Frequently asked questions

About Commercial Landlord Insurance

  • QWhat is the Insurance Act 2015?

    The Insurance Act 2015 is a new piece of UK government legislation that becomes effective on the 12th August 2016. The purpose of this Act is to update the law in certain areas in line with best practise in the modern UK insurance market. To find out more and how it could affect you please go here: www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/insurance-act-2015-overview

  • QDo you cover boilers?

    If you select our Buildings cover, you’ll automatically get Equipment Breakdown cover. This pays to repair or replace your boiler, irrespective of its age, if it breaks down, but excludes wear and tear. Read more about our boiler insurance cover.

    To make a claim, you need to arrange for a boiler engineer to visit your property and assess the boiler. They need to submit their report to us, so we can assess whether the claim is covered. If it is, we’ll reimburse you for the repair/replacement costs, including parts, labour and call out charges, less the £200 excess.

    This cover is not a maintenance contract – it doesn’t cover servicing or Gas Safety Certificates (CP12).

  • QWhat’s my rebuild cost and where can I find it?

    The rebuild cost is the total cost of the work needed to completely rebuild your property and put it back to the condition it was in before if it was destroyed beyond repair. It’s not the same as the market or resale value of the property.

    If you’re not sure of the rebuild cost, a calculator is available when you get a quote with us. It uses data from the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) provided by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

    The BCIS can’t provide rebuild costs for all properties – in particular it can't provide the value for a flat - so the calculator button might not appear, or you might not see any values when you click on the button.

    If the BCIS can’t provide you with a value, you can get your rebuild cost from a qualified surveyor, your mortgage adviser or letting agent, or if you’ve recently had a property survey.

  • QWhat does Legal Expenses cover me for?
  • QDo you cover properties that have DSS tenants?

    No, we don’t currently cover properties where all of the tenants are unemployed and claiming benefits. If the tenant(s) are claiming disability benefits we might be able to offer you cover.

    We can offer cover if at least one tenant in the property, who has signed the rental agreement with you, is employed, retired, in full-time education or on disability benefits (subject to you also meeting our other acceptance criteria).

  • QDo you cover HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)?

    We don’t specifically exclude HMOs. We can accept some HMOs, for example, some student rental properties, whereas we can’t accept others, such as bedsits. Please call us on 0345 303 1763 to find out whether we could cover your property.

  • QAre carpets and floor coverings included in your Landlord policy?

    Yes, we automatically include £5000 of cover for floor coverings, such as linos and carpets, in our Landlord Contents cover. You can choose to increase this limit if you wish.

  • Q What if I don't have an email address?

    To get a quote online you’ll need to enter a valid email address. If you'd like help getting a quote, call us on 0345 303 1756.

  • QWhat does Malicious Damage by Tenants cover me for?

    Malicious Damage by Tenants covers you for damage to your property inflicted deliberately by people lawfully on the premises, such as tenants and their invited visitors. Examples of malicious damage are vandalism and cannabis farms. (Click here for advice on how to prevent your property being used as a cannabis farm).

  • QWhat are the exclusions on this policy?

    Please refer to the policy summary document where we detail the general exclusions. For more details please refer to your policy wording or call our customer services department on 0345 303 1756.

  • QDo you insure unoccupied properties?

    Yes we do insure unoccupied properties in certain circumstances. We don’t look to provide long term cover for unoccupied properties but we understand they may be unoccupied because:

    • you've just bought the property
    • are in between tenants
    • are redecorating and/or refurbishing the property

    We’ll need to understand your specific circumstances to confirm whether we’ll be able to offer you cover. Any cover provided would be subject to the property being occupied within 60 days of unoccupancy.

    If you want to insure an unoccupied property, and you meet the two requirements below, please call us on 0345 303 1763 .

    1. The property is for rental and not personal occupation
    2. Any improvement works undertaken are decoration only, rather than major renovation works.
  • QDo you cover holiday lets?

    No, we don’t currently cover holiday lets. 

  • QWhat is Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)?

    Insurance Premium Tax is a tax payable on insurance premiums and is set by the government.

    All documents outlining premiums, such as quotations, show how much insurance premium tax you're being charged. However, not all UK residents pay the tax, such as anyone who resides in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

    Please note that the Government has increased the rate of Insurance Premium Tax from 10% to 12%. All policies that start or renew from 1st June 2017 onwards will have the increased rate applied and this will be reflected in your premium.

  • QWhat conditions do I have to comply with if my property is unoccupied?

    You need to inform us if your property becomes unoccupied during the term of your policy (and let us know when it becomes occupied again if you’ve previously told us that it was unoccupied).

    After your property has been unoccupied for 30 days, you need to:

    • turn off all services at the mains (except electricity if needed to maintain any fire or intruder alarm system)
    • drain the water and heating system, or between 1 October and 31 March, maintain the property at a minimum temperature of 10°C 
    • inspect your property (inside and outside) every 7 days
    • remove mail and newspapers during each inspection
    • make sure the property is secured
    After your property has been unoccupied for 30 days, we won’t cover damage caused by escape of water, riot or theft.
  • QCan I renew online?

    You can only renew your policy over the phone. However, if you want your policy to automatically renew, paying by direct debit, please call us, and we can set that up for you. We will still send you a renewal invitation at least 21 days in advance of your policy renewal date, so you’ll have a chance to review it.

  • QHow far in advance can I get a quote?

    You can get a quote up to 30 days before you need the cover to start.

  • QHow long is a quote valid for?

    Your quote will be valid for 30 days from the day you receive it.

  • QCan I buy a policy if I live outside the UK?

    Yes, you can, provided that the property you are insuring is in the UK. We don't insure property outside the UK.

  • QI can’t find my address on the drop down list, or it is not showing correctly.

    If you are experiencing either of these problems, please call us.

  • Q What if I don't have an email address?

    To get a quote online you’ll need to enter a valid email address. If you'd like help getting a quote, call us on 0345 303 1756.

  • QWhat if I don't know the date of my claim?

    If you're unsure of the date of your claim(s) please contact your current or previous insurance provider to find out. Or, you can enter an approximate date and then contact us on 0345 303 1760 to amend your claims details with the correct information.

  • Q What if I don't know the amount of my claim?

    If you are unsure what the amount of your claim(s) is please contact your current or previous insurance provider to find out. Alternatively you can enter an approximate cost and then contact us on 0345 303 1760 to amend your claims details with the correct information. Calls may be recorded.

  • QCan I contact you by email?

    No, you can contact us by phone or post only. Our phone lines are open 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

  • QWhat does Public Liability cover?

    This provides cover against your legal liability for death or bodily injury (other than to an employee) and / or loss or damage to third party property arising out of the operation of your business.

  • QWhat does Equipment Breakdown cover me for?

    Equipment Breakdown covers electrical and mechanical equipment for breakdown. It comes as standard on our Residential Landlord insurance policy.

    If equipment breaks down, we may pay to repair or replace it, subject to:

    • payment of the £200 excess
    • the breakdown not being due to wear and tear

    The equipment covered depends on which sections of cover you have selected on your policy.

    For instance, if you have selected Buildings cover, ‘built-in’ equipment such as boilers, fitted ovens, air-conditioning systems and security/alarm systems should be covered under Equipment Breakdown.

    If you have selected Contents cover, free-standing, moveable equipment such as fridges and washing machines are usually covered.

    If you have selected both Buildings and Contents cover, all of these types of equipment should be covered.

    Please see the policy document for the full terms and conditions.

  • QWhat does Employer's Liability cover?

    This insures you against claims for compensation from employees following injury for which you are legally liable.

  • QWhat does Theft by Tenant cover me for?

    Theft by Tenant covers you if your tenants steal items from your rental property. Examples of this are theft of boilers or copper pipes.

  • QI’m not a business - can I buy this policy?

    Yes, you can.

  • QWhat are the standard excesses?

    Your individual excesses will be found in the 'Your Summary' page when you have completed the quote details or alternatively please call us on 0345 303 1756.

  • QDo you accept cheques or cash?

    No, we only accept payments by direct debit and credit/debit cards. Cards that are accepted are Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Maestro, Visa Electron,  and Solo card.

  • QWhat is an Employer Reference Number (ERN)?

    An Employer Reference Number, also known as an Employer PAYE Reference, is given to every business that registers with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer. Businesses that pay any Employee above the PAYE threshold are required to have an ERN, which is the reference number for their employees' income tax and national insurance contributions.

    The ERN is printed or written on mandatory documents including the P45, P60, P11/D, and on most payslips. The format of the ERN is usually 999/XX99999 or 999/X99999.

    Some businesses are not assigned an ERN because all employees (including labour only subcontractors, trainees and apprentices) are paid below the PAYE threshold.

  • QWhy do you need my Employer Reference Number (ERN) when I request a quotation?

    If you select Employers' Liability and your business is not exempt from holding a HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Employer Reference Number (ERN), you’ll need to tell us your ERN.

    We need to give Employers' Liability insurance policy details including, where appropriate, your ERN, to the Employers' Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) who will add the details to their electronic database. The database helps people who have suffered injury or disease at work in the UK quickly and easily find the insurance company which was providing Employers’ Liability insurance at the time their injury or disease was sustained. 

  • QCan I print my documents online?

    You can view, download or print your policy document from our website. You can’t however, print your schedule or proof of insurance

  • QWhat is the Employers' Liability Tracing Office (ELTO)?

    The Employers' Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) is a service set up by the insurance industry. It helps people who have suffered injury or disease at work quickly and easily find the relevant insurance company. To do this, ELTO needs insurance companies to collect their customers' Employer Reference Number (ERN) where cover for Employers' Liability has been included. For more information, please visit www.elto.org.uk

  • QWill you send me email confirmation of cover?

    Yes, once you have bought your policy, we will email you within 48 hours to confirm your cover, and then your policy documents will follow on in the post. If you need us to send an email confirmation of cover urgently, please call us on 0345 303 1760 and select option 2.

  • QDo I receive any documents after I renew?

    We will only send you documents if you make any changes to your policy at renewal. Otherwise, your renewal schedule we send you before your renewal date will form your policy.

  • Q What is the best insurance for me?

    Direct Line for Business offers insurance solutions for a variety of businesses. Click on the product links below to see the details of the cover provided by each of our products, or try our insurance selector by clicking on product finder which could help you to decide which of our products may suit your needs. Alternatively, you can call us on 0345 303 1756. Calls may be recorded.