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Buy to let insurance guide for new landlords


Buy to let insurance is a specialist package designed to protect a property investment.

Property for rent must have specialist cover - standard home insurance will not pay out if a lodger or tenant is in residence.

Like many other insurance products, buy to let cover comes with several optional extras, so to help new landlords choose the best cover, here are some important points to consider:

  • Buildings insurance - landlord insurance offers this basic cover
  • Landlord liability - This protects the landlords from legal claims by tenants and other visitors to the property. The policy will pay compensation if someone is killed, injured or falls ill due to an incident on the property
  • Landlord contents  - This cover safeguards items up to the insured value left in the home by the landlord, like furnishings, white goods, carpets and curtains.
  • Rent guarantee - This option pays legal fees and unpaid rent covering the eviction of a tenant in arrears.

Many buy to let insurance policies come as a bundle, offering an all-in price for one or more of the above options.

Some specialist landlord insurers also offer portfolio packages that cover a number of investment properties.

Let to buy or let to rent landlords putting tenants in their own home when they move on should always upgrade from standard home insurance to landlord cover. Standard home insurance will include a clause that invalidates cover if a lodger or tenant moves in the property.

If a claim is made, the insurer will not make a pay out and any premiums are lost.

Rent guarantee cover comes with some conditions as well:

  • Insurers will often not accept a claim if the landlord has failed to place a deposit on protection
  • Tenants have to pass a credit check and referencing by a professional third-party service

Landlords should also remember the unoccupied home rule. Many insurance companies regard a home as unoccupied if no one has lived there for 30 consecutive days. This can make insurance cover during refurbishment or rental voids difficult.

If the void time is during winter, the insurer will also expect water and heating systems to be drained down to prevent damage from leaks or burst pipes.

Some specialist insurers offer specific policies for unoccupied homes.