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If you are a landlord and need to protect your investments and property, your option is a Landlords Insurance (also called Buy to Let Insurance, Let Property Insurance, Property Owners Insurance, or Rental Property Insurance). This is a policy which covers you as a property owner from financial losses related to the property which you let out.
Make no mistake about it; standard Home Insurance won't cover all the aspects that you need to protect being a landlord. A standard policy excludes cover for property which brings income. Landlords Insurance is specially designed for property that is let in order to earn some revenue and, unlike a Home Insurance policy, it can also cover you for landlord contents and liability to the tenants within your rental properties.
Insurance companies consider let property a different type of risk, as the owner does not reside in the insured property. The premiums for Landlords Insurance policies are usually slightly higher than the premiums for a standard Home Insurance policy, namely due to this higher risk. Insurers assume that maintenance and care of a let property may be of a lower level and the response to a problem in a let property may be slower.
In case you decide to let your property out for some period of time, your standard Home Insurance cover should be supplemented by Landlords Insurance. You should contact your home insurer and inform them about your changed situation. Remember that your insurer has a right to decline your claim if you do not inform them of the change in risk for the insurer. The thing is being a landlord makes you legally responsible towards your tenants.
Landlords will need their Buy to Let Insurance in order to have protection from the cost of rebuilding due to natural disasters, fire, flood, theft and damage by third parties. In addition, the policy will also protect the contents from damage done by tenants or burglary. Landlords Insurance covers legal expenses in case of a dispute with a tenant. As a landlord you are liable for the safety of the property your tenants occupy. Your tenants can make a claim against you if they injure themselves due to something dangerous in the property. The Landlord Liability cover is meant to pay legal costs, as well as to pay for any damages caused to the tenant. A Tenant Default cover will protect a landlord's income if a tenant fails to pay the rent, and a Loss of Rent cover will protect a landlord against losses in case the premises become unoccupied as a result of damage.
Depending on the landlord's specific needs, he/she can have extra cover in addition to a standard set of perils. They may include accidental damage, alternative accommodation costs, terrorism etc. There are different insurance policies and they may include different items.
A Landlord Insurance policy basically covers the building itself and the landlord's contents within. Buildings Insurance will cover the re-building of the insured property should some natural disaster or fire damage it. Always check your policy to be aware of what events are covered and what are excluded. Contents Insurance will cover you for damage or destruction to furniture and appliances in your house. Mind that it won't cover your tenant's possessions, so they have to take care of it themselves and buy the Tenant's cover.
Emergency Assistance cover is designed to protect the landlord against problems with doors and windows, keys, hot water system, electricity or gas supply, plumbing, drainage, toilet systems, leaking roof, heating system in winter months etc. It may also include an emergency accommodation cover for the tenant. Emergency Assistance cover helps you have the problem fixed as soon as possible and gives you time to find a tradesman who will handle the problem at a reasonable price.
Insurers tend to assess risks in different ways using statistics and claims data. Properties with factors attracting more claims, or your personal claims history will involve higher premiums. Typically, the price of Landlord Insurance depends on such factors as the property location, the type and age of property, the type of tenants, the sum insured on the home etc.
The sum insured is an estimate of the rebuilding costs for your property in case it is completely destroyed. It shouldn't be confused with the selling value of the property, which is usually higher. Remember that if you deliberately underestimate the sum insured in order to get a lower quote, the insurance company will reduce the sum they pay you to an extent proportional to the amount you have underestimated.
Landlords Insurance allows you to enjoy peace of mind: emergency repair bills will be settled for you, the insurer will help arrange everything and you may even not receive a single call from a tenant about the problem.
As soon as you have chosen the most suitable Landlords Insurance cover for your situation, you can use online sources to get quotes, find the best price, and fill up an online form. Normally, your Landlords Insurance will come into effect within a week.