As a landlord, it is important that you ensure your property is adequately protected when you let it out to tenants.
As well as the standard risks such as fire, or escape of water which could happen to anyone, tenant or owner, you also have to consider any other risk that may be possible when you let out your home to tenants. Whilst the vast majority of tenants will treat their home well and take good care of the property, accidents do happen, and it's in your best interests to ensure you have adequate cover.
Why do I need landlord insurance?
Well, when you rent out a property, the associated risks are different. These lettings-specific risks probably won't all be covered under a standard home insurance policy, so if you want to insure your property, it's important to consider something more tailored and a policy that has been specially designed to meet your needs as a landlord letting your property to tenants.
For example, if you make a claim on home insurance taken out in your name when letting out a property, your insurer may reject it. This, in turn, could leave you out of pocket and potentially footing a sizeable bill. Without specialist landlord insurance, you could find you are not covered at all, and your investment could be in jeopardy.
Whether renting out a single property or looking to insure an expanding property portfolio, you'll need to consider specialist landlord insurance to ensure you're adequately covered and your investment is protected against risks and unexpected costs.
Once you have landlord insurance, it's also of the utmost importance that you let your insurer know about any change in circumstances. This includes:
If you're planning to move home or change address
If you want to increase or change the value of your cover
If the payment details for your policy change
If you change your contact email address
While you are under no legal obligation to insure a property you're renting out, it makes sense on many levels to consider do so. If you've taken out a mortgage on your property rather than buying it outright, your lender may insist that you have adequate insurance for the building.
With this in mind, you should look for insurance options specifically designed for landlords, as they will help you safeguard your financial future.
What protection can landlord insurance offer?
Every landlord insurance policy will have different features; you can find out more about the options available from HomeLet on our website.
Deciding on the right level of cover for your property can prove tricky; the cheapest policy might not necessarily be suited to your needs. You need to check that the policy you opt for gives you all the protection you require.
It's important to remember that Landlord's Insurance can include many different elements, including buildings insurance, contents insurance, liability insurance, emergency assistance insurance, legal expenses insurance and rent guarantee, so you need to carefully consider which elements of cover you might want when coming to your decision.
How does bad weather affect insurance claims?
In February and March 2018, the UK was hit by a particularly vicious cold spell – nicknamed the Beast from the East – which, along with Storm Emma, wrought chaos across the country.
Freezing winds, snow, rain and freezing temperatures battered Britain for a couple of weeks, causing some of the worst weather in years. Travel was severely disrupted, schools and hospitals were closed, and the Met Office issued several red alerts as the cold snap stung.
As you'd expect, the severe weather led to many issues with people's homes and, later, a considerable number of insurance claims. According to the Association of British Insurers, the widespread disruption saw insurance claims rocket by 290% in the first quarter of 2018, with property insurers paying out a record amount in burst pipe claims.
Overall, £1.25 billion was paid by insurers under domestic and commercial property insurance policies in Q1 2018 – the highest quarterly figure for two years. While insurance pay-outs to homeowners and businesses for storm, flood and burst pipe damage leapt to £361 million, 290% up on the £93 million paid in the previous quarter. The number of claims handled also jumped to 86,000 from 29,000 in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, £194 million was paid out to help homeowners cope with burst pipes - the highest amount ever paid in a single quarter and up from just £4 million paid out in the fourth quarter of 2017.
With severe cold spells set to become more common due to climate change, it's more critical than ever that your homes are well maintained and adequately insured to prevent you from being out of pocket.
Where can I get my landlord insurance?
Like any financial decision, it's important to explore all the available options before committing to a product. You should compare and research different landlord products on the market to ensure you have the right one.
Be careful to scrutinise closely what is covered so you know exactly what you are getting from your landlord package. It's also wise to check company reviews using a peer-to-peer review platform such as Feefo.