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Landlord insurance buyer’s guide


Landlord insurance is often sold on price rather than the depth of cover, so property investors should dig deeper in to their policies to understand just what they can claim for.
One family recently picked up a £20,000 tab after a drugs gang moved in to their three-bedroom buy to let and wreaked havoc growing cannabis – but their insurance claim was rejected because the policy failed to include a malicious damage clause.
So what is landlord insurance and what cover should a property investor go for?

What is landlord buy to let insurance?

First, breakdown landlord insurance in to the component parts-

  • Buildings insurance – similar cover to a standard buildings policy that deals with protecting the structure of the building. Buildings insurance does not pay out for wear and tear
  • Contents cover – a much broader policy that most standard home contents insurance that should include vital public liability insurance of £2 million or more to project against claims from tenants and third parties who are injured or fall ill a the result of something at the buy to let


  • Rent guarantee – insurance that pays the legal costs for evicting an errant renters who fall in to rent arrears or break their tenancy agreement plus the monthly rent

How to buy landlord insurance

Dozens of firms offer landlord insurance, from big band names to specialist brokers. One of the best places to start the hunt for a deal is an insurance comparison site online, but not every insurance firm has signed up to their databases.
Think about giving the ring round job to a reliable independent broker who can put together a short-list of suitable policies and their pros and cons.
Landlords with several letting properties can consider offering the insurer a group policy that offers a discount for building, contents and rent guarantee cover.
The main insurance problems for landlords are damage to property – both accidental and malicious – and evicting tenants in rent arrears.
Although cover for damage is likely to cost more, paying that little extra can really make a difference, so skimping on cover can leave a landlord seriously out of pocket.

The right cover at the right price

Tenants are unlikely to move out under their own steam as they make themselves intentionally homeless, which stops the council offering them social housing. That leaves landlords playing a pointless game of paying to issue an eviction notice and serving court papers so the tenant can prove they are not moving because they want to.
The end result is this game makes landlord insurance unnecessarily more expensive for property investors.
The secret of buying landlord insurance is not to buy poor cover because the premium is cheap, but the right cover at the best price.
Look at adjusting the cover, any excess and sum assured to gain the cover required for the best value for money in for stead of letting the insurer push the price through the roof.