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A Guide for Choosing Landlord Insurance
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As the owner and landlord of a buy to let property, adequate insurance is required to protect the fabric of your asset before even beginning to consider renting it out. It is worth protecting with cover that’s built just for you.
Whether you need landlord insurance for a one-off buy-to-let or several properties around the UK, you can get the protection you need, choosing from a range of covers including buildings insurance, contents insurance, landlord liability, loss of rent and alternative accommodation. Whatever level of landlord cover you’re looking for, you can find a quote fit to you.
Landlord insurance policy
Landlord insurance policy helps protect you financially from damages or injuries related to a rental property. It provides financial protection if your rental property is damaged, becomes unlivable after a catastrophic event such as a fire or a storm, or if someone is hurt on the property. This protects your rental income and covers your liabilities if your tenants are injured on your property and you are deemed to be at fault.
What does a landlord insurance policy cover?
Landlord policies protect you and your investment. Accidents do happen no matter how careful you and your tenants are. This policy covers you from damages to property in the event that the real estate or furnishings suffer from a natural disaster, fire, electric/gas malfunction, earthquake, vandalism, or irresponsible tenants.
It also covers you from lost rental income if your rental property is damaged by a covered loss, such as a fire or tornado, and the damage keeps you from renting it out, most policies will reimburse you for the income lost during that time. And of course, it includes coverage for the medical or legal costs that might ensue if the tenant or a visitor suffers injury due to a property maintenance issue.
For example, if your tenant accidentally falls from the stairs at your rental property and a court determines that you failed to maintain the stairs and/or railing, you could be held responsible for your tenant’s medical, legal and other costs. In that case, your landlord liability coverage may help pay for those expenses, up to your policy’s limits. You typically won’t pay a deductible for a liability claim.
What are the extra landlord coverages you can consider in your policy?
There are several common riders that can come with landlord insurance policies. Depending on the neighborhood, or condition of your rental, you may want to consider adding on some optional coverages to your landlord policy. These may include burglary, your standard landlord insurance policy may help pay to repair your home if it’s damaged when someone breaks-in, it typically won’t pay to replace stolen items. Optional coverage may be available for theft of items you keep on the property to help maintain it, such as appliances or a grass cutter.
It is also worth adding to your policy to include flood damage related to natural disasters or municipal plumbing specially if your property is in a flood-prone zone. You may want to add the guaranteed income insurance too, this covers the landlord if a tenant cannot pay for one month or doesn’t pay at all.
A vandalism in your property is also something inevitable. This optional coverage will help you pay to repair vandalism damage. If your property is vandalized, that type of damage typically isn’t covered by a traditional landlord policy unless you purchase vandalism coverage.
An emergency coverage is also helpful in the event a tenant calls you out to fix something such as a leaking dishwasher or was accidentally locked out of the house, this feature can help cover some or all of the costs you incurred to travel to the property and resolve the issue.
Is Landlord Insurance Policy required?
There’s no legal obligation for you to have landlord insurance and is not required by law but most buy-to-let mortgages come with the condition that you have it. If you have a mortgage on the property you are renting out, your lending company might require you to have a certain amount of coverage.
Your tenants may also request to see proof of landlord insurance before signing a lease for their own peace of mind. If you don’t have coverage, it could potentially jeopardize your ability to rent the units.
How much landlord insurance do I need?
When you’re a landlord, insurance is more than just another piece of paperwork. It’s important protection for the investment you’ve worked hard for and the future security that means for you and your family.
The amount of landlord insurance you take out should be based on the expenses spent to rebuild your rental property. This is an estimate of how much the expenses will be to rebuild your house from scratch, including labour and materials. Your contents insurance amount should be based on what it would cost to replace the contents you’re providing in your rental property. This doesn’t include your tenants’ items, as they will need to insure these separately.
How much does a landlord insurance cost?
The cost of your policy will depend on your property and tenants, the type of insurance you choose, and the cover levels you need. As with all insurance, the insurer calculates the cost of your insurance based on the likelihood you’ll make a claim and the possible cost of any claim.
Like all types of insurance, the cost of landlord insurance depends on a number of different factors. The location of the property, the size of the building, the number of units and the age of the building are all factored into your rate. There are also some personal factors, like your history of claims and your credit score, that contribute to your rate.
Set up your landlord insurance policy now with Simply!
Start with the company that currently provides your homeowners insurance policy, since you may be eligible for a discount. Once you’ve received their quote, compare prices with Simply from multiple companies to find the best rates for your insurance policy.
In Simply we make it quick and easy to get the protection you need, whether you’re looking for buy-to-let insurance or commercial landlord insurance. Tailor your policy by choosing from a range of rental property insurance covers including buildings insurance, contents insurance, property owners’ liability, loss of rent, accidental damage, fixtures and fittings, legal expenses, tenant default, and alternative accommodation.