What is Landlord’s Insurance?
Landlords Insurance provides financial protection to landlords who rent out a property or properties to tenants. It varies from a Home Insurance policy as it covers the increased risks associated with renting a property to tenants. It can include buildings insurance, contents insurance, property owners’ liability, loss of rent following a claim, and accidental damage
As award-winning landlord insurance providers, insuring property since 1982, Alan Boswell Group knows how complex is it to be a landlord. There is a mass of legislation and regulation to understand, plus the pressure of attracting decent tenants, collecting rent and maintaining the property. Our aim is to make your job easier by giving you essential advice and providing you with competitive protection to help you save time and money when safeguarding your investment
Do I need landlord insurance? Is it legally required?
Landlords’ insurance is not a legal requirement; however, it is vital to protect your financial investment. If you have a mortgage on your property, your lender may require you to take out insurance before you take on tenants
Whether the property is a short, medium or long term investment, it’s wise to put the correct protection in place, if only for peace of mind. As a landlord, you may be faced with unique challenges and additional financial outgoings to ensure the property is kept up to standard
What does Landlord’s Insurance cover?
Landlord insurance products can differ dramatically, which is why it’s essential to compare policies and make sure they are right for you and your situation. The most essential cover is buildings and contents; however, landlords can take out additional insurance policies to cover against:
• Damage to your property by the tenant
• Non-payment of rent
• Emergency overnight accommodation for the tenant
• Emergency repairs
• Liability for loss or injury related to your rental property
• Loss of rent or costs of alternative accommodation if your tenants have to move out following an insured event
What type of landlord insurance do i need?
If you have a mortgage on your rental property, it may be a requirement of your bank that there is buildings insurance cover in place so it’s important to check this with your mortgage provider
Outside of this, it’s completely up to you what types of landlord insurance you choose for your rental property, and you should consider all scenarios when deciding what covers you need in place
What would happen, for example, if your tenants were unable to pay their rent? Would you still be able to make your mortgage payments? Do you know how to evict a tenant should you need to? If not, then you may want to consider rent guarantee and legal expenses insurance
How close do you live to your rental property? Would you be able to get to your tenants quickly in the event of an emergency? Having home emergency cover in place for your property and providing your tenants with the policy information could ultimately save you hassle should something go wrong at the property, such as a boiler breakdown or a blocked drain
Block of flats insurance is for landlords that own – unsurprisingly – entire blocks of flats. The policy will provide comprehensive cover for the entire building, factoring in that the flats will either be leased or rented out by the freeholder. Block of flats insurance doesn’t just refer to large residential blocks – cover can be provided for commercial tenants as well as maisonettes or houses that have been converted into flats.
To make sure your investment is protected, you should consider whether you need buildings insurance for your block of flats – it may even be a requirement of your mortgage provider. Block of flats buildings insurance will provide cover for all major risks, such as fire, theft and flood. Consider every option, such as accidental damage, leaks, theft, or fire damage, and make sure you apply this to the flats themselves as well as any other shared areas you’re responsible for.
If you’re the leaseholder of a flat or block of flats, it’s likely that you will be paying a service charge (or management fee) to the freeholder for maintenance services. In this instance, it’s likely that the freeholder is responsible for arranging buildings insurance. However, always check that this is the case with the freeholder. If you’re part of a ‘right to manage’ company or leaseholder association, then it is their responsibility to insure the buildings, rather than the freehold.
Rules around leaseholders responsibilities are slightly different in Scotland, so we are able to offer buildings insurance for an individual flat on this basis. Please speak to the team to find out more.
As a freeholder of a block of flats, you may be responsible for insuring the buildings as well as the service and maintenance of the building itself and the surrounding grounds. This could include parking areas, pathways, shared corridors, and everything that needs to be maintained in those areas of the building. This general maintenance will not be covered by a block of flats buildings insurance policy, but is usually charged back to the leaseholder in the form of a ‘management fee.’ However, if you’re the freeholder then a specialist block of flats buildings insurance policy should meet your responsibilities to the leaseholders.
You may find that the standard covers provided by your block of flats insurance are not sufficient and that you would like to add on additional protection for your building. Endsleigh offer a range of optional extras which can easily be added to your policy, including:
- Employers’ liability insurance
- Terrorism cover
- Engineering and inspection cover, including passenger lifts
- Extended legal expenses cover – including tenant disputes
This is a question only you can answer – but it’s worth bearing in mind that the government has recently updated their model tenancy agreement with the primary aim being to support people with pets become eligible to rent.
Use of the model tenancy agreement is entirely voluntary – however if you’re not currently allowing lets with pets, it could be a good time to re-think your stance.
The tenants with pets market is vast. Any landlord looking to rent their house quickly could increase their reach dramatically by advertising their properties as pet-friendly. Equally, the model tenancy agreement already includes rules to protect properties from poorly-behaved pets – so you could find that the financial reward of filling properties quickly far outweighs the losses caused by a boisterous pet.
If you do decide to let to tenants with pets, landlord insurance with Endsleigh gives you peace of mind that you’re covered against pet damage at no extra charge. Speak to our specialist property team for a quote.