Top questions on landlords insurance

February 21, 2012

Landlords Insurance

Here is a selection of frequently asked questions on the subject of landlords insurance.

Who needs landlords insurance?

Landlords do!

The response is slightly tongue-in-cheek but it has a serious point as the question should be more directed towards understanding how one becomes a landlord.

For typical insurance providers, the response is relatively straightforward.

If you are obtaining rental income from property (potentially including even a single room in your house that you are letting out) then you are a landlord.

That means that if you are to ensure continuity of cover for your property and its contents, you may no longer be able to manage with owner-occupier home buildings and contents insurance (which will typically become invalid once you start obtaining rental income) and will need landlords cover instead.

Is this just bureaucracy?

No.  It is a very serious point of insurance distinction.

As a landlord, your risks and liabilities change from what they may have been as an owner-occupier.  This needs to be reflected in your insurance cover for your property and its contents.

It is typically relatively easy to obtain a let property insurance quote and it may not be advisable to put this off if you are effectively a landlord.

What are the differences in cover?

Space does not permit a full discussion here but suffice to say that things such as the fact you will have tenants in your property, needs to be reflected in your insurance cover.

For example, some policies may provide cover for a loss of rental income in the event your tenants need to move out due to an insured risk making your property temporarily uninhabitable.

You may also find that such policies may have a higher level of third party liability insurance – something that it may pay to take very seriously indeed once you are dealing with tenants.

What do advertisements for the best unoccupied property insurance mean?

Whether you are an owner-occupier or a landlord, your buildings and contents insurance policy may well contain a clause that states that cover may cease in all or part, once your property stands unoccupied for more than a specified period of time.

A typical time period may be around 30 days.

After that time, if you wish to maintain continuity of cover, you may need to have what is called unoccupied property insurance.

In passing, be cautious about claims relating to insurance being the best or cheapest.  This may depend very much upon the individual requirements concerned and what proves to be one of those things for someone else may not be cover that is suitable for you.

Whether you are looking for landlords insurance or unoccupied property cover, comparing options against each other and being clear as to your own requirements, is highly advisable.

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