Landlord Insurance

What is landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance is designed to protect you from the risks associated with having a rental property. This specific policy is tailor-made and is unlike standard home insurance policies which aren’t designed for the specific issues that landlords can face. These can range from tenants not paying attention and being careless in the property, the landlord not being able to inspect the property as often as they would do if it was their permanent residence, the landlord being liable if a tenant is hurt whilst in the property or even a tenant not paying their rent causing a loss of earnings.

How does the claims process work?

Before your insurer allows you to use your cover, you will have to have a visit from an independent loss adjuster to assess the damage and the effect it’s having on your living conditions. Once they’ve completed a report on their findings they will share these with the insurer. If it’s then been decided that you need to leave your property whilst work takes place, your claim will be processed. In some cases, the adjuster may suggest you stay in the property whilst the works are being carried out. This is a decision based not just on the work that needs to take place, but also on the level of upheaval and change for your family.

What does landlord insurance include?

This bespoke policy is often combined with other options to give you peace of mind in all eventualities such as;

  • Contents insurance – covers all of your personal items such as furniture, carpets and curtains. This is key if you’re renting out your furnished property.
  • Buildings insurance – covers the structure of your property and built-in features. This is especially important for properties that are left unattended for long periods of time.
  • Liability insurance – this covers you if you’re taken to court and protects you against claims resulting from injuries and damage to people and or your property.
  • Rental protection insurance – this covers you if you can’t rent your property out due to damage.
  • Rent guarantee insurance – this covers your rental income should your tenants be unable to pay their rent. On average it takes 42 weeks to evict a tenant which mounts up to losing around 10 months of rent.
  • Unoccupied property cover – this will cover you in between tenants.

Many landlords fall foul of thinking that their existing home insurance policy on the home they live in will cover their additional properties but this is often not the case.

How much is landlord insurance?

Specific landlord insurance does tend to be more expensive than regular home insurance. It’s seen as a great risk and the chances of having to make a claim are higher. For example, not all tenants have a vested interest in the property so are less likely to look after it.

Some insurers will ask you what your tenants do for a living which may affect the cost of your premium. Usually, they will charge more for students or those on housing benefits.

Landlord insurance

Things to consider

  • Possible discount
    If you have more than one property that you rent you might be entitled to a discount with your provider.
  • Leasehold vs Freehold
    If you own a leasehold property in a block of flats and rent it out you might find that a building insurance policy isn’t necessary as the freehold owner of the block would be responsible for all structural building cover, however, it’s advisable to check this and not just presume.
  • Change of purpose
    If you’re moving out of your owned property to rent it out, remember to change your standard home insurance policy to a landlord policy.
  • Make sure you have safety alarms
    It’s vital to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

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