A Guide To Landlord Insurance
What Cover Does It Provide
If you are renting your property then having landlord insurance is a must. After all, there is a high number of risks associated with letting a property - some of which may be excluded from a standard home insurance policy. From accidental and malicious damage to your property to outstanding rent payments, landlord cover can provide you with much-needed reassurance that your property and tenants are protected, not to mention saving you from having to fork out large sums to resolve any damage.
Although landlord insurance can vary greatly, a comprehensive policy can be extended to include the following core elements:
Before taking out a mortgage, most banks will usually require you to have buildings insurance, especially in the case of buy-to-let mortgages. Buildings insurance is one of the most crucial types of cover you’ll need as a landlord, even if you own the property you are renting out. Typically, it includes the cost of rebuilding or repairing in the event of accidental damage or malicious damage caused by tenants. It can also sometimes include glass, lock and key replacement.
If an individual suffers an injury or accident on your premises which you are found to be negligent for, public liability provides you with cover for any claims made against you. If you have employed people to work on your property, such as a gardener or a cleaner, you should ensure that they have their own liability cover in place.
Loss of Rent Cover
Loss of rent cover provides you with compensation for lost income should your property become uninhabitable due to damage, such as a fire or flood, and your tenants are forced to move out. Check with your insurer about the specific details of the policy.
The amount of landlord’s contents insurance you need will mostly be determined by whether your property is being let furnished or unfurnished. If your property is furnished, it is your responsibility to insure all of your possessions within the building, including furniture, electrical appliances and ornaments, as well as any permanent or semi-permanent fixtures or fittings. If your property is unfurnished, you’ll still need to have contents cover for things like carpets, curtains, blinds and white goods. Tenants should have their own contents insurance for possessions they have in the property.
This type of cover is designed for damage that is not the result of negligence or misuse. It will usually be incorporated in buildings insurance or contents cover, but make sure to check your policy first as there are certain distinctions in this type of cover that you need to be aware of. The distinctions can mean that certain things fall under accidental damage while others may be covered under a separate policy. For example, a broken table will fall under the contents insurance policy, while a hole in the wall will be covered under a buildings insurance policy. Check with your insurer to see if this type of cover is included in your landlord cover as standard and, if not, how you can add it to your policy.
Legal Expenses Cover
Legal expenses insurance covers the price of any legal action that landlords may need to take, including disputes with tenants, repossessing property, squatters and any criminal action of tenants. This isn't included as standard on all policies so check with your insurer if you will need this cover and they will confirm if it is included on your policy. If it is not included in the cover, and you want to add it on, the insurer will be able to talk you through the process of adding it to the policy.
If your property is going to be unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days then you'll need to have unoccupied property insurance in place. This is because your standard home insurance cover may be invalid during this period of unoccupancy. An unoccupied property can often become a high risk for vandalism, break-ins and damage caused by the weather so, as a property owner, you need to ensure you are covered for all eventualities. An example of when you may need this type of cover is if your property is undergoing repair work or you are waiting for new tenants to move in.
Landlord insurance is usually a combination of all the different elements listed above, rather than an individual product. To create a plan that is tailored to your unique needs, it’s possible to obtain a standard landlord home insurance policy and purchase individual add-on products as required. Some insurance providers may also offer discounts if you buy two types of insurance together, as well as special deals for landlords who are taking out insurance for multiple properties.
You should always check your policy thoroughly and read the small print before you make a purchase to make sure you have the right level of cover. To ensure that home insurance claims are not voided, it’s important to remember that your insurer must be made aware every time your tenants change.
By enlisting the help of insurance brokers like Chill, you shouldn't struggle to find the right level of landlord cover at the right price. Our helpful team can talk you through the different elements of this type of cover and help you put together a policy that suits your needs. Meaning you have one less thing to worry about. Looking for a quote for landlord insurance today? Why not use our home insurance quick quote or call us on 01 4003400 to speak to one of the team.