As a landlord, your buy-to-let property is a valuable asset and it is essential that you have adequate insurance cover to protect it in the event of damage. It is necessary to have specialist landlord insurance as most household policies offer no cover for buildings, contents and landlord’s third party liabilities while the property is being let out.
This insures the structure of the building and covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing damage to your property. Most landlord insurance policies also cover fixtures and fittings which include such items as: carpets, laminate flooring, kitchens, bathrooms, white goods, light fittings and curtains. This landlord insurance cover is perfectly adequate for most landlords who let out an unfurnished property.
If you are letting out a furnished property you will need to have contents insurance to cover any damage by the tenant to your furniture and contents; be aware that the policy will only protect you against damage by the tenant and not property theft. Tenants must buy contents insurance to cover their own contents.
Public Liability Insurance
It’s your responsibility to make sure that your tenants are as safe as possible but, now and again, accidents do happen and that’s why you need public liability insurance. It protects you and your investment property against claims made by tenants for personal injury or damage to their possessions arising from incidents connected with your property. Most landlord insurance policies include public liability insurance cover of at least £2,000,000 as standard.
Loss of Rent Insurance
If your property cannot be lived in or if access is denied because of insured damage to the property, loss of rent cover will help you to cover the rent you cannot receive from tenants. The cover includes either a percentage cost of the lost rent or the cost of alternative accommodation and some rent loss insurance is often included as part of comprehensive landlord insurance policies.
Things to Consider
- Housing Benefit Tenants – Many insurers will only insure properties with working tenants so you need to disclose whether or not your tenant (or potential tenant) claims housing benefit. Failure to do so could invalidate your policy if you need to make a claim.
- Void Periods – be aware that your insurance policy will specify the length of time the property can be unoccupied. This typically varies from 30 to 90 days and you need to factor this in if you are intending to do any work to the property as if you exceed the allocated void time your insurance policy may be invalid.
- Theft – one thing to be aware of with landlord insurance is that theft is only covered if there has been ‘forcible or violent entry or exit’. This means that you won’t be covered if your tenant leaves the property and takes your kitchen appliances or other furniture.
- Multiple Properties – if you own a number of buy-to-let properties it is worth taking out property portfolio insurance, which will cover all of your properties under one single insurance policy. As well as offering cost savings, portfolio insurance means you only have one renewal date, one monthly payment, and you can add or remove properties as required.
We recommend using JSW Insurance Brokers to identify the right policy for you. Based locally in Newcastle-under-Lyme, JSW provide specialist landlord’s insurance at a very competitive rate and take the time to find out exactly what you need so that you aren’t paying over the odds. South & Co don’t recommend other companies lightly and Managing Director Jonathan South has used JSW to insure all of his own buy-to-let properties for the last five years.
Call JSW on 01270 416264 and quote South & Co to obtain a quote or click here to visit their website.