs.
Our buildings and contents cover includes the cost of rebuilding or repairing the property after qualifying damage, and also repairing or replacing lost or damaged contents.
Our policies include malicious damage cover as standard and, if your property becomes uninhabitable following a claim, we also include loss of rent cover, so you don’t end up out of pocket.
What does the contents element include?
The contents insurance covers items that come with the property, including furniture and fittings. However, it doesn’t cover tenants’ items – it is their responsibility to insure these separately.
Can a tenant insure a landlord’s building?
In general, the answer to this is no. The reason is that the landlord owns the building and it is their asset; if anything happens to it, it is their loss. As such, they will need to arrange a level of cover that they are comfortable with. Also, the landlord has to agree to certain conditions with the insurer, such as the upkeep of the property and its use in order to obtain cover. However, a tenant may want to arrange their contents insurance in order to protect their personal possessions.
The main exception to this is when a leaseholder owns a property and the freeholder makes it a condition of ownership that the buildings insurance is covered.
What is liability insurance?
As stated above, our basic policy includes employer’s liability insurance as standard. This is a legal requirement for any employer and covers you against legal action should an employee, like a gardener or cleaner, suffer an injury while working at your property. We also include property owner’s liability insurance, which protects against claims made by a member of the public, including your tenants or their guests.
Are other insurance products available?
As well as our essential landlord’s insurance package, we also offer several optional covers. Landlord legal expenses and rent guarantee insurance provides the funds you rely on to pay the bills if your tenant is withholding payments while you pursue them for the money. This insurance provides financial support in the event of the eviction of your tenant, which can be a long, drawn-out process.
This insurance provides financial support in the event of the eviction of your tenant, which can be a long, drawn-out process.
It’s also worth considering home emergency cover which provides emergency repairs in the event of a total failure of your plumbing or heating system, via a network of approved tradesman.
And if you do make a successful claim on your landlords insurance, we can help you manage the cost with excess protection insurance, which allows you to reclaim the value of your excess. Limits range from £300 to £3,000.
If you have more questions about your insurance requirements, we’d be happy to help. Our all-market reach, expertise and independent status ensures you’ll get all the answers you need. Just give us a call on 01603 216399.