Landlord insurance FAQ

Getting the right protection can be important if you rent out property. We've gathered together the most commonly asked questions about landlord insurance to help you find the ideal policy.

Caroline Ramsey Last updated on 08 April 2020.

What does landlord insurance protect me against?

Landlord insurance isn't legally required but if you are planning on renting a property out to any kind of tenant, and want to protect yourself in case something goes wrong, standard home buildings and contents insurance won't be enough. Landlord insurance can cover you for damage to your building, and its contents.

Unlike typical home insurance, it can also cover for rental activities. Often, landlord insurance protects against costs resulting from things like:

  • Fire and lightning
  • Storms, floods, and other weather damage
  • Leaks caused by burst and frozen pipes
  • Explosions
  • Theft
  • Malicious damage and vandalism

Do I need landlord insurance?

Although landlord insurance isn't a legal requirement, it's likely that if you have a mortgage on your property, your lender will require you to take out landlord insurance coverage before you can begin looking for tenants. Importantly, you will need to get written permission from your mortgage provider before you begin letting your property. Failure to get this permission could mean that you break your mortgage terms.

What type of landlord insurance do I need?

The type of landlord insurance policy you get may vary according to your specific needs. For instance, buildings insurance will be a crucial cover for most, while some landlords may also need a small amount of contents cover. You can tailor the perfect landlord insurance policy with various forms of protection, including:

  • Buildings insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Property owners' liability insurance
  • Loss of rent insurance
  • Fixtures and fittings insurance
  • Landlord legal insurance

Do I need landlord insurance to rent to my family?

A standard home insurance policy isn't enough for a rented property, even when you are renting that property out to your friends or family members. To protect yourself, and your dwellers, you will need a landlord insurance policy, and you may also need to put a tenancy agreement into action.

Will landlord insurance cover damage caused by tenants?

Some policies that include accidental damage insurance might cover the fees for repairing or replacing parts of your property if accidents happen; for instance, if a tenant makes a hole in your wall with a DIY experiment, or spills something on your carpet. However, you must be able to show that the damage was accidental. Specific terms and conditions will be shown in your policy wording so it’s important that you read and understand these.

What is the "rebuild cost" for landlord insurance?

To ensure you get the right amount of building coverage for your property, your insurance provider will ask you to calculate the "rebuild" cost of the real estate. The "rebuild" cost refers to the total cost for the work required to completely rebuild your property and put it back into the condition it was in before the damage occurred. Rebuild cost is not the same as resale value or market value.

What is property owner's liability?

Besides building insurance, landlords should also consider policy that covers their liability for any damage caused to another person or property, by the building they own. Property owner's liability protects landlords in these instances, for example, if a tile fell from your roof and onto a neighbour's car.

Do I need content insurance as a landlord?

The tenants you rent your property out to should be responsible for buying their own contents insurance for items kept within the property. However, if you are renting out your property partially furnished, then it's your responsibility to take out landlord contents insurance for those items, as well as any fixtures or fittings. Make sure you think carefully about the value of all your products, including white goods, curtains, blinds, and carpets.

What is "rent guarantee" insurance?

There are various forms of insurance available to landlords, which providers can include within an existing policy, or purchase as stand-alone coverage. One popular option is "tenant default" cover. This insurance covers any losses a landlord incurs as a result of tenants being unable to pay the rent they agreed to. Importantly, there will be limits to the amount your policy will pay out in most cases, though some providers do offer unlimited cover.

Tenant default cover will often cover the costs of legal expenses so that you're covered if you end up in a dispute with your tenants over eviction or rent.

What is landlord home emergency cover?

Emergency landlord home cover covers the costs of arranging for emergency repairs following a problem with your property. Usually, this type of coverage will make sure that a fully-qualified tradesperson is immediately sent out to the property following a burst pipe, gas leak, pest infestation, or even a break-in.

Landlord home emergency cover is perfect for people who need reliable assistance 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Policies can cover the costs of labour and materials, call-out charges, and more, typically up to a specific sum.

If it's not included as a standard part of your landlord insurance, then you may need to consider covering yourself for any legal costs that follow disputes with tenants, including repossessing your property, or evicting squatters. Legal expenses insurance covers the expenses of defending you against criminal action too and can be part of a public liability policy. Some costs covered by legal insurance include:

  • Tenant defaults
  • Repossession
  • Debt recovery
  • Contract disputes

How much will landlord insurance cost?

The cost of your landlord insurance will vary according to the amount of coverage you need. For fixtures and fittings, contents insurance and buildings insurance, providers will decide the cost of your premiums based on the replacement value or rebuild cost. Most insurance providers will make decisions about your premiums based on the level of risk you pose as a client.

Some insurance providers will consider things like the security measures taken to protect the property, the location of the property, the employment status of the tenants, and more.

Other Home Insurance FAQs

About the author:

Caroline Ramsey is a content creator who specialises in personal finance. More than a decade of working in editorial teams, she offers highly tailored content covering a number of topics. Read more

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