I’m always surprised to find that some landlords make a conscious decision not to take out landlord insurance. It’s not always because they’re being negligent, or trying to save money. Some are happy in the belief that they have buildings insurance, and that will suffice. It won’t.
As a London property agent, I always make the following recommendations to my clients:
1. Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest policy.
As with any insurance, it’s all about the cover. Look carefully at the terms and conditions and check you will be adequately compensated in the event you need to make a claim.
2. Get a policy that covers the building, as well as your own fittings and fixtures.
You need to ensure you’re protected against damage to the fabric of the building through fire, flood, subsidence, damp, etc., as well as insuring items such as carpets, kitchen, bathroom and any furniture that’s yours. Your tenants will need to take out their own contents insurance to protect their belongings.
3. Check your policy covers legal expenses.
No landlord wants to get into a dispute with tenants or neighbours. But it happens, and it can be costly. Your policy should cover any solicitor fees incurred.
4. Take out landlord liability insurance.
Landlord insurance doesn’t usually cover a pay-out if you’re sued for negligence. And this could amount to a lot of money if someone is injured or dies. Make sure you add this on to your policy.
5. You will also need a separate policy to cover loss of rent.
Landlord’s insurance doesn’t tend to cover loss of rent, so you should consider taking out a separate policy to cover this. Make sure you check the terms and conditions, as some policies will not pay out until 6 months have elapsed.
6. There are ways to lower your premium.
Make sure you install proper locks to windows and doors, check your roof and gutters every year, and always ensure your tenants are fully referenced.
7. Consider using a broker.
Landlord insurance is quite niche, and a broker can really help you find the right policy at the right price.
If you have any questions about managing your buy-to-let property, or you would like me to recommend a trustworthy insurance broker, please do get in touch.