You don’t necessarily have to be a perfectionist to want the best of something. When it comes to the best landlord’s insurance, you may just want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have done all you can to protect your asset.
The “best” though, can mean different things to different people. Landlords may have different views on which aspects of let property insurance cover are important to them and which aren’t.
So, in answer to the title, what is the best insurance for one landlord may not be best for you. The best policy for you depends on a number of issues and may be different from what constitutes the best policy for another landlord. No two landlords necessarily have the same attitude to risk and property management nor the same attitude towards what represents good value for money. For one landlord, a low cost, budget policy that gives basic cover at a cheaper price may be the “best” for him. While for another landlord, an all-singing-all-dancing policy that offers lots of benefits at a realistic price may be “best” for him.
That is why shopping around for the most suitable landlords’ insurance may be a preferable approach to just picking a policy out because it had the lowest price tag.
Here are some tips on what you need to know when looking for the most suitable let property insurance for you.
Building and contents insurance
Making sure that you have appropriate cover for your building and its contents is understandably important.
Although policies we arrange here at Cover4LetProperty offer a wide range of features and benefits as standard, not all policies do so – make sure to look out for cover such as whether trace and access cover is included. So if, for example, your plumber has to rip up some floorboards to find a leaking pipe, are these repairs covered?
- if your property is damaged by an insured event and your tenants have to move out while work is completed, does your landlord’s insurance provide loss of rent cover;
- whether the policy provide cover for all types of tenant or are some, like students, benefits claimants, or the unemployed. excluded;
- is subsidence cover is included;
- is the risk of malicious damage caused by your tenants or their visitors also included and, if so, is there a policy claim limit; and
- that are you happy with the level of public liability cover provided by the policy.
The need for unoccupied property insurance
It is not just about your building, its contents, and landlord liability indemnity cover, however.
If your property is unoccupied then you may have to take special steps, in the form of unoccupied property insurance, to ensure that you have the most suitable landlord building insurance protecting you.
Unoccupied property insurance may be one of those things that you think you may never need. However, it may be easier than you think for your property to come into the “unoccupied” category and this applies equally to owner-occupier and buy to let properties.
In insurance terms, that may happen if your property stands empty for a period of typically 30-45 consecutive days or more for reasons such as:
- refurbishment work may overrun through no fault of your own and in circumstances which are beyond your control;
- you might encounter difficulties in finding new tenants, with the result that there is an extended gap or “void” between lettings;
- probate or divorce proceedings;
- you may have the opportunity to add a few weeks onto your annual leave and take an extended holiday; or
- a business trip overseas may be extended, or travel plans might be significantly delayed.
You may need unoccupied property insurance cover because, when your property is empty, it is more vulnerable to different types of risk such as:
- a minor problem going unnoticed and being allowed to get worse over time thereby causing more damage; and
- unlit windows and uncared-for gardens that might be a giveaway for thieves and vandals who take the opportunity to carry out their work unobserved.
Unoccupied property insurance may incorporate terms and conditions, which may require you to take specific actions to try and help keep your property that bit safer when it is unoccupied. Typical measures, for example, might include:
- visiting the property regularly to carry out ongoing maintenance;
- keeping a log of visits and work carried out;
- making sure heating and water systems are drained down and/or minimum temperature requirements are met (during the Winter months);
- making sure that the garden is kept tidy.
In any situation where your property stands empty for more than 30-45 consecutive days and you do not have unoccupied property insurance, then even the best landlords insurance (or owner-occupier policy) may not provide cover for events after the 30-45 day limit and any claims may be rejected.
Information needed when you get a landlords insurance quote
Getting those landlord insurance quotes to fit your exact set of requirements can typically be easy and straight forward. With our service, for example, you can use our online landlords’ insurance quote engine or get in touch via email or on the telephone. We will be more than happy to help you find appropriate cover.
It is important you have to hand the following information to enable your insurer to provide a quote:
Finding out about you
- in order to arrange the most suitable landlord insurance policy, any insurer needs to confirm your identity and take details such as your name, date of birth, address, and electronic contact details;
Finding out about your property
- next, so as to give you an accurate quote, insurers typically need to build up a picture of the property you let;
- those details are likely to include the full postal address of the property to be insured;
- details of its method of construction (whether it is standard or non-standard);
- information about the present condition of the property and whether it has been well maintained; and
- whether the property is in an area that has suffered from flooding problems;
Value of cover needed
- depending on the cover you are looking for, you may need to name figures for the buildings and contents elements of the policy;
- the figure for buildings may relate to total rebuilding costs, including site clearance and professional fees. If you have recently had a survey done of the property – for a mortgage valuation for example – you may find that rebuilding figure is quoted there;
- to accurately and comprehensively value the contents, you need to make a list of the things that you have inside the property that you are responsible for in your capacity as a landlord – in other words, you need to conduct a detailed inventory;
- while making your inventory, also calculate the costs of redecoration and furnishings – this will enable you to make an informed decision as to how much landlords contents insurance you may need;
- don’t forget to refer to any inventories that might have been prepared already – for further clarification as to what you need to get insured.
Who will be living in your let property?
This question is not just the insurer being nosy. Instead, it gives them an idea of the kind of tenant base your property attracts, and how risky a group of people they are.
The level of consideration given by any insurer to this aspect of cover may vary, but you may find that some insurers prefer to insure properties that are to be let to a certain type of tenant (for example, employed, professional or retired tenants only).
At Cover4LetProperty, however, the good news is that we have no restrictions on the type of tenants you let to. For an inside view on insurers’ attitudes towards different types of tenant, you might want to watch your video: Why are tenant types important to insurance companies.
Getting the best landlords insurance cover
To be certain of getting the best landlords insurance cover it is also worth your while spending a short time reading through the terms and conditions of any policy to ensure that you completely understand what is and is not covered.
If you are looking for the best landlords insurance, using a specialist website such as ours – backed up by telephone help, advice and support – may typically allow you to access specialist cover at a competitive price that matches your particular needs and circumstances as a landlord.