Coffee Break

Insurance advice for current and prospective landlords

If you are considering dipping your toes into the buy-to-let market or already there, it’s hard not to overlook the need to minimise your outgoings as a landlord. This particularly bears emphasis in the wake of various tax and regulatory changes that have hit buy-to-let financially hard.

In this context, it can be understandably tempting to forgo insurance and so the prices of such, too. However, there remain several good reasons to think again about going down this route.

Landlords hit in the pocket from multiple angles

It can’t be denied that, since last year, landlords’ financial takings have been significantly curbed – to the extent where many landlords have put thought to leaving the buy-to-let sector altogether.

According to figures released by trade body UK Finance and reported by This is in May, 5,500 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages were completed in the March before. This figure indicates a heavy 19% drop from the number in the equivalent month of 2017.

The association blamed the decline on recent restrictions to landlords’ relief on mortgage interest tax, a new 3% stamp duty surcharge and Bank of England-tightened lending requirements. One notable consequence of these changes is that buying a buy-to-let home has become much pricier.

Landlord insurance: essential or merely an option?

In listing the various outgoings which you may face as a landlord either now or in the future and adding up all of these expenses, you may be reassured to see that insurance isn’t mandatory. Still, this wouldn’t strictly justify you rushing to relinquish any hold you might have on such cover.

The website of Propertymark – an industry organisation formed last year from associations including ARLA, NAVA and APIP – acknowledges that landlord insurance isn’t legally necessary. However, Propertymark calls it “advisable” due to how it can protect your building and tenants.

If you haven’t yet become a landlord, you might be considering letting out a particular building for which you have already taken out buildings and contents insurance. However, it remains vital that you let the insurer know you intend to let the property, as your existing cover might need amending.

Land yourself a good deal on landlord cover

Given that personal buildings and contents insurance isn’t legally required in itself, you might be in the position of wanting to take out landlord insurance afresh. That’s fine, and there are various means through which you can do it. However, what is the best way?

During your time as a landlord, it can be particularly worrying if your tenant starts missing rent payments. However, some landlord insurance policies can pay out to help plug the gap which could open in your earnings should the tenant indeed unexpectedly omit rent payments in this way.

This is a relevant point to make here because it shows how landlord insurance can come in various flavours which you might struggle to quickly sort through on your own. That’s where an insurance broker can really help. On your request, they can compare a range of quotes in just minutes.

Therefore, they can sift through the options so that you don’t have to. Still, remember to choose a broker that has promising credentials, such as authorisation and regulation from the Financial Conduct Authority. Be Wiser Business Insurance meets these particular criteria and many more.

Examples of policies which landlords can source from Be Wiser include those in the categories of loss of rent and property owners liability – as well as, of course, buildings and contents. Phoning Be Wiser on 0800 042 0401 or 0333 999 0802 can give you an even greater insight into the options.