What’s included in landlord insurance?

April 5, 2012

Landlords Insurance

The only way to be sure what is or is not included in your landlord insurance policy, is to make the effort to read it carefully.  The following points may be worth looking out for if you’re contemplating an Easter review of your business:

  • subsidence cover – this is a potentially devastating problem that may affect virtually any property.  Potentially the costs may be catastrophic unless you have insurance protection but surprisingly, not all policies may include this cover as standard;
  • tenant restrictions – some policies may assess certain categories of tenants as being higher risk than others and that may mean that their let property insurance quote might exclude groupings such as (e.g.) students or DSS etc. That might not fit in with your particular target market segments;
  • accidental damage to buildings – this may be included on certain policies and might be something worth seriously considering;
  • loss of rental income – if your property suffers significant damage, as a result of an insured risk, one of the effects may be that you are forced to move your tenants out of your property.  In those circumstances, your income may take a severe knock but some landlord cover policies may make a contribution towards that loss of income up to a predefined maximum;
  • unoccupied property insurance – policies providing insurance for landlords may be unlikely to cover unoccupied properties.  That may typically be deemed to be any property left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days or so.  Continuity of cover for properties in such situations may typically be provided by unoccupied property insurance;
  • employers’ liability cover – this is far from universally included in all landlord insurance but some policies may include cover up to £10m;
  • discounts – some insurance providers may offer a range of discounts depending upon a number of situations.  For example, taking a higher voluntary excess on your policy may result in substantial savings.  You may also be able to obtain discounts in situations where you are insuring a number of different properties through the same insurance provider (sometimes referred to as property portfolio insurance);
  • legal cover – you may find some policies might offer a contribution to your legal costs should you become embroiled in a dispute with your tenants.  Note though that typically, this aspect of landlord insurance will not cover situations where your tenants have fled leaving large arrears and you are trying to pursue them for the sums due.
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