It would be easy to assume that being a landlord carries no more risk than that faced by an owner-occupier, but this is not the case. Renting out residential properties comes with certain risks that homeowners do not face. Imagine a tenant decides to sue, because they believe an injury was caused by the landlord’s negligence? As well as the obvious fire and flood risks, and cover for contents, landlord insurance can cover costs such as loss of rental income and the rehousing of tenants.
What types of insurance cover does a landlord need?
If the property is freehold, you will need a buildings insurance policy to cover your losses in the event of a flood, fire or other kind of manmade or natural disaster – such as lightning or storm damage, or that caused by a riot or explosion. Buildings insurance policies will normally cover fixed items like fitted kitchens, bathroom sanitaryware and boilers. Insurance for leasehold properties is usually arranged by the freeholder.
Whether or not you, as a landlord, need contents insurance depends on whether you let the property furnished or not. You are not responsible for covering items that belong to the tenant/s, but if you own the furnishings or white goods, it’s best to cover those.
If you have a buy-to-let mortgage, the lender will probably insist you take out adequate landlord insurance cover. This kind of policy may also cover events such as loss of rent or rehousing to help guarantee your income.