If you are one of the two and a half million landlords in the UK, do you know everything you need to know about landlord insurance? Have you got the right coverage? And do you know how much landlord insurance is?
What type of insurance do I need as a landlord?
Landlord insurance is not a legal requirement, but it is definitely recommended. Mainly because conventional home insurance won’t cover you for rental activities.
By renting out your property, you increase your level of risk because you are not the one living at the property – your tenants are. So landlord insurance is more about covering the risk of things like non-payment of rent or damage by tenants, as well as what a ‘normal’ home insurance policy would cover.
What responsibilities do I have as a landlord?
There are certain things that you need to do as a landlord in order to be able to take out cover in the first place. These responsibilities include providing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of the property. Failure to meet these responsibilities could invalidate your policy.
How much is landlord insurance?
It is hard to put an exact figure on how much landlord insurance is. This is because there are different factors involved and it depends on the level of cover you need.
You can expect to pay around £200 a year, but this will largely depend on the following factors:
- Level of cover: Do you want to include cover for your contents? Or include public liability?
- Property type: What sort of property is it? A semi-detached house will be cheaper to insure than an individual flat in a converted building.
- Location: What sort of area is your property located in? Is there a risk of flooding or a high crime rate?
- Tenants: What kind of tenant will you rent to? If you have students or a tenant on housing benefit, your policy may be more expensive due to the low level of take-home pay from these groups.
How can I find a cheaper deal?
If you are struggling with how much landlord insurance is and looking for a cheaper deal, then there are several things you can do.
As with any insurance policy, make sure you compare quotes before committing to one. You can do this on any number of insurance comparison sites such as confused.com and MoneySuperMarket. Just make sure you are comparing specialist landlord insurance policies and not conventional home insurance policies.
Check your level of cover
If you want to reduce how much your landlord insurance is, then carefully calculate the level of cover you need so you don’t end up overpaying.
For example, if your property is a leasehold in a block of flats, check whether you need a buildings policy. It may well be the case that the block freeholder will already have buildings insurance.
Get your property valued
Another thing to do is to make sure that you accurately value what you are insuring. This will obviously matter if you need to make a claim, but it will also affect the price of your landlord insurance premium.
What if I need to make a claim?
Obviously, everybody hopes that they won’t need to use their insurance, but if you do need to make a claim, is it any different as a landlord?
Not really. It is pretty straightforward, actually. If you know and understand the terms and conditions and excesses of your policy, there shouldn’t be any issues.
If you need to make a claim for theft or damage to your property by your tenants, then involve the police. You will need to provide a crime reference number when submitting your claim.
The only other thing to note is that you should try to submit the claim as soon as possible. With landlord insurance, the claim could end up being more complex, so you could experience delays. Therefore, it’s best to get the process started as soon as you can.