Landlord insurance

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  • Buy landlord insurance buildings cover for less than £178/year[1]
  • Compare tailored quotes from 12 trusted providers[2] to find the right cover for you.
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[1] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £177.62 for their building cover business insurance in March 2023. [2] Correct as of March 2023.

What is landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance is home insurance designed for rental properties. It can offer landlords more protection than standard home insurance.

Also known as buy-to-let, or property rental insurance, landlord cover protects you if the building – or its contents – are damaged.

As with home insurance, landlord insurance covers your rental property from fire, flooding, burst pipes, and storms.

Do I need landlord insurance?

While you’re not legally required to take out landlords’ insurance, it’s definitely advisable. Even the best of tenants can be unpredictable. Landlord insurance provides more specific cover than a standard home insurance policy, and can protect you if things go wrong.

A standard home insurance policy might be invalid if you rent out your property to tenants and you need to make a claim. And if you’re applying for a buy-to-let mortgage, it’s likely your lender will insist you have landlord insurance.

Compare quotes in minutes

Make sure you’re covered as a landlord and have the insurance you need. We’ve teamed up with Simply Business so you can compare quotes from a range of insurance providers.

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What does landlord insurance cover?

You can tailor your policy so that it includes the right level of cover for you. You’ll probably want to include:

  • Theft, fire and flood 
  • The building’s structure
  • Built-in features, for example fitted kitchens and bathrooms
  • Furniture, carpets and curtains (this doesn’t include your tenants’ belongings)
  • Your rental income – if you can’t rent the property due to damage
  • Legal costs in case you’re taken to court
  • Void periods between tenants
  • Accidental damage by tenants
  • Boiler breakdown
  • Rent arrears

Bear in mind that the more cover you include, the more you’re likely to pay for your policy. Consider your budget carefully to make sure you find the best landlord house insurance for you and your needs.

What won’t landlord insurance cover?

Landlord insurance policies will typically exclude:

  • Your tenants’ property – they’ll need to buy their own contents insurance if they want cover for their furniture and personal possessions.
  • Wear and tear – buildings or contents damaged through normal use over time
  • Damage by animals – you may be able to add pet damage to your policy at an extra cost. But landlord insurance won’t cover damage by pests – mice or wasps, for example.
  • Deliberate damage by your tenants.

Ensuring your tenants are the right fit for your property

Amidst the competitiveness of the current rental market, nearly two in five ​(39%) prospective tenants have admitted that they’re willing to lie on a rental application form. With this in mind, we’ve looked into the ​most common areas that renters are dishonest about, and have provided advice for landlords on how to conduct checks correctly when finding a tenant. 

What types of landlord insurance are there?

There are several types of landlord insurance. Here are some options:

Landlord buildings insurance

Landlord buildings insurance covers loss or damage to the building and could pay out if say, a fire or flood damages your property.

Landlord contents insurance

If you’re letting a furnished property, you might want landlord contents insurance to cover your belongings. You could also add accidental damage cover to your landlord’s insurance, in case your tenants cause any damage.

Rental income protection

This offers protection if your building is damaged and you can’t rent it out.

Rent guarantee insurance

Rent guarantee insurance could cover you if your tenants can’t pay their rent.

Property owners’ liability (public liability) insurance

Public liability insurance covers your legal costs if a tenant is injured at the property and makes a claim against you.

Employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone at your rental property.

Unoccupied property cover

Unoccupied property insurance can be useful if you’re renovating the house or flat before renting it out.

Landlord emergency cover

Landlord emergency cover gives you 24-hour, seven-days-a-week assistance if there’s an emergency that needs sorting at one of your properties.

Compare landlord insurance policies now to see if you could save

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How much does landlord insurance cost?

The cost of landlord insurance will depend on:

The level of cover

Make sure you’re not paying for cover and add-ons you don’t need.

The property’s location

If your property is in a high crime area, you’ll probably pay more for your insurance.

The size and age of your property

These factors will affect the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Your tenants

Students, for example, are considered higher risk.

Your claims history

Claiming on your insurance will mean you pay a higher premium next time.

How you pay

Paying annually for your insurance is usually cheaper than paying monthly. This is because you’re likely to be charged interest if you pay monthly.

Because the extent and cover of commercial landlord insurance premiums vary, always compare landlord insurance policies to get a deal that’s right for you.

How to get cheaper landlord insurance

Your rented property is your business, so it’s unwise to scrimp on your insurance. But there are ways you can reduce the cost of your premium.

Install good security - solid locks, burglar alarms, and CCTV can make your property less attractive to thieves. Insurance providers may see it as less of a risk and lower your premium.

Increase your excess - voluntary excess is the amount you pay towards a claim. Increasing this can lower the cost of your premium – but make sure it’s at a level you can afford.

Avoid unoccupied periods - insurance providers consider empty properties to be a bigger risk, so avoid gaps between tenants if you can.

Combine your insurance needs - packaging different types of insurance into a single policy can be cheaper than buying them separately.

Choose tenants carefully - insurance providers take into account the risk different types of tenants pose – students, for example, are considered risker than professionals.

The best landlord insurance doesn’t always come from the biggest providers – you can find a great deal with a provider you’ve never heard of.

Author image Emily Kindness

What our expert says...

“The cost of landlord insurance varies, depending on things like the size of the property and type of cover you choose. You can reduce the cost of your insurance policy by showing that you’re on top of risk management. This means having good security in place and making sure referencing checks take place when a new tenant moves in.”

- Emily Kindness, Business Insurance expert

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a landlord insurance quote with us, you’ll need some basic information to hand:

  • Your current insurance policy documents (if you have them)
  • Details about your property
  • Basic tenant information
  • The level of cover you need 

We’ll ask questions to gather the information we need, so that we can send you a list of suitable quotes.

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Why use Comparethemarket?

We’ve partnered with small business insurance experts, Simply Business, to find insurance tailored to your needs.

We search landlord insurance from 12 leading providers[2]

Rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot[3]

[2] Correct as of March, 2023.

[3] As of April 2023, Comparethemarket had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 27,220 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.

Frequently asked questions

Is landlord insurance a legal requirement?

No, landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but if you employ anyone, you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance in place. And if you’re taking out a buy-to-let mortgage, many mortgage lenders will insist you have buildings insurance.

Can I just get ordinary home insurance?

Ordinary home insurance or flat insurance may not cover a property you don’t live in. This is because:

  • You won’t often see the property and so won’t know what state it’s in
  • Tenants may ignore maintenance issues like damp, which could get out of hand
  • Your tenants may cause careless, or even malicious, damage
  • If a tenant is hurt in your property, you could be held liable.

Regular home insurance isn’t designed for the issues landlords may face. Your policy might not cover your claim – or indeed, claims made against you by tenants. 

How do I make a claim on my landlord insurance policy?

The first thing to do is contact your insurance provider. Many have 24-hour helplines, so it won’t matter what time you call. Your insurance provider can then guide you through the process.

If a crime has taken place, make sure you call the police and get a crime reference number, as your insurance provider is likely to need this.

It’s also worth checking your policy to remind yourself what’s covered.

Can I get insurance for multiple properties?

Yes. If you rent out multiple properties, you have a couple of options for landlord insurance:

  • Insure each property individually - you can compare policies that are tailored to suit each property.
  • Put multiple properties on one policy - this is a little more complicated, as the insurance provider may be willing to offer you a multi-property deal for your circumstances. We can’t help you compare policies and prices for this, but you can contact insurance providers directly for a quote.

Is landlord insurance tax deductible?

Yes, landlords can typically claim the expenses incurred running the property to reduce their tax bill. This includes the cost of landlord insurance. 

Any expenses claimed should be wholly and exclusively incurred from renting out the property. For example:

  • Insurance
  • General maintenance and repairs (not cosmetic improvements)
  • Water rates, council tax, gas, and electricity
  • Letting agent fees, management fees and accountant fees.

Do I need landlord insurance if I live in the property?

That depends whether the person you’re renting to is a lodger or a tenant.

What’s the difference? Someone is a tenant if there’s an agreement that you can’t enter their room without permission. If this is the case, you’ll need specialist landlord insurance, specifying that you live in the property. 

A lodger is someone who lives in your home and shares living space with you. If this is the case, you can extend your home insurance to cover this.

See more on home insurance if you have a lodger

Does landlord insurance cover loss of rent?

Landlord insurance can cover loss of rent, but this isn’t usually included in standard cover – you’ll need to add rent guarantee insurance to your policy.

If you can’t rent the property because of fire or flood damage, you should be covered (as long as this is included in your policy).

Rent guarantee insurance will cover the rent you’re owed and can protect you for up to a year of lost rent, giving you time to resolve things with your tenant. If the situation ends up going to court, it can cover your legal costs.

Do I need to take out boiler cover as a landlord?

Boiler cover isn’t a legal requirement, but it could protect you from an unexpected bill down the line.

As a landlord, you’re responsible for buildings insurance, which boiler cover falls under. You can also arrange boiler cover as a separate policy.

Page last reviewed on 25/04/2023
by Emily Kindness