If you are a private or commercial landlord looking for insurance for buildings, industrial units, shops, detached or terraced houses, bungalows, maisonettes, apartments, a block of flats or a house converted into flats, you need building insurance or landlord insurance to protect your assets.
You may also need landlord insurance if you are a freeholder, leaseholder, management company or residents’ association.
What Is Landlord Insurance?
Landlord insurance is a package policy designed to cover the risks that landlords face including the following:
- Sudden and unforeseen damage to buildings and any contents that you own, such as carpets, curtains, washing machines and fridges as well as cover for fixtures and fittings, such as wi-fi, satellite dishes and broadband equipment.
- Accidental breakage of glass, sinks, toilets and baths.
- Loss of rental income, in case an event, such as fire or flood, means that the occupants have to move out while repairs are in progress.
- Property owner’s liability in case a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged at your property and they decide it’s your fault. Two examples of incidents that might lead to a property owners liability claim are: someone falling down some steps or a tile falling off the roof and damaging a car parked below.
Landlord insurance can be extended to include:
- Malicious damage to property by tenants and guests
- The cost of legal expenses should you need to evict squatters
- Employers liability, if you employ a caretaker for example. Insurance for blocks of flats usually includes this automatically
- Rent guarantee cover
Can I Insure Commercial And Residential Buildings On The Same Policy?
Yes. If you own mixed use buildings – part occupied as commercial and part residential, they can both be insured on one landlord insurance policy.
If you own a shop, office or cafe, let to a business or to the local council, with a flat or flats above, the whole building can be covered on one insurance policy.
How much is Landlord Insurance?
The cost of commercial or residential landlord insurance depends on a number of factors, including the location of your property, its construction, age and value and whether it’s commercial, residential or a mixture of the two.
The cost will also be affected if you need cover for furniture, furnishings and white goods in the kitchen, which you have provided for the use of the tenants. These items can be insured under the landlords contents section.
How Do I Get Landlord Insurance?
Many insurance companies offer commercial property insurance and buy to let insurance, so there is a wide range of products available. You can buy landlord insurance online but you’ll probably have to deal with a call centre if you need help with anything and you’ll usually then be on your own if you have to make a claim.
It’s a good idea to work with an independent business insurance broker to make sure you get the right cover at a competitive price. They will usually get you several quotes from different companies and then recommend the product that best fits your requirements.
Five points to consider when arranging commercial landlord and buy-to-let insurance:
- Is the building insured for the correct amount? If the sum insured is too low your landlord insurance will be subject to average and you may have to pay towards rebuilding costs yourself.
- Is it a listed building? If so, is the insurance company aware and is the sum insured adequate? Rebuilding can take longer and can be more expensive. If you have loss of rent cover, is it for a long enough period?
- Advise your insurance company of any non-standard construction, such as timber frame, flat roof or thatch.
- Make sure your insurance company has the correct details with regard to how the buildings are occupied. If it’s a commercial building this may change when the tenants change. With a residential property you need to tell insurers if your tenants are students, DHSS or asylum seekers, or if the property is used by a charity or as supported living accommodation.
- If your property becomes unoccupied, check the cover you have for this. Read any unoccupancy conditions or phone your insurance broker to discuss.
What insurance does a landlord need when renovating or extending a property?
If you are renovating, refurbishing or extending a house or building that you plan to rent out once completed, check with your insurance company that the work is covered. A standard landlord’s policy may not be adequate.
You need insurance that will cover the existing structure, the building works & the property owner’s liability in a single policy & you may need to include contents as well.
Need advice about landlord insurance?
Here at Breathe we have many years of experience in landlord insurance, whether you need cover for a buy-to-let property or a number of properties. We offer a personal service, help you decide what cover you need and do all the work of comparing insurance quotes for you to make sure you have the right cover in place at the most competitive premium. And we’ll be here to help in the event of a claim.