If you are searching for the cheapest landlord insurance quote, you may be concerned whether the cover provided is sufficient for your needs. If that is a worry, therefore, you might wish to consider some of the following observations:
- cheap is a relative term – what might appear to be the cheapest landlord insurance quote for you might be less so for someone else;
- much depends, of course, on what you need the insurance to cover and the circumstances surrounding your particular ability to pay the necessary premiums;
- if price is a factor influencing your choice of insurance provider, therefore, you may wish to pay special intention to exactly what landlord cover you need;
- in other words, you may wish to avoid certain policies that include in their standard provisions cover which you do not, or are unlikely to, need – otherwise you may end up paying more than may be needed for unnecessary aspects of cover;
- for example, you may want to ensure that your buy to let property is adequately protected against the major perils of fire and smoke damage, flooding, impacts from vehicles or falling debris, storm damage and vandalism, but is there any risk of subsidence affecting the building?
- not all let property insurance (or owner-occupied home buildings insurance for that matter) automatically include cover against such a risk;
- whilst paring down the cover you need to the barest essentials might be a way of making some savings, you might want to make sure that you do not overlook other items that might prove critically useful;
- by way of example, there may be times when your property inevitably remains vacant (between change-overs of tenancy, say), when special provision may need to be made for the continuation of adequate cover. In that case, you may wish to seek out a separate unoccupied property insurance quote;
- although a useful way of finding the cheapest landlord insurance quote might be to exclude all those items of cover which no not apply in your particular circumstances, therefore, you may still wish to ensure that adequate landlords cover on your property is maintained at all times.
Making a landlord insurance comparison is likely to involve similar choices to those you make when comparing other forms of insurance, namely:
- do the policies you are comparing offer the cover you need at a competitive rate;
- do they include every aspect of landlords protection you might need, yet also exclude elements you are unlikely to need (and therefore have no reason to pay for);
- if there is cover you need to buy as an additional option, of course, this might increase the overall cost of your insurance;
- an example might be compensation offered by an insurer for loss of rental income following an insured event which leaves your property unable to be let for a while. Some policies – but by no means all – provide a degree of compensation (up to prescribed limits) for such loss of rental income;
- perhaps more important – and a potentially more serious and costly risk – relates to the building insurance on your property and the peril of subsidence. Some landlord insurance policies (just as some home buildings and contents insurance policies for private residences) specifically exclude this risk and you may need to buy it as an add-on. Some landlord policies, however, include it as a standard item of cover;
- if you own buy to let property – or, indeed, if you are an owner-occupier – there may be occasions when the premises are left empty and unoccupied. Your tenants may have vacated, for example, and you face a delay of more than 30 days (45 days in some cases) in agreeing a new tenancy. In that case you may also be looking for an unoccupied insurance quote to ensure that adequate cover remains on your property during the time that it is empty;
- as a landlord, you may face the risk of tenants causing malicious damage to your property or the contents which you own. Some buy to let insurance policies include protection against such risks as a standard feature, whilst others may offer it as an additional option (at additional cost);
- if price is a consideration in making your landlord insurance comparison, you might wish to choose a policy which offers a wide range of options with respect to any voluntary excess you may care to bear. Typically, the higher the excess you take on, then in some cases, the lower the premiums you have to pay.
There are a few key ideas arising in the area of insurance for landlords that may be worth getting to grips with if you are or are about to become, a landlord:
- if you obtain income from letting out property or part of your own property, then you are a landlord;
- properties that are being used for the purposes of generating income typically cannot be covered by owner-occupier buildings and contents insurance;
- it may be possible to use only buildings insurance in situations where your property is being let on an unfurnished basis, however, it might be prudent to check to make sure that everything you believe to be a fitting (thereby theoretically covered by the buildings insurance) is also so seen by the insurer;
- to decide what is the best landlord insurance for you, may require a little effort in terms of comparing a number of quotations – remembering that something that you have heard is the best, may be the best for another landlord but might not prove to be so for you;
- some landlords insurance may offer considerably more than simply buildings and contents cover, for example, some policies may include things such as rental income protection, malicious damage by tenants and elements of legal fees protection (qualifying conditions may, as you would expect, apply in all cases);
- landlord insurance (and the same may also be true for owner-occupier home buildings and contents insurance cover) may not cover a property that remains unoccupied for more than a specified number of days and if you believe your property may exceed the specified limit, you may wish to make inquiries regarding unoccupied property insurance;
- in cases where you have taken out a buy to let mortgage, you may wish to note that your mortgage agreement may require you to maintain appropriate insurance in place, at all times, covering the full rebuilding costs of the property concerned – in effect, that may necessitate you having formal insurance for landlords unless you wish to risk being in breach of your mortgage contract.