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Knowing what to look out for in a landlords insurance quote

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What sort of features should you be looking for if you are trying to make your mind up about the most appropriate cover for your buy to let property?

There may be no single answer to this question, since what you as a landlord may need might differ quite significantly to the needs of another landlord.

Some features of a landlords insurance quote that you may wish to consider might include:

  • if your building suffers from subsidence this may have a catastrophic effect on not just the building but your finances as well, since not all policies might offer this cover as a standard feature. Some do though, so this may be worth looking out for;
  • how you would be affected financially should your property be damaged by an event which, although covered by your insurance, also forced your tenants to move out while repairs were in progress. Some landlords policies may include loss of rental income cover (up to a predefined limit) to help you cope with the financial shortfall;
  • what does the policy say about cover for malicious damage by your tenants? Although this may not happen very often, the costs to you may be significant, so having cover as standard may be useful;
  • is there a generous provision made for third party liability payments which may be required if someone sues you for damages for some injury they have received, which they believe is related to your property and the way that is was maintained;
  • if you were facing such a court case, would your legal fees be covered irrespective of whether you won or lost the case;
  • are there any restriction on the types of tenants that you can let your property to? Some policies may give you complete freedom while others may exclude certain categories like students or DSS claimants
  • remember that if your property if empty between lettings for example or if you are carrying out refurbishment work, then you may need to keep an eye on the number of consecutive days that it stands unoccupied. Many quotes may stipulate that if this figure exceeds somewhere between 30 and 45 days then the policy may not provide cover and you may have to get yourself some unoccupied property insurance.

Comparing quotes is all very well but you need to have a good idea of how you are going to rank the differences in the policies against each other in a typical landlords’ insurance quote.

Being clear on that may well make all the difference not only in your choice but also in the outcome of any claims that you may make in the future.