Landlord insurance

Compare landlord insurance quotes

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What's landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance protects property owners from financial losses associated with renting out a property.

It’ll provide theft, fire and weather damage cover for the structure of the rental property and any contents owned by the landlord that are within.

It’s slightly different to standard home insurance as it also covers risks specific to renting out a property, like loss of rent and legal expenses, but they might not be included as standard on every landlord insurance policy.

Father covered in suds while playing with his daughters in the tub, they're laughing.

Do I need landlord insurance?

It's not a legal requirement, but it can help protect your property from all sorts of risks that come with being a landlord, from careless tenants to general maintenance and emergency household faults.

Most mortgage providers will insist you have landlord insurance in place if you’re buying a property to let it out.

Don't rely on ordinary home insurance, as generally you won't be covered if you rent out your house or flat. It won't pay out for things like unpaid rent or malicious damage caused by a tenant - all things that can be added to a landlord insurance policy.

If you’re renting out a leasehold flat in a block of flats, it’s likely that the freeholder may already have arranged buildings insurance, but it is worth checking.

What does landlord insurance cover?

Depending on what type of cover you select, most policies will usually include cover for the following as standard.

What's covered?

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Burst and frozen pipes
  • Malicious damage
  • Storm damage and extreme weather
  • Subsidence or heave
  • Falling trees
  • Accidental or malicious damage by tenants
  • Eviction of squatters
  • Loss or theft of keys

What's not covered?

  • Claims due to poor maintenance of the property
  • Deliberate damage by the insured person or tenant
  • Existing damage before purchase of policy
  • Unoccupied properties unless regularly maintained every 14 days

What types of landlord insurance are available?

Landlord’s buildings insurance

Much like a typical buildings insurance policy, landlord buildings insurance can help cover the cost of repairs in the event of damage to the structure of your property. It’ll usually cover damage by events such as fire, flooding, subsidence, theft or vandalism.

Landlord’s contents insurance

Landlord contents insurance is much the same as you would expect from a standard contents policy, keeping the items you own within the rental property covered – things like furniture, appliances and garden contents.

If the property you're renting isn’t furnished, you don’t need your own landlord's contents insurance. Tenants should have their own contents insurance for items they keep in the property.

Landlord’s emergency cover

Whether it’s a burst pipe, power outage or boiler failure, landlord home emergency cover safeguards your property with 24-hour support and assistance, protecting your tenants and your premises at the same time.

Loss of rent insurance

Your insurer will pay out to cover your rental income if, for example, your tenants need to move out due to an insured event, like a flood or fire. Loss of rent cover can also help with the cost of arranging alternative accommodation for your tenants.

Rent guarantee insurance

Rent guarantee insurance will cover the cost of rent that isn’t paid to you by your tenants. You can usually claim on it after your tenants haven’t paid rent for a few months, despite mediation, and you now want to start the process of evicting your tenants for non-payment.

Landlord’s liability insurance

Property owners' liability insurance pays out if someone claims against their landlord or property owner due to personal injury or damaged belongings on their property.

Employer liability insurance

Employer’s liability insurance will cover the costs if your employee - perhaps a cleaner, handyman or gardener - gets ill or injured because of their work for you. It’s usually a legal requirement, unless you’re running an unincorporated family business.

Legal expenses cover

Legal expenses insurance can help to recover legal costs as a result of things like pursuing unpaid rent, tenant personal injury claims and eviction.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

The cost of your landlord insurance will depend on things like how much rent you charge, the type of property it is, its age, the details of your tenants, the type of cover you want and whether you’ve made any previous claims.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get your landlord quotes, you’ll be asked for a few details about the following:

  1. Your rental property

    Whether it’s a residential or commercial property, the type and age of the building and any materials used for construction

  2. Your tenants

    Their employment status and any background and identity checks you’ve ran

  3. The cover you want

    Do you need buildings and/or contents insurance? Plus any extras you need

  4. Previous claims

    Details about any claims made in the time you’ve owned the property

  5. Payment preference

    Whether you’re looking to pay your premium monthly or annually

How to get cheaper landlords insurance

The cost of your premium may vary depending on the level of cover you choose, the type of property you're letting out and your tenants’ situation.

Here some tips that may cut the cost of landlord insurance:

  1. Combine landlord policies

    Landlords have a variety of insurance needs, including building cover, contents cover, liability insurance and accidental damage cover. Some policies will package these together to offer better value for money, or have specific clauses built in that negate the need to take out added cover elsewhere.

  2. Choose a specialist landlord insurer

    Specialist landlord insurance brokers may well prove better able to give quotes without unnecessary bloat, so shop around for cover.

  3. Get the correct rebuild value

    It's important that you get the most realistic figure possible. Underestimate it and you could be left out of pocket should the worst happen; overestimate it and you're needlessly paying a premium.

  4. Increase landlord insurance excesses

    For landlords able to shoulder the cost of smaller claims from their cash-flow or savings, this can be an effective way of bringing policy costs down.

  5. Do you need contents insurance?

    If your property is unfurnished, or is furnished only with items you have no real concern for (old carpets, cheap appliances, etc), you might consider bypassing contents insurance altogether, if you believe the cost of the policy would outweigh any benefit in a claim.

  6. Invest in security

    Ensuring your property is equipped with an alarm and has solid locks on doors and windows will help reduce the risk associated with burglary, therefore reducing your premium.

  7. Say no to pets

    Your insurance costs are more likely to rise if your tenants have pets, purely because the animals may make a mess that would require a claim of some sort (ruined carpets, for example).

  8. Be choosey with your tenants

    Students and DSS tenants (private tenants who claim benefits) bring associated risks and therefore policies encompassing these demographics will be higher.

  9. Minimise vacant property periods

    Generally, insurers aren't keen on providing cover for a property that will sit empty for extended periods of time (usually more than 30 consecutive days). This is because there's an increased risk of vandalism and burglary.

  10. Don't scrimp on your policy

    However unlikely making a claim may seem now, you'll be sorry later if you're not adequately protected and end up footing an enormous bill for the sake of saving a few pounds on insurance.

  11. Compare landlord insurance quotes

    As always, the age-old advice is to shop around. While landlord insurance is a more niche type of insurance than car or home insurance, there are still a number of providers out there vying for your business.

Frequently asked questions

First get in touch with your insurer – you might need to fill out a claims form yourself, or you might be able to get help with this over the phone.

Your insurer should give you advice on what to do next and how to pay the excess to get the claims process started. You might also be asked to send over any documents or evidence to support your claim or even have a visit from a claims assessor.

It’s not legally required, but if you’re leaving furniture or other household items in the property for your tenants to use then you might want to consider it to protect your possessions.

It’s not a legal requirement to have boiler cover but you are responsible for the repair of heating, hot water, gas appliances, pipes, flues, ventilation, wiring, and sanitary fittings – so boiler cover could come in handy.

You’re also responsible for getting an annual service for the boiler and other gas appliances to make sure it’s all safe and you must keep records of these checks for at least two years.

Because each of your properties has a different location and tenants, insurers will calculate the risks and premiums differently.

Therefore, to insure multiple properties you’ll need to run an online quote for each property separately.

Properties undergoing renovations or in a poor state of repair are considered high risk. As such, you may have a fewer number of insurers willing to insure you.

Properties left unoccupied for an extended period will need to be covered by a specialist insurance policy. This is known as unoccupied home insurance and it’s suitable for landlords whose properties are empty for 30 or more days.

This may be applicable to you if your property is in between tenants or refurbishing.

For your unoccupied property to be covered, your insurer might have additional rules, like you might need to turn off the gas and electric, regularly inspect the property or add extra security measures.

You'll technically be known as a resident landlord and you'll need to speak to a specialist insurer to see if you need landlord insurance.

Even if your standard home insurance policy can cover you, premiums may go up because you're sharing your residence.

It’s unlikely that your insurer will cover a property that houses a tenant you can’t provide a tenancy reference for, as it would probably be a huge risk in the eyes of your insurer.

You can get specialist landlord insurance to cover property rented out to students. You’d have to check your standard landlord insurance policy to see if students are covered.

This depends on the property structure, building materials, how much rent you charge, the tenants you have and whether you have any of your own contents in the property you’d like to cover.

You might need specialist landlord insurance for houses in multiple occupation (HMO) to cover a property that has more than one tenant.

Page last reviewed: 11 August 2023

Reviewed by Holly Thomas