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Landlord home emergency cover

A burst pipe, broken-down boiler, storm-damaged roof… there are many emergency situations where you need to act fast to keep your tenants safe and protect your property from further damage.

Getting ​​landlord home emergency cover means you’ll be covered for emergency callouts and repairs – even if you’re not around to handle it yourself.

What is landlord emergency cover?

Landlord home emergency cover is offered as an optional extra on most landlord insurance policies. It could help recoup the cost of out-of-hours callouts and repairs resulting from emergency situations.

A home emergency is an event that:

  • Makes your property unsafe or unfit to live in
  • Puts your tenants in danger
  • Compromises your home’s security.

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 home emergency cover for landlords include?

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

  • Plumbing and heating emergencies, 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.

What isn’t covered by landlord home emergency insurance?

Landlord home emergency cover is only valid for unexpected emergencies. It typically 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
  • The cost of additional repairs once the emergency has been resolved
  • Faults, damage or pest infestations you were aware of when you bought 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.

Will I need a different policy for landlord boiler cover?

Landlord emergency insurance will usually only cover the callout and immediate repair if your boiler breaks down. It won’t cover any further repairs once the initial problem has been sorted. Emergency insurance also won’t normally cover annual servicing.

If you want more comprehensive protection for your boiler, you’ll need to take out separate boiler cover. With this, you could claim for various boiler issues, not just emergencies. Some policies will also cover annual servicing and repairs to your wider plumbing system, central heating and electrics.

Whichever type of policy you choose, you’ll need to show proof of an annual boiler service and gas safety check to make a claim. If these checks aren’t complete, your claim might not be valid. 

Why do I need landlord emergency cover?

​​Although emergency insurance isn’t a legal requirement, ​landlords have a responsibility to keep their tenants safe.

Say you get a call from a tenant about a burst pipe flooding the property. If you’re not covered for emergencies, you’ll need to arrange a plumber at short notice – which could be a major hassle. And when you consider that the average cost of repairing a leaking pipe is around £330 (plus labour), it’s an expensive business.

​​Having landlord emergency cover means repairs could be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. This will also reduce the impact on your tenants and make the property safe again more quickly.

With many policies, you could even get your tenants added as interested parties so they can arrange emergency repairs themselves. But do check exactly what’s included before you buy.

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 as emergency cover doesn’t include damage from gradual wear and tear. This means your insurance provider may not pay out if they decide the emergency repairs are needed because of gradual deterioration.

Be sure to 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 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 might also cover you for, and help arrange, alternative accommodation for you if needed.

Will landlord home emergency cover all repairs?

No, this type of cover only deals with the source of the emergency, not the subsequent damage caused by the emergency. 

For instance, if a storm damages your roof, causing rain to seep in and flood the carpet below, home emergency cover will pay for the cost of repairing the roof. It won’t cover damage to your carpet – although you may be able to claim on your home contents policy for this.  

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 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
  • Wheather 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 Mubina Pirmohamed

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.”

- Mubina Pirmohamed, Business and landlord insurance expert

A guide to landlord insurance