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What is landlord insurance?

Like standard home insurance, landlord or buy-to-let insurance protects you financially when renting or letting your property. The risks of inviting tenants to live in your property are higher than simply living in a property yourself. Hence, landlord insurance covers you from damage to the building or your contents and possible legal protection if you get into a dispute with your tenants. Common risks include fire, flooding, burst pipes, storms, and boiler breakdown. Essentially, you’ve invested in your property, and landlord insurance helps you to protect that investment.

Is landlord insurance worth it?

We may be biased, but as your home insurance policy is unlikely to cover your rented property, we think it’s vital to ensure you have landlord insurance before your tenants move in. While it’s not a legal requirement, most lenders for buy-to-let mortgages will require you to have landlord insurance. If you opt not to, and something goes wrong in the property or with the contract, you’ll be liable for the entire bill, which could be hefty. Landlord insurance can also be specific with the cover you need, as it’s a more specialist product than standard home insurance, enabling you to tailor the policy to your property and your needs.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

The cost of a landlord insurance policy varies depending on many things, such as your claims history and the level of cover you need. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key price influencers on a landlord insurance policy:

  • The level of cover – make sure you tailor it to what you need so you don’t end up paying for unnecessary items.
  • Property location – if your property is in a higher crime area, or near the sea or a river, for example, your premium is likely to be pricier.
  • Size and age of the property
  • Your tenants – people come with their own risk levels too. Students, for example, are typically seen as higher risk, as are pets.
  • Claims history – had a claim within the past five years? Your premium will be more expensive because of this.
  • How you pay – just like with any insurance, often if you can stump up and pay annually, rather than monthly, it’ll be cheaper.

The best way to find a reasonable price for your policy is to compare landlord insurance quotes online. Do it easily with our online form; enter a few details, and up to 5 insurance providers will provide you with tailored quotes. Using us makes it easy to compare quotes as you only need to provide your details once.

How to get cheap landlord insurance

Although every property and every landlord is different, resulting in different policy prices, there are a few things you can do to try and make your insurance premium lower.

Go big on security.
Install the latest security locks, fit burglar alarms, and even opt for CCTV on the property. These will deter thieves and show the insurance provider that you take security seriously. It should also help your tenants feel safe while living in your property.

Pet-free property.
Allowing your tenants to keep pets in the property will increase contents insurance premiums. The risk of scratch marks and carpet stains is much higher with furry friends around, so consider making your property pet-free.

Increase your voluntary excess.
This works on all insurance premiums. You can choose the level of voluntary excess you pay, so increasing this will bring the cost of the premium down. Don’t make it so high that it becomes unaffordable for you if you need to claim!

Know your tenants.
Bringing a new tenant into the property is always risky, so ensure thorough referencing checks before anyone moves in.

Keep it occupied.
Insurance providers view empty properties as high risk, so ensure your property never sits empty to keep your premium down. Vacant properties are also expensive on council tax.

Compare, compare, compare.
And, of course, the best way to get a cheap deal on landlord insurance is to compare quotes through Quote Goat!

Types of landlord insurance explained

Landlord’s Building Insurance

Buildings insurance protects your property from damage to the building. This could be fire or water damage, a leaking roof, or storm damage. It can also cover additional damage such as vandalism or malicious damage. Most buildings’ policies also cover fixed bathroom fittings, including toilets and baths.

Landlord’s Contents Insurance

Often sold alongside buildings insurance, this is typically for landlords who rent their properties full or part-furnished. It covers carpets, curtains, white goods, TVs, furniture and even crockery and china. You can also opt to add on accidental cover, which includes breakages and spillages. However, landlord’s contents insurance doesn’t cover tenants’ belongings. They will need to purchase their own contents insurance too.

What does landlord insurance cover?

The provider and level of insurance determine what’s covered in your policy, and will all be documented in policy documents.

Here is a quick run-through of commonly-covered items in landlord insurance:

  • The building – walls, roof, floors, doors and windows.
  • Contents – anything that would fall out if you were to tip the property upside down. Contents cover doesn’t include your tenants’ belongings – they’ll need to buy their own contents insurance.
  • Fixtures and fittings – permanent internal fixtures that aren’t covered under the building’s insurance.
  • Glass and sanitary ware
  • Public liability
  • Floor coverings – carpets, laminate and wood flooring, excluding rugs.
  • Alternative accommodation – for tenants following an insured event such as flood or fire.

Optional extras:

  • Malicious/deliberate damage
  • Accidental damage – for mishaps such as spilling a glass of wine on the sofa!
  • Landlord emergency cover – to cover the cost of emergency repairs such as broken windows or boiler.
  • Legal expenses
  • Rent guarantee or Loss of rent

FAQs

Can I buy landlord insurance for multiple properties?

Yes, you can. Your two main options are to insure each property individually, which is less complex but may be slightly more expensive. Or you can buy one policy covering multiple properties, referred to as Portfolio Landlord’s Insurance. This is more complex, as each property will come with varying risk levels and needs. It’s usually best done over the phone with the provider.

Can I claim back the tax on landlord insurance?

Absolutely. We’re no tax advisers, but landlord insurance falls under your expenses for running and maintaining your buy-to-let property, which means you can claim back the tax on the policy.

Do I need landlord insurance to let my property on AirBnB?

A prevalent question these days! Super short lets such as holiday homes and AirBnB properties can be a little more complex, but you don’t have to get insurance as it’s not a legal requirement. However, you can buy short-term policies tailored towards cover for AirBnB lets and holiday homes.

Some will cover the entire property, while others will cover just one room, depending on how you let your property. Typically, they cover theft, damage, and legal assistance, but you can tailor them as you can other policies.

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Author Image - Michael Foote

Written By Michael Foote, Insurance and Finance Expert

Michael Foote is the founder of Quote Goat and has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors. Since launching Quote Goat he has appeared on TV as well as many of the largest online publications including Forbes, The Telegraph and The Metro. Prior to Quote Goat, he worked in finance in the city for a number of firms including HSBC.