What is landlord buy-to-let insurance?
Buy-to-let insurance is a type of home insurance designed to minimise the risks posed when you lease out your property. It’s more specialised than standard home insurance, which doesn’t typically offer cover if something goes wrong with your tenancy.
Do I need to have landlord buy-to-let insurance?
Although it’s not a legal requirement, many mortgage lenders will insist you have the right kind of insurance in place when you apply for a buy-to-let mortgage.
You may also find that standard home insurance won’t cover a rental property that you don’t live in.
What does landlord buy-to-let insurance cover?
Buy-to-let insurance can cover:
Buildings insurance - as a landlord, it’s your responsibility to organise buildings insurance for your buy-to-let property. This covers damage to the property structure and permanent fixtures such as kitchen and bathroom fittings. Your policy should also cover rebuild costs in the event of fire, flood, vandalism, storm or subsidence.
Contents - this covers belongings and furnishings including carpets and appliances if you rent out a furnished or partly furnished property. You might also want to add accidental damage cover in case your tenants break something by mistake.
Liability insurance - protection if your tenant sues you for any accidents in your property resulting in injury or death for which you can be blamed. Find out more about landlord responsibilities when renting out a property.
Alternative accommodation - this can cover the costs of alternative accommodation for your tenants if the property is unfit and not safe to live in after an incident like fire or flooding.
Unoccupied property insurance covers loss of rent for periods when the property is empty between tenancies or because of redecorating or maintenance work.
Rent guarantee protection covers loss of rent if your tenant is still living in the property but not paying rent.
Legal expenses cover - this can cover legal costs for any potential disputes with your tenants – for example, defence costs in a liability case or legal action you need to take for evicting tenants.
Home emergency cover - landlord emergency cover is typically offered as an optional extra. It can provide 24/7/365 assistance and help cover the costs for home emergencies such as a burst pipe or a broken boiler.
Multiple property cover - if you have more than one buy-to-let property, you’ll be able to cover them all under one single policy.
Policies can vary between providers – some types of cover are included as standard, while others may need to be added as optional extras. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare different quotes, so you can tailor your cover to suit your needs.
How to get a great deal on your landlord buy-to-let insurance
The best way to get a good deal on your insurance is to shop around and compare a range of quotes. You might also be able to save on your premium by:
- Increasing your excess – but you’ll need to make sure you can afford to pay it if you do need to make a claim
- Installing security features – having good locks on doors and windows may help you get a better quote
- Avoiding higher-risk tenants – insurance will cost you more if you rent to students, for example, as insurance providers consider them higher risk
- Keeping your buy-to-let property well maintained – this is part of your responsibility as a landlord, but having a well-maintained property also means you’re less likely to make a claim. Plus, insurance policies won’t pay out for damage caused by wear and tear.
- Paying for your insurance annually – you may have to pay interest if you make monthly payments
- Saying no to pets – allowing tenants to keep pets could increase the cost of your premium, as there’s more risk of damage to your property.
While you’ll want to save where you can on buy-to-let insurance, be aware that opting for the cheapest policy might not always be the best choice. Make sure you have the cover you need – saving a few pounds for the sake of a cheaper policy could be counter-productive if you have to foot the bill for things that aren’t covered.
Frequently asked questions
What isn’t covered by landlord buy-to-let insurance?
Much like residential home insurance, landlord buy-to-let policies are unlikely to cover:
- General wear and tear or damage caused by poor installation or workmanship
- Deliberate damage caused by your tenants or their visitors
- Furniture or possessions belonging to your tenants – they’ll need to take out their own contents insurance for their belongings
- Damage caused by animals. If you’re happy to accept tenants with pets, you might want to add extra pet damage cover to your policy.
Why can’t I insure my buy-to-let on a standard home insurance policy?
It’s unlikely that a standard home insurance policy will cover your property if it’s rented out to tenants. This is because insurance providers consider tenants a higher risk. Accidents and mishaps can happen, even to the most careful of tenants. And if anyone is injured, you could be held liable.
Buy-to-let insurance can cover specific events that aren’t usually covered by a standard home insurance policy. A dedicated policy can give you the peace of mind that your investment is adequately protected.
Can I insure more than one buy-to-let property?
Yes, many insurance providers offer multi-property insurance, also known as portfolio insurance. With this type of cover, you can insure all your properties under one policy, which makes admin easier and ensures you only have one policy to renew. It could also work out cheaper than having separate policies for different properties.
Where can I find a landlord buy-to-let insurance quote?
Getting the most suitable landlord buy-to-let insurance is easy with Comparethemarket’s handy comparison tool. Why not compare landlord buy-to-let insurance with us today and see if you could save?
How much does landlord buy-to-let insurance cost?
The price of your premium depends on a number of factors, including:
- Property size
- Property location
- Whether you’ve made a claim before.
The type of tenants you have can also make a difference to your premium. For example, in insurance terms, students are considered a higher risk than working professionals or a family with a secure income.Start a quote
What do I need to get a quote?
You’ll need to give us a few details about you and your policy, including:
- Type of property – a house or flat for example
- How long you’ve owned the property for
- Whether it’ll be occupied when the policy starts
Why use Comparethemarket?
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What our expert says
“Having a buy-to-let property can be a great investment, but it’s also a big responsibility.
“Remember that traditional home insurance policies won’t cover your buy-to-let property. But knowing you have the right cover can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your property and landlord responsibilities.”
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