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Being a landlord means getting used to the unexpected – so you know it pays to be prepared. Which is why having landlord insurance a wise choice – here’s what to consider.

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Why do you need landlord insurance?

Having a policy can give you assurance – knowing that you’re covered for all sorts of eventualities – such as fire or flood damage. Depending on the policy you choose, you can also protect yourself against loss of rent and if your rental is furnished – you can cover your contents too.

You don’t need landlord insurance by law, although if you have a buy-to-let mortgage, your lender may insist on it as part of the agreement.

What cover is included with landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance covers a broad range of options and policies will vary by provider. Insurance providers will usually offer several add on features so you can tailor the policy to your needs.

A good policy should have as standard:

  • Buildings insurance – this is the main component of any landlord policy and it covers you against damage to the structure of your property caused by (for example) fire or flood. To make sure you’ve got the right amount of cover, you’ll need to know the rebuild cost of your property (which isn’t the same as market value). The rebuild cost is the amount of money needed to build your property from scratch. You can hire a surveyor to work this out, or you can use this calculation tool from RICS
  • Landlord liability insurance – this covers you for claims made if someone hurts themselves (or dies) while living or working on your property.
  • Loss of rent insurance – this protects your rental income if your tenants have to move out because your property is uninhabitable (such as if it were flooded or fire damaged). It’s not the same as rent guarantee cover which is sometimes offered as an added extra (more on that later).

Additional options may also include:

  • Alternative accommodation – this covers the cost of temporarily housing your tenants if your rental becomes uninhabitable.
  • Rent guarantee cover – this protects you if your tenant defaults on payment. The amount you can claim back will usually be limited.
  • Emergency cover – this gives you access to professional tradesmen 24/7 to deal with any household emergencies like burst pipes or a broken boiler.
  • Contents cover – you only need this if you’re renting a fully furnished property as tenants are responsible for insuring their own belongings.
  • Legal expenses insurance – this will pay for any legal costs you rack up if you need to take legal action to deal with (for example) disputes or repossession.
  • Unoccupied property insurance – if your rental is going to be empty for a long period of time then it’s worth considering this type of insurance because standard policies typically won’t cover you if the property is empty for more than around 30 days.

It’s worth appreciating that cheap landlord insurance doesn’t mean it’s the best and the policy that’s right for you will be the one that covers all your needs.

Can you compare quotes if you own more than one rental property?

If you’ve got several rental properties, you can insure each one individually which means you can make sure each policy is best suited to that particular house – so you only pay for what you need. It also means you can spread the cost throughout the year if they come up for renewal at different times.

Alternatively, you can insure them all on a single policy, but you’ll need to discuss this directly with the provider.

Whether you’ve got a single rental or a portfolio of properties, landlord insurance can help put your mind at rest and searching with us means you can find a quote that suits your needs and your budget – so, why not start comparing?

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