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Landlord Insurance – General Information
Landlord insurance is cover that specifically protects owners of properties rented out to tenants. Whilst this insurance is not a legal requirement, many mortgage lenders make it a compulsory condition for anyone taking out a buy-to-let mortgage. A standard home insurance policy won’t normally provide adequate protection for the additional risks that a rented-out property poses, whereas landlord insurance can accommodate these more specialist needs. Even if the landlord lives in part of the property and rents out another part, simple home insurance is unlikely to be sufficient.
There are many different aspects to landlord insurance, depending on the type of property being rented out, the tenants renting the property, and how much protection the landlord wants to have. Buildings insurance is the basic level of cover, which insures the main structure of the property and any permanent fittings against any damage. Contents insurance is another key component of a landlord insurance policy, particularly if the property is rented fully or part-furnished. This will cover possessions such as carpets, sofas, and other furniture in the event of theft, fire, flooding, and other unforeseen incidents. Some landlord insurance policies may also have the option to include cover for accidental damage. Any items belonging to the tenants aren’t covered by landlord insurance, so they would need to take out their own contents insurance policy.
In addition to buildings and contents insurance, landlord insurance policies have some more specialist cover options. Property owner’s liability insurance protects the landlord and takes care of any compensation claims if their property causes injury or damage to third parties, tenants, or their possessions. This is often included in most landlord insurance policies, particularly if the property is used for student or social housing.
Landlord insurance also offers some protection for rental payments. Tenant default insurance (also known as rent guarantee insurance) provides cover if, for some reason, a tenant fails to pay their rent on time, whilst 'loss of rent' insurance covers rental payments if the property becomes uninhabitable. For example, if there’s been a fire or flood and the tenants are forced to move out, this insurance will cover the lost rental income. (Buildings and contents insurance will only cover the property, not the rent lost as a result of the damage.)
Legal expenses can be included in landlord insurance, to cover any legal costs incurred as a result of a dispute with tenants.
Landlord insurance can also incorporate home emergency cover, which covers the cost of repairs for emergency situations such as burst pipes and gas or electricity failures.
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