Landlord insurance

Buy-to-let

Landlord insurance

By Marie Kemplay

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Landlord insurance

Discover how landlord insurance works and what the different types of cover offer.

Landlord insurance: what is it?

Landlord insurance is similar to home insurance but is specifically designed to cover rental properties. Ordinary home insurance is typically not enough to cover a buy-to-let property. 

For example, home insurance will often only cover properties that have been uninhabited for up to a month, whereas landlord insurance will usually allow a home to be empty for three months. This flexibility is useful as it allows for void periods between tenancies.

Landlord insurance: the main elements

  • Landlord buildings insurance: this covers damage to the structure, such as from a fire or a flood, and the cost of making repairs. It also covers the cost of rebuilding the property in the event of extreme damage.
  • Landlord contents insurance: this kind of insurance is especially important if you will be renting out a furnished property. It covers the cost of replacing or repairing furniture and fixtures such as carpets, kitchenware or electrical items such as TVs. It will not pay out for any damage to items that tenants bring to the property – they will need to take out their own contents insurance if they want protection for their possessions.
  • Landlord liability insurance: this will cover you in the event of a tenant or a visitor to the property being injured and you being held responsible.

Landlord insurance: additional features

Beyond basic cover, there are additional features you can get with landlord insurance.

  • Rent guarantee insurance: this will protect you against a loss of income from tenants not paying their rent.
  • Legal expenses cover: this will cover your costs if you're involved in a legal dispute with your tenant.
  • Home emergency cover: if your property's supply of gas, electricity, heating or water is , this can cover the cost of repair and help to get it fixed more quickly.

Landlord insurance: get the right policy

You should check carefully to make sure that the insurance you choose includes the things you need it to – for example, if you want to insure against flood damage. Check the terms and conditions carefully for different exceptions.

Finding out more about your responsibilities as a landlord will help you to make a decision about what level of cover you need.

Need buy-to-let mortgage advice?

If you're considering taking out a buy-to-let mortgage, we'd recommend talking to an impartial, whole-of-market broker such as Which? Mortgage Advisers. Call 0808 252 7987 for a free consultation.

  • Last updated: August 2016
  • Updated by: Marie Kemplay