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Landlord insurance

Compare landlords insurance for buy-to-let properties

  • Get a quote in less than 8 minutes

  • Get a range of optional extras such as rent guarantee and vacant period cover

  • Specifically designed to cover landlord and property needs

What is landlord insurance?

Building and contents landlord insurance, or buy-to-let insurance, is designed for landlords that rent our properties. Having a landlord insurance policy gives you added protection.

Home insurance for landlords works similarly to standard home insurance. It covers the property and the landlord’s belongings. Buildings insurance also covers any damage to the building from things like fire or flooding.

It's not required by law, but many mortgage providers might insist on landlord buildings insurance as a minimum. It can also give you reassurance.

You can also pay to add extras to your policy, like accidental damage, loss of rent if your tenants can’t pay and legal expenses cover.

For more information, see our guide to your responsibilities as a landlord.

Do I need landlord insurance?

Most landlords buy a landlord insurance policy to make sure they've got the right level of cover.

You could get a standard home insurance policy, which is typically cheaper. Just be sure to check if it covers buy-to-let properties and offers the protection you need.

You can usually add properties onto your insurance or buy landlord insurance for multiple properties. But bear in mind, the more you have, the more the cost will be.

Landlord insurance is a bit different as it specifically covers the things landlords might need.

If your tenants damage your property, accidentally or not, you usually can’t claim on a standard home insurance policy. So you'd have to cover the cost yourself.

Some buy-to-let mortgage providers may also require you to have landlord insurance as a condition of the mortgage.

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What types of properties does landlord insurance cover?

Landlord insurance can cover a range of different types of properties, including:

  • Residential property
  • Commercial property
  • Multi-property

A residential property is a home you rent out. Landlord cover gives you more protection than standard home insurance.

Commercial property landlord insurance covers you if you rent out an office, workshop, factory or warehouse to a tenant.

Multi-property landlord insurance is protection you can take out if you have two or more properties that you rent out.

What type of landlord insurance do I need?

The type of landlord insurance you need depends on what you want the policy to cover. The most common types of landlord insurance are:

  • Buildings cover
  • Contents cover
  • Fixtures and fittings cover
  • Rental protection

Buildings cover protects the structure of your property against damage from fire, flood, storms and subsidence. It should also cover outbuildings and sheds, if you have them.

Contents cover protects all furniture and possessions that belong to you. This is useful if you're renting out a furnished or part-furnished property. If your property is unfurnished, your tenants should arrange cover for their own possessions.

Fixtures and fittings cover should come as part of a landlord buildings insurance policy. It protects your kitchen and bathroom fittings from theft and damage. A bildings insurance policy should cover any fixtures you wouldn't take with you when moving home.

Rental protection or rent guarantee insurance, lets you claim back lost rent if your tenant doesn't pay. There are usually time limits and exclusions, so it's worth checking the policy details.

Which landlord insurance optional extras do I need?

You can choose from a selection of extras to add onto your policy, including:

  • Rent guarantee insurance
  • Legal cover
  • Vacant periods with no tenants
  • Accidental damage by tenants
  • Home emergency cover
  • Cost of repairing damage
  • Compensation claims due to tenant injury
  • Property owner’s liability cover
  • Rent guarantee insurance, also known as tenant default insurance or loss of rent. This covers you if your tenants can't or won't pay their rent - usually for a set period of time.
  • Legal cover pays for your legal costs if you have to go to court, up to a limit.
  • Vacant periods with no tenants: covers the property even if it’s unoccupied.
  • Accidental damage by tenants covers any accidental damage caused by your tenants.
  • Home emergency cover cover gives you access to a 24/7 helpline. It covers burst pipes, electrical failures and boiler and central heating breakdowns. It also covers the cost of repairing any damage from a home emergency, like a pest infestation.
  • Compensation claims due to tenant injury caused because of your property. Your insurer should cover any payout up to a certain limit.
  • Property owner’s liability cover. If a tenant or a third party gets injured on your property, or there’s damage to their possessions, your insurer should cover any compensation claims.

What does landlord insurance cover?

Usually, most policies include:

  • Theft, fire and flood cover for if fire or flood damages your property, or someone breaks in and steals something. The cover applies to a specified maximum amount.
  • The building structure covers everything in the property that's part of the structure, up to a specified limit.
  • Fitted areas in the house usually includes anything attached to the building, such as a fitted kitchen.
  • Bathrooms, wet rooms or toilets are usually included as standard.
  • Landlord’s furniture, carpets and curtains. As it’s a buildings and contents policy, it should include anything belonging to the landlord.

What doesn’t landlord insurance cover?

You should check the details of your specific policy with your insurer. But generally, a landlord insurance policy won’t cover:

  • Your tenants’ property is not covered by a landlord policy, and they’ll need to take out their own contents insurance for their belongings.
  • Wear and tear to your buildings and contents is not covered, as is the case with standard home insurance policies.
  • Damage by animals is unlikely to be covered by a landlord insurance policy, although it might be possible to add this to your insurance as an added extra.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

The cost of landlord insurance depends on how likely you are to make a claim on the policy. The higher your risk, the higher your landlord insurance costs will be.

The average cost of landlord insurance depends on a lot of factors, including:

  • The size and value of the property
  • The location
  • The type of tenants you have
  • Your claims history

The size and value of the property as more expensive properties mean more expensive claims. And a large, 6-bedroom house has a higher risk of something going wrong than a 2-bedroom flat.

Location can determine certain risks. A house in the city could be more at risk of burglary than one in the suburbs. And houses built on certain types of ground could be more at risk of subsidence or flooding.

The type of tenants you have could be important, too. Letting a property out to a group of students, for example, comes with a different set of risks than a family or a professional couple.

How you pay for your policy could impact your price. Usually, paying for your landlord insurance upfront is cheaper than a monthly direct debit.

Your claims history influences your risk of making a future claim based on claims you've already made.

How can I reduce the cost of my landlord insurance?

If you want to find a cheap landlord insurance policy, it's important to compare prices and insurers. You should also check the policy you choose gives you the right amount of cover and isn't just the cheapest option.

You could get cheaper landlord insurance if you:

  • Keep your property in a good condition and well-maintained to lower your risk of making a claim.
  • Avoid small claims, if possible. If it's a small job you can fix without your insurer, it may be worth considering.
  • Upgrade your home security with things like alarms to protect your home from burglars.
  • Choose only the cover you need so you're not paying for extra cover that you don't need.
  • Keep the property occupied if you can. Leaving the property unoccupied can push the price up.
  • Select a higher excess. But always make sure you can afford to pay the excess if you need to.
  • Pay annually as paying monthly usually costs more due to added interest.
  • Keep your property in a good condition and well maintained. The better the standard of the property, the lower the risk of making a claim and the cheaper your insurance should be.
  • Avoid small claims, if possible. The fewer claims you’ve made in the past, the cheaper your insurance is likely to be. This doesn’t mean you should avoid making a claim, but if it's a small job you can fix without your insurer it may be worth considering.
  • Home security can help lower the cost of your insurance. The more security measures, like alarms, the better.
  • The level of cover also affects the price. A fully comprehensive policy with all the add-ons, is likely going to be more expensive. Make sure you’re only paying for the cover you need.
  • Keep the property occupied, if you can. Leaving the property unoccupied can push the price up.
  • Pay a higher excess to reduce the price of your insurance. But always make sure you can afford to pay the excess if you need to.
  • Pay annually. Paying monthly is often more expensive as it can include an interest rate.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a landlord insurance quote, you need to give the insurer some details. They use these to calculate a price for you. They usually include the following:

  • The date the property was built
  • How much it would cost to rebuild the property
  • Any security measures you've fitted
  • The total cost of any belongings you have in it
  • The type of tenants in the property and the length of their contract
  • Any claims you have made within the last 5 years

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What our home insurance expert says

Take your time considering any additional extras you might want to add to your policy. Things like accidental damage, home emergency, legal cover and loss of rent aren’t covered as standard in most policies, but you can add them when you get a landlord insurance quote.

Need more help?

How do I make a claim on my landlord insurance?

To make a claim you will usually need to contact your insurer on the phone, although sometimes this can be done online or you can start the process this way. You’ll need to give your policy number along with details of the reason for the claim. Give as much detail as you can, and keep hold of receipts if you have had to pay for work, or communications between you and your tenants.

Is landlord insurance tax deductible?

Yes. It’s a business expense and therefore it is tax deductible. When you fill in your self-assessment tax return you can add it onto the section for tax-deductible expenses.

Do I need landlord insurance if I live at the property?

This depends on a technicality. If you have a tenant who pays you, and they have their own area of the home which you don’t go into, then you should take out a landlord insurance policy if you want to be covered for things in relation to them. If you have a lodger, and you are allowed into the area of the home they live in, you can usually add them onto an existing home insurance policy. Either way, check with the insurer first to find out what the best option is for your circumstances.

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