What is landlord insurance?
Landlord insurance is home insurance designed for rental properties. It can offer you more protection for your rental property than standard home insurance. Also known as buy-to-let insurance, this type of cover can protect you against damage to the building structure itself, as well as the contents in your rental property.
Just like home insurance, landlord insurance can cover your rental property against common risks from fire, flooding, burst pipes and storms.
Do I need landlord insurance?
You are not legally required to have landlord insurance but, even with the best tenants, things can get damaged or something can go wrong. Landlord insurance is specially designed for people that rent out their property so can provide more specific cover than standard home insurance covering all eventualities.
Is is worth noting that a standard home insurance policy might be invalid if you are renting your property to tenants and need to make a claim.
If you have a buy-to-let mortgage, your lender will insist that have specific landlord insurance as a condition of the loan.
There are different levels of cover depending on what you want you would like to cover. These include:
- theft, fire and flood
- the structure of the building
- built-in features, for example fitted kitchens and bathrooms
- items such as furniture, carpets and curtains (this doesn’t include your tenants’ belongings)
- your rental income – if you can’t rent the property due to damage
- legal costs in case you’re taken to court
- any vacant periods in between tenants
- accidental damage by tenants
- boiler breakdown
- rent arrears
That really depends and is influenced by several factors including:
- The level of cover you require
- The location of your property
- The size and age of your property
- Your tenants
- Your claims history
- Whether you pay monthly or annually
There are a few proactive steps you can take to reduce the cost of your landlord insurance such as:
- Installing good security, e.g. door locks, burglar alarms, CCTV etc
- Add a voluntary excess
- Avoid unoccupied periods since empty properties are considered more of a risk
- Choose your tenants carefully
Yes. Generally typically landlords can claim the expenses of running and maintaining their property, which includes the cost of landlord insurance, to reduce their tax bill.