As the number of landlords has increased in recent decades from a couple of hundred thousand in the 1970s to over 1.5 million today, so the range of policies and number of insurers within the landlord insurance market has increased.
Once a market supplied mostly by smaller and specialist insurers and brokers, as the lettings market has expanded so landlord insurance is now a competitive battleground for the larger, better-know insurers too.
Standard cover offered by policies includes buildings cover as well as some contents cover (if you are letting the property part or fully furnished) too as well as cover for loss of rent following damage to a property or during ‘void’ periods; providing alternative accommodation should the property have to be vacated for repairs (following a fire or water leak, for example); third party personal injury cover; and legal expenses.
What many insurers also now offer both as a ‘bolt on’ to landlord insurance (or separately) is ‘rent protection’. Its main features are, depending on the insurer:
Insurance for loss of rent should your tenants stop paying, usually for up to the maximum of the tenancy agreement’s duration, i.e. six or twelve months;
Use of an eviction agency who will do the foot and paperwork to evict the tenants;
Payment of legal fees connected with evicting the tenants.
Premium costs for landlord insurance will depend on the location and size of your property and who is renting it. For example it’s much more expensive to insure a buy-to-let property let out to students; few insurers will take the risk. Costs for rent protection depend largely on the total value of the tenancy agreement’s rental value.