If you are one of the two million people in the UK who own a buy-to-let property, it’s definitely worth considering getting landlord insurance. While it isn’t compulsory, it’s extremely useful.
We’ve put together some tips to help you decide if landlord insurance is the right choice for you, what it covers and more.
Whether you rent out a house or a flat, have one property, or multiple properties that you rent out to tenants, landlord insurance is an important investment to make.
What You Need to Know
Landlord insurance isn’t compulsory, but is rather additional home insurance that is designed to cover problems like non-payment of rent or damage caused by tenants. While you can rent out a property without having this insurance, it can be a very costly thing to be without if you find yourself in a tricky situation.
Is Landlord Insurance a Legal Requirement?
If you are considering renting out a property to tenants, you will not be breaking the law if you don’t get landlord insurance. However, a landlord insurance policy will protect you if anything goes wrong, where standard home and content insurance won’t cover you.
Insurers often view the risk of renters living in your property very differently to the owner living in the property, and a typical home insurance policy may not pay out if your home is rented.
What Does Landlord Insurance Include?
Landlord insurance is a term that’s given to the different types of cover for anyone who owns a home that they rent out to tenants. It is often up to you to decide what you want to include in the policy.
Typically, the options will include buildings cover, cover for any contents that you provide as a part of the tenancy, any loss of rent, accidental or malicious damage caused by the tenants, any theft of your contents by the tenants, property damage due to illegal cultivation of drugs by your tenants, eviction of squatters, public liability and legal expenses.
If you own multiple properties, you can get multi property landlord insurance to cover all your properties. Check out Quotezone for more information on multi-property landlord insurance and to get a quote to suit your needs. All you need to do is enter the required information about your properties into the site to get quotes from different insurers.
What Information is Needed?
When buying landlord insurance, you will need to answer a few questions about the type of tenant that you rent to. You will need to specify if your tenants are employed, self-employed, students, in receipt of housing benefits, asylum seekers, retired, or a mix of these.
The type of tenant that is living in your property will impact how much you will pay for insurance; for example, you can usually expect to pay more for students or tenants that are in receipt of housing benefits.
The low level of take-home pay for these groups will usually mean that they are a higher risk to insurers.
Cover for Vacant Properties
Most landlord insurance policies will cover you if your property is left empty for a short period of time, which is usually set at up to thirty days, which can be useful if you plan to renovate in between tenants.
However, you will usually need to get additional coverage if your property is going to be vacant for several months. You may not be entitled to a payout if your property is taken over by squatters, damaged by flooding or fire, or vandalized during that time period.
It’s important to ensure that you meet all the obligations necessary as a landlord to make sure that your insurance is not invalidated. One of the main obligations is that you need to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on the property.
They should be present on each floor of the property and will need to be tested regularly. You will also need to ensure that the property is safe for tenants to live in, including regular repairs and up-to-date gas and electrical safety inspections.
Making a Claim
Claiming on your landlord insurance should be a straightforward process that is not usually daunting. As long as you take the time to read and understand your policy’s terms, conditions and excesses, you will not be in for any surprises.
You should submit your claim as soon as possible to avoid any administrative hold-ups, especially in the case of a complex claim that may take longer to process. Contact the police if your claim involves theft or criminal damage to the property.
If you’re planning to rent out a property, landlord insurance is an important investment to make to protect your property from anything that could go wrong. While it’s not legally required, it’s definitely a wise idea.