First uploaded: November 2022
As a landlord, we know that you have a lot on your plate. From managing tenancies, to making sure your rental property has the right protection, there’s a lot to think about. At the Insurance Choice Awards in 2021 we were voted best landlord insurance provider in the UK, and we aim to take the pressure off as much as possible. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you choose the right landlord insurance for you.
Should landlords have insurance?
There is no legal obligation to have landlord insurance in place. However, if you have a mortgage, you may find that your provider requires you to have buildings insurance (which is included within landlord insurance). If you don’t have a mortgage, landlord insurance is still sensible to protect you against the major risks involved with letting properties.
Is landlords’ insurance worth it?
Landlord insurance is worth it if you want to be financially protected against a range of different risks. What would you do if something particularly costly happened to your property and you didn't have insurance in place?
Imagine your rental property was damaged in a fire and needed repairing or rebuilding. Without insurance, could you afford to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket?
If you had landlord insurance in place, you'd be covered for repairing or rebuilding your property if it was damaged by an insured risk. At Endsleigh, we offer a wide range of insurance options whether you own single or multiple properties.
Types of landlord cover
There are three main types of cover when it comes to insuring your rental property:
• Buildings – Cover for your property’s structure. Cover is offered against certain risks like fire, theft and flood.
• Contents – Cover for specific items that you leave within the property for the tenant’s use. For example, white goods and furniture.
• Property owner’s liability – Cover for legal liability arising from personal injury or property damage experienced by third parties.
Aside from the main types of cover, you may also have additional elements included such as accidental damage, loss of rent and alternative accommodation, malicious damage and employer’s liability.
You can also opt for specialist insurance for certain types of properties. For example, block of flats insurance, commercial landlord insurance or student landlord insurance.
How to choose landlord insurance
As with any important purchase, choosing landlord insurance is something you’ll probably want to think carefully about. With so much to consider, you’ll likely want to work with specialists to make sure your cover is exactly what you need. Here are some questions to answer when choosing a landlord insurer.
What type of property do you have?
Depending on your type of property, you may require more specialist cover. So, a good place to start is establishing your property type, then create a shortlist of insurers who may offer that cover.
For example, you may categorise yourself as needing one of the following:
- Residential landlord insurance (where you let a single property)
- Student landlord insurance
- Multi-property insurance (where you let a portfolio of properties)
- Commercial property insurance
- Non-standard landlord insurance
- Landlord insurance with pet damage
What type of tenants do you have?
A question that goes hand-in-hand with your property type, your tenant type will likely be something to consider too. Your tenant type may affect the cost of insurance, so it’s a good idea to see whether your chosen insurer offers the relevant specialist types of cover. Here are some examples:
Students: Insurers sometimes deem students to be higher risk tenants, therefore it might cost you more money to secure landlord insurance. Opting for a student-friendly insurer could help you save money. At Endsleigh, we’ve been working with students for over 55 years and use our expertise in the education sector to support student landlords across the UK.
Tenants with pets: Many insurers don’t offer cover for pet damage. But if you’re a pet-friendly landlord, you should be able to find an insurer that offers pet damage protection. For example, at Endsleigh, we are proud to support Dogs Trust’s ‘Lets with Pets’ scheme. You just need to ask for pet damage to be included when you speak to our team.
Professionals: On the other end of the scale, many landlords experience cheaper premiums when letting to professionals.
DSS (Department of Social Security) tenants: You might find that letting to those who claim housing benefits is more costly. But you may be able to find specialist insurers to get more cost-effective cover.
No tenants – Will your property be unoccupied for a period of time? Some insurers may offer unoccupied landlord insurance to cover those additional risks when a property is left empty.
How much landlord cover do you need?
Determining how much cover you need depends on your property and the contents within it.
Your level of buildings insurance will be based on the rebuild value of your property. This is different to the ‘market value’ as it specifically estimates how much it would cost to rebuild the property from scratch (including things like labour).
To make sure your building is accurately insured, there are services that provide building insurance rebuilding cost valuations such as reinstatement cost assessments and desk-based e-valuations.
Your level of contents insurance will be based on your covered items’ replacement value. Again, this is an estimation of how much it will cost you to replace the items, so it’s really important to make sure your estimation is as accurate as possible, and you’re not underinsured.
Most insurers also offer other elements of cover like property owner and employers’ liability, accidental damage, malicious damage and more.
What kind of experience are you looking for from an insurer?
For many landlords, the reputation of their chosen insurer is a big part of their overall decision. Researching the level of expertise of each of your shortlisted insurers can be a good way to whittle the list down further. For example, do they have an experienced team? Have they won any awards? Do they offer a wide range of cover?
At Endsleigh, our experienced team are here to help you every step of the way when it comes to making sure you have the right level of cover. Plus, we also won the Best Landlord Insurance Provider award at the 2021 Insurance Choice Awards – where votes are purely from consumers!
When should I get landlord insurance?
If you have a mortgage, your provider will likely require you to have buildings insurance in place from the start. Therefore, getting landlord insurance in place sooner rather than later can be a wise decision.
If you don’t have a mortgage, it’s still wise to get landlord insurance in place as soon as you can. Imagine something happened to your property – like a flood or fire – before you had cover. You’d have to pay for any repairs or rebuild yourself. However, if you have cover in place from the very beginning, it’ll make sure you’re covered against the insured risks right from the start.
Landlord insurance with Endsleigh
We provide a wide range of cover for landlords across the UK. From landlords with one property, to multiple, from standard properties to more specialist – our expert team can help.