Let property insurance explained

Posted: 16th Apr 2019

What is it and what does let property insurance cover? In fact, protecting your let property – and your income along with it – may be easier than you imagined.

Let property – or landlord or buy to let insurance, as you might also see it described – is designed to do just that: to safeguard the investment you have made in let property and to defend the income you are receiving from it.

Do I need landlord insurance?

Let property insurance may not be mandatory for landlords. As a tool though to help protect your business and your investment, it may be invaluable.

Do note that if you have a mortgage on your investment property, then typically it will be a condition of your mortgage agreement that you have adequate buildings insurance to protect both you and your lender’s financial interest in the property.

What does let property insurance cover?

Your property may be susceptible to damage from a variety of events known in insurance terms as risks or perils.

Landlords buildings insurance can provide financial protection from these perils which might typically include events such as:

  • storms and flooding;
  • fire and smoke damage;
  • lightning and earthquakes;
  • damage from subsidence (may be included as standard on some policies, such as ours, but not all providers offer this cover as standard).

The building and its contents

Your property and the contents you own are not just vulnerable to being damaged from the natural events above.

Accidents involving human intervention are also obviously very common and policies typically cover accidental damage as standard.

Hopefully, less common are tenants that maliciously cause damage. That can have a significant financial impact for any landlord.

You may find though that there are some let property insurance products (but by no means all), which do provide cover for this type of vandalism. We are pleased to say that we offer this cover as a standard part of our landlord insurance policies.

Compensation for loss of rental income

Any of these events could result in damage that renders your property uninhabitable until repairs have been carried out. Your tenants may have to move out and that could obviously result in a loss of rental income for you

There are some buy to let insurance policies, such as ours, which could compensate you for this loss but only if it was the result of an insured risk, and up to set limits.

So, for example, your tenants moving out and leaving rent arrears will typically not be covered.

Landlord liability insurance

Public liability insurance, typically provided as part of property insurance for buildings, may be another important financial shield for any landlord.

A slate may fall off the roof of your property and cause damage to a neighbour’s property or worse still, cause bodily injury. The injured person could decide to sue you for damages.

If a court decides in their favour, then public liability insurance (assuming you have it) can cover both the court award and any legal expenses arising.

Not all things are equal

By describing some of the common elements of cover provided by buy to let insurance, we may have given the impression that all policies are more or less the same and that all things are equal.

That is certainly not the case.

Different people, different properties, different cover

When margins are tight, you may be keen to keep costs down and trying to make some savings by buying cheap let property insurance may be something that you are very keen to achieve.

While this may be completely understandable, it may be prudent to bear in mind that there may be more to low cost landlord insurance than just premium price. So, while what you may have to pay out for your buy to let cover is obviously extremely important to you financially, the cover that your cheap let property insurance actually provides is likely to be just as important.

That is why it is important to remember that no two landlords may have exactly the same property or the same requirements when it comes to buy to let cover – what one landlord may consider to be cheap buy to let insurance cover may not be something that you may consider to be appropriate or cheap for your situation.

It may be that some forms of cover that you may not need, like landlords’ contents insurance, may be included or some other feature, like cover for subsidence damage, may be missing.

You need to compare let property insurance to identify those policies which include elements of cover as standard and those where you may need to pay for the inclusion of optional extras.

Some of the areas where you may find policies differ might include whether or not:

  • malicious damage by your tenants may be covered as standard (and up to what limits):
  • there are any provisions for compensating you for loss of rental income if your tenants have to vacate your property while you carry out repairs to insured risk damage;
  • damage caused by a tradesman locating and fixing an emergency maintenance problem is covered – this may be referred to as trace and access cover;
  • there are restrictions on the types of tenants you may be able to let to – some policies may decline to cover students for example.

You might want to bear in mind that if your property is standing empty, then any existing cheap let property insurance that it has may cease to be adequate cover should the period extend beyond 30-45 consecutive days (the period varies depending on your insurer, so if you are unsure, check your policy document).

In these circumstances and other circumstances, you may need to purchase unoccupied property insurance to maintain the continuity of your cover. We will of course be very happy to discuss which is the most appropriate and cost-effective landlord’s insurance for you, so don’t be shy, please get in touch!

Why choose landlord insurance from Cover4LetProperty?

By way of a little background before you get in touch, you might want to know this about Cover4LetProperty.

We offer online quotations from a range of leading let property insurance companies with whom we have arranged exclusive schemes that are only available to Cover4LetProperty customers.

In addition, we have ensured that our policies are all-encompassing and do not encumber you with expensive add-ons which you do not require.

For example, all our occupied let property insurance policies offer malicious damage cover for damage caused by your tenant – you would be surprised how many let property specialists do not include that level of cover.

Our landlord insurance quotations are displayed clearly and highlight to you the major benefits or exclusions for the quoted let property insurance company. You can view the policy summary and key facts documents and easily see the policy excess which is being offered.

Alternatively, you can always call us for a quote or if you have any questions on 01702 606301 – we’d be delighted to help!