Landlord insurance is similar to home insurance, but it’s specifically designed to cover rental properties.
The three main types of landlord insurance are buildings, contents and liability insurance.
There are various bits and bobs you can bolt on your cover to tailor it to you, you can even add on something called ‘rent guarantee’ which can actually protect your tenants if they fall on hard times.
You’ll usually take out insurance on a property-by-property basis, although portfolio policies are available to landlords who own four or more rented homes and want to insure them all at the same time.
Types of landlord insurance:
Buildings insurance covers any damage to the structure of your property, as well as the cost of rebuilding the home if it’s irreparably damaged. You generally won’t be able to take out a buy-to-let mortgage without proof of buildings insurance, and most lenders will specify the minimum level of cover you require in their terms and conditions. If the property is a flat within a block, your buildings insurance will usually be part of a shared block policy, which you’ll pay for as part of your service charge. It’s worth checking exactly what’s covered within this and taking out your own additional policy if you want to cover anything that’s not included.
Buildings insurance policies typically offer cover against the following types of damage:
Theft, vandalism, malicious damage (including by tenants)
Lightning, storm, earthquake damage (may be limited to the building itself rather than fences etc)
Fire or smoke
Oil or water
Impact caused by accidents
Contents insurance can usually be taken out as a standalone policy or as an add-on to buildings insurance, and the level of contents insurance you’ll need depends on whether you’re letting a furnished or unfurnished property. A contents insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing or replacing fixtures and fittings such as carpets, furniture and electrical items if, for example, they’re damaged in a flood, and some policies can be extended to cover accidental damage to items.
Landlord contents insurance policies only pay out on items that you’ve provided in the property. Anything that belongs to your tenants, from everyday belongings to furniture, won’t be covered, so tenants should take out their own policy.
Home emergency cover – Home emergency cover offers round-the-clock cover against loss of essential services in your property. These policies cover the cost of repairs and should enable you to get services up and running quickly.
At Advantage we’ve helped lots of landlords find suitable cover for their rental properties so give us a call. You’re in safe hands.