Last updated 26.05.2020
With many landlords being concerned currently about whether they are financially covered if situations with their tenants change, we have produced this guide to landlord insurance, which answers some of the main questions being asked. We take a look at some of the key areas that tenants need to understand and answer some of the key questions that we are being asked.
What is landlord insurance?
Landlord insurance is a specialist type of insurance that has been designed to provide protection for a number of common areas related to being a landlord, such as: damage to your property; contents; loss of rent; or if someone is injured or their property is damaged and they want to claim against you.
Landlord insurance usually has standard policies and then various add-ons can be included, depending on the insurance provider, for example: rent guarantee; home emergency cover; and key insurance.
What are the different types of landlord insurance?
There are four main types of landlord insurance, which are summarised below.
This is defined as covering any damage to the actual structure or your property.
Typically it will cover damage such as:
- Burst pipes
- Fire or smoke
- Lightning, storm or earthquake
- Theft, vandalism or malicious damage
If you own a flat within a block, have a look to see what is covered as part of the service charge you pay. Often it is included and therefore you will only need insurance to cover your fixtures and fittings.
This is a policy that covers the cost of repairing or replacing the fixtures and fittings inside your property, for example furniture, electrical items, carpets and curtains.
It is particularly worthwhile taking this out if you are renting out a furnished or part-furnished property.
Rent guarantee insurance
This is sometimes known as rent receiveable insurance or tenant default insurance. It is designed to protect you if a tenant is unable to pay their rent and falls into arrears.
Usually there is a set level to cover the unpaid rent up to and an agreed period of the tenant being unable to pay.
Many landlords choose this insurance if they feel they would otherwise have difficulty themselves covering any mortgage repayments.
This type of insurance provides cover if someone - either a tenant or visitor to your property - suffers an injury whilst in your property.
The coverage limits are often high (in the millions of pounds level), which may be required depending on the claim made against you.
Is landlord insurance a legal requirement?
There is no legal requirement to take out some of the above types of landlord insurance, however your mortgage provider is likely to have made buildings insurance a prerequisite as part of your agreement with them.
What if I own multiple properties?
For those landlords with multiple properties within a portfolio, many providers will offer a policy to reflect this and cover all properties.
How do I claim on my landlord insurance?
If you ever have a need to make a claim then you should contact your insurance company immediately and follow their instructions.
It is likely you will need to provide evidence with your claim, so this should be collected from you tenant or via your managing agent if you use one.
If you are a landlord and have questions around how the Coronavirus Act 2020 is impacting you, then read our guide here.