There are few things more upsetting than having your home-to-let trashed by your tenants, or destroyed by some other unforeseeable disaster. If you're new to letting property, it's fair to warn you that there are plenty of things that can go wrong, and you need to shield yourself from it.
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate coverage to protect yourself from a number of possible scenarios. It is unlikely that you'll bother acquiring contents insurance for the property, unless of course you're providing it as furnished and thus you own the carpets, curtains, furniture, electrical items etc.
Buildings insurance is likely to be a necessity for most though, especially when you consider the potential tens of thousands of pounds you could be accountable for if not insured
Buildings Insurance covers the structure of your home. It will also cover fixtures and fittings such as windows, doors, fitted kitchens and bathroom suites. Not only will this protect your building from the financial cost caused by any external forces, such as the weather, or stray jet engines falling from the sky. But it will also protect you against a number of mishaps your tenants might have whilst occupying the building. Perhaps they cause a fire in the kitchen which leads to a new suite being fitted, or they flood the place, ruining a good portion of the flooring – these are all costly expenditures and would be covered by a good buildings insurance policy.
You should also be covered if the unthinkable happens, and the damage caused extends to your neighbours – you're liable as the landlord if the pipes burst, but again, a good policy will have you sleeping easy in your own home. In fact having personal liability cover bundled in is also a good idea in general. With personal accident claims soaring, there's every possibility your tenants might try to sue you themselves for an accident occurring on the premises, and this will protect you from that.
If you're relying on a guaranteed flow of rent to help you cover the mortgage, you should probably consider adding protection against loss of rental income. This will insure you for a couple of eventualities. Firstly, there may be damage to the property due to an incident, with renovations needed – at which point you would have a shortfall in cash from not being able to rent it out for that period. Secondly, you may have legal difficulties which prevent you obtaining the rent money. This could be anything from squatters occupying the building, or tenants refusing outright to pay. Either way you should be covered for both the legal expenses and loss of rent for any such problems.
Finally, you may be interested in 'landlord emergency cover'. If a problem arises, this will ensure that certified tradesmen are arranged by the insurer to fix the problem, with any call-out, labour ,and parts costs covered. The particular benefits of this being that you'll get 24 hour service all year round. But aside from that, it will save you a lot of time and hassle shopping around trying to get the cheapest quote, and also put to bed any worries you might have had that a particular tradesmen wasn't properly qualified to carry out the work.© Colea21 | Dreamstime.com