What can you claim for?
Check the terms of your cover, but most landlord insurance policies let you claim for:
Damage to your building
Lost, damaged or stolen contents
Property owner's liability
Loss of rent and rent guarantee
Home emergency and boiler breakdown
You may be restricted on what you can claim for, for example if you let to students or if your property has been unoccupied for a long time. You can read more about how to get the right cover for your property here.
How to make a claim
If your property has been burgled or vandalised, you should report the damage to your local police station as soon as you can and record the incident number they give you.
For all claims, you should then report the issue to your insurer by:
Calling their claims number, which can be found on your policy documents.
Explaining why you need to claim. You may need to complete a claims form but most insurers can take some if not all details over the phone.
Following your insurer's advice on how to limit the damage and pay your excess.
Sending any paperwork, including supporting documents you have been asked for, like photographs or estimated repair costs.
Meeting with an assessor, who may need to visit your home to take further details from you and check the damage.
Check your policy documents for full details of what your insurer may need, as this could help speed up the process and get your claim paid quicker.
Will it cost you to claim?
You need to pay your excess, which is the fixed amount you pay towards each claim.
You may have to pay your excess before your insurer deals with your claim, but most insurers deduct the excess from the total value of the claim.
You may pay more for insurance at renewal if you have claimed, because your insurer will try to recover some of their costs. You are also considered more likely to claim again.
Some insurers set high excesses on some sections of cover, like accidental damage, if you claim for this regularly. This may help keep your premium down, so speak to your insurer to find out what your options are.
How will your claim be settled?
It depends what you are claiming for:
|Claim settlement||Type of claim, e.g.|
|Replacement||Damage to contents|
|Cheque or bank transfer||Loss of rent claims|
It depends on the type of claim you make, but insurers try to settle claims as quickly as possible. Ask your insurer about timescales when you report your claim.
If your claim is simple, like accidental damage, it could be paid within a couple of days. However, more complicated building or liability claims could take weeks or even months.
What if your claim is rejected?
Your insurer may refuse to pay your claim if:
The cause of damage is excluded from your policy
You are claiming for general wear and tear, e.g. carpet stains
You failed to report your claim quickly enough, e.g. within 24 hours
You have not tried to prevent further damage, e.g. boarding up broken windows
You gave incorrect information when you took out cover or made your claim
You have not updated your insurer with changes to your circumstances
If you think your claim has been rejected unfairly, you can complain to your insurer or escalate your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
What changes should you tell your insurer about?
Keep your insurer up to date on:
New tenants, as they may not be covered by your policy, e.g. asylum seekers
Changes to your marital status or contact details, as this could affect how much you pay
Unoccupied periods, of more than 30 days
Changes to rent, which affect how much loss of rent cover you need
Increases to the rebuild value or contents, if you have a valuation or buy new furniture
Building works or refurbishments, like a new kitchen or extension to the property
Check with your insurer for a full list of things you should keep them informed of.