A Guide to Residential Landlord Insurance Policy
The concept of landlord insurance is certainly not a novel idea but over the past decade or so more and more insurers have jumped on the bandwagon. This has resulted in reduced premiums for UK landlords and at the same time a greater choice in the types of policies and cover available for their property portfolios. Some of these new players in buy-to-let insurance arena only specialise on this area and offer plans that can meet the needs of even the most ardent of landlords. You could have a building rented out to asylum seekers, students, people on income support and can still get it insured at a very reasonable cost. If one of you home is empty some insurers have developed schemes that cater for this. This typically comes under the heading of vacant property insurance.
A common theme across the rental market in that most tenants will not protect there contents whilst they there renting. Furthermore, legally they are under no obligation to insure their contents and as such most do not take out any protection to cover their goods in the event of a disaster. The building is obviously the responsibility of the landlord and they need to ensure that it is maintained and fit for the purpose of renting. The property owner needs to adhere to any legal legislation and they have a duty of care to ensure the safety of the people within the premises.
The buy to let market has certainly been very buoyant in the past decade with TV programmes and other media give it plenty of attention. This phenomenon has created many people to jump on the property ladder either for investment purposes or purely to supplement their income. However, it has been the fairy tale that everyone expected and many have lost out due to lack of experience or not taking advice from experienced investors. Some people have seen their investments plummet in terms of negative equity and a few have gone bankrupt. Property owners without landlord insurance cover have seen claims declined due to incorrect material facts declared to the insurance company.
All landlords, whether you own just a single flat or a wide range of different properties must ensure these assets are protected with correct policies. From landlords building insurance, contents, liability and loss of rent all being equally important. Do your homework, assess what needs insuring and then compare quotes from a myriad of sources that available to you. There are online web portals offering comparison quotes, you can use telephone directories and even ask other friends and colleagues that are in the rental business.
Remember even if your property is vacant do not assume that you can get away by not insuring it. These types of buildings are at higher risk from vandalism and fire claims and thus need to be properly insured under a landlord’s empty property insurance policy. If the property is unoccupied due to you awaiting suitable tenants then ask the insurance provider if the same policy can be converted to a landlords cover. Ask about any penalties and terms that may apply once you convert the policy to a residential landlord’s home insurance package.