As a landlord, you’re under no legal requirement to insure your property. However, most buy-to-let providers will insist you have insurance in place before they will consider providing you with finance. And if you own your property or properties outright, having adequate insurance is essential to protect your investment.

But ordinary household or commercial insurance may not be adequate for your needs. There is specialist business insurance available that is designed specifically for landlords.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you should be looking for in your landlord insurance policy.

Buildings Insurance

Without your property you would have no business, so this is the mainstay of your policy. Buildings insurance will cover you if your property is damaged due to fire, flood, storms, and vandalism.

The sum insured should be enough to cover you if you need to rebuild the entire building from scratch, should the worst happen.

Landlord Liability Cover

If a tenant or visitor to the property trips on a broken floor tile or badly fitted carpet, or is injured by faulty wiring, you could be facing a hefty lawsuit. Landlord liability cover protects you in the event of injury or death to anybody on your property. With compensation claims rising into the millions* this is an essential cover.

Employers Liability

Likewise, if you employ somebody to work on your property, as a gardener, cleaner or handyman for example, you are liable should they have an accident on your property that results in their injury or death. Employers liability provides cover for you, should the unforeseen happen and you end up in court.

Loss of Rent

Unfortunately, tenants don’t always pay their rent. While you have a legal right to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent, there are legal procedures you must adhere to, which could leave you out of pocket in the interim. Loss of rent cover can act as a financial lifeline, covering the rent up to a certain amount over an agreed period.

It’s also known as rent guarantee cover.

Contents Insurance

Contents insurance is useful if you rent the property furnished, as it provides cover for any fixtures and fittings, and other contents included in your rental agreement.

However, tenants will need to provide their own insurance for their personal belongings.

Accidental Damage

Usually an optional extra, accidental damage will provide cover should you, your tenant, or a visitor to the property cause damage to the building or its contents. This will cover a range of risks; from red wine spilled on the carpet or furniture, to somebody putting their foot through the loft floor.

Legal Expenses Cover

This provides cover for any legal fees associated with your rental property or properties, such as pursuing unpaid rent or evicting a tenant, and can be purchased individually or bundled together with your loss of rent cover.

It also covers things such as disputes with tenants, evicting squatters, and defence against criminal damage.

Specialist Landlords Insurance

With so many different factors to take into consideration, it’s worth consulting a  who can advise you on the cover you need to help protect your rental portfolio.

* Https://www.makeurmove.co.uk/article/273/Fall_down_stairs_in_rental_home_could_cost_insurers_millions#sthash.nGwkVQxh.gm69tXSG.dpbs

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