Landlords guide to buy to let Insurance

Buy to let insurance is a specialist building and contents package for landlords renting out homes to tenants.

Rental property needs bespoke cover because claims under standard home insurance policies will be rejected.

Insuring a buy to let is no more complicated than arranging cover for your home – and for landlords with two or more properties, some insurers will also consider block policies to cover the portfolio.

The important points a landlord needs to consider are:

  • Insuring the building – basic cover for house and fixtures;
  • Liability cover – This covers legal claims from tenants and other visitors who are killed, injured or fall ill as a result of a problem at the home;
  • Contents cover – Protects furnishings, white goods, carpets and curtains  that are damaged;
  • Rent guarantee – Safeguards rental income and legal costs for eviction if a tenant falls in to arrears;

Like most home insurance policies, landlord buy to let insurance comes in bundled packages – offering basic cover plus add-on options for an extra premium.

Landlords taking tenants in to their former home should always upgrade from standard home insurance to landlord cover or they could find the policy is void if they make a claim.

Standard home insurance does not provide cover if a lodger or tenant moves in the property.

Rent guarantee cover comes with some conditions as well:

  • Any tenant deposit must be placed on protection in one of the three authorised schemes;
  • Tenants must have been referenced through a reputable  credit checking company like Experian, Equifax or CallCredit

As an added complication, the ‘unoccupied’ home rule is generally written in to buy to let insurance policies. This clause voids a claim if a property has been empty for 30 days or more – so landlords should make sure lengthy refurbishments or voids do not breach the rule.

Buying landlord insurance is like shopping for any other policy – work out the cover you need and select the polices that offer the benefits at the best price.

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