Why compare landlords’ insurance?

Posted: 22nd Dec 2018

As a landlord, you may be keen to protect the investment you have made in your buy to let property. One way of helping you to do this may be to compare landlords’ insurance to find the most appropriate product for your property.

There’s nothing wrong with being cost conscious and trying to watch the pennies when you are looking at options for landlords’ insurance.

You may wish to keep in mind, though, that the policies on offer from the numerous providers of such cover may all be different. Some of these differences may be important and relevant to you.

That means that it is not really possible to just look at the prices of different policies and assume that they all offer the same levels of cover for the same cost.

Here are some of the reasons for comparing landlords’ insurance and the factors you might want to take into account.

The most appropriate insurance for the job

When buying any insurance, you want the most appropriate cover for the job – and that means comparing landlord insurance with the many other types you will find on offer:

  • from standard home insurance, to commercial property insurance, from UK holiday let insurance to unoccupied property insurance, there is a bewildering array of different types to choose from – and landlord insurance (or buy to let insurance as it is also known) simply adds to that long list;
  • so, the very first comparison you need to make when choosing cover for your let property is that it is, indeed, landlord insurance and not some other type – choose the wrong type, and you may find the insurer within its rights to reject any claim you might later need to make.

Making a judgement based on price alone may not give you the protection you need.

Appropriate landlord insurance cover

If you are looking around for landlord insurance in particular, you may wish to ensure that the product you select is fit for your purpose, as well as being a suitable option as far as the premium and your budget are concerned.

Different landlords with different properties may all have their own set of requirements when it comes to their buy to let insurance cover.

This means that there are a number of different types of policy with different levels of cover available all at a variety of different price levels. To be sure of getting the most appropriate for you, you need to carry out a landlord insurance comparison.

Some of the features and options in addition to price that you may need to look out for may include some or all of the following.

Inclusions and exclusions

Of course, it is important to compare like with like when carrying out any comparison of landlord insurance. Reading through the terms and conditions, when you compare landlord’s insurance, may typically be a sensible step. When doing so, make sure to examine closely what is included and what is excluded.

Exclusions tell you what risks are not covered, of course, but there is a related consideration, often known as “warranties”, which may make one policy considerably less comprehensive than another.

An example might be the level of security needed to protect against theft loss or damage – if the warranted measures are not taken, the insurer may refuse to pay any associated claim.

You are also likely to encounter terms and conditions relating to unoccupied or empty property insurance. This may be required if your property is to stand empty for a period of 30 consecutive days or more. There may be various reasons for this, including building or refurbishment work, delays in tenants moving in, etc.

Malicious damage by tenants

However careful your tenancy selection and referencing safeguards, there remains a risk that rogue tenants cause malicious damage to your let property.

By no means all buy to let insurance policies provide cover against such risks, so when you compare landlord insurance quotes, it may be important to settle for one that does – since the cost of repairing any damage done might easily exceed the amount of any deposit you have taken (but do note that even with this cover, there may be upper limits to how much the policy may pay out).

Categories of Tenant

When you let your property out, you may have a particular target market in mind in terms of the type of tenants that you hope to attract to it. Some types of accommodation may offer more flexibility in this respect than others and you may, therefore, need insurance protection that does not limit the types of tenant.

Not all policies may offer cover for all types of tenant – with some specifically excluding certain categories like students, DSS recipients or immigrants.

Our policies offer you complete freedom in this respect and a policy which provides cover for all categories of tenant avoids your having to check your policy each time you re-let your property.

Landlords’ liability insurance

Compare landlord insurance policies to establish that landlord’s liability insurance is included and to what level – different policies have different limits.

The cover provides essential indemnity against claims made against you – as the landlord or property owner – by your tenants, their visitors, your neighbours or even members of the public who have suffered an injury or had their property damaged through some incident involving your let property.

Many incidents are likely to involve slight injury only, but the possibility of serious injury or even death raises the prospect of very substantial claims for compensation.

For that reason, a minimum of at least £1 million indemnity is typically provided, but you might want to compare landlord insurance policies more carefully if the assessed risks are greater.

Loss of rental income

Most landlord insurance policies can include some degree of compensation in the event of an insured incident causing such damage that the premises are no longer habitable until repairs or reinstatement has been made.

If you were to find yourself in the situation of having your tenants move out of your property while repairs were being carried out, then you would suffer from a loss of their rental income – something which might leave you seriously out of pocket.

In the event of such damage following an insured event, our policies can provide compensation for your loss of rental income – subject to prescribed maximum limits of course.

Subsidence

Cover against the risk of subsidence is an issue with many property insurance policies – including the building element of your landlord insurance – since some policies include protection as standard, but by no means all do so.

Compare the landlord insurance policies arranged by us here at Cover4LetProperty and be reassured that all them include cover against subsidence as standard.

Trace and access cover

if you have ever been in the position of calling in a tradesman to fix something only to be left facing the additional costs of having to make good damage that your tradesman had to cause to locate and fix the original problem, then you may want to look out for a let property insurance policy offering trace and access cover.

Trace and access cover may help ensure that you do not end up having to pick up the costs for these additional repairs yourself.

This feature – which is available from us as a standard part of tour landlord insurance cover – offers you financial protection against having to pay for these additional costs (up to set limits).

Excesses

When you compare landlord’s insurance you may also see that some policies offer more attractive premiums if you agree to accept a higher excess on your policy.

Discounts of up to 40% may be available, with ourselves, for example.

Claims

You might also want to compare policies in the event of the worst happening and your needing to make a claim – does the insurer handle the claim directly or is it outsourced to a third-party claims handling service, for example?

You might want to do a little more research in establishing just how effective the claims handling service is – what do other customers have to say about it for instance.

The claims process is rarely a straight forward process and more complicated claims may soon get bogged down in interminable delay and correspondence, so the kind of help we provide here at Cover4LetProperty in making your claim might prove invaluable.

Comparisons the easy way

Finally, it is worth reiterating that in such a very crowded market, with so many different types of insurance, a variety of policies and competitive pricing from one insurer to another, it is often difficult to make accurate or meaningful comparisons.

That’s why we are happy to do all the hard work for you. Here at Cover4LetProperty, we make the comparisons for you, based only on those types of cover you actually need and with an eye on competitive pricing – online or over the telephone.

There are many features you might want to take into account when comparing landlord insurance policies – so it is probably worth getting all the help you can in completing that exercise.