Cheap Total Landlord Insurance
Total landlord insurance
As a landlord you’ll know just how important it is to protect your investment, which is why it’s important to have cover you can trust. But with so many options available, finding the right policy can be time consuming and confusing. To make life easier, here’s what to consider when it comes to choosing the right landlord insurance for total peace of mind.
What is landlord insurance?
Landlord insurance can help you cover the cost if something goes wrong with your rental property. Policies can protect the building itself as well as any contents you provide your tenants with (if you let it out on a furnished basis, for instance), and can also help cover your legal fees if you need to settle a dispute or defend yourself in court.
What does a total landlord insurance policy include?
Landlord insurance bundles together several core types of cover in order to give you the coverage you need for your rental property, and you can also choose to add a wide range of other add-ons to your policy in order to ensure you have total, all-round protection.
While it is possible to find a discount landlord insurance policy that offers reduced premiums because it only gives you a bare minimum level of coverage, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for a totally comprehensive landlord insurance policy there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find one that includes each of the following as standard:
- Buildings insurance – this covers any structural damage caused by incidents known as insured events. The insured events you’re covered for, will be listed in your policy but they include things like fire, flood, storms, subsidence, vandalism and theft. As well as walls, floors, ceilings and chimneys, buildings cover will also protect permanent fixtures and fittings like kitchen cupboards, bathroom suites, pipes and drains.
- Contents insurance – covers the cost of any damage done to items you provide, for instance – sofas, kitchen utensils or electrical goods like a dishwasher or fridge. Tenants are responsible for their own belongings, so you don’t need to worry about insuring their possessions.
- Unoccupied property insurance – protects your rental property if the building is empty.
- Accidental damage cover – covers any unintentional damage to your property or contents, for example if someone spills red wine over the carpet.
- Malicious damage – compensates you for any damage deliberately caused by your tenant.
- Legal expenses cover – covers the cost of any legal action relating to your property, for example, if you need to evict your tenant. You can also use legal expenses cover to defend yourself against a claim.
In addition, you’ll be able to add on other optional features that can make your landlord insurance policy even more comprehensive, for instance:
- Rent guarantee insurance – compensates you if your tenant stops paying their rent (it’s also known as tenant default insurance).
- Loss of rent insurance – compensates you for lost income if your tenant is forced to move out because there is something wrong with the property, for instance, if the building was flooded.
- Landlord liability insurance – pays legal fees and court costs if someone is injured or has their property damaged and blames you. For example, if a tradesperson, your tenant or any of their guests tripped over frayed carpet and broke their arm.
- Alternative accommodation – if your rental becomes uninhabitable because of an insured event, this covers the cost of temporarily rehoming your tenant.
- Landlord home emergency cover – covers household emergencies like burst pipes and unplanned power cuts. Some plans also include boiler breakdown cover – something to look out for when you compare policies.
Do I need landlord insurance?
You don’t need landlord insurance by law, but if you have a buy-to-let mortgage your lender may insist you have it and make it a condition of the loan. If that’s the case, the good news is that you don’t have to buy landlord cover from your lender and you usually won’t have to opt for a total landlord insurance policy either. Normally a cheaper, less comprehensive policy that insures the building itself will be enough to meet your lender’s requirements.
Of course, if you do opt for the bare minimum rather than taking out a totally comprehensive landlord insurance policy you could find yourself with a sizable bill if something went wrong and you weren’t covered for that particular issue. That’s why many buy-to-let property investors do choose to take out a total landlord insurance policy.
Are there any exclusions with total insurance for landlords?
An exclusion is something your insurer won’t pay out for. Almost all insurance policies have a set of exclusions, but they can vary depending on the insurer – which is why it’s wise to check what they are. Typical exclusions include:
- Wear and tear – few insurers will cover the cost of repairing or replacing items because they’re old – for example, worn carpets.
- Damage caused by animals – this includes pets as well as vermin, so it’s worth asking tenants for a pet deposit if they have any.
- Non-forcible entry – any loss or damage you suffer due to a burglary will only be covered if someone has forced their way into the property, so if a door or window was left open you might struggle to get compensation.
Can I buy total landlords insurance for more than one property?
Yes, you should be able to take out a multi-property landlord insurance policy that gives you comprehensive coverage for each of your rented properties – and you’ll be pleased to know that many insurers will give you a discount for insuring more than one property with them. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose between covering your properties as a portfolio or insuring each property separately.
How much does total landlord property insurance cost?
Cost very much depends on the policy you choose and the specific addons you decide to add in your efforts to make it a totally comprehensive policy.
Insurers will also take your own circumstances into consideration – for example, the type of property you let out, where it’s located and who you rent to. Because of this it’s difficult to pinpoint an average price as premiums can vary quite considerably.
While price will naturally affect your choice of policy, it’s vital to have insurance that covers you for the real risks you face as a landlord. With that in mind, always compare quotes carefully and check what is and isn’t covered. Discount landlord insurance policies might seem like a bargain, but it’s sometimes worth paying a little more for the total peace of mind a more comprehensive policy can bring.