What does buildings and contents insurance for landlords involve?

Posted: 6th Jun 2016

Becoming a landlord is exciting and may hopefully turn out to be lucrative. But there may be certain things that you may not have considered before. One of these may be buildings and contents insurance for landlords.

Why may it be so important?

Buildings?

The structure of your buy to let property may be at risk from:

  • flood;
  • fire;
  • earthquake;
  • storm damage etc

Most landlord insurance policies may typically cover all or some of the above risks as standard. We are unusual as unlike some insurers, we also cover malicious damage as part of a let property policy.

Addtional cover options are available in the form of cover for loss of rent caused by an insured event. This means that in addition to the cost of repairs themselves, our buildings and contents insurance for landlords will usually also cover loss of rental income (up to set limits) if the building is uninhabitable whilst the repairs are taking place.

Contents

Even if you have technically let the property on an unfurnished basis, when you put your mind to it you may be surprised at how much stuff of yours may be in the property. For instance, any student let may include:

  • a bed;
  • a desk;
  • an easy chair in each room; and;
  • white goods.

These items may not have cost a lot, but you may not wish to replace them with your own money if they were destroyed by an insured risk. Accordingly, the “contents” element of buildings and contents insurance for landlords may apply to you more than you may think.

Unoccupied properties

If the property becomes unoccupied (by which insurers may typically mean that the property remains empty for 30- 45 consecutive days or more), then insurers typically require you to notify them of this fact.

Failure to notify the insurer of a property becoming unoccupied in that period may result in an insurer refusing to pay a claim in the event of a fire, storm or other peril that may otherwise have been covered.

In circumstances where a property is going to be empty, specialist vacant property insurance policies are available (not just for landlords, but for anyone whose property stands empty for 30 days or more. These might be people who are having an extended holiday or working away from home for a period of time for example).

For further information, read our Guide To Unoccupied Property here or watch our short video at the foot of this page.

The detail

As with all financial products, there may be some paperwork to review. Issues you may wish to pay close attention to may include:

  • what the excess is (this is the first part of any successful claim that you are financially liable for);
  • whether there are any exclusions or limitations; and
  • what your obligations are under the buildings and contents insurance for landlords in order to keep the cover valid (eg. to notify the insurer if the property should become vacant; to keep it in a good state of repair; to meet certain property security requirements and so on).

Further reading: The Big FAQs Guide for Landlords