What Landlord Insurance?07 August 2012
When you are a landlord it is vital that you have some level of insurance cover. You need to protect yourself from loss of rental income, damage to property or contents and possibly even against needing to re-house tenants in the event of a natural disaster.
The ins and outs of landlord insurance
No matter how careful you are when vetting your tenants or how well you look after your property, the unexpected can happen at any time so you having the right insurance will help you face it as best you can.
Types of landlord insurance
There are two principle types of landlord insurance that you will need to obtain before anything else. These are landlord buildings insurance and landlord contents insurance. Typically, buildings and contents insurance would be things you buy as part of a standard home insurance policy, but when you are renting out your property standard home cover is unlikely to be sufficient. You must inform any existing insurance provider if the occupation of your property is changing from owner-occupied to tenant-occupied.
Buildings insurance will usually cover the property, including any outbuildings and will protect you against a variety of situations. Fire, smoke, subsidence, storm and flood damage will typically be protected against by your buildings insurance (though if your property has a previous claims history or is particularly susceptible to these things, then you may need specialist insurance). General wear and tear will almost never be covered by your insurance, but full rebuild and replacement often will be (as long as you give adequate estimates of costs when applying for cover).
Contents insurance is often sold in combination with buildings insurance, but it can be obtained separately. When it comes to landlord contents insurance it will usually protect things like furnishings from theft or fire damage when the tenant cannot be made to pay or it is not the tenant's fault. Again, general wear and tear will not usually be included here, but you might be able to extend your policy to include accidental damage. You will need to provide an accurate estimate of the replacement value of your contents to your insurance provider.
Other types of insurance might include rent guarantee cover or emergency assistance insurance, to help you if you suffer a loss of rental income or have to re-house your tenants in the event of an emergency. These types of cover might not be included as standard in your basic landlords house insurance cover, so you may need to seek it elsewhere. Some landlord home insurance policies will include a certain amount of public liability insurance, but you must always check to make sure. Employers' liability insurance, and other types of specialist business insurance may also need to be sourced from business insurance providers.
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