Thinking about buy to let landlords’ insurance
Buy to let landlords’ insurance can be an essential part of any landlords’ toolkit.
The facts for a landlord are typically:
- your property is your business and generates income for you;
- it was probably expensive;
- if it’s out-of-action, then your income will be zero.
Landlords’ insurance comes in various forms and different insurance providers will offer differing terms and conditions.
Typically, if you’re looking for buy to let insurance, you’ll need to ensure that your property is fully covered against:
- buildings – related risks such as subsidence and heave etc;
- natural disasters risks – including storms and floods etc;
- contents and fixtures – whether occurring as a result of the above or due to burglary etc;
There are a few things also worth keeping in mind about typical buy to let landlords’ insurance:
- it may not cover your property if it’s empty – that may be defined as standing unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days;
- unoccupied property insurance (also known as empty property insurance) is available as a separate option;
- it typically will not include employers’ liability insurance cover – that may in some circumstances be a legal requirement if you employ staff directly (such as cleaners).
In terms of employees, it’s a good idea to note that employers’ liability may even apply under law if you have people (including friends and family) doing odd jobs for you on a voluntary basis.
One of the most important facts to appreciate about landlords’ insurance is that you typically can’t use owner-occupier home buildings and contents policies to protect you.
If you wish to be confident that your financial interests are protected, it’s important to declare openly when you’re applying for property insurance that the use is buy-to-let or rental etc. It’s equally important to inform your insurance company if you change the use of your property from owner-occupied to rental (in full or even part).
Failing to get this right may result in a future claim being rejected and typically insurance companies do have methods of checking the actual occupancy status of a property in the event of a claim being made.
Buy to let landlords’ insurance could make your life a lot easier in the event of a crisis so making sure you have suitable cover in place is sensible.