What does landlord insurance cover?
You will usually be covered for damage after these unexpected events as standard on a landlord insurance policy:
- escape of water
- storms and earthquakes
- vandalism and malicious damage
You are likely to have a level of public liability cover as standard, which helps protect you from the cost of claims if someone is injured in your property.
The cost of accommodation for your tenants if their home becomes unsafe to live in, up to a maximum amount, may also be included.
Usually there is a maximum amount you can make a claim for, which the insurer should set out in the policy documents. However, this can vary depending on the type of damage or loss.
Landlord insurance can also cover you for limited periods when the rental property has nobody living in it, such as when you’re between tenants. It’s usually a longer period of time than standard home insurance, typically between 45 and 90 days.
Always check how many days in a row your policy allows. If you leave it empty for longer than that and don’t let your insurer know, it could invalidate your cover.
If your property will be vacant beyond the maximum days specified, you may need to take out separate unoccupied property insurance for that period.
What landlord insurance doesn’t usually cover
It’s important to know that landlord insurance won’t cover every kind of damage. For example, you won’t usually be able to make a claim on a standard landlord insurance policy for the following issues:
- Damage as a result of botched repairs or neglecting to fix an issue, such as blocked gutters. Insurers expect you to keep your part of the deal and maintain your property to a decent level.
- Wear and tear or gradual damage, or items that are at the end of their useful life. Insurance is for unexpected and sudden events, not damage over time.
- Accidental damage, for example, if your tenants or their guests knock something over or make a dent in the wall by mistake, unless you have this as an add-on.
- Damage caused by a tenant’s pets. Not even accidental damage cover is likely to include this, though pet damage cover may be available for some policies.
- Damage after pest infestations is usually only included if you have home emergency cover.
- Damage to anything that belongs to your tenants. They will need their own renters contents insurance to cover their own possessions.
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