Getting the most cost-effective and appropriate landlord insurance cover for your business is key. Buy a policy that doesn’t offer all the protection your investment needs, and in the event of a claim, you could find yourself suffering severe financial loss. Similarly, buying a low-cost landlord insurance policy because it is cheap, rather than offers you the protection required, can be a very costly mistake.
Here we share some tips on looking for landlord business insurance. The first tip is probably the most important.
Buy to let home insurance policies are not all clones of each other
As the title above indicates, one landlord’s insurance policy may differ significantly from another.
What that means is that a policy that is particularly suited to someone else, may not be the most suitable option for you. It really will be necessary to think closely about what cover is important to you and then compare landlord insurance cover against that being offered by another let property insurance policy.
It is extremely difficult to be precise about either what a policy may contain or your requirements but a few things, in particular, might be worth thinking about:
- loss of rental income – if your property is not rentable due to an insured event, some policies may compensate you for a loss of rental income up to a specified level. This is known as loss of rent cover;
- subsidence – unlike the position in previous decades, this cover is now no longer universally found as standard on some policies;
- malicious tenants – if you are unfortunate enough to have tenants that deliberately damage your property, some policies may cover this;
- not all let property insurance providers will necessarily provide cover irrespective of the type of tenant in your property – some policies may specifically exclude students or DSS housing benefit recipients (etc);
- you may find that trace and access cover is not necessarily commonplace on landlord’s insurance policies – but it is a type of cover that may be extremely useful if a tradesperson has to start demolishing areas of your house in order to find a fault;
- think about the level of service that you will receive. After all, there is little point in going for landlords cover if the people on the other end of the phone may hinder rather than help your claim.
- following on from the point above, if you want to buy landlords insurance online, does the website you are using have a telephone number where you can contact someone if you have a query or need help? Or do they hide behind just an email address with no other way to contact them?
- tempting as it may be to choose a buy to let insurance policy on cost alone, you may wish to look in more detail to find out exactly what you would be getting for your money so you can make sure you have adequate protection;
- compare the risks that are covered. Insurers may typically offer a “menu” of what perils are included in the cover and these may vary slightly among the different providers. For example, we offer malicious damage cover as standard where some other providers do not;
- how much is the sum insured for landlords liability insurance?
- do you require buildings insurance cover only or buildings insurance and contents cover;
- what are the optional extras and do you need them? For example, you may require landlord contents insurance or accidental damage business insurance.
Are you getting value for money?
Different policies offer different features and benefits, so when comparing your existing cover with other policies, you need to compare more than just the price. For example at Cover4LetProperty, all our policies offer, as standard:
- subsidence cover;
- malicious damage caused by a tenant;
- plus many other features that some other companies may charge for.
So when you do look at costs, also review the elements of cover you are getting too, so you can compare landlord policies on a like-for-like basis. That way you can feel you are getting the most appropriate protection at the most competitive price.
Look at the policy exclusions
Check out the policy for exclusions and limitations. What exclusions or limitations might there be?
An important exclusion to be aware of is the importance of your property becoming unoccupied. By “unoccupied”, insurers may typically mean that no one has lived in the property for 30-45 consecutive days. To an insurer, an unoccupied property is a risky property (at greater risk of vandalism, fire and other perils, etc). So, an insurer may void the landlord’s insurance policy if your property is empty for this long and you would need to ensure you have te appropriate cover with unoccupied property insurance. (Read Our guide to unoccupied property here).
Don’t automatically renew your let property insurance cover without checking your cover requirements
If renewal time has come around again, or you simply wish to review your current landlords insurance policy to make sure you have the most cost-effective cover, then check whether your circumstances have changed since you purchased your last policy:
- has your tenant type changed (not all insurance providers will cover students or asylum seekers for example)?
- have you carried out extensive renovations which means you need to adjust your sum insured?
- it may be your insurance covers both landlords buildings and contents, yet you are letting the property as unfurnished and so do not need contents insurance anymore?
- has your property been standing unoccupied for more than 30-45 consecutive days? If so, your current let property insurance may typically be invalid and you will need empty property cover. (We can help with this)
Why use a landlord insurance broker to find the most appropriate policy?
We appreciate that looking for landlord insurance cover can be time-consuming and not exactly fun! It might seem like hard work trawling through landlord business insurance quote after quote. However, that doesn’t need to be the case! Using our service you can access a choice of landlord insurance quotes, just by completing one form.
Or, if you prefer, you can give our friendly and experienced staff a call and they can help you find some suitable buildings insurance.
We are not an insurance company but an insurance broker, meaning we can trawl through a number of different policy options quickly and easily to find the one that is the most cost-effective and appropriate for you.
Here is a quick summary that might help clarify the difference between direct insurers and insurance brokers:
- insurance providers, sometimes called insurance companies, typically write policies and deal with any future claims that might arise against them;
- they are understandably keen to sell their products to the purchasing public;
- there is nothing wrong with purchasing cover directly from an insurance company providing that you can be sure that you are getting good, suitable cover and at a cost-effective price;
- the problem is, it might be very difficult to establish that unless you go to a significant number of insurance companies and obtain quotes from each of them. Once you have done so, you then need to sit down and painstakingly compare those multiple quotes against each other in a number of different dimensions and not just that of price;
- however enthusiastically you approach such a task, it is likely to be time-consuming and for many landlords, very possibly rather tedious;
- on the other hand, an insurance broker typically has contact with many different insurance providers and knows their portfolios well. Once they see your exact requirements and situation, they may be able to very quickly match it against a selection of policies that they know will be suitable and cost-effective;
- this might save you substantial amounts of time, a lot of frustration and also perhaps make available to you options and tariffs that you might not have seen yourself;
- the reason that they may have access to special tariffs is simply that some insurance companies produce products that are specifically designed to be offered exclusively through brokers;
- perhaps even more attractive is the fact that finding the best landlords insurance broker might not be difficult – many of them operate online;
- if you do select a specialist in landlords insurance, you should also be able to have confidence that they understand not only insurance policies but also much of the specific nature of the landlord business.
We hope these pointers have given you some good tactics to employ when reviewing your insurance. Don’t forget that at Cover4LetProperty, we will only be too pleased to help if you have any questions relating to existing or new cover.