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.
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.
Types of home insurance
protects your home and its contents from those unexpected accidents.
protects the permanent fixtures and structure of your home.
protects your household belongings against theft, loss and damage.
Student home insurance
can protect your belongings while you're living away from home.
covers your belongings against loss, damage and theft while in your rental property.
can offer some protection for your home and belongings if you live in a flood risk area.
can be tailored to cover the building, content or both depending on whether you own or rent your flat.
Listed building insurance
protects properties that are of national historical significance.
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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