What does landlord insurance cover?

Posted: 3rd Jun 2014

There is no one single answer to the question about what does landlord insurance cover.

A lot may depend on the type of landlord you are and the type of property that you have. As a general rule of thumb though, you may find that you may typically be looking for:

  • cover for the fabric of the building itself to protect you against the costs of damage from events such as fire and flooding, smoke, storms, earthquakes and the like (getting as accurate a value as possible for the sum insured tends to be important and you may wish to bear in mind that the sum you insure for should represent the total cost of the rebuild of your property from scratch rather than the amount of your mortgage outstanding or the actual cost of the property when you bought it);
  • third party or public liability cover – if someone is injured or their property damaged and they believe that you and your property are directly responsible, then if they sue you, without public liability cover you may be personally responsible to pay any court awards for damages;
  • contents cover may typically be found as an option on a typical buy to let policy and may only be relevant to you if your property is let on a furnished or partially furnished basis.

Within these broad categories of what does landlord insurance cover, different providers of landlord insurance may offer different levels of cover, so comparing some letting insurance quotes may typically be advisable to ensure that you find the most appropriate cover for you.

You may, for example, find that, unlike with let property insurance policies from ourselves:

  • not all policies may cover subsidence as standard or provide cover for malicious damage caused by your tenants;
  • some policies may not offer trace and access cover which means that if someone who is fixing another problem has to damage part of your property to gain access to effect the repairs, then this damage may not be covered by your buy to let buildings cover;
  • some policies may decline to offer cover for certain types of tenants like DSS for example or students and this may not suit you if you prefer to be able to make these choices for yourself;
  • when asking yourself what does landlord insurance cover, you may find that not all policies will offer you compensation for loss of rental income (up to certain limits) if your tenants have to move out of your property while you carry out repairs to damage caused by an insured risk.

A final point to bear in mind when considering what does landlord insurance cover is that it may not cover your property if it is empty for periods in excess of 30-45 consecutive days and you may need to switch to unoccupied property insurance cover in these circumstances.