Discover how landlord insurance works and the best landlord insurance providers based on policies and customer reviews.

Best landlord insurance providers

Finding the right landlord insurance policy can be tricky, so we’ve analysed the plans on offer from major providers including Aviva, Axa and Direct Line, and surveyed almost 500 landlords to gather real-life customer experiences.

You can find out the results – including overall policy scores and Which? customer scores – in the tables below.

Landlord insurance: policy scores

In July and August 2021, we rated 99 different aspects of landlord insurance policies, including their coverage of issues such as subsidence and malicious damage, to calculate the below policy scores.

Provider Total policy score Buildings Contents Liability Rent receivable Other factors*

 

Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by Aviva)

 

88% 93% 91% 90% 54% 56%
Direct Line 82% 88% 87% 71% 68% 65%
Aviva 82% 89% 94% 75% Not offered 60%
NFU Mutual 79% 84% 84% 84% Not offered 76%

 

Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by NIG)

 

79% 84% 78% 82% 54% 56%
Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by SAGIC)
71% 75% 75% 68% 54% 53%

Saga

 

71% 84% 76% 50% 14% 69%
Axa 65% 78% 60% 65% Not offered 63%
LV= 63% 78% 78% 30% Not offered 58%

 

Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by Covea)

 

62% 76% 74% 19% 54% 56%

Table notes: policy scores are calculated based on all individual components, which are weighted as follows: buildings 40%, contents 20%, liability 30%, rent receivable 5% and other factors 5% (weighting is based on how important each component is to landlords). *’Other factors’ include extra policy elements such as excesses and fees. CIA and Simply Business did not provide enough information for us to include them in our analysis.

Provider

 

Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by Aviva)

 

           
Direct Line            
Aviva            
NFU Mutual            

 

Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by NIG)

 

           
Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by SAGIC)
           

Saga

 

           
Axa            
LV=            

 

Alan Boswell Group
(policy underwritten by Covea)

 

           

Why did we analyse multiple Alan Boswell policies?

The policies from Alan Boswell are plans taken out by customers of the Alan Boswell Group, a company of independent insurance brokers.

The level of coverage differs based on which third-party company underwrites the policy (shown in brackets in the table above).

When taking out a policy, customers can choose which of the third parties they want it to be underwritten by.

Landlord insurance: customer reviews

To calculate our customer scores, we surveyed 496 landlords about how satisfied they were with their insurance provider.

The overall Which? customer scores below are calculated using a combination of satisfaction and the likelihood of the landlord recommending the provider in the future.

Brand customer score Customer service Application process Clarity of policy Value for money
LV= (34) 74% 3 out of 5
NFU Mutual (40) 73% 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 2 out of 5
CIA (44) 69% 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5
Direct Line (102) 68% 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 2 out of 5 2 out of 5
Simply Business (46) 64% 4 out of 5 2 out of 5 2 out of 5
AXA (45) 62% 2 out of 5 2 out of 5
Aviva (37) 57% 2 out of 5 2 out of 5

Table notes: scores based on April/May 2021 survey of 496 Which? members who own buy-to-let properties. The numbers in brackets represent the number of customers surveyed for each provider. ‘-‘ means sample size was too small to get a star rating.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

The amount you’ll pay for landlord insurance depends on a whole host of factors, including your claim history and the age and history of the property itself.

Other factors include:

  • Location and type of property
  • Number of tenants
  • Rebuild cost of property
  • Level of contents you’re insuring
  • The level of excess you choose

Membership of a landlord accreditation scheme may entitle you to a discount from some insurers.

Our partner Confused.com compares prices from over 50 insurers to help you choose the right provider. Get a quote now.

How to find landlord insurance

There are a number of ways you can find and buy landlord insurance, including:

  • Price comparison websites
  • Directly from insurance companies online or by phone
  • Through an insurance broker
  • Through a financial adviser

As with any financial product, you should always shop around and compare quotes, and if you’re unsure take independent advice before rushing in.

How to claim on your landlord insurance

If you need to make a claim, you should contact your insurer directly.

It’s important to do this as soon as possible, as waiting too long could result in the claim being rejected.

Once you’ve filed a claim, you’ll need to provide evidence of what, when and how the issue occurred and what it’ll cost to rectify it.

You should provide your insurer with any documents that could help them, including photos, estimates for repairs, invoices and any police report reference numbers if applicable.

How long it’ll take your insurer to investigate the claim and respond can vary, so check the conditions of your policy.

Landlord insurance policies: key terms

Insurance documents can be confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the terminology.

Below, we’ve explained some of the keywords and phrases you’ll need to get your head around when choosing a policy.

Perils

Insurance policies describe the things they cover as ‘perils’. The perils list should be one of the first things you consult when choosing an insurer, as coverage differs between providers.

Insurers will generally allow you to add on extra types of cover (at a cost), and some will allow you to build your own bespoke policy, though in the case of buildings insurance this would have to meet the standards set by your mortgage lender.

Sum insured

The ‘sum insured’ is the maximum amount an insurer will pay out for any single claim.

As a rule of thumb, the sum insured should be equal to the rebuild cost of your property.

Be sceptical of policies offering to cover huge sums, as there’s little point in having £1 million-worth of cover if the entire cost of rebuilding the home would be much less.

Insurers usually adopt an ‘automatic reimbursement’ process for the sum insured. This means that after you’ve made a claim the maximum sum insured will usually stay the same; however, your premium may cost more when you renew.

Rebuild cost

The rebuild cost of your property only covers the raw cost of material and labour to rebuild your home, so it may be lower than its market value.

If you want to work out your property’s rebuild cost, you can pay for a house survey or use an online calculator, such as the one provided by the Association of British Insurers.

Excess

When you make a claim on an insurance policy, you’ll usually need to pay something towards the cost. This is called the excess.

The level of excess has a big effect on how much the policy will cost you in the first place, so choosing the right amount is very much a balancing act.

For example, standard insurance policies may charge as much as £500 excess on plumbing claims or £1,000 excess on subsidence claims. You can negotiate this down, but you’ll need to pay more up-front for the cover.

Rent guarantee insurance will generally come with an excess of one month’s rent.

Exclusions

Insurance policies will always feature a list of things that they don’t cover. These are called exclusions.

Always take a close look at the exclusions list before choosing a policy.