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Buy to let insurance

Comprehensive buy to let insurance with buildings and contents cover you can trust

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The first step in choosing the best buy to let insurance for you is to forget the cost.

Deciding the level of cover you need is much more important, as the cheapest policy may not offer enough protection should the worst happen.

Always consider the risks you need to cover to fully protect your investment.

This assessment should include many of the points listed below.

Cost your policy according to the risks and make sure any comparisons are based on like-for-like protection, so the cost of cover is accurately laid out.

Don’t forget to look at how much you contribute to a claim as an excess. Increasing the excess reduces the premium, so if one policy has a £100 excess and another seems cheaper but comes with a £300 excess, then that’s the reason why.

For cost-conscious landlords, our buy to let insurance offers two levels of cover – Essential and Premier. Essential covers the basics, while Premier offers an enhanced level of protection for your investment.

If you rent out more than one buy to let property, portfolio insurance may offer a better solution.

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First considerations

Buy to let insurance comes in three separate parts:

  • Buildings cover that looks after damage to the structure or fixtures and fittings is set at the rebuild value of a home – not the market value or price you may have paid.

The Association of British Insurers, a trade body for insurance companies, has an online calculator that can help work out the rebuild valuation.

It’s probably cheaper than you think as the valuation does not include the price of land.

  • Landlord contents cover safeguards the repair or replacement cost of the contents inside the home. Contents are typically any items you can pick up and carry out of the door – from the furniture to cutlery.

These are the items owned by the landlord, not the tenant. If tenants want to cover loss or damage of their property, they should take out their own contents insurance.

A good way of assessing how much cover you need is to draft an inventory.

  • Landlord liability insurance deals with claims by a tenant or other third party who might have suffered injury or illness related to visiting a buy to let home.

Typical claims could include trips or slips.

Most landlord buy to let insurance packages would include buildings cover and landlord liability insurance – contents cover mostly extends to furnished lets.

Do not forget contents cover if your buy to let home has free-standing white goods appliances, lawn mowers or other similar equipment.

Optional extras

Buy to let insurance also comes with different levels of cover – and deciding which one is right for your property business comes down to a risk assessment of what could go wrong.

These add-ons include covering lost rents, accidental damage to the property or contents and emergency repairs.

Loss of rent

Rent cover comes as two separate add-ons –

  • Rent loss pays if your property is not rented out due to serious damage that makes the home uninhabitable, such as a fire

The insurance is based on your monthly rental income and the time any rebuilding or repairs are likely to take to complete.

  • Rent guarantee pays the rent if your tenant doesn’t and can also help with the costs of securing an eviction.

Neither are compulsory, but they will cover the cost of the mortgage if cash flow from the property dries up.

Accidental damage

Accidents always happen, but regardless of fault, someone must pick up the bill – and that’s usually the landlord.

Key points to consider here are how much a claim could cost and what type of tenants will rent your property.

For example, a house rented to students is likely to suffer more accidental damage than one let by an elderly couple.

Whether you allow tenants to keep cats or dogs is another point to think about, as they have the potential to cause damage as well.

Landlords will find most insurers increase insurance premiums for certain types of tenant – the cheapest cover is for professional couples without pets or children.

Deciding who to take in as tenants is a business decision for the landlord, but you should be aware that this can lead to more expensive buy to let insurance.

Malicious damage by tenants

Damage inflicted by burglars breaking in comes under buildings cover, but many insurers do not include claims for tenants trashing the property.

This cover is standard with our Premier policy

Void property protection

Standard cover under most buy to let insurance policies is for 30 days while a property stands empty.

If your property is likely to suffer longer voids, we can cover up to 90 days on our Premier policy.

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