If you own a home that you rent out on long- or short-term lets, you need specialist landlord insurance.It protects you financially from unexpected events, helping to increase your ROI. But not all landlord insurance is the same. Different types of cover are suitable for different types of property of lettings. Here we answer your questions on landlord insurance so you can get the best deal on cover you can rely on to safeguard your investment.
Why do I need specialist landlord insurance?
If you rent a property, ordinary home insurance won’t cover you. If you don’t hold specialist landlord insurance, your policy will be void, and any claim you make will be refused. And it doesn’t have to be a separate property to your main home. If you rent out a room through sites like Airbnb, you may also need to take out landlord insurance. If you’re not sure, it’s always worth looking at the small print or speaking to your insurance broker to avoid a nasty shock.
Do I have to have landlord insurance?
If you own the rental property with a mortgage, it is likely that your lender will require you to hold appropriate buildings insurance as part of the agreement. Even if you own the property outright, buildings insurance as a minimum can be considered prudent to protect your investment.
Fixing property can be very costly if something unexpected does happen, like a flood or fire. If you don’t have enough money available, you will not be able to carry out repairs. And that will mean you will not be able to rent the property out.
The government also sets out specific legal responsibilities for landlords, which the right insurance will help you to cover. For example:
- Keeping the property safe and free from health-related hazards.
- Ensuring that gas and electrical equipment are safe and adequately maintained.
- Fitting smoke/ carbon monoxide alarms and testing regularly.
- Following appropriate fire safety regulations.
Your landlord insurance can help you to cover these legal requirements in several ways. Firstly, if you need to put things right following damage, your insurance policy may cover the costs. Secondly, if you don’t meet these requirements, your tenants could sue you. In this instance, your landlord insurance may cover your legal fees and any compensation you are required to pay.
What does landlord insurance cover?
The best landlord insurance policies can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. That way you’ll get the level of cover you want without paying for anything you don’t need.
Buildings insurance covers against damage to the property as a result of fire or flood. This is usually the bare minimum cover level you’ll want to consider. But depending on the type of let, here are some other types of insurance cover that are popular with landlords.
- Landlords content insurance, if you rent the property furnished.
- Non-payment of rent.
- Malicious damage to buildings and contents caused by tenants.
- Accidental damage caused by tenants.
- Home emergency cover, including fixing and repairing damage caused by burst pipes or other failings.
- Legal expenses, which will cover costs if you need to pursue a claim through the court or if a claim is brought against you.
If you’re not sure what types of cover are relevant for you, speak to our expert team at Park Insurance for advice.
Does landlord insurance cover tenants’ property?
No. Your tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents. But do bear in mind things that you do own in the property, such as white goods like the washing machine and fridge. If these are damaged or stolen, it is likely to be your responsibility as a landlord to re-instate them. If they are not insured, you’ll need to find the money to replace them.
Holiday home insurance
If you rent out a holiday home, it can be a good idea to look for landlord insurance that is designed to cover the unique needs of these properties. For example, these properties are rented fully furnished, so these policies may include contents insurance. Most ordinary property insurance policies set a maximum limit of 30 days in a row that the home can be left unoccupied.
But holiday homes may frequently be left empty for over 30 days in a row. If you don’t have the right level of cover, your insurance could be invalidated and a claim may be refused.
Landlord insurance for student lets
Renting to students can pose more risks than standard rentals. As a result, you may wish to consider extra insurance cover. Students have a reputation for partying and causing damage, so adding accidental damage to your policy can be useful. Your property may also be left empty for long periods, for example, the summer holiday, so student landlord insurance makes sure this is covered.
Landlord insurance with home emergency cover
Whatever type of landlord insurance you need, it’s worth considering including home emergency cover. This can give you real peace of mind, especially if you don’t live near to the property. With home emergency cover, you and your tenants will have a telephone number you can call 24 hours a day. That means you can easily summon help if there is an emergency like a leaking pipe. It will cover the call-out and repair costs and will reassure you that problems are fixed quickly before extensive damage can occur. Home emergency cover can also include things like boiler breakdown, ensuring a gas boiler is fixed promptly if it stops working.
Finding great value insurance for your portfolio
If you own multiple properties, a bundle landlord insurance deal for your whole portfolio can be cost-effective. Speak to our expert team for more advice.
Call our dedicated team today
At Park Insurance, we’ve been helping landlords to protect their ROI with excellent value insurance for nearly 30 years. Our experienced property team understand your unique needs. We will guide you to find the best price for cover you can count on. As an independent insurance broker, we’re free to shop around, and we’ll negotiate hard on your behalf to find value for money cover. Find out more when you call our team on 0117 955 6835 or get a free quote.