Learn how landlord insurance coverage works as well as which companies offer the greatest coverage based on the policies they offer and reviews left by previous customers.

What exactly is included in landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance is comparable to homeowner’s insurance, but it is developed particularly for the purpose of protecting rental properties.

Buildings insurance, possessions insurance, and liability insurance are the three primary varieties of landlord insurance.

In addition to this, there are a variety of add-ons that, depending on the kind of property you’re renting out, you could find to be handy.

When purchasing insurance, you will typically do so on a property-by-property basis. Landlords who own four or more rental properties and wish to insure all of their properties at the same time might purchase what are known as portfolio policies.

Different categories of insurance for landlords
Insurance for structures

The expense of repairing or reconstructing your home, in the event that it has been rendered uninhabitable due to damage that cannot be repaired, is something that is covered by buildings insurance.

In most cases, you won’t be able to get a buy-to-let mortgage without first providing evidence that you have buildings insurance, and the terms and conditions of the vast majority of lenders will outline the minimum amount of coverage that is required.

If the home is a flat located within a larger building, the buildings insurance will typically be included as part of a shared block policy. If this is the case, you will be responsible for paying for it as part of the monthly service charge.

Standard insurance coverage for buildings often provide protection against the following categories of damage:

Theft, vandalism, and damage caused on purpose
Damage caused by lightning, storms, and earthquakes (may be limited to the building itself rather than fences etc)
Subsidence
Burst pipes
Fire or smoke
Accidents can cause oil or water to splash, causing damage.

When it comes to damage that starts within individual apartments, such as a fire or a water leak, there may be coverage gaps in the building that you are renting. For this reason, it is very important to check exactly what is covered under the policy, and you should also consider purchasing your own landlord coverage to cover any exemptions that may be listed in the policy.

Contents insurance

In most cases, you have the option of purchasing contents insurance as either a stand-alone policy or as an additional rider to your buildings insurance. Whether you choose to rent out an unfurnished or a furnished property will determine the quantity of contents insurance coverage that is required of you.

A contents insurance policy will pay to repair or replace fixtures and fittings including carpets, furniture, and electrical devices if, for example, they are damaged in a flood. Some policies can be extended to cover accidental damage to objects, which is not covered by standard policies.

The only things that are covered by landlord contents insurance are the things that the landlord has provided in the rental property. Because nothing that belongs to your tenants, not even their everyday possessions or their furniture, will be protected by your insurance, the tenants should get their own policy as well.

Insurance for legal responsibility

If an injury occurs on your property, either to one of your tenants or to a guest, liability insurance will cover the costs associated with it.

This insurance, which shields you financially in the event of unanticipated accidents and is also known as public liability protection, protects you financially but should not be used as an excuse for not making the property as secure as it possibly can be for your tenants.

It is common for liability insurance policies to have coverage limits that are exceptionally large and can reach millions of pounds. These high coverage limits may be necessary in the event that you are found legally responsible for an accident and need to pay compensation.

Insurance against nonpayment of rent

Rent guarantee insurance, also known as tenant default insurance or rent receivable insurance, protects you in the event that your tenant falls behind on rent payments and, in some cases, during any void periods in which the property is unoccupied. Other names for this type of insurance include rent default insurance and rent receivable insurance.

Rent guarantee insurance typically includes legal expenses cover, which pays for the costs of repossession and eviction proceedings in the event that they are necessary. This is in addition to covering the lost income that results from late rent payments.

Check your contract with your management agency (if applicable) and see if you are already protected. Landlords who rely on rental income to fund their mortgage payments may find this insurance to be beneficial, but before purchasing it, they should be sure they are not already insured.

Protection for emergencies at home

Having home emergency cover provides you with protection against the loss of critical services in your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

These policies should help you to get services back up and running fast while also covering the costs of any necessary repairs.

In most cases, protection against the following emergencies is provided by home emergency cover:

Problems with the plumbing and the heating system (the boiler cover may require an additional payment from you)
Issues with the roofing
Problems with both the doors and the windows
Issues with the drains, pipes, and sewers
Infestations
Electricity problems
Lost keys

However, previous study conducted by Which? indicated that home emergency cover isn’t always worth buying due to the number of exclusions contained inside many policies. Before purchasing a policy, make sure you read the fine print and understand what is and isn’t covered by the policy.

Best landlord insurance providers

We analysed the plans that are available from major providers such as Aviva, Axa, and Direct Line, and we surveyed almost 500 landlords to gather real-life customer experiences. Because finding the right landlord insurance policy can be difficult, we analysed the plans that are offered by major providers.

In the tables that follow, you will discover the results, which include both the overall policy scores and the customer scores obtained from Which?

Ratings for different types of landlord insurance policies

In July and August of 2021, we evaluated 99 various features of landlord insurance plans in order to obtain the following policy rankings. These evaluations included the policies’ coverage of issues such as subsidence and malicious damage.

Why did we bother to analyse all of Alan Boswell’s different policies?

Customers of the Alan Boswell Group, which is an independent insurance brokerage firm, are the ones who have purchased the plans that are known as Alan Boswell policies.

The amount of coverage can change depending on the organisation that is responsible for underwriting the insurance (shown in brackets in the table above).

When purchasing an insurance plan, consumers have the option of selecting which of several third parties they want to act as the policy’s underwriter.

Feedback from customers regarding landlord insurance

In order to arrive at our customer satisfaction scores, we questioned 496 landlords about the level of contentment they felt with the service they received from their insurance provider.

The total customer scores provided below by Which? are derived from a combination of the landlord’s level of contentment and the likelihood of the landlord recommending the service provider in the foreseeable future.

How much does it cost to get insurance for a landlord?

The total cost of your landlord insurance policy will be determined by a wide variety of aspects, such as the number of claims you’ve filed in the past as well as the age and condition of the building being insured.

Other relevant factors are as follows:

The location as well as the kind of property
The total number of occupants
Cost to reconstruct a piece of property
The extent of the contents that are covered by the policy
The degree of extravagance that you select.

Some insurance companies can give you a discount on your premiums if you are a member of a landlord accreditation scheme.

Confused.com, which is a partner of ours, will help you find the best provider by comparing quotes from over 50 different insurers.

Obtain a quote right away.

Where to look for insurance for landlords

You can discover and purchase landlord insurance through a variety of channels, including the following:

Internet sites that compare prices
Immediately from insurance companies, either online or over the phone.
By using the services of an insurance broker
By using the services of a financial adviser

Before making a hasty decision on any financial product, you should always shop around and compare several prices, and if you are unsure of anything, you should seek the assistance of a third party.

How to file a claim with your property owner’s insurance

In the event that you need to make a claim, you must get in touch with your insurer directly.

It is essential to have this done as quickly as possible, as delaying the process for an extended period of time may result in the claim being denied.

After you have submitted a claim, you will be required to provide documentation of the problem, when it occurred, how it occurred, and how much it will cost to fix the problem.

You need to make sure that your insurance company has access to any documentation that would be of use to them, such as photographs, estimates of the costs of repairs, invoices, and any police report reference numbers, if applicable.

It is important to review the terms of your insurance because the amount of time it may take for your insurer to evaluate the claim and provide a response can vary.

Policies for landlords’ insurance: definitions of important terms

Documents pertaining to insurance can be puzzling, particularly if you are not familiar with the language used in the industry.

When it comes to selecting a plan, these are some of the terms and concepts that you need to have a firm grasp on in order to make an informed decision.

Perils

The items that are covered by insurance are referred to as “perils” in the policies. When shopping for insurance, one of the first things you should do is review the hazards list, because the protection offered by different companies might vary greatly.

In general, insurers will let you add on additional forms of coverage (for a fee), and some will let you construct your own bespoke policy. However, in the case of buildings insurance, this would need to match the standards set by your mortgage lender.

Quantity insured

The greatest amount that an insurance company will pay out in settlement of a single claim is referred to as the “sum insured.”

As a general rule of thumb, the amount of your property that is insured ought to be equivalent to its cost to rebuild.

Be wary of insurance policies that claim to cover enormous quantities, as there is little purpose in having cover worth one million dollars if the total cost of restoring the property will be much less.

The practise of “automatic reimbursement” for the amount insured is typically utilised by insurance companies. This indicates that once you have filed a claim, the maximum sum insured will typically remain same; nevertheless, your premium may cost more when it comes time to renew your policy.

Price of rebuilding

It is possible that the cost to rebuild your home is less than its current market worth because it just accounts for the cost of the raw materials and labour required to reconstruct your home.

If you want to determine how much it would cost to rebuild your home, you have two options: either pay for a house survey or use an online calculator like the one that is offered by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Excess

When you make a claim on an insurance policy, you will typically be required to make some sort of payment toward the total cost of the repair or replacement. This is referred to as the surplus.

Because the amount of the policy’s deductible plays such a significant role in determining the overall cost of the plan, determining the appropriate level of the excess is a delicate balancing act.

For instance, the deductible on a normal homeowner’s insurance policy for plumbing damage may be as high as £500, while the deductible for subsidence damage could be as high as £1,000. You have the ability to negotiate a lower price for this, but the first payment for the cover will be more.

In most cases, an additional premium equal to one month’s rent will be required to purchase renter’s insurance.

Exclusions

There will always be a list of things that an insurance policy does not cover included in the document. Exclusions are another name for these.

Before settling on an insurance, one should always give the exclusions list careful consideration.