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Anyone with the responsibility of a property should ideally ensure they have insurance in place, particularly if you rent out your property, as this will protect in the event of any problems, potentially saving you a lot of money. For landlords, insurance isn’t just about covering your building or contents but can also help to cover your mortgage payments in situations of non-payment of rent. If you are not covered you need to ask yourself whether you could afford to cover these payments or carry out repairs if the need arose.

When you take out insurance however, you need to inform the company that you have tenants who permanently reside at the property as otherwise you could find that standard cover won’t cover you if you ever need to make a claim. If you have a change of tenants or periods where the property is empty you will also need to inform your insurance company to avoid your cover being void.

Most good landlord’s insurance policies should cover the building, loss of rent, liability and you may also be able to add contents insurance if your property is let furnished as well as legal expenses and home emergency cover. Your mortgage lender will usually require you to take out buildings insurance as a minimum requirement, but it’s a good idea to make sure you are covered for other eventualities also.

Check the sum insured on your policy, which should cover the rebuild cost if your property was completely destroyed. Try and get an accurate quote to make sure you are covered properly in the event of a claim. Also make sure your insurance covers malicious damage by your tenant, in case of any potential problems, and it’s also worth looking at adding lock and key replacement if this isn’t already included.

If you let your property out as furnished then contents cover is a must, offering protection against your goods but check whether you are also covered for accidental damage, and remember to value your goods as accurately as possible. If your property is rented out as unfurnished, you may still have curtains, light fixtures and even appliances within the home, so even a small amount of cover gives you added peace of mind. The tenant however, is responsible for providing cover for their own personal items.

There are many elements to landlord’s insurance that aren’t included on a typical home insurance policy and it’s a good idea to ensure you are covered for every eventuality. One important thing to consider getting cover for is loss of rent. Whether this is due to damage from flooding or a fire or other problems causing your property to be empty for a significant period of time, it can help to recover loss of rental income and protect your mortgage payments if you rely on your rent for that. Some insurance policies will offer additional cover for things such as alternative tenant accommodation in case of a problem but you will need to check the details regarding any limits in place.

by Cormac Henderson

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