A complete guide to landlord insurance

Handing over new house keys

March 1, 2021

In our complete guide to landlord insurance, you’ll find out everything you need to know about the type of insurance you need to have in place when renting out a property.

Being a landlord comes with a lot of responsibility, so you need to ensure that you’ve got everything in place when it comes to landlord insurance cover so that you, your property and the tenants you’re renting out a house to are well protected in every eventuality.

What is landlord insurance?

As a landlord, you have a responsibility and a duty of care to both the property you’re renting out as well as to the tenants renting your property, so you need to make sure that you have proper cover in place to protect everyone and the property.

There are different types of landlord insurance policies (also known as buy-to-let insurance) that will specialise in different areas of renting a property, but you will usually need cover for things like property damage, contents insurance, loss of rent and claims made against you in the event that someone is injured or the property is damaged while they’re renting it from you (liability insurance).

Is landlord insurance a legal requirement?

Having landlord insurance isn’t actually a legal requirement by law, so technically speaking, you don’t need to have a policy in place.

However, it’s important to remember that if you’re renting out your property, a normal home insurance policy won’t cover you in the event that you have to make a claim. 

Some mortgage lenders (if you have a mortgage on your rental property) may also require you to have some level of landlord insurance in order to be able to rent it out to tenants.

If you do plan on renting out your property, it’s a good idea to double-check the level of cover you might be expected to have before you can rent it out.

What does landlord insurance cover?

A typical landlord insurance policy will offer buildings cover which usually provides cover for the building’s structure, plus any fixtures and fittings in the event that they are damaged in a flood, fire or an accident of some kind.

Your landlord insurance policy may also cover things such as malicious damage which has intentionally been caused by a tenant or if you suffer from loss of rent due to your property becoming uninhabitable due to fire or flood damage (be sure to check this with your insurer, though).

You can also get cover for landlord’s liabilities (landlord liability insurance) which will cover you in the event that one of your tenants gets injured due to electrical faults or uneven floors for example.

Who pays building insurance – landlord or tenant?

It is the landlord's responsibility to have a valid buildings insurance policy in place. Of course, if the landlord has their own furniture or other items in the house while a tenant lives there, they should also have a contents insurance policy.

Tenants who rent a property should also consider getting a home contents insurance policy to protect their belongings inside the property.

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How much is landlord insurance?

According to CIA Landlords, a landlord insurance premium was roughly £217 for a year in 2018, while NimbleFins reports that the average cost in 2021 is around £170 for a basic policy (not including any add-ons that you may require).

The cost of landlord insurance per month will, however, differ depending on the level of cover you get, how big your property is and whether you opt for just building cover or a combines contents insurance policy as well. 

Is it worth getting landlord insurance?

Determining whether it’s worth getting landlord insurance or not is usually based on your discretion as a landlord.

You might not think it’s worth paying for specific landlord insurance, but it’s also important to remember that you might not even be able to rent out your property in the first place if your mortgage lender requires you to have a specific policy in order to rent out your property (most lenders usually do).

Do I need landlord insurance if I live in the property?

Similarly to the fact that having a general landlord insurance policy isn’t a legal requirement, you also don’t necessarily need landlord insurance if you live in the property.

However, if your mortgage provider requires you to have a policy in place, then it’s something you will have to look into.

Do I need contents insurance as a landlord?

If you’re renting out a furnished property, then it’s a smart idea to have landlord contents insurance as well as building insurance as a landlord.

While it’s not a legal requirement, it is a good idea to have a contents insurance policy in place, even if you rent out the property unfurnished as it will cover things like flooring, curtains and some kitchen appliances. 

How do I make a claim on my landlord insurance policy?

There are several steps you’ll need to take if you wish to make a claim on your landlord insurance policy. Each insurance provider will differ somewhat on the steps you need to take, but you can generally expect to have to do the following when making a claim:

  • Call your landlord insurance provider and explain why you need to make a claim on your policy.
  • You might be required to fill out a claims form either online or on paper, but some providers will also handle claims over the phone.
  • Your insurer will likely provide advice on how to limit any damage to your property and will ask you to pay the excess fee in order to make a claim.
  • You’ll then have to send over any paperwork and evidence of damage or any receipts necessary to file your claim.
  • An assessor from your insurance company may decide to pay you and your property a visit in order to determine the level of damage for themselves so that they can process your claim and pay out if they decide to.

Remember, if you make a claim on your landlord insurance policy (or any other insurance policy for that matter), you will lose your no claims bonus and your next policy is likely to be higher, so you need to work out whether or not claiming on your policy will be financially worth it in the long-run (it all depends on the type of claim you need to make).

Read more: Top 10 reasons landlords make claims on their home insurance

Can I get landlord insurance for multiple properties?

Some insurance providers will offer multiple property cover (also known as multi-property insurance) and they may even offer a discount across multiple properties.

How can I find the best landlord insurance quote?

Before committing to a landlord insurance policy, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from numerous providers online to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

You will also need to think about the level of cover you want from your policy; some providers may offer you cover for things such as loss of rent, property damage and landlord’s liabilities as standard, but some providers may require you to purchase cover for those things as optional extra cover.

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