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Compare landlord insurance for buy-to-let properties

In the UK, entering the property market can be challenging, especially with the cost of living prices constantly in flux. This creates an investment opportunity for people to become landlords, buying houses they rent out as an investment. 

There are risks to being a landlord. You’ll potentially have to deal with tenants who don’t pay and could have to deal with damages and even liability claims. This is where buy-to-let home insurance comes into play. It is designed to cover the crucial areas of risk that landlords may face when buying property to let out.  
 
Several forms of insurance cover fall under the umbrella of buy-to-let insurance. These include: 

  • Buildings insurance – which covers structural damage and built-in features like fitted kitchens. 
  • Contents insurance – for items such as furniture and carpets. 
  • Rental protection – serves as a safety net for when you are unable to rent out a property due to damage. 
  • Liability insurance – provides coverage in case of a tenant making a claim against you as the landlord. For example, if the tenant is injured on the property. 

At Quotezone.co.uk we help you navigate through the myriad of buy-to-let home insurance options. We simplify the process of finding the right cover at a competitive price. 

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What is buy-to-let insurance?

Also known as landlord insurance, it’s a type of policy aimed at anyone who rents out property to tenants.

Rather than being a single, standalone insurance product, these types of policies usually bundle together different kinds of insurance that each cover different risks – known as ‘insured events’. Insured events can include fire, flood, storms, subsidence, theft, vandalism and even rent arrears.

Some buy-to-let insurance policies also cover you for certain liabilities – which are claims made against you if someone blames you for injury or damage to their belongings. For example, a tenant could take you to court if they slipped on a loose kitchen tile in your property and broke their ankle.

Why do I need buy-to-let home insurance?

Landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement for buy-to-let landlords in the UK, although some mortgage lenders will insist that you have landlord building insurance at the very least in order to protect your investment (and their repayments).

Whether or not you’re required to have it, though, if you do own a rental property or a portfolio of buy-to-lets it can save you significant amounts of money in the long run if something does go wrong. Without the benefit of a relatively cheap buy-to-let insurance policy in place you could find yourself footing the bill for very expensive repairs or even court claims.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that buy-to-let insurance is different from standard home insurance because the risks you face as a landlord are very different to those of an owner-occupier. If you tried to claim for a rental property against a standard home insurance policy it’s highly likely your insurer would refuse to pay out.

What does buy-to-let house insurance include?

Insurance for buy-to-let properties is tailored to the landlord’s specific situation and requirements, so what’s included will depend on the type(s) of cover you require for your rental property. In most cases you’ll be able to combine options including:

  • Buildings insurance – compensates you for any structural damage caused by an insured event.
  • Landlord contents cover – covers any furniture or soft furnishings you provide as part of the tenancy agreement, such as curtains, electrical goods like a dishwasher as well as smaller items like glasses, crockery and cutlery.
  • Landlord liability – pays for legal fees and compensation if your tenant, their guests or tradesperson has an accident on your property and blames you for their injuries or damage to their property.
  • Unoccupied property insurance – protects your property if it’s empty in-between tenancies.
  • Rent guarantee insurance – compensates you if your tenant stops paying their rent, and is also known as tenant default insurance.
  • Loss of rent insurance – covers rent if your property is temporarily uninhabitable and your tenant has to move out (for example if it’s being repaired after a fire).
  • Alternative accommodation – if your tenants have to move out because of an insured event, this covers their accommodation costs. You’ll only need this if your tenancy agreement says that you’re responsible for finding tenants alternative accommodation so it’s worth double checking the terms of your contract.
  • Landlord home emergency cover – meets the cost of dealing with emergencies like burst pipes, power cuts and also broken windows and doors if they’re considered to be a risk to security.
  • Boiler breakdown – some insurers include this within their home emergency plans but it’s sometimes available as a standalone option.
  • Accidental damage insurance – covers the cost of repairing unintentional damage for instance, spilt red wine on pale carpets or DIY mishaps.
  • Legal expenses cover – pays for legal advice if you want to resolve a dispute in court – for example, rent arrears or if you need to evict a tenant.
  • Malicious damage – covers the cost of damage caused deliberately by tenants.
How much cover do I need for buy-to-let buildings insurance?

To work out the amount of buildings insurance you need (the sum insured) you’ll need to estimate how much it would cost to rebuild your property. Most insurers will work this out based on the number of rooms there are so don’t worry too much if you’re not entirely sure.

If you also need contents cover, you’ll need to calculate the value of the items you provide as if they were new.

How much does buy-to-let property insurance cost?

Your premium will depend on the types of insurance you bundle together – the more risks you’re covered for, the more your policy is likely to cost.

While it’s tempting to cut the cost by opting for a very simple landlords insurance policy, it could end up costing you more if you discover you’re not covered for something that goes wrong. To make sure you don’t miss out any essentials, make a note of ‘must have’ features like buildings and contents cover or landlord liability before you start comparing so you’re not swayed by price alone.

It might be helpful to know that your premiums will typically be based on the following factors: 

  • Location of the property 
  • Size of the property 
  • Age of the property 
  • Your risk profile 
  • Claims history 

To get accurate quotes of what insurance for your buy-to-let property will cost, our price comparison site Quotezone.co.uk is designed to help you quickly and easily compare a wide range of quotes. We help you compare buy-to-let insurance quotes from multiple insurers from across the country. Comparing quotes is a good way to know what offers are out there and to choose the option that suits your needs and budget best. 

Does the location of my buy-to-let property affect the cost of insuring it? 

Yes, it can.  

The location of the property can impact the cost of insuring it. Insurers consider a range of factors when determining your premiums. Locations with susceptibility to natural disasters or high crime rates are likely to result in increased buy-to-let property insurance costs. Any increase in the risk of things like flooding, vandalism, or theft will usually increase the likelihood of a claim. Therefore, it is important to consider the location of your buy-to-let property when looking for cheap buy-to-let property insurance.  

Will installing additional security features like burglar alarms or glass-break sensors reduce the cost of my insurance? 

It’s possible. However, policies vary from insurer to insurer. Some may place more value on extra security features than others. 

In general, though, you may qualify for a reduced premium if you add additional security features to your property. If your property is in an area with frequent break-ins and burglaries, investing in extra security may be worth your while. Security communicates a commitment to reduced risk. A house with cameras, burglar alarms and glass-break sensors may deter burglars which means you won’t have to make a claim. As a result, you could potentially enjoy a no-claims discount when you renew your insurance. 

Typical exclusions from buy to let coverage?

As with any other insurance, there will be exclusions on your policy. The following are typical exclusions that you may want to consider before buying a property:

  • Wear and tear costs.
  • Damage to the property due to lack of maintenance over time.
  • Your policy may exclude certain natural disasters.
  • Deliberate damage to the property.

Read through your policy carefully to clearly understand what is included and excluded. Details will be given in the small print. For instance, if your property is in a flood-prone area, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance covers this type of risk. There are a variety of covers that fall under the umbrella of buy-to-let insurance, including liability protection, rental cover and contents cover. To benefit from all the benefits on offer you will need to ensure they’re included in your policy.

Start your buy-to-let insurance comparison

At Quotezone.co.uk we understand that sorting out your buy-to-let insurance can be time-consuming, especially if you have more than one rental – which is why we make it easy to compare quotes and find a cheaper policy.

To compare cheap buy-to-let insurance quotes just fill out this short form and we’ll do the searching for you.