If you own buy to let property, landlord insurance is more or less bound to be a concern. You will want the cover to provide the protection and safeguards you need but at a competitive price.
So, let’s take a brief look at the typical profile of landlord’s insurance, how to home in on cheap landlord insurance quotes, and while we’re at it, also consider some of the other common issues landlords invariably find themselves thinking about.
Typical landlords insurance
At the core of the typical landlord insurance package is cover for three broad elements:
- cover for the building;
- cover for your contents; and,
- landlord liability indemnity insurance.
For anyone running a business, taking care of the tools of your trade may be your number one priority. If you lose these or they are damaged, you may not be able to work and if you cannot work, you cannot earn income.
In much the same way, the building that you rent out is how you earn your income. If it cannot be rented out because it has been damaged, for example, then until you can make repairs your income stream may stop. If your property has been damaged by an insured event, landlord insurance will typically step in to help cover the associated costs.
Landlord buildings cover
- buildings cover, as part of your landlord insurance, can provide financial backup that can help keep any interruption to your income generation as short as possible;
- your buy to let property can suffer damage from a number of events that may typically be covered by buildings insurance – including damage from fire, flooding, storms, lightning, and earthquakes, for example;
- some but not all, buildings insurance policies may also cover subsidence as standard – you’ll be pleased to know that we provide subsidence cover as standard with our let property insurance;
- it is important that the level of cover for any buildings insurance is high enough to provide for the complete rebuild of your buy to let property (plus costs relating to clearing the site, surveyor’s fees etc.) if the damage is such that this is required;
- the extent to which you may need contents cover as part of your landlord insurance will depend upon whether you rent your property as furnished or unfurnished – if your property is unfurnished then your fixtures and fittings will typically be covered under buildings insurance;
- if your rental property is furnished or part furnished you may opt for contents cover. How much cover you need will depend on the nature and value of the contents;
- you typically have two options – new for old replacement or market value replacement – with the former more expensive than market value replacement for obvious reasons;
Landlord liability indemnity insurance
- as the landlord, you are responsible if anyone is injured or has their property damaged, through some connection with your premises;
- if you are found to be negligent in some way then the awards for damages against you could be substantial and landlord liability indemnity insurance protects you against those potential losses (subject to policy limits, terms and conditions);
Compensation for loss of rental income
- if an insured event leaves your let premises temporarily uninhabitable pending repairs and reinstatement, you stand to lose valuable rental income;
- landlord insurance may incorporate an element of compensation for that loss of rental income.
Cheap landlord insurance quotes
It is important when choosing your landlords insurance not to underestimate the value of your investment and belongings. Not having enough landlord insurance might prove an expensive mistake. If something does go wrong, you may be left in the lurch.
Tempting as it may be – especially at renewal time – to concentrate exclusively on what seem to be cheap landlord insurance quotes, be careful to ensure that they still provide you with the cover that you may expect or need.
So, what may be cheap insurance for one of your contemporaries may not be cheap buy to let insurance for you.
One of the problems with landlord cover that proclaims itself to be cheap is that the price you see may bear little or no resemblance to your final quote. This difference may be due in part to you having to add on features of cover not typically included as standard in cheap landlord insurance quotes.
With other quotes though, you may find that there are a lot of features already included in the price as standard. These may include things such as:
- subsidence, we have mentioned already, and may be included in some landlord insurance policies – such as the ones we have arranged – but not with others;
- similarly, not all policies incorporate compensation for loss of rental income – or, if they do, you might consider it to provide an inadequate level of cover;
- restrictions on the type of tenants you can rent to – some policies may exclude certain categories of tenant, like students or DSS, from their landlord cover;
- cover for malicious damage by tenants may tend not to appear in all landlord insurance quotes but it is available;
- the repair of damage caused by tradesmen trying to locate the source of a problem may not always be included in some buy to let house insurance. The cover is known as ‘trace and access cover’ and may be applicable in cases, for example, where there is a leak behind a wall. Having your leak repaired but being left with a hole in the wall to deal with may not be your idea of appropriate insurance cover.
You will be pleased to know that when you get a buy to let insurance quote from us, the price will typically include all these products and features as standard, so you know exactly where you stand in terms of pricing.
While so-called cheap landlord insurance quotes are all well and good, you need to know what you’re looking for. Using our online quote and buy service, or by giving us a call, may help you find buy to let insurance that fits your budget and your expectations.
More things for a landlord to think about
Being a landlord involves a bit more than just finding a tenant, collecting the rent, and ensuring that you have adequate landlord insurance.
There are now legal obligations and responsibilities for both landlords and tenants and you, as a landlord, may need to know about these – and, more importantly, comply with them.
Your relationship with your tenants
A formal tenancy agreement may not be obligatory in all types of lettings (and also depending on where the property is situated in the UK), but you may find that even if there is no legal requirement for you to enter into such an agreement with your tenants, it may be in everyone’s best interests.
An agreement can formalise things such as:
- the length of the tenancy and its start and end dates;
- the rent to be paid, the dates on which it is due and how it is paid;
- the deposit and how it is protected – the law is clear on the protection you must provide for deposits received from your tenants; and
- who is responsible for bills such as utilities, council tax and such like.
This may mean that in the event of a dispute there will be no uncertainties of the type that may arise if you have entered into some kind of verbal, informal or implied agreement with your tenants.
Read our Guide to tenancies for more information.
Your property and its safety
Most properties, even those which are not furnished, may typically be let with appliances such as gas boilers, water heaters, cooker, and so on. As a landlord, you have a legal obligation to ensure that these are serviced once a year and at the beginning of each rental. Safety certificates – for both gas and electricity – are now required and these have to be issued by a qualified and certified professional.
If your property is let on a furnished basis then the fabrics used for your soft furnishings must all conform to fire safety regulations.
For more free information, tips and guides, please browse the rest of our website. Or, if you have a question relating to your landlord insurance, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01702 606301.