What does landlord insurance cover me for?
The standard perils landlord insurance covers you for are the same as standard home insurance. This includes things like fire, storm or floods, escape of water and subsidence. The difference is the policy will also include things like loss of rent in the event that the property becomes uninhabitable due to an insured peril, and liability cover in case of the tenants having an accident.
As the term ‘landlord insurance’ suggests, this type of insurance protects you against the various risks to your buy-to-let property and rental activity. You can generally expect your landlord insurance policy to include both building insurance and property owners’ liability insurance. However, there are various other forms of cover that you may add to your policy, such as tenant default, loss of rent, accidental damage, legal and emergency assistance cover.
Both the building itself and its contents are covered by a landlord insurance policy, provided that both buildings insurance and contents insurance are included in the policy. It is the buildings insurance part of your landlord insurance policy that will cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your property in the event of damage as a result of an unforeseen factor such as vandalism, fire or flooding. The contents insurance, meanwhile, will cover such household items as appliances and furniture, again in the event of such circumstances as fire, theft or flood; however, items belonging to your tenant will not be covered.
Beyond building and contents insurance, it is liability cover that is perhaps the most important element of a landlord insurance policy. It is this part of your policy that will protect you if your tenant attempts to sue you for an accident that occurs on your property, and while it is often only an extra on landlord insurance policies, it is often required for student and social housing.
Other things that your landlord insurance policy may cover you for include legal costs – as can easily mount if you get into a dispute with a tenant or need to defend yourself against criminal action – and the cost of any emergency repairs that need to be undertaken in response to such problems as a burst pipe or gas leak.
There is a vast range of options available for a landlord insurance policy, with many different risks to your buy-to-let property and rental activity that can be covered.
The above is not an exhaustive list of all of the things for which a landlord insurance policy could cover you. While it is easy to be intimidated by the vast range of options for enhancing your cover, the leading insurers will offer many different policies from which to choose, often bundling several of the most in-demand elements into a single cost-effective policy.
Always read the small print of your prospective or current policy so that you never need to ask the question: “What does landlord insurance cover me for?”