The key concepts of insurance for landlords

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.