7 surprising reasons why you need landlord insurance

It will come as no surprise that we consider landlord insurance a must-have. But according to our recent good landlord quiz, a staggering 15 percent of landlords still don’t have landlord insurance. 

Experienced landlords will know it’s vital that their insurance protects them from break-ins or accidental damage by tenants. But many unforeseen circumstances can endanger your investment, and it’s important to ensure your policy protects your property from them all. 

By analysing a decade of Hamiton Fraser claims data, we established that escape of water is the most common cause of damage to property, followed by storm damage. 

So what are the other unexpectedly impactful problems landlords need to protect their property from? Here are seven you may not have considered.

1. Escape of water 

7 surprising reasons why you need landlord insurance

34 per cent of all claims paid out between 2008 and 2018 have been for escape of water. This means water damage coming from leaking pipes or fixed water tanks, baths, sinks or toilets, or a leaking dishwasher or washing machine, but not flooding from external sources. This problem is particularly common in areas with Victorian plumbing. 

Regular maintenance should include servicing of the property’s boiler, fixing dripping taps, and checks of leaking radiators, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, or sinks. Insulating pipes can prevent them from freezing over in colder weather and potentially bursting. 

The Association of British Insurers states that the average cost of repairs caused by a burst pipe during freezing weather was £8,800. However, Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance has previously paid out £79,756 for a single claim (including loss of rent) when a split pipe in the bathroom of a ground floor flat sprayed water all over the floor, which pooled and saturated the flooring, skirting and walls. The problem wasn’t noticed until the tenants returned from holiday. 

Find out more about how to prevent and deal with the escape of water with our full guide.

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2. Storm damage

Extreme weather can cause trees or other objects to crush parts of properties, loosen roof tiles, and lead to water damage and more. 

Simple maintenance like clearing gutters, downspouts and drains to prevent overflow in bad weather can reduce damage during storms. It’s also important to inspect the roof of your property and replace any loose or cracked tiles, check your chimney for cracks and loose bricks, maintain fences and inspect trees regularly.

When a storm is forecast, you should also carry out the above checks again, secure garden furniture and fences, and inspect windows and doors.

Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance received 285 storm damage claims between January 2015 and January 2020.

There has also been an increase in named storms in recent years and predictions from the UK Environment Agency are that we’re going to get more intense bouts of flooding.

Scientists also predict that climate change is likely to lead to higher storm surges as sea levels rise.

Find out more about protecting your property from bad weather with our full guide

7 surprising reasons why you need landlord insurance

3. Liability

Landlord liability insurance is a type of public liability insurance that will cover landlords if a third party – such as a tenant, visitor or tradesperson – is injured in their property. This could result from a visitor tripping over loose flooring, or if leaking pipes cause damage to a tenant’s belongings. 

Compensation requested in response to such an accident could cost landlords a considerable amount

Minimise your risk with regular maintenance and by asking tenants to inform you of any problems as soon as possible. 

If a claim is made against you, do not admit liability or offer compensation. Take time-stamped photos of the property, and contact your insurer immediately.