There is no legal obligation for a landlord to take out landlord insurance, however, you might not get very far without it. You’ll usually need written permission from your lender before you take on tenants (unless you have a buy-to-let mortgage), and your lender is likely to require that you have landlord insurance before you do so.
Even though you’ve probably got a conventional home insurance policy, this won’t be enough to cover you if your property becomes a rental. In fact, a lot of home insurance policies will become void if the property is being used as a rental, meaning that you won’t be able to make a claim.

Buildings Insurance FAQs