Landlord insurance policies – what you need to know
Insurance policies vary, so it's important to check you have the right cover for your type of rental property. We've listed out the main questions to consider before purchasing.
Damage, injury and breakdown
1. Am I covered if someone is injured at the property?
We include Public Liability cover of £2m, as standard, with our Landlord Insurance. So, if a tenant or guest is injured at the property, e.g. if they trip over a loose piece of carpet and break their ankle, we'll cover the legal and compensation costs you’re required to pay.
2. Am I covered for accidental damage by tenants?
We’ll cover you if you or your tenants cause accidental damage to the property.
3. What about malicious damage?
Malicious damage is damage that's caused intentionally, e.g. a thief breaking a window to get into the property or a tenant kicking down a door during an altercation.
Our Landlord Insurance includes malicious damage caused by a burglar or vandals, as standard. Malicious Damage by Tenants is available as an optional add-on, which you can add to your policy for an additional premium. This cover is not available for properties with students as tenants.
Read our top tips for protecting your property against malicious damage here.
4. What am I covered for if there's a water leak at the property?
If you take out our Landlord Buildings Insurance, and there is a water leak at your property, we'll cover the cost of repairing the damage, subject to an escape of water excess. The policy covers escape of water from a burst pipe or the water tank, as well as escape of oil from any fixed oil-fired heating installation.
Through our Public Liability Insurance, which comes as standard with our Landlord Insurance, we can also cover damage caused to your neighbour's property. E.g. if a burst pipe in your property causes damage in theirs.
5. Is my boiler covered if it breaks down?
We cover boilers, as standard, as part of our Landlord Buildings Insurance. If your boiler breaks down and isn't part of a maintenance agreement, we'll cover the cost of repairing it. If it's beyond repair or more economical to do so, we'll cover the cost of replacing it.
This isn't a call out service and we don't cover damage by wear and tear. A £200 excess will apply.
6. Is my property insured for storm and other kinds of weather damage?
If you take out our Landlord Buildings Insurance, your property will be insured against a range of perils such as fire, storms and floods. We'll pay for the cost of repairing structural damage to the building caused by these perils, e.g. if your wall collapses because of a flood.
We'll also pay to rehouse your tenants if the property isn't fit to live in, up to the sum insured.
7. Can I claim for broken glass?
We cover fixed glass and sanitary ware as standard with our residential Landlord Insurance. This extends to cover shop fronts for our commercial landlords.
8. Am I covered for damage to drains?
As part of our Buildings Insurance, we offer an extension to cover damage to underground services, which would include damage to drains.
As part of our Landlord Emergency cover, if an insured incident occurs to your drains and plumbing systems, we will cover emergency repairs up to £1,500.
Landlord Emergency is for residential properties only and can be added to your main Landlord Insurance when you take out a policy with us or at renewal for an additional premium.
9. Am I insured for damage to another property caused by something happening at my property?
We include Public Liability as standard in our Landlord Insurance. So, if an insured event at your property, e.g. escape of water from a pipe, causes damage to your neighbour’s property, we would cover the legal and compensation costs you’d need to pay.
10. Am I insured for damage caused by the emergency services?
As part of our Landlord Buildings Insurance, we cover the cost of restoring any damage to gardens caused by the Emergency Services attending the premises as a result of an insured event. We’ll cover you up to a maximum of £25,000 for any one claim.
11. Are there any specific conditions relating to a flat roof?
Yes. Under our Landlord Buildings Insurance, any flat roof must be inspected once every two years by a specialist roofing contractor and any recommendations must be implemented immediately.
12. Are fences, walls and outbuildings covered by the policy?
As part of our Landlord Buildings Insurance, we cover damage to walls, gates, fences, patios, terraces, drives, yards, swimming pools, tennis courts, car parks, car ports, roads and pavements.
We don't cover damage to walls that don’t form part of the building, fences, gates, movable property in the open or open-sided structures caused by storm or flood.
13. What happens to my income if I can't let out my property due to damage?
If your property becomes seriously damaged, and your tenants can no longer live there, your livelihood could be at risk.
We offer Loss of Rent Insurance, which covers your lost income if your property becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event, like a fire, flood or storm. This can be added to your main Landlord Insurance policy for an additional premium.
1. Do I need to cover my contents or just the building itself?
When you take out our Landlord Insurance, you get the choice to include Contents Cover or Buildings Cover as standard.
Buildings Insurance covers structural damage to the building such as damage caused by escape of water and damage to your boiler (providing it's not due to wear and tear).
Contents Insurance covers damage to items that aren't part of the building, like sofas, beds, free-standing ovens and fridges. We automatically include Damage to Floor Coverings for a standard cover limit of £5,000, which you can increase for an additional premium.
For some landlords, only one type of cover may be required for their needs. For example, if you're letting an unfurnished property without contents or free-standing white goods, Buildings Insurance may suffice.
You can include both types of cover in your policy. A flood or fire could cause serious damage to both the contents and structure of a building, so it's important to think carefully about what cover you need.
From Landlord Emergency to Loss of Rent, you can also extend your policy to suit your needs with our range of optional covers.
2. How long does your policy last?
Your insurance policy will cover you for twelve-months. You can of course renew the policy for a further twelve-month period.
3. Can you cancel your policy and what's involved?
If your circumstances change and you need to cancel your policy, just give us a call or speak to us on Live Chat.
If you cancel your policy before it's due to start, we'll refund the premium you paid us in full.
If you cancel within 14 days of receiving your policy documents or within 14 days of your policy start date (whichever is later), we will refund the premium you have paid in full providing that you haven’t made a claim.
After 14 days and subject to no claims in the current period of insurance, we'll refund any premium paid for the remaining term of the policy, minus an admin fee for cancellation. The admin fee will be one twelfth of the annual premium up to a maximum chargeable amount of £50, plus Insurance Premium Tax. We will not issue a refund if you have made a claim on the policy.
4. What's excluded from the policy?
A list of general exclusions can be found on our generic landlord policy document. This can be accessed from our Landlord Insurance page.
The specific exclusions that appear on your individual policy will be dependent on what type of cover you take out. These will be listed on your personal policy document.
5. Who needs to be named on the landlord insurance policy document?
You, as the property owner and landlord, will need to be named on the policy. Anyone else with an insurable interest in the property, e.g. your partner who co-owns the property, can also be named.
6. Who is permitted to discuss the policy with the insurer?
You can choose to add other people to your Direct Line policy, such as family members or employees, who can make claims on your behalf.
We understand that an emergency requires you to act quickly. With Landlord Emergency cover, Landlords can allow their tenants, managing or letting agents to report a claim on their behalf. So, if there’s an insured emergency in the middle of the night or while you’re at work, your tenants can call our 24/7 claims line and we’ll arrange for a contractor to deal with the issue.
7. Do I need to inform you of my convictions?
Yes, it is a material fact and under the Insurance Act you are required to make a fair presentation to us of the risk at all times.
8. When do I need to inform you of changes to my or the property's circumstances?
You will need to inform us of any changes to your circumstances immediately, otherwise your policy may become void. Give us a call or speak to us on Live Chat and we’ll let you know if these changes affect your policy.
9. What would make the insurance policy void or voidable?
When you take out a policy with us, we’ll ask you a series of questions to ensure we fully understand your circumstances and the type of properties you let.
If, when you come to make a claim, this information is shown to be incorrect, your policy may become void. That’s why it’s important to update us immediately if your circumstances change.
1. What level of cover is provided?
With a 5-star Defaqto rating, we offer a high level of cover. We also give you the option to increase limits and extend your cover if you need to.
Plus, you have the flexibility to lower your excess for a higher premium, or increase your excess for a lower premium, whatever works for you.
If you take out Buildings Insurance, the maximum sum insured for any one building is £10,000,000. For Contents Insurance, we accept a maximum sum insured of £500,000 per property.
2. What's the excess if I make a claim?
The policy excesses will be stated on your policy schedule and should be read in conjunction with the policy wording.
3. What's the claim procedure?
You can make property and liability claims online here.
When registering the claim, we'll ask you to tell us what happened and provide your policy details. We'll then confirm whether you’re covered and talk you through the next steps of resolving the claim.
You'll be given a personal claim reference number and you'll have a dedicated claims handler, who'll deal with your claim from start to finish.
- If you log your claim online, we'll aim to call you back the next working day to obtain any further information that we require and to advise on the next steps.
- If you call us to make a claim, we'll give you your claim reference number and handler name there and then.
We may send a loss adjuster to assess the damage and establish a schedule for any repair work. Depending on the situation, the loss adjuster can provide advice over the phone or in person.
If your tenants are forced to live somewhere else while the repairs are made, your insurance should cover the cost of temporary accommodation. Check your policy to see what cover and limits apply.
4. What documents will I need to make a claim?
We'll ask you to provide:
- your policy number and confirmation that you are the policyholder
- the full address of the property covered by the policy
- a brief description of what happened and when
- a list of the damaged items, including their original cost (if applicable)
- a crime or loss reference number (if applicable)
- photographs of the damage (if applicable)
- any relevant documents that can support your claim, e.g. an eviction notice sent to tenants
- some details about your tenants in line with our policy assumptions (outlined in your policy documentation)
5. Is there a limit to the number of claims I can make?
There is no limit to the number of claims you can make.
Each incident will be treated as a separate claim. For example, if your tenant vacates your property and you discover a stain on the carpet and a crack in the window, you’ll need to make two claims. This is because the incidents did not take place at the same time.
Please note, each separate claim will incur its own excess.
6. Are there any time limits for making a claim?
It is a condition of our policy that you notify us of any incident that could result in a claim being made, and provide the evidence needed to substantiate the claim, within seven days of the event you are claiming for and within 30 days of the expiry of the Indemnity Period.
7. Do I need to inform anyone other than you if I need to make a claim?
You must immediately notify the police if your claim is related to:
- theft or attempt of theft
- loss of money by any cause whatsoever, in relation to your policy
This list is not exhaustive, but these questions should help you determine whether you're buying appropriate insurance for your circumstances.
Please note that cover is subject to the terms and conditions of your policy and exclusions may apply – please refer to your policy wording.
Voted Best Landlord Insurance Provider at the What Mortgage Awards 2013 – 2020.