Landlord insurance is a type of home insurance. It's especially for landlords who have rental properties.

There are all sorts of landlord insurance, including:

  • Landlord building insurance

  • Landlord contents insurance

  • Landlord accidental damage insurance

  • Landlord liability insurance

  • Landlord unoccupied property cover

  • Landlord rental protection insurance.

You can find standalone policies, as well as policies that combine one or more of the above.

It's not a legal requirement to have landlord insurance. But by having it, you'll get protection in case the worst happened. It's a sensible way to protect your investment.

Some lenders make landlord house insurance a requirement of a buy-to-let mortgage. So you might find it's not optional for you. Check your mortgage requirements carefully.

How to get the right landlord insurance

It's a good idea to compare landlord insurance before you choose which one to buy.

As with any insurance, it's a good idea to get the best landlord insurance you can afford. Getting cheap landlord insurance is great, but only if you're getting enough protection. So look at all the factors when you compare policies, and not just the price.

Our landlord insurance comparison can help you find the right insurance policy for your buy to let property. Just make sure you start by deciding what cover you need. Then you can get a tailored landlord insurance quote.

Here's more information about how landlord insurance works.

What does landlord insurance cover?

This will depend on your policy. The more cover you have, the more you'll pay. But the sorts of things that landlord insurance could cover you for include:

  • The building itself (structural)

  • Features of the property (kitchens, bathrooms)

  • Theft, fire, flood

  • Your belongings such as furniture and flooring/carpets

  • Accidental damage caused by tenants

  • Disruption to rental income - if you can't rent it out because it's damaged

  • Rent arrears - if your tenants don't pay

  • Damage caused while the property's empty (between tenants)

  • Legal costs

  • Boiler breakdown

  • Malicious damage caused by tenants

  • Alternative accommodation - in case your tenants have to move out while repairs are made to the property

There's more information on cover below.

Will regular home insurance cover me?

Regular home insurance is unlikely to cover you, because you're not living in the rental property. It's important to have the right landlord home insurance to make sure you're covered for any claims you need to make.

Regular home insurance isn't usually enough, especially because you don't get to see the state of the property very often. You don't know whether your tenant is causing any damage to the property. Plus, you can't rely on your tenants to properly and promptly address issues before they spiral. Worse still - if your tenant is injured inside your rental property, you could even be liable if you don't have the right landlord insurance.

Choosing the right type of landlord house insurance

You can use this comparison to find landlords insurance that covers what you need.

There are lots of options for landlord property insurance. Here's a little bit of information about all the types of landlord insurance, UK wide.

  • Landlord building insurance: This covers the cost of rebuilding your property if the worst happened. For example, your home could be affected by fire, a lightning strike, an earthquake, burst pipes or subsidence. The rebuild cost isn't the same as the market value or the price you paid for the property. It's how much it would cost to rebuild your home, rather than buy it again. You'll need to use a rebuild calculator to work out the cost before you take out your insurance.

  • Landlord contents insurance: Work out how much it would cost to replace the contents in the property. If your property is unfurnished, you'll probably only need a small amount of cover. If it's furnished, you'll need a lot more.

  • Accidental damage: This covers the cost of damage to your property or its contents, caused accidentally by your tenants. Some insurers may charge you extra to add this feature to your landlord insurance quote.

  • Landlord liability: This covers you if your tenants are injured or ill because you haven't taken proper care of your property. You can choose a limit of up to 5 million.

  • Accidental damage: This covers the cost of damage to your property or its contents, caused accidentally by your tenants. Some insurers may charge you extra to add this feature to your landlord insurance quote.

  • Rent guarantee: Rental protection insurance covers your rental income if your tenants fail to pay. Some landlord policies automatically include this. But you might need separate rent guarantee cover.

  • Unoccupied property cover: During periods where your property is empty, it's more at risk of being broken into or damaged. Without people living in it, burglars are more likely to strike, and nobody is around to spot problems such as leaks early. Having the right insurance in place would mean you were covered for potential issues like these.

There's even a chance you could need employers' liability insurance. You're legally required to have this if you employ anyone at your rental property such as a gardener or cleaner. It would cover you if they were to suffer injury or illness due to negligence.

Here's how to choose the right landlord insurance policy.

Do I need landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance gives more cover than regular home insurance. So, if you're a landlord of any sort, it's a good idea to think about getting landlord insurance. That applies whether you rent a house to paying tenants, or rent a house or flat to paying family members.

You should also check whether your mortgage lender requires you to have landlord cover.

If you have a holiday home you might need holiday let insurance.

If you sublet a room in your own house, you won't need landlord insurance. But you'll need to check that subletting is covered by your home insurance. You should also double check that subletting a room is allowed under your mortgage agreement.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

When you choose your landlord insurance, find the best landlord insurance, UK wide, that you can. Don't just look specifically for cheap landlord insurance. The cover is just as important than the price, if not more important.

The cost of your landlord insurance can vary, depending on a range of factors. These include:

  • The condition of your property - the better condition it's in, the cheaper your premiums will be

  • The security measures at your property - better security such as alarms and locks means cheaper insurance

  • The level of cover you want - you'll pay more if you add extras

  • Your claims history - the more claims you've made, the more expensive your insurance will be

  • Your tenant - their employment status can affect the price of your rent guarantee cover

  • The location of your property - the better and safer the area your property's in, the cheaper your insurance will be.

How to save money on landlord house insurance

There are a few steps you can take to help keep your landlord insurance cost down. These include:

  • Compare landlord insurance. That way you can get a landlord insurance quote that gives you the cover you need at a good price. Shopping around is crucial.

  • Think about who you're renting to. The kinds of tenants you have will impact the price of your landlord insurance. For example, sociable students are higher risk tenants than an older professional couple, so insurance will cost more.

  • Check if you need buildings insurance. f you own a flat, the freeholder for the building might already have buildings insurance. If that's the case, you may not need your own buildings insurance.

  • Don't get too much contents insurance. If you're letting the property unfurnished, you'll only need a small amount. This'll cover things like carpets and light fittings.

  • Think carefully about what extras you need. Make sure you're only paying for the cover you want.

  • Keep your property in good condition. If you stay on top of repairs and wear and tear, you'll get a better quote.

  • Invest in extra security measures. Make sure your property has decent locks, for example.

  • Only making claims when you need to. The fewer claims you make, the cheaper your quotes will be.

  • Set a higher voluntary excess. Whenever you make an insurance claim, you'll pay a voluntary excess fee. The higher you set this, the cheaper your insurance will be.

  • Pay annually. Annual insurance is always cheaper than monthly insurance. That's because when you pay monthly, the insurance company is essentially giving you a loan, so you're paying interest for the privilege.

  • Don't leave the property unoccupied. You'll need extra cover if you do, and this can be expensive.

Here's more information about how to save on your landlord insurance.

Compare quotes

Once you've decided what cover you need, you'll need to compare landlord insurance.

Compare as many quotes as possible to make sure you get the best price. When it comes to landlord insurance, cost shouldn't be your top consideration. Discount landlord insurance might be more affordable but, if it doesn't give you the cover you need, it's no good to you.

Don't forget to check the minimum excess you have to pay towards claims. You can talk to your insurer about discounts for choosing a higher excess.

Can you get multi-property landlord insurance?

If you've got more than one rental property, some insurers might offer multi-property landlord insurance. That means you'd have multiple properties covered under one policy.

This can sometimes work out cheaper than getting individual policies. But it's always best to compare landlord insurance before you decide which to go for.

How to make a claim on your landlord insurance

Making a claim on your rental property insurance is simple. The important thing is that you fully understand the terms and conditions of your policy when you take property owners insurance out.

To make a claim, you'll need to report any theft or damage to the police (if that's what your claim is for). You'll need to ask for a crime reference number.

If your claim isn't for theft or damage, the most important thing is to submit your claim as quickly as possible. Insurance claims can take a long time to process, so it's best to get started early.

Is landlord insurance tax deductible?

Yes, you can claim landlord insurance - as well as some other costs of running and maintaining your property - as an expense to reduce your tax bill.

What information will I need to share to get landlord insurance?

It's a good idea to gather what information you can before you try to arrange your landlord insurance.

The sort of information that you'll need includes:

  • The address of the property

  • When the property was built

  • The rebuild cost (you can use a rebuild calculator to help you work this out)

  • Information about the type of tenants you have and the length of the tenancy agreement

  • Details of locks and alarms fitted at the property

  • The total value of your personal belongings (if you keep any at the property, such as furniture)

  • Information about any claims you've made over the last five years

  • Which type of landlord insurance you want to buy

  • Details of how you'd like to pay for your insurance - monthly or annually

Landlord insurance FAQs

Q

Do I have to get landlord insurance?

A

You do not legally have to, but your mortgage lender may need you to have cover. It is also important if you rely on your rent to pay your mortgage.

Q

Can I cover more than one property under the same policy?

A

Yes, most landlord insurers offer discounts for portfolio cover. Speak to an insurance broker to find the right portfolio policy for you.

Q

Am I covered for damage caused by my tenants?

A

Most insurers can provide cover for malicious damage, but you may have to pay more to include this.

Q

Should I insure my tenants' contents?

A

No, your tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents. However, you should insure your own contents if your property is furnished.

Q

Is loss of rent covered?

A

It is included if you cannot rent your property because it has been damaged, but you may have to buy cover separately for tenants withholding rent.

Q

Will boiler breakdown be covered?

A

You can insure your boiler, but you may have to pay extra to cover it or take out a separate policy. Read more about boiler insurance here.

About our landlord insurance comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include landlord insurance policies from our panel of direct insurers and brokers, who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and it does not affect the deal you get.

Last updated: 5 May 2021