Landlord emergency cover

If a pipe bursts, the boiler breaks down, or a storm damages the roof in your rental property, you’ll need to act fast to keep your tenants safe and protect your property from further damage. Adding landlord emergency cover to your home insurance means you’ll be covered for emergency callouts and repairs, even if you’re not around to handle it yourself.

Landlord emergency cover

Landlord home emergency cover is offered as an optional extra on most landlord home insurance policies. It can help recoup the cost of out-of-hours callouts and subsequent repair fees that can result from emergency situations.

Landlord home emergency cover policies provide emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So even if your tenant suffers a burst water pipe on Christmas Day, you should be able to get it sorted.

What does landlord emergency cover include? 

Limits and exclusions vary between insurance providers, but you’ll typically be covered for: 

  • Plumbing and heating problems (aside from normal wear and tear), including burst pipes and boiler breakdowns
  • Water mains or electricity supply failure
  • Roof damage that causes a sudden leak
  • Blocked drains and sewer problems
  • Damage to the property’s doors, locks or windows that compromises security
  • Sudden pest infestation
  • Gaining tenant access after losing keys.

Most policies also cover overnight, alternative accommodation costs if the emergency makes the property unsafe or unfit to live in.

Why do I need landlord emergency cover?

As a landlord, you have a responsibility to keep your tenants safe. If the boiler breaks down unexpectedly, a pipe bursts and floods your property or the roof starts to leak after a storm, it could be very distressing – or even dangerous – for your tenants.

Repairs need to be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent any further damage, reduce the impact on your tenants, and to make the property safe again. But arranging emergency repairs can be stressful, especially if you live far away, or you’re currently out of the area.

With landlord home emergency cover, you have peace of mind that any problems will be handled, even if you’re not there to take care of it yourself. With many policies, you can even get your tenants added to the policy as interested parties so they can arrange emergency repairs themselves.

Landlord emergency cover: regulations and maintenance 

Landlords are obliged to maintain their properties to keep them safe. Responsibilities include:

  • Making sure gas equipment is safely installed and checked annually
  • Ensuring the electrical system and any appliances you’ve supplied are safe
  • Following fire safety regulations, including keeping fire escape routes clear and providing smoke alarms on every floor, a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance and in some cases, fire extinguishers

If your tenant reports your property as unsafe, you could face legal action. For detailed guidance on your legal responsibilities, visit the GOV.UK website
It’s important to keep your rental property well maintained. Emergency cover doesn’t include damage caused by gradual wear and tear, so your insurance provider may not pay out if they decide the emergency repairs are needed because of gradual deterioration. Keep safety certificates in a secure place along with a record of regular services and maintenance. 
For more information, read our guide to your responsibilities as a landlord.

Frequently asked questions

What isn’t covered by landlord home emergency insurance?

Landlord home emergency cover is only valid for unexpected emergencies. It won’t cover:

  • Routine maintenance and repairs
  • Wear and tear costs
  • Damage caused by faulty workmanship or DIY
  • Damage as a result of a malicious or intentional act
  • Annual boiler servicing
  • In some cases, the cost of permanent repairs once the emergency has been resolved
  • Faults, damage or pest infestations you were aware of when you purchased cover
  • Repairs already covered by your general buildings and contents insurance
  • Properties left unoccupied for a set period (usually more than 30 consecutive days)
  • Electricity failure caused by a power cut

 Always read the policy terms and conditions for a detailed list of what is and what isn’t included in your landlord cover before you buy.

Does landlord emergency insurance include boiler cover?

Yes, it should cover you if your boiler breaks down, but you’ll need to get your boiler serviced annually or your claim might not be valid.

What happens if I need to make a claim?

If your insurance provider offers emergency cover, they should give you a 24-hour helpline number that you or your tenants can call if you need to arrange emergency repairs.

Don’t try to organise the repairs yourself as the insurance provider may have existing arrangements with contractors.

Your insurance provider may also cover you for, and help arrange, alternative accommodation for you if needed.

How much does landlord emergency cover cost?

Costs and cover levels vary between insurance providers and can also depend on the limit of cover per claim and the specific emergencies covered by a policy.

What additional insurance do I need as a landlord?

When you compare landlord insurance for your rental property, you can choose to include different elements of landlord cover, depending on your situation and your attitude to risk: 

  • Landlord buildings insurance is a good idea to cover expensive repairs to the structure and permanent fittings of your rental property.
  • Contents insurance can cover any furniture, appliances or possessions you’re leaving in your rental property.
  • Rental income protection covers you for loss of income in case your rental property is damaged and you’re unable to rent it out.
  • Rent guarantee insurance can protect you if your tenants are unable to pay their rent.
  • Public liability cover can cover you if your tenant is injured or has an accident because of unsafe conditions in your rental property and wants to take legal action against you.
  • Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you employ anyone to service or maintain your rental property, such as a gardener, cleaner or handyman.
  • Unoccupied property insurance for landlords if you’re renovating your property before renting it out or you’re between tenants. 

New to being a landlord, or thinking about it? Read our step-by-step guide to becoming a landlord.

How do I compare landlord emergency cover?

It takes minutes to compare landlord emergency cover with Compare the Market. Just give us a few details about you and your rental property, and we’ll send you a list of suitable quotes to choose from.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a landlord insurance quote, we need to know: 

  • If the property is leased for residential or commercial purposes, or both
  • The type of property - is it a flat, bungalow, house, shop or warehouse?
  • When the property was built and how long you’ve owned it
  • Details about your tenants and the agreements you have with them
  • How much it would cost to rebuild your property from scratch
  • The value of any rental contents you’re leaving in the property and want to insure
  • Details of the condition of the property and the security and locks you have fitted
  • If you want extra cover for legal expenses, property owner liability, tenant default or emergency repairs.

You'll also need to provide a few personal details – unless you’ve compared with us before, then we’ll do that for you.

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Landlord insurance providers

We compare a range of landlord insurance providers, including Zurich, Churchill and AXA, to help you get a great-value quote.

Author image Emily Kindness

What our expert says...

“If your rental property needs emergency repairs, a last-minute call-out could cost you more than you think. Save yourself the hassle with 24/7 emergency assistance and keep your tenants safe and happy.”

- Emily Kindness, Business insurance expert

A guide to landlord insurance