Once you’ve decided to enter the rental property market as a landlord, it’s essential to consider how you plan to protect yourself and your property. Even though you may not be physically living in your property, as the owner, you must ensure that the building offers a suitable home to your tenants.
One of the best ways to protect your rental property is to invest in comprehensive landlord insurance.
Landlord insurance is a vital tool that offers specialist cover for your rental property. It differs from traditional buildings and contents insurance in that it can also protect you from loss of rental income and damage to your property. It can also offer personal protection for you if someone is injured on your rental premises.
At Mortgagemove, we don’t just arrange buy-to-let mortgages for prospective landlords. Our comprehensive advice is designed to help you get the best deal and the most appropriate insurance cover for your buy-to-let property. We take the time to explain all of the appropriate options and identify what is best for you and your property.
If you’re not sure what your landlord insurance policy should include, please get in touch by calling our freephone advice line: 0333 005 0333
What types of insurance are needed to get started as a landlord?
Landlords take on a lot of risks. Even if you do your due diligence and research your prospective tenants, there is still no way of guaranteeing that your property will be carefully looked after and cared for.
There are three distinct types of landlord insurance that are specifically designed to protect rental properties. Landlords can choose their level of cover and feel safe knowing that if the worst was to happen, they (and their properties) have minimised their risk.
Here is a quick breakdown of each type of landlord insurance, including what it is and why it’s essential for landlords.
If you are renting your property out, you need to have a dedicated landlord building insurance policy to protect your property.
A standard home insurance policy will not cover you because you are not physically living at that address. Your buildings insurance policy will protect your property from damage caused by vandalism and accidental damage, if you chose this as an option, as well as natural disasters such as fire or flood.
Even if you are letting your property as unfurnished, you should still consider a small contents insurance policy. It will protect you against damage to any item that you have supplied such as curtains or carpets. It can even cover kitchen appliances such as white goods or cooking apparatus.
As a landlord, it’s important to note that your contents insurance will not cover the tenants’ belongings. Your tenant will have to sort their personal contents insurance.
One of the most significant risks of renting out a property is that you are not in control over what takes place within your property boundaries. You may wish to take out liability insurance cover to protect yourself if a tenant or visitor injures themselves while on your premises.
For example, a person could trip over a doorstep or stair and injure themselves badly. Your landlord liability insurance (also known as public liability insurance) will cover you against legal expenses and any compensation claims.
Is landlord insurance a legal requirement?
No, it’s not a legal requirement. However, many mortgage lenders will require specific landlord insurance cover as a condition of their mortgage offer.
Many landlords choose to protect themselves with comprehensive insurance policies because it doesn’t just protect you and your property. It also protects your rental income. If you run a rental business, you need to feel secure that you have taken the steps to protect your business as much as possible.
How can you protect yourself if your tenants do not pay their rent?
As a landlord, you may come across situations where a tenant falls behind on their rent. Perhaps they have unexpectedly lost their job or suffered a relationship breakdown.
If you are a first-time or accidental landlord, you will likely rely upon your rental income to pay for your buy-to-let mortgage. If your tenant is having issues paying their rent, you need to find a way to ensure that you do not default on your mortgage payments.
Some landlords choose to invest in rent guarantee insurance. This will cover your rental income if your tenant is unable (or unwilling) to pay. Rent guarantee insurance may have many stipulations, and it may have a cap on the number of missed payments you can claim for. As a condition of the policy, you may need to undertake reference and credit checks on your tenant or request a registered guarantor who can take over the rent if the tenants are unable to pay.
Are landlords liable for any accidents that happen inside their rental property?
As we mentioned earlier, there is a risk that if a tenant or visitor injures themselves on your property, you could be liable to be sued.
This is many landlords choose to protect themselves with landlord liability insurance. If there is a claim, the insurance will cover the legal expenses, as well as any compensation payments if you were deemed liable in a court of law.
Although Landlord liability insurance provides comprehensive protection against accidents, it shouldn’t negate your duty to providing acceptable accommodation. As a landlord, you should regularly maintain your property and take steps to reduce any accidents occurring.
Can you have landlord insurance for multiple properties?
Typically, most landlord insurance policies are for individual properties.
Some insurance brokers may offer discounts for multiple properties. If you are running a rental business, this could offer you peace of mind. Not only could it lower your costs, but it reduces any administrative time and makes it easier to know any insurance renewal dates.
If you are searching for a discount on landlord insurance for multiple properties, please speak to the advisors at Mortgagemove. We can help you to secure savings on your landlord insurance policies.
What landlord insurance do you need for a flat or an apartment?
Flats and apartments may alter your landlord insurance requirements.
If your individual property resides within an apartment building, you may already pay for some form of buildings insurance. This is commonly formed as part of your service charge.
Your insurance requirements may change depending on whether you are the freeholder or a leaseholder. If you own the freehold to the entire building (i.e., you own the entire building), you will be responsible for the overall building’s insurance. If you only own a singular property (such as an individual flat), you will likely be a leaseholder. In these circumstances, you may not require buildings insurance – instead, you will want to focus on your contents insurance policies.
Whether you are a freeholder or a leaseholder, you should check that your landlord insurance covers you against accidental damage or injury caused in any shared areas. This can include hallways, gardens, or lifts.
If you are unsure what type of landlord insurance you need for your rented flat, our landlord insurance specialists can identify what you need and ensure that you have the right cover in place.
Mortgagemove can find the right landlord insurance policies for you
We know that renting out a property can be a complicated business. That’s why our team of experienced advisors is here to make the process as simple as possible.
You may already know that we can find you a great buy-to-let mortgage deal. But we go beyond this. We will take the time to explain what landlord insurance policies you should have in place to protect your investment. We’ll explain the pros and cons of each type of landlord insurance, and we’ll use our network of contacts to find the best policies for you.
All of our insurance services are delivered in partnership with Paymentshield, one of the UK’s leading insurance distributors and administrators. Paymentshield is also a 5 star defect rated company.
Once you are happy with your level of cover, we can process the application on your behalf. You can have peace of mind that you have the best possible landlord insurances in place to protect you, your property, and your income.
To find out more about how we work, please get in touch by calling our freephone advice line: 0333 005 0333