Landlord Insurance: Does it Cover Rent, Buildings and Contents?
20 May 2021
If you’re a landlord, you need insurance. A specialist landlord insurance policy can provide essential cover for your rental property and your liability to your tenants.
What does a landlord insurance policy cover? What won’t be included in a landlord insurance policy?
What is Landlord Insurance?
A landlord insurance policy will cover you for losses connected with your rental properties following damage caused by an insured event. What exactly does a landlord insurance policy cover and will you have to take out additional policies to ensure you’ve got full cover? No two landlord insurance policies are quite the same.
In most cases, insurers will let you tailor your landlord insurance policy to meet your specific needs.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that a good landlord insurance policy might cover.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover the Building?
Yes, landlord’s insurance invariably includes building insurance. A landlord insurance policy will cover your rental property against damage from fire, flood and other insured situations. Your policy will outline the sort of damage it does and doesn’t cover.
For example, it will probably cover you for damage as a result of burglary and vandalism. It may cover “accidental damage” caused by tenants – such as an unwanted hole in the wall after a failed DIY experiment – but only if the damage was indeed accidental! Your policy may not cover you for “malicious damage” caused by tenants.
When it comes to water damage, your landlord insurance policy should cover you for damage caused by storms and floods. It should also cover damage caused by escape of water, such as a burst pipe. A good policy may also extend to cover the cost of investigating the cause of the escape of water damage. That is, to uncover where the water is coming from.
Speaking of water damage, your landlord insurance policy will cover you for any damage to your property as a result of a burst pipe, but it will not cover the cost of fixing the plumbing itself. For that, you would need to take out an additional Landlords Home Emergency policy. A Landlords Home Emergency Policy can also cover you for other crises in the property, including gas leaks and faulty boilers.
Landlords insurance is designed to cover sudden events that cause damage. It is not designed to cover damage caused by long term wear and tear. Nor is it designed to cover general maintenance costs. This means that you are unlikely to be covered for long-term water damage sustained by a dripping pipe over the course of months and years. Therefore, we recommend that you have regular maintenance checks on your property so that you can act on any issues that could cause long term damage.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Contents?
You can usually choose landlord contents insurance as part of your policy. This will cover your own furniture, curtains, carpets and appliances, which will be especially useful if you rent furnished accommodation. It also applies to unfurnished properties as the carpets, curtains etc are still considered as contents.
Your landlord insurance policy will not cover your tenants’ possessions, just your own. If your tenants want to insure their own possessions against the risks of fire, flood and theft etc they’ll need their own tenants contents policy.
Head here if you’re looking for a quote for tenant’s contents insurance.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Loss of Rent?
Your landlord insurance policy can cover loss of rent income following an insured event. This means you’ll be covered if your tenants need to move out and you cannot collect any rent because your property has been damaged by vandalism, fire, or flood.
Landlords Insurance is there to protect landlords rather than their tenants. If tenants need to move to temporary accommodation while their rental property is being fixed, the cost of this accommodation will not necessarily be covered unless it is more economical than the insurer just paying the landlord for their loss of rent. Although the tenant benefits from being moved into temporary accommodation, the primary aim of Loss of Rent insurance is to ensure the landlord doesn’t lose their rental income while repairs are being carried out. If the tenant wants cover for alternative accommodation themselves they would need their own tenant’s contents policy.
You can also get rent guarantee insurance cover. This covers you for rent arrears, for instances where tenants default on their rent payments.
Head here to read our full guide to loss of rent insurance and rent guarantee insurance.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Injuries?
Landlord insurance will usually include landlord liability cover as standard. Also known as Property Owner’s Liability Insurance. This cover is an integral part of a landlord’s policy. This can cover compensation and legal fees if someone gets injured on your property, and you’re found to be responsible. For example, someone might trip on a loose bit of carpet, or suffer an electric shock from some faulty wiring.
Landlord liability cover usually extends to your liability to tenants and any visitors to your property – whether it’s a friend of your tenants or a tradesman fixing a dripping tap.
Do I Need Landlord Insurance?
Yes, you do.
While it’s not strictly a legal requirement to get landlord insurance, you do have some legal responsibilities as a landlord. According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, you must keep the structure and exterior of your property, as well as the various installations for gas, water, electricity, sanitation and heating “in repair and proper working order.”
Whether you’re insured or not, if something goes wrong in your rental property, you have a legal responsibility to fix it as soon as possible. As property repairs and renovations can be extremely expensive, landlord insurance can provide an essential lifeline.
Landlord insurance can act as a safety net in more ways than one. You never know what might happen, not just with your property, but with your tenants. We’ve already explored how landlord insurance can help you manage rent arrears following an insured event.
Landlord Insurance – Are You Covered?
A standard homeowner’s policy won’t cover you for many of the issues landlords face. If you own rental property, you will need a dedicated landlord insurance policy.
But as we said, no two landlord insurance policies are quite the same. If you already have a policy, it’s worth checking the policy wording, to ensure it covers you for every circumstance.
At Hazelton Mountford, we can help you source a comprehensive landlord insurance cover that’s tailored to meet your every need. Our property team are always available to share essential insurance expertise and advice, and we can source competitive premiums for bespoke policies from some of the UK’s most prestigious insurers. Get in touch for more information.