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Buy-to-let landlord insurance

Buying a property and renting it out to tenants can be a lucrative business. But you’ll need specialist buy-to-let insurance to get the protection you need as a landlord.

Find out what it covers and how to get a great deal.

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.

With buy-to-let landlord insurance you could cover everything from boiler breakdowns and loss of rental income to damage caused by flooding or a fire.

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.

Without the right cover, unexpected incidents could leave you seriously out of pocket. Imagine how you’d cope financially if there was a fire or a tenant was badly injured because of a fault at the property and decided to take legal action against you.

What does landlord buy-to-let insurance cover?

Buy-to-let insurance can cover:

Buildings
Buy-to-let buildings insurance 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. 

Property owners’ liability
You’ll be protected if a tenant sues you for any accidents in your property resulting in injury or death that you can be blamed for. Find out more about landlord responsibilities when renting out a property.

Loss of rent
You can make a claim if the property is unfit and not safe to live in after an incident like fire or flooding. You can also get rent guarantee protection, which covers loss of rent if your tenant is still living in the property but not paying rent.

Legal expenses
This could cover legal costs for any potential disputes with your tenants. Examples include defence costs in a liability case or legal action you need to take for evicting tenants.

Home emergencies
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 properties
If you have more than one buy-to-let property, you’ll be able to cover them all under one single policy.

Some types of cover are included as standard, while others can be added as optional extras by paying a bit more for your premium. 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 buy-to-let property 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:

  1. Increasing your voluntary excess – this is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim. Raising this could lower your premium, but make sure you set it at a level you can afford.
  2. Installing security features – having an alarm system, as well as good locks on doors and windows, might help you get a better quote.
  3. Avoiding higher-risk tenants – insurance will cost you more if you rent to students, for example, as insurance providers consider them higher risk.
  4. 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.
  5. Paying for your insurance annually – you may have to pay interest if you make monthly payments.
  6. 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.

Where can I find a landlord buy-to-let insurance quote?

Getting the most suitable landlord buy-to-let insurance is easy with Compare the Market’s handy comparison tool.

While you’ll want to save where you can, opting for the cheapest policy may 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.

Start a quote

How much does buy-to-let landlord’s 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.

What do I need to get a quote?

You’ll need to give us a few details about you and your policy, including:

  • Location
  • Type of property – a house or flat, for example
  • Your property’s rebuild cost
  • How long you’ve owned the property for
  • Whether it’ll be occupied when the policy starts.
Start a quote

Why use Compare the Market?

We compare prices for 14 landlord insurance providers[1]  Rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot[2]

 

[1] Correct as of March 2024.

[2] As of April 2nd 2024, Compare the Market had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 41,487 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.

Author image Helen Phipps

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 could give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your property and landlord responsibilities.”

- Helen Phipps, Car and home insurance expert

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.