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Why do you need landlord insurance?
Letting out a property is literally a serious business. For many landlords, it’s their only source of income while for others it’s where they have invested a good chunk – if not all – of their savings. So it’s not worth taking any risks and why really, if you’re a landlord, getting your investment property insured is absolutely essential.
And anyway, some finance lenders make landlords insurance a condition of their buy to let mortgage.
There are three types of basic landlord insurance to consider applying for. These are essentially:
- Buildings – this covers loss or damage to the actual physical building ie the structure of your property and means you can claim against fire and storm damage (in some cases even malicious damage by tenants).
- Contents – insurance for damage from spills and torn furniture to breakage of white goods and appliances etc
- Rent guarantee – this makes sure you never miss out on a month’s rent if the tenant can’t or won’t pay, or if the property itself becomes void for a certain amount of time (a fire, for instance, could cause loss of rental income for several months – maybe even a year).
Get the best landlord insurance for you
Although Buildings and Contents insurance are pretty much standard for landlords these days – and the third (Rent guarantee) is gaining in popularity, it’s also possible to add on other forms of cover to your landlord insurance policy.
One form of additional cover is Landlord liability and is where a tenant or visitor to the flat is injured due to, for instance, tripping over a broken floorboard, or getting a concussion with a bit of loose plaster falling on their head. This will cover your legal costs as well as damages if the injured party attempts to take you to court.
Another form of the cover open to landlords is Accidental Damage. This compensates you for any instances where the furniture, a window etc in your rented flat is damaged by your tenants and needs repairing or replacing.
Thanks to the current political climate a new form of cover available to landlords is Terrorism cover – although this extra cover would only really apply to landlords with a block of flats in a major UK city.
How to go about getting landlord insurance quotes
Choosing landlord insurance for your business or property investment isn’t about getting the cheapest deal, but the cover that will best suit your needs – although obviously, you want to find the best value quote too. And that’s why it’s important to compare carefully, making sure the policy ticks both the ‘cover’ and the ‘price’ boxes for you.
Money saving tips for your landlord’s insurance
- A policy may initially look great but always check the minimum excess you have to pay for claims. For Rent Guarantee, for instance, it’s usually a month’s rent.
- Ask if the company provides any discounts if you decide to go for a higher excess. Many do.
- If you plan on paying your landlord insurance monthly, does this hike up the cost of the quote considerably? You may be surprised…
- Find out as much info as you can about your tenants ie where they work, whether they have rented before etc. Insurance companies will regard this as good risk management on your part and may compensate you in turn.
- If your tenants are students or young people then it may be worth considering taking out cover against cannabis production. It’s not uncommon in rented properties and can cause horrendous damage to the structure of a property.
- Can’t decide between a couple of insurance companies? Then check out what others say about them to get a better idea of how each deals with customer claims. Do this anyway – even if you’ve already chosen.